As influence marketing continues to heat up, brands keep looking for ways to safely reach, engage, and convert the right audiences with the ultimate goal of maximizing ROI.
Whitelisting—or the practice of "pre-approved lists of influencers that brands can work with, and in some cases, get unfettered, open access to their handles," as per Digiday—has become one of the most popular ways to reassure brands that might want to prevent being associated with salacious or otherwise controversial content.
"When you put money behind something, it becomes more imperative that it appear in the right place." And it's likelier that your brand is more obvious," WHOSAY CEO Steve Ellis told Digiday. "So using an influencer who ends up spouting racist things, getting too political or heavens forbid, has lost authenticity because he commoditized his offerings by working with every company under the sun can get really problematic, really fast."
But what happens with influencers' concerns, shouldn't they be also protecting themselves from potentially damaging associations? They answer is yes.
According to Digiday, "some firms are bargaining for whitelists to go both ways." When influencers/celebrities are big enough that they are brands themselves they will, too, ask for "unfettered, whitelisted access to the brand's own channel and post stuff on there."
"It's a two-way street," says Ellis. "The influencer's network is an asset too."