According to a study conducted by Meta, running creator and brand assets generates a 19% reduction in CPAs than brand assets alone. Despite the metrics, it’s no secret that working with influencers can be challenging - organic reach on Instagram and TikTok just isn’t what it used to be. Many performance marketers are using a ‘spray and pray’ approach, or throwing different combinations of creator handles, content, and audiences at the wall to see what sticks with their target demographic. Using this strategy, it can be nearly impossible to measure in advance what content or influencer is going to resonate with social media users and drive conversions for your brand.
One thing is clear: when a potential customer sees an ad on Instagram or TikTok, that’s not the end of the buyer journey. So how do performance marketers use this knowledge to their advantage and help move consumers from add-to-cart to purchase?
In our experience, many advertisers under-appreciate the power of landing pages as a part of the buyer journey. In fact, Fermat conducted a test across 20 advertisers and found that consumers are 4x as likely to convert when reaching the brand site via creator editorials or landing pages. Considering this data and Lumanu’s expertise in the influencer marketing space, we believe Lumanu has codified the formula for driving successful growth with creator and publishing partners.
In the remainder of this article, we’ll explore what exactly editorial whitelisting is, how to select publishing partners, and how to get started with the whitelisting process.
What is Editorial Whitelisting?
You may already be familiar with the term ‘influencer whitelisting’, and wonder how editorial whitelisting enters the picture. Editorial whitelisting involves strategically partnering with trusted publishers and creators to develop educational blogs or in-depth reviews about your brand or product. This content serves as an extension of your paid advertisements on platforms like Instagram or Facebook, leveraging the credibility and audience of the publisher or creator.
See examples of long-form influencer editorials, or creator landing pages, below:
- Solawave product review
- Laura Geller product comparison
- MiLA product review
- The Farmer's Dog product comparison
Trusted publishers and creators provide an authentic and trustworthy perspective which leads to better conversion rates, increased ROI, and reduced CPAs. Some products just lend themselves better to longer-form editorials. In fact, many consumers today already seek out product reviews and comparisons online to help sway their buying decision.
Let’s dive deeper into the ways editorial whitelisting can benefit your brand.
Benefits of Editorial Whitelisting
According to a case study conducted by GrapevineAI, investing in editorial whitelisting can reduce a DTC brand’s CPAs by as much as 40%. The results speak for themselves, but there’s several other key advantages Editorial Whitelisting offers your brand:
- Building consumer trust
By carefully selecting publishers and creators that resonate with your brand values, you can drive consumer trust and safeguard your brand’s reputation. When a publishing partner writes a detailed piece on the features and highlights of your brand/product, it can be exactly what the consumer needs to be persuaded from add-to-cart to a purchase.
- Increased Relevance and Engagement
Editorial whitelisting enables you to reach a highly targeted audience who is already interested in the content produced by your whitelisted partners. Instagram and TikTok algorithms are designed to favor highly-engaged posts, which means your whitelisted ads are naturally being served to new audiences and creator ads have probably to outperform brand ads. This results in improved metrics and higher-quality interactions, leading to increased conversions and reduced CPAs.
- Cost Efficiency
Since social media algorithms favor engagement, leveraging content creators also drives down conversion costs. Concentrating your marketing campaigns on whitelisted ads allows you to eliminate wasteful spending on irrelevant or underperforming placements. This optimization not only reduces CPAs but also maximizes your return on ad spend (ROAS).
Selecting publishers to partner with
Choosing the right partners for your editorial whitelisting strategy sets the stage for campaign success. To drive sales, it’s essential that your publishing partner’s voice is authentic and believable.
When selecting partners, look for the following:
- Audience Alignment
Look for publishers and creators whose audiences closely match your target market. Analyze their demographics, interests, and engagement metrics to ensure maximum relevance and resonance.
- Brand Alignment
Evaluate the content produced by potential partners to ensure it aligns with your brand's values, tone, and aesthetics. Consistency in messaging and style enhances the overall brand experience for your audience - it’s also what makes the content believable.
- Performance Evaluation
Examine the track record and performance of publishers and creators. Assess their audience growth, engagement metrics, and past brand partnerships to gauge their effectiveness in reaching and influencing their audience.
Implementing Editorial Whitelisting
Now that you're ready to embark on your editorial whitelisting journey, let's explore how to get started:
- Research and Identify Whitelist Candidates
Utilize tools like GrapevineAI's platform, industry directories, and social media platforms to identify publishers and creators whose content resonates with your brand. Consider factors such as audience demographics, engagement metrics, and brand alignment.
- Establish Partnerships
Reach out to the selected publishers and creators to express your interest in collaborating. Articulate the mutual benefits and showcase your understanding of their audience and content. Foster relationships based on trust and shared goals, emphasizing the value you can bring to their audience.
- Set Clear Expectations
Define guidelines for content alignment, promotion strategies, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Establish a feedback loop to foster collaboration and optimize campaign performance. Regularly communicate with your partners to stay aligned and refine strategies as needed.
- Monitor and Optimize
Continuously analyze the performance of your editorial whitelisting efforts. Leverage data analytics to track engagement, conversions, and campaign success. Use these insights to refine your whitelist, expand partnerships with top-performing creators, and further optimize your CPAs.
By leveraging editorial whitelisting with trusted partners and content creators, you can build brand trust, enhance relevance, and significantly reduce CPAs. When embraced, editorial whitelisting can be a powerful tool to elevate a brand's ad performance and drive sales.
Curious how your team can incorporate editorial whitelisting and other types of influencer whitelisting into your growth marketing program? Schedule a demo with a Lumanu strategist to learn more.