When considering attributing certain factors to success in influencer marketing campaigns, most professionals in the industry call out the authentic voice that content creators provide as an incomparable asset. A staggering 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making a purchase, resulting in the estimate that influencer marketing will hit $16.4B in 2022.
These increasingly well-known statistics encourage brands and marketers to see the full potential of influencers, but knowing how to scale these efforts through whitelisting—that is, an influencer giving a brand partner advertising permissions to their social media account(s)—is vital to maximizing ROI.
Below are a few key components often overlooked when scaling one’s whitelisting efforts.
Auto-optimization is a marketer’s best friend. Meta, IG, YouTube, and TikTok all have auto-optimization built in to their ads manager, but some marketers have no idea it exists. For this reason, it is important to have multiple ads per any paid campaign that you are planning on running.
When launching a campaign, an ads manager will spend money across the different ads that you have, determining which ads perform the best against your targeting, schedule, optimization goals, bidding models, and other factors. If you only promote one influencer, or one ad, per ad set, then you are losing free value by forcing all your money into one ad that may not perform well under the conditions you have set.
In influencer marketing, when scaling with whitelisting, the key is figuring out the budgeting balances between paying influencers and the amount you are putting in to promote that content under their branding.
PROGRAM LENGTH AND BUDGETING
Program length and budgeting is almost as important as auto-optimization, and is a little-used feature that can severely impact the scalability of your whitelisted programs. Hubspot has a fantastic breakdown of how Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) operate, but marketers should aim to set their programs up with the most flexibility possible in terms of timing.
For example, if you set a campaign up with a $100,000 budget and a one-week window to spend it, then you are going to be forcing the platform to overspend on insanely expensive bids in order to get the budget spent by the end date. But if you set the timeframe to three months, most platforms will space out the spending, allowing for time to find more cost-efficient placements.
SCALING THE ONBOARDING PROCESS
Since social ad manager platforms have built in auto-optimization between ad sets and campaigns, it is imperative to take advantage of that free tool by adding multiple ads to your whitelisted paid programs where possible. Multiple ads could mean the same influencer whitelisted on multiple pieces of content, or more commonly, multiple influencers per campaign.
If you are onboarding tens, hundreds, or thousands of influencers to run paid ads, then the process can get incredibly tedious and lengthy.
On Meta (Facebook and Instagram), the easiest and most efficient way of getting access to influencers for the purpose of whitelisting is to go directly through your business manager’s “Pages” section. Simply search the name or ID of the page you want and request access. Influencers will get a notification, and can choose to “Allow Access.”
YouTube works a little differently. Though anyone can promote any video without the need for advertiser access, there are certain guidelines creators must follow.
Finally, TikTok is by far the best option for scalability, as the platform’s Spark Ads streamline both the advertiser-access process and the ad-creation process.
CAPABILITIES AND RESULTS
Past the ramp-up period where marketers are figuring out which targeting, asset types, and timeframes work for them, whitelisting allows marketers to specifically hone in on things like lower CPx’s compared to sponsored social, unlimited scalability in terms of budget, and hyper-targeted audience segments that expand beyond an influencer’s organic following.
Certain platforms and placements are better than others for certain results—for example, Meta right-column placement is best for low CPM, while Meta in-feed photos are best for CPC. But when referencing scalability, all the platforms can spend incredible amounts of budget.
Platforms like Meta and Instagram will take your money and spend it regardless of whether or not you are optimizing results. It is up to the marketer to check the right boxes and turn the right keys.
President of influencer marketing platform gen.video. Shining a light on the convergence of social media, advertising, and commerce.