How to deliver results with influencer Instagram whitelisting

By
McCue Enright
In
Best Practices
April 1, 2020


If you’re reading this article then you probably know that influencer marketing on social media is a fantastic way to generate brand awareness and reach new potential customers to whom you can sell your product. What you might not know is that influencer whitelisting is the best way to improve the ROI of your influencer campaigns and opens so many doors to drive revenue. 

This article will tell you how to whitelist influencers and best practices when doing so. But first, let’s quickly discuss why influencer whitelisting is essential to maximizing your influencer marketing ROI.

Why whitelist influencer content?

In the past few years brands have activated thousands of influencers and spent billions of dollars on influencer marketing and social media. Why? Because influencer marketing campaigns offer a new way for brands to reach new potential customers, sell product and generate brand awareness. 

So, why is influencer whitelisting an essential piece of your influencer marketing and ad buying strategy? Just check out our official Facebook Success Story showing results of Influencer ads. Mizzen + Main, a men’s apparel brand, used Lumanu to whitelist influencers and run Facebook and Instagram ads from influencer handles and here’s what they found:

  • 2.3x increase in purchases
  • 73% decrease in cost-per-purchase
  • 128% improvement in RoAS

This is one of many examples of brands finding greater success with influencer ads than traditional brand ads coming from the brand’s handle. 

How to whitelist influencers

There are a few ways to whitelist your influencer’s Facebook Page and Instagram account content. The first way is the branded content tool, which allows influencers to tag your brand as a business partner in their organic posts, identifying you as a brand partner and in turn giving you the permission to amplify the content as Facebook and/or Instagram ads. The branded content tool has many limitations, which we’ll discuss in a bit. 

The second solution to gain advertising permissions to influencer Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts is the manual method via Facebook’s Business Manager. We lay that manual process out for you in another post: How to guide - influencer whitelisting. The Facebook Business Manager method can be a pain and anyone that whitelisted influencer content and has used this method knows that. Thankfully, there is a streamlined solution to gain influencer advertising permissions. Enter our third solution to whitelisting influencers: Lumanu. 

Lumanu's revolutionary technology allows any of your influencers (nano, celebrity, micro-influencers etc.) to grant you whitelist permissions in just a few clicks. No Business Manager, no hour-long video calls, no emails back and forth. 

See this chart that breaks down the capabilities of Lumanu vs traditional whitelisting. A few quick callouts:

  • Lumanu allows advertisers to amplify influencer Instagram stories with ease.
  • Lumanu allows advertisers to easily create carousel ads from influencer handles and their content.   
  • Lumanu unlocks new audiences and allows advertisers to create engagement and lookalike audiences from influencer Instagram Business accounts and Facebook Pages. 


How to drive purchases with influencer whitelisting

Now that you’ve successfully gained whitelisting permissions to your influencers’ Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts, let’s discuss some influencer whitelisting strategies to ensure you’re getting the best results. 

Don't stray from what works for your brand ads

Influencer ads might seem like a totally different animal but it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t deviate too far from your existing Facebook Ads Manager strategy and your existing marketing objectives after you introduce whitelisting. In other words: take what is working with your brand ads and use that to your advantage in your whitelisted influencer ads. 

For example, if the Facebook Feed placement historically works well for your brand then make sure you are running your whitelisted influencer ads in the Facebook Feed placement as well. Even if you’re whitelisting an influencer’s Instagram Story, don’t be afraid to repurpose it in the Facebook Feed placement when running that organic post as an ad. 

Another example: if video ads traditionally work well for your brand, then have your influencers create compelling Instagram story videos or in-feed videos on social media so you can easily run that content in your Facebook Ads Manager when you whitelist.

Whitelisting and influencer ads offer an exciting new way to drive purchases and you should test and introduce a few of the strategies I’ll lay out below, but don’t move too far away from what has worked for your brand in the past.

Test creative and influencer Instagram and Facebook handles

Oftentimes social media influencers will post long-winded descriptions in their sponsored posts for brands. This is great for organic posts and increases engagement rate, but long, exhaustive copy does not translate well to driving purchases with ads. Consider what works for your branded Instagram ads and Facebook ads and if you’re using a tool like Lumanu, shortening and editing copy is a breeze.

A great place to start is considering what works for your branded Instagram ads and Facebook ads. Simply running different CTA buttons (shop now, learn more, etc.) can drastically improve results. Tip: include a reason to buy now like a discount code!

Testing should include: 

  • Testing Single images vs. carousels and slideshows
  • Testing primary text length and headlines
  • Testing various influencer content in different Facebook ad placements
  • Testing CTAs 

Test influencer audiences

It’s best practice to introduce your influencer whitelisted ads to your existing ad sets and brand audiences (i.e. run your influencer ads against some of your top-performing ad sets and audiences, including retargeting audiences), but whitelisting also unlocks new audiences to test. 

Incorporating whitelisting into your influencer campaigns gives you the opportunity to build new prospecting audiences based on people who have engaged with your influencers Instagram Business Account and Facebook Pages and create lookalikes from those audiences. Note: I suggest only creating Lookalike audiences if the engagement audience is ~1K or greater. See below for a few types of influencer engagement audiences you can create.

Types of influencer engagement audiences to create in Facebook Audience Manager


Optimize creator content for direct response

Whitelisting through Lumanu gives you the opportunity to maximize the effectiveness of influencer content and copy when repurposed as an ad. When you whitelist through Lumanu, you can make edits to the description of the post, re-order Instagram story frames or carousel images, introduce new images, crop videos, etc..  

Consider the following optimizations when editing influencer content to repurpose as an ad: 

  • If an influencer posts a carousel or multi-frame Instagram story, include a product image as a frame or image in the ad. 
  • Remove hashtags, tags and other clickable links in the post description. These distract from the CTA button and can cause people to leave your ad without going to your landing page. 
  • Rearrange carousel images to show the best-looking image first. Usually that is an image that strongly features the product front and center. 
  • Add closed captions to Instagram stories. The majority of Instagram users do not have their sound on when looking at stories, so it’s best to have closed captions so users can read about the product features and benefits being talked about in the ad.

Influencer whitelisting is an essential part of your influencer marketing strategy. Whitelisting gives you complete control over your influencer assets, and all whitelisted ads are FTC compliant and appear as sponsored content or a paid partnership in a Facebook or Instagram users feed, eliminating brand safety concerns. 

If you’re interested in learning more about influencer whitelisting, check out our article on the risks and benefits of influencer whitelisting for creators.


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