Deep Dive Wednesdays

🗣 Running a B2B and want to reach 33,441 DTC Brands? Start here…

Happy Wednesday!

If you’re new here, every Wednesday, I dive deep into a specific topic, and today, let’s dive into everything you need to know about Influencer Whitelisting in 2024.

Here’s how the weekly format for the DTC Newsletter looks like currently:

  • Mondays: What’s hot on Twitter | Sai or Kaushal’s insights (our in-house ad and CRO specialists) | My insights on DTC (Ibrahim’s Nuggets) | Resources

  • Tuesdays: What’s hot on Twitter | Sai or Kaushal’s insights (our in-house ad and CRO specialists) | My insights on DTC (Ibrahim’s Nuggets) | Resources

  • Wednesdays: My deep dive on a specific DTC topic

  • Thursdays: What’s hot on Twitter | Sai or Kaushal’s insights (our in-house ad and CRO specialists) | My insights on DTC (Ibrahim’s Nuggets) | Resources

  • Fridays: Q&As with me (all the questions asked throughout the week, I’ll try answering them)

Let us know what you are liking and want more of. We love feedback.

Alright, let’s get into todays deep dive..


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Is trying influencer whitelisting in 2024 worth it?

Influencer whitelisting wasn’t quite popular until 2023. In fact, most people that I spoke to, weren’t even aware of its existence as a feature inside Meta for instance. But lately, it has been gaining popularity, and you’ll shortly learn why.

Does it work? It can bring your CPA down, but honestly, like all questions in marketing, my answer is, it depends. I do not want to overstate or understate the importance of whitelisting; instead, I merely want to suggest that it is a tactic worth trying.

What is Influencer Whitelisting?

Influencer whitelisting, or you could call it creator licensing, is when a brand chips in some ad cash to boost a creator's post. So, when folks on social media spot the ad, it'll seem like it's straight from the creator, not the big brand, which can make it come off as way more legit. That’s the fundamental behind it.

Why is this an exciting tactic?

Advertisers like us want to get viewer’s attention and trust. Influencer marketing used to be huge. It still is, if you do it right. But most people scroll their feeds and want to avoid ads. You give an ad 3 seconds of attention, and it feels like some friend has posted this content, so viewers lean more into that post.

You do it to:

  • Become the scroll-stopper

  • Get authority, credibility, and trust

  • Get higher engagement than traditional ads

  • Improve CTR, hook rate, and all that nice stuff

  • It’s more measurable than a standard organic post

  • Because the reach of organic gets more challenging day-by-day

Do influencers’ following impact the performance?

I’ve spoken to a few people regarding this, and from a personal experience as well, it doesn’t matter much. The CTR, engagement, and CPA are quite similar regardless of the following, although it can vary drastically if you’re trying to whitelist an influencer that is quite widely well-known and has millions of followers, and on top of it, one of the audiences you’re going after is this influencer’s own followers.

The best part about whitelisting a mega influencer and running ads on their own followers is, they already recognise this face so well that most people would assume it to be another post, which feels very native than being pushed on their faces.

How much should you pay for an influencer whitelisting?

The rates vary, but 20-30% of the fee is a rule of thumb. However, I’ve seen creators getting paid $200-$500 extra for whitelisting. And if the ad works out longer than 60 days, keep renegotiating with similar pricing.

But here’s my take: Don’t pay anything, and just tell the creator (influencers might be harder to convince) that we’ll run the ad from your account, and if the CPA is down, we’d be happy to pay a certain fee that’s reasonable to you.

Plus, there are many benefits to influencers for running whitelisting:

  • Free followers

  • Free link in bio traffic

  • Follow-up opportunities if the ad does well

Here’s a sample contract that you can use, and embed your whitelisting clause in it.

What’s better: Meta vs. TikTok Spark Ads?

There is no standard consensus. Spark Ads in TikTok are way easier to run and explain to the creator. TikTok ads don’t scale, regardless of whitelisting, where as, Meta does. The short answer is—it depends, but Meta scales better.

If you want to learn about how to get access to Meta, follow these links:

What are some tactics that you can apply with whitelisting?

  • Founder Ads: If you’re a brand with a low budget, use founder ads

  • Working with an influencer: Use their existing audience with retargeting to have maximum impact

  • Whitelisting for all funnels: Don’t just test whitelisting on top of the funnel, but middle and bottom of the funnel too (meaning, don’t just target people that never had a single engagement with your brand)

  • Always test different offers and landing pages: When you work with a specific influencer, ensure the offer and landing page are customized (most people forget this, but this can make or break this entire process)

  • Work with non-influencers or creators to test whitelisting, too, like this one, and a blog like this

Lastly, if you’d like to use a tool to reach out to creators/influencers at scale, especially if you’re unwilling to pay them initially to test it out, definitely recommend SARAL!

Alright folks, that’s it for today. Hope that was helpful.

Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any topics you’d like me to dive deeper into, let me know here.


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🗣 Running a B2B and want to reach 33,441 DTC Brands? Start here…