Influencer Allowlisting: All Your Questions Answered

Sep 1st, 2022 — Jenn Kim
4 minute read

Influencer marketing is constantly changing — and as a marketer, it’s not always easy to keep up with every new technique, platform, or tool that’s suddenly available. For many, this is the case with influencer allowlisting (formerly known as influencer whitelisting). 

Influencer allowlisting has become both lucrative and critical in the social media space, but it’s not exactly self-explanatory. So, we took the liberty to answer those questions, plus a couple of our own.

Your Influencer Allowlisting Questions Answered

We asked our dedicated Slack community what questions they had about influencer allowlisting. It turned out there were quite a few, so we compiled this list of everything you need to know.

What is influencer allowlisting?

Let’s start with the basics. Influencer allowlisting is the process of an influencer granting a brand access to use their social media account (like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok) to advertise. Once a brand is allow listed by an influencer, the brand can access the influencer’s social media account, post under their handle, and even edit content.

You may be familiar with influencer allowlisting but know it under a different name: influencer whitelisting. There has been a growing demand to shift the verbiage from whitelist and blacklist to allow list and blocklist. The latter terms are more inclusive and not racially loaded, plus more distinguishable.

The shift has been happening for years, with giant companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Google already using allow list and blocklist as standard.

What are the advantages of influencer generated content over professionally generated content? 

Influencer generated content (IGC) is valuable, effective content that is more authentic, more diverse, and has a greater understanding of your target audience. Not to mention, it’s much less time-consuming and more cost-effective to produce. Users and influencers are already speaking in your audience’s language and creating content that converts.

Here’s a quick list of benefits to leveraging influencer-generated content versus studio-shot content. 

How much do creators typically charge brands to access and run ads through their account?

Influencer allowlisting can vary anywhere from $500 to $100,000, but it depends on a variety of factors. Some influencers include allowlisting in their rates with no extra fee, however the base rate is slightly higher than others. Generally, this can be 20-30% of the collaboration fee.

Typical rate factors include follower count, audience, length of access, and content. Less common factors that affect rates may incorporate percentage of ad spend and variable fees based on media run, though these typically only apply to celebrity influencers.

Can you track precise ROI from specific influencers using in-post call to actions (shop now, visit website, etc.)?

Yes! Like affiliate links and promo codes, you can track exact sales from the in-post call to actions. Access to the influencer’s account will also allow you to measure engagement metrics such as likes and comments directly through the account.

We’re familiar with influencer allowlisting, but what about influencer blocklisting? Are there any blocklisting benefits?

Blocklisting is the process of barring an entity from accessing a certain platform or sending messages to an individual IP address (i.e. blocking from using Twitter or blocking from sending or receiving spam messages to or from a certain email address). The benefits of a blocklist depend on which side of the list you’re on.

As mentioned before with allowlisting vs. whitelisting, and for the same reasons, blocklisting is the preferred rising term for blacklisting.

How long do creators typically grant brands access?

The length of time creators grant brands access to their accounts depends on the campaign the brand intends to run. The campaign is normally centered around individual posts which can last for weeks instead of days, or even hours.

Can you target specific audiences through influencer allowlisting?

With influencer allowlisting, you can be hyper-target specific and customized audiences. The extra paid element of allowlisting makes it a better strategy for reaching new audiences or audiences similar to your influencer’s followers (lookalike audiences).

If your goal is to reach your influencer’s existing audience, opting for a traditional paid post may be best.

Is influencer allowlisting right for my brand?

Influencer allowlisting may not be the right approach for every brand or ad campaign, so it’s important to understand exactly what it is and what you’ll get out of it before taking the next step.

Benefits of influencer allowlisting

To know if influencer allowlisting is right for your brand, you need to know its benefits.

  • Hyper-target audiences – Allowlisting enables brands to use influencer audience data to reach their target consumer to customize lookalike audiences.
  • Longer shelf life – Allowlisting lengthens the shelf life of a creator’s post, which is especially helpful for formats like Instagram Stories, which have a 24-hour time limit.
  • Higher performance – Influencer generated content is different from traditional ads and delivers higher performance with the call-to-action buttons (“Shop Now”, “Learn More”, etc.).
  • Advanced analytics – Every allow listed ad can be fully tracked and measured, allowing brands to collect data on conversions, clicks, purchases, page views, and all the analytics in between.

Ad types: What’s working for you and what’s not?

Look at what’s working and what’s not for your brand. What have you tried already? There are numerous ad types you can utilize, and each serves different functions.

  • Allow listed ad – An ad that runs under the creator’s handle on their social media account.
  • Dark post – Paid social media ads that run under the creator’s handle but do not appear on their social media feed unless specifically targeted to that audience.
  • Sponsored post – A promotional post on a creator’s social media feed in partnership with a brand.
  • Brand-owned ad – An ad that runs under the brand’s social media handle which typically uses influencer generated content from sponsored posts.
  • Boosted post – A limited form of whitelisting, a boosted post is content that is “boosted” through the social media platform and temporarily shown to a larger audience as an ad.

What are your brand’s goals?

Finally, consider your goals. The success of allow listed ads depends on a brand’s objectives. Allowlisting is useful if your goals include extending post shelf life, reaching new audiences, driving sales, and taking a more targeted approach in your brand’s marketing. 

What now?

The most savvy brands are taking full advantage of influencer marketing by running allow listed ads. If you’re considering investing in influencer allowlisting, check out our Marketer’s Guide to Influencer Allowlisting.

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