Today, more brands are using whitelisting as a core part of their social media buying strategy.
Post-iOS 14, it’s no longer enough to for brands to simply adhere to media buying best practices and expect profitable campaigns. Brands have been forced to think outside of the box.
One of the biggest examples of this trend is ad budgets shifting increasingly towards whitelisting campaigns.
Given that trend, it’s vital for you as a UGC creator to understand the whitelisting process, why it’s profitable from a brand’s perspective, and what the benefits and risks are for content creators.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What Is Whitelisting?
In short, whitelisting involves launching a paid social advertising campaign through a UGC creators account rather than a brand account. It gives brands a means to post content and run paid ads, using an creators handle in place of the brand’s company profile.
This can take many different forms across many different social platforms. The most common whitelisting strategies are:
- Traditional Whitelisting – when a creator posts a photo/video organically, then gives your brand access to “boost” that post from within Facebook’s ad manager as a paid advertisement. These are called Spark Ads on TikTok but are the same concept in practice. They are also known as braded content ads.
- Generalized Whitelisting access – when an influencer gives you generalized whitelisting access to run any creative that you want from their handle. These videos don’t even technically need to include the creator in them, although they usually perform better if they do.
What we’re talking about in UGC, we’re talking about the latter.
From a brand’s point of view, UGC whitelisting works on a number of levels – the main one being customer trust.
Customers tend not to listen to ads they see from brands. But they always listen to relatable people. This is the same reason UGC works so well.
Pair a great UGC video with a whitelisting ad and boom 💥 – a winning combo.
How Is UGC Whitelisting Distinct from Branded Content?
Branded content tools allow brands to boost content after a creator tags the company in a post.
Businesses can’t edit the post or create new content on their behalf. Businesses will also have to use their own audience, and they can’t specifically target a content creator’s list of followers for the ads.
With influencer whitelisting, not only do brands have much greater control over the target audience and the ability to run A/B tests. But the UGC creator never has to post the content to their feed in the first place.
The result is that companies can maximize return-on-investment while driving more engagement and increasing conversions indefinitely.
How Can Creators Benefit From Whitelisting?
So, what are the benefits for UGC creators? Here’s a rundown.
✅ Extended Reach
Depending on the ad content, a UGC creator be able to benefit from more reach and a larger audience. They gain more exposure to audiences that haven’t yet interacted with their content.
This may be able to help strengthen the account to then get more jobs.
✅ More Money
The primary benefit of whitelisting for UGC creators is the ability to charge an additional fee. Creators earn more as brands utilize not just their likeness, but their name and account to sell.
✅ Lasting business relationships
Whitelisting is a win-win strategy for brands and creators alike.
Brands can tap into the organic audience and use an authentic voice, while creators can experience a boost in exposure and charge more.
The caveat is that there are risks as well.
What Are The Risks of Whitelisting for UGC Creators?
Indeed, those benefits are vital, yet there’s also risk involved when content creators work with brands for whitelisting.
❌ Lack of visibility
A partner with whitelisting access to your account can create an ad and run it through your account without your knowledge.
We strongly recommend that before you grant whitelisting permissions to your handle, make sure you trust the brand or agency you’ll work with.
❌ Following audience over-saturation
Another risk is that brands can target anyone, which may over-saturate and annoy your audience – the precise opposite of what you want to do!
So, make sure that you mainly collaborate with brands that match your audience’s interests and engagement level.
❌Difficulty understanding the agreement
Finally, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll have difficulty understanding the agreement. Typically, these arrangements are relatively complex, so to receive fair compensation creators need to know the limits of content copyrights.
Use Whitelisting To Your Advantage
Whitelisting has gone from a novelty to a must-have in every brand ad account, and that means it’s something you need to get your head around.
After all, it’s a really easy way to start to increase your revenue without having to do any extra work.