Influencer marketing is a very powerful way to get your book in front of new targeted prospects, create brand lift and or course drive revenue. However posting with influencers organically is only half the opportunity. The most successful brands in the world Whitelist Influencers to unlock assigned credibility and conversions for their paid social media strategies and you can too!
Whitelisting influencers for ads is fast, easy, and as a part of a holistic paid social strategy, they can yield superior Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) than standard ads.
If you’re looking for a Step By Step guide on how to grant and get access to make this possible please go to this article.
When you advertise on Facebook, you need a profile to run ads from. Try an article we wrote for more on that, it's about marketing a book with Facebook ads. Typically authors will use their business or personal profile to advertise. Read this article if you haven’t built a personal brand yet. Whitelisting allows you to advertise from your owned ad account, but using an influencer’s profile image. So the ad appears to come from an influential person rather than an author that potentially no one has heard of. The book Contagious calls this Social Currency.
It’s very easy. The influencer will grant the author advertising permission from their profile, so the author can now advertise their book through the influencer’s social handles.
The point here is to leverage the influencer’s credibility. It’s what the book Hey Whipple Squeeze This refers to as assigned credibility. People should think: “If this influencer is promoting it, it must be good.” This is because the audience already knows and likes the influencer. You get to lean on the trust they have built with their audience.
Whitelisting allows you to optimize influencer’s posts before promoting as well. We can add a CTA (Call-To-Action) like “Buy Now” or “Learn More”. Tweaking the copy to be more direct response related is another very useful option to improve performance. In a carousel ad we can edit the order the images display in, allowing us to optimize even more! For tips on great copywriting read the book Killer Facebook Ads.
Best for last is the fact that you can use the influencer’s audience for targeting! Creating Lookalike audiences for expanded reach to like minded people is a big deal. This is the most meaningful and effective use for influencers by far. It squeezes every drop of value out of the influencer. Especially because influencers usually only reach 10% of their audience. Now, this value won’t last forever because influencer’s audiences are only so big, but can easily get 30-60 days out of their audience targeting.
Whitelisting gives you an opportunity to extend the reach of your campaign. Without whitelisting and promoting posts, you only have the organic reach to rely on to get the benefit of an influencer. And once that post has been done, the reach is over. 24 hours later Instagram may put it in the explore page but that’s it. Whitelisting can keep your book in user feeds again and again. Instagram Stories is a great example as they expire in 24 hours unless promoted.
Whitelisting is the idea of promoting content that an influencer has NOT posted. Dark posting is the idea of uploading content specifically to be promoted, but never makes it to the influencer’s feed. The idea here is to squeeze every drop of value out of the influencer’s profile. So you cannot Dark Post without whitelisting. This is about creating content that is exclusively used in ads. So they never have to post it and unless they actually see the ad live in their feed they probably wouldn’t even know that it was being promoted.
With that said, it is unwise to promote anything through an influencer’s account without express permission. Good way to ruin a relationship or even get sued.
Dark posting offers endless split testing opportunities because you are not restricted to promoting only what has been posted in the influencer’s feed.
There are a few methods for whitelisting with influencers on Facebook
If your influencer is only interested in providing one piece of content through a post on Facebook & Instagram for you to promote, then the best option is the Branded Content Tool. Once an influencer posts, they will tag you as a “business partner” using the Branded Content Tool. At the top of your post by your handle name there will now be a phrase saying “sponsored by” and your brand name.
Accepting the request from the influencer makes you a business partner and you’ll be able to spend money promoting the post to a larger audience. The proper name for this is “Boosting”. Without boosting like this the reach for an influencer’s post is limited to roughly 10% of their audience. Boosting like this will get your reach up to 80%+ of their followers.
It’s important that you not begin crazy amounts of testing when launching paid ads through an influencer’s profile. Best practice is to launch with your same content. That will be your “control” and the varying element will be the influencer’s handle change. Often using proven ads from your existing campaigns will be the most successful strategy. This is because you already know the ads work with your target audience, so when you start layering in the influencer’s credibility and trust when using proven ads your chances of success increase dramatically.
Once you’ve got your standard book ads running, start testing new creatives. This is called A/B Testing or Split Testing. Variations using whitelisting should perform better than traditional ads because the influencer’s audience is similar to your ideal customers.
There is much to test when whitelisting. All of it is to try and find ads that convert at a better and better clip.
Ad Content: The actual images, video, GIFs have an enormous impact on the campaign performance. You’ll want to test several, so don’t forget to negotiate this into your contract in the beginning. They need to provide 5 pieces of content or more to be tested in paid ads.
Ad Structure: Meta allows images, carousels, slideshows, and videos. You’ll want to test them all. Definitely don’t ignore video. That kind of content can be more difficult to receive from influencers, but it is often the most successful.
Ad Copy: This may seem obvious, but testing different reasons that people buy your product is very important. The book Competing Against Luck will help you understand this concept. You must test headlines and descriptions to determine what works best.
Call-To-Action: Testing different buttons like Shop Now vs Learn More. One of these CTAs is going to perform better than the other. Without testing you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Handles: A big part of whitelisting is using an influencer’s handle, but there is not a guarantee that their handle will convert better. The best thing to do is still test the content on your own brand’s handle as well. It may convert better.
Audiences: If you’ve obtained full access to the influencer’s audience’s then you will be able to target their audiences directly. This means getting into their followers' feeds through paid ads. This is very likely to be effective, but depending on the size of the influencer it may be less possible to spend a large amount on these people directly. To squeeze more value out of the influencer’s content create Lookalikes built from them. This of course would target people similar to their audiences, not their audience’s directly. You’ll need more than 1,000 people to build a Lookalike, but more the better. Both of these audience types must be tested and are a main benefit of working with influencers.
For more on this read out guide to advertising a book on Facebook.
If you plan on advertising with the influencer’s handle you’ll need to get access to their profiles through Facebook Business Manager. The Facebook Business Manager is complicated for those who aren’t in it all the time. We have an instruction guide below, but be patient with the influencers. Granting access can be overwhelming if they’re inexperienced, but it’s very easy.
First thing that the influencer needs is to have their Business Manager linked to their Facebook Page and Instagram handle. And their Instagram account must be a business account, not a personal one.
In your Business Manager you will be adding them as a “Partner”. To do this you will need to collect what is called their Business Manager ID. For a proper Step By Step guide for how to grant access please click here.
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