Influencer Marketing

Influencer Whitelisting or Creator Licensing: Defining the Terms

You’ve surely come across the terms “influencer whitelisting” and “creator licensing,” and probably some other variations, and wondered what it is and which term to use. That’s why we decided to dig into the topic and bridge this gap.

Influencer Whitelisting or Creator Licensing: Defining the Terms

Yay, you’ve found the perfect influencer (if not yet, check this guide) to create super-engaging content for your upcoming campaign – you’re halfway to success! Going forward, you need to sign a brand deal contract and settle all legal subtleties, including the clause content usage rights. This matter may seem a bit intimidating and confusing at first glance, especially if you’re at the beginning of your influencer marketing journey.

You’ve surely come across the terms “influencer whitelisting” and “creator licensing,” and probably some other variations, and wondered what it is and which term to use. Yeah, we had those doubts too. That’s why we decided to dig into the topic and bridge this gap. In this post, we’ll share our findings to solve this mystery once and for all, so stay tuned.

What is creator licensing?

Put simply, creator licensing means that an influencer gives advertising permission to a brand to run sponsored campaigns through their account. This strategy is getting popular, as about 80% of paid campaigns use creator licensing for content.

How does this work in practice? A creator makes a post on the personal handle, let’s say, an Instagram account, and then grants access to a partner brand so that they can boost content. As a brand, you can customize the post by adding a new call to action and tags or placing a post on a new feed to put the content in front of your target audience.

How is influencer whitelisting different from creator licensing?

The answer is plain and simple: no difference.

Influencer whitelisting is the term previously used to describe the same concept as creator licensing. However, this term has been abandoned recently because of its one-sided connotation.

Traditionally, “whitelisting” and “blacklisting” were common and actively used among marketers worldwide. But referring to “white” as something good and positive and “black” as something bad and negative contains implicit bias and hinders the creation of an amiable atmosphere within the community. That’s why a switch to more inclusionary wording occurred. In this context, you may also come across other terms, for instance, “allowlisting,” but creator licensing is more popular.

Why do brands choose to post on influencers' pages?

And now that we have finally figured out the intricacies of the terminology, let’s move on to the most interesting part. It’s time to discuss why brands lean toward creator licensing over running posts on their official accounts themselves. What’s the catch?

Organic-looking posts create higher engagement
Imagine your typical social media behavior when you’re scrolling through your feed. What posts drag your attention? A polished ad coming from a kitchenware brand? Lively reels from a cooking blog where an influencer is testing a new frying pan in action? Yes, exactly! A post coming from an influencer looks more natural and trustworthy to followers. It increases the brand’s chances of being noticed and getting the desired positive response from the audience.

Marketers reach and attract new customers
Once obtaining creator licensing is done, a brand can customize targeting to have a bigger impact on various audiences. Besides, with access to influencer profile analytics, marketers can explore and create look-alike audiences to reach people with similar interests to existing followers.

Brands keep better track of their campaigns
As mentioned above, brands can update creator-licensed content before promoting it. They can change any elements (add tags, customize visuals, edit texts, and more) to ensure the content looks effective and hits the target. Moreover, sharing a profile with a creator provides a brand with real insights into the creator’s performance – how engaged they are and how much effort they put into bringing your campaign to fruition.

What’s in it for influencers?

Creator licensing is a win-win scenario for both brands and influencers. Let us outline the reasons why licensing can turn out to be a real bonanza for a creator.

New audiences mean popularity increase

Sometimes brands put thousands of dollars behind creators’ posts to reach larger audiences, not just those already following this account. Thus, influencers get a chance to be seen by people who may never have heard of them. And who will refuse a flow of new followers?

Content authenticity is reserved

Even if a post is sponsored, the last word is for the creator. Even though brands have permission to change content, it’s the influencer’s feed that followers interact with.

Get paid higher for granting access to your handle

Permission to access an influencer’s account requires generous compensation. In other words, creator licensing allows influencers to charge extra cost over the base deal size agreed with a brand.

As an illustration of creator licensing, we took a collaboration between Tezenis Underwear and influencer, Zoé Tondut.

You can see that both accounts posted the same reels, but the content posted in the organic influencer’s feed expectedly demonstrated better performance. Zoé’s reels generated 2.5 times more likes and comments than the one posted on the official brand page. Plus, Tezenis gained access to Zoé’s 1.4 million followers, which is quite a wide reach.

How much to charge for creator licensing?

The market’s rule of thumb is 20-25% of the overall campaign cost per month.

Assume that you’ve decided that creator licensing is exactly the kind of cooperation you need. What’s next?

It’s hard to mention precise rates since each campaign is individual. The most reliable way to determine to price is to negotiate with an influencer about fair compensation that would satisfy both sides. Or rely on the market average – 20-25%.

Let’s do the math.

Well, imagine that one post costs $2,000. If we take a licensing fee of 25%, we get $500 per month. The campaign duration is, for instance, three months. In this case, an influencer can charge an extra $1,500 for licensing, which results in a total of $3,500.

To secure both parties, define all terms in writing. Add creator licensing as a separate clause of the contract, mentioning the campaign duration, fees and other related details. This will help avoid unpleasant surprises and keep everyone on the same page about expected campaign outcomes.

On a final note

We hope you now have a general picture of where to start with creator licensing and how to approach this matter wisely. When done right, this type of collaboration may bring awesome results. To begin your influencer marketing campaign now, register to the Hypetrain platform.

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