Influencer Whitelisting or Creator Licensing: Defining the Terms – Technology Org

You’ve found the perfect influencer (if you haven’t already, check out this guide) to create super-engaging content for your upcoming campaign – congratulations, you’re halfway to success! Following that, you must sign a brand deal contract and resolve all legal nuances, including the clause content usage rights. At first glance, this topic may appear intimidating and confusing, especially if you’re just starting out in the world of influencer marketing.

Influencer – illustrative photo. Image credit: Malte Helmhold via Unsplash, free license

You’ve probably heard the terms “influencer whitelisting” and “creator licensing,” among others, and wondered what they meant and which one to use. We, too, had our reservations. That is why we decided to delve into the subject and bridge this chasm. Stay tuned in this post as we share our findings to finally solve this mystery.

What exactly is creator licensing?

Simply put, creator licensing means that an influencer grants a brand advertising permission to run sponsored campaigns through their account. This strategy is gaining traction, as creator licensing is used for content in approximately 80% of paid campaigns.

In practice, how does this work? A creator posts on a personal handle, such as an Instagram account, and then grants access to a partner brand to boost content. As a brand, you can personalize the post by adding a new call to action and tags, or you can place the post on a new feed to reach your target audience.

What distinguishes influencer whitelisting from creator licensing?

The answer is straightforward: there is no difference.

Influencer whitelisting is another term for the same concept as creator licensing. However, due to its one-sided connotation, this term has recently been dropped.

Historically, “whitelisting” and “blacklisting” were widely and actively used by marketers all over the world. However, referring to “white” as something good and positive and “black” as something bad and negative contains implicit bias and impedes the creation of a friendly community atmosphere. As a result, the wording became more inclusive. Other terms, such as “allowlisting,” may be used in this context, but creator licensing is more common.

Why do brands choose to post on the pages of influencers?

And now that we’ve figured out the complexities of the terminology, let’s get to the interesting part. It’s time to talk about why brands prefer creator licensing to running posts on their own official accounts. What’s the snag?

  • Posts that appear natural generate more engagement.

Consider your usual social media behavior while scrolling through your feed. What posts pique your interest? A polished advertisement from a kitchenware company? Lively reels from a cooking blog in which an influencer is putting a new frying pan through its paces? Yes, precisely! An influencer’s post appears more natural and trustworthy to followers. It increases the likelihood of the brand being noticed and receiving the desired positive response from the audience.

  • Marketers reach out to and entice new customers.

After obtaining creator licensing, a brand can tailor targeting to have a greater impact on various audiences. Furthermore, with access to influencer profile analytics, marketers can investigate and create look-alike audiences to reach people who share similar interests as existing followers.

  • Brands better track their campaigns.

As previously stated, brands can update creator-licensed content prior to promoting it. They have the ability to change any element (add tags, customize visuals, edit texts, and so on) to ensure that the content looks effective and hits the target. Furthermore, sharing a profile with a creator gives a brand real insights into the creator’s performance – how engaged they are and how much effort they put into making your campaign a success.

What does it mean for influencers?

Both brands and influencers benefit from creator licensing. Let us go over the reasons why licensing can be a real moneymaker for a creator.

  1. New audiences imply an increase in popularity.

Brands will sometimes put thousands of dollars behind creators’ posts in order to reach a larger audience than those who already follow this account. As a result, influencers can be seen by people who have never heard of them before. And who can say no to an influx of new followers?

  1. The authenticity of the content is reserved.

Even if a post is sponsored, the creator has the final say. Even though brands have the ability to change content, followers interact with the influencer’s feed.

  1. Increase your pay for granting access to your handle.

Permission to access an influencer’s account necessitates a hefty fee. In other words, creator licensing enables influencers to charge a fee in addition to the base deal size agreed upon with a brand.

We used a collaboration between Tezenis Underwear and influencer Zoé Tondut as an example of creator licensing.

Both accounts posted the same reels, but the content posted in the organic influencer’s feed performed better than expected. Zoé’s reels received 2.5 times the number of likes and comments on the official brand page. 

Let’s do some math.

Assume you’ve determined that creator licensing is the type of collaboration you require. What comes next? Here we get to the meat of the issue: what is the average fee for creator licensing, and how do you execute an agreement with an influencer?

Because each campaign is unique, it is difficult to provide specific rates. Negotiating with an influencer about fair compensation that would satisfy both parties is the most reliable way to determine pricing. The market standard is 20 to 25% of the total campaign cost per month.

Assume that a post costs $2,000. We get $500 per month if we charge a 25% licensing fee. For example, the campaign could last three months. In this case, an influencer can charge an additional $1,500 for licensing, for a total of $3,500.

To protect both parties, all terms should be defined in writing. Include creator licensing as a separate clause in the contract, along with the campaign duration, fees, and other pertinent information. This will help to avoid unpleasant surprises and keep everyone on the same page about what to expect from the campaign.

Finally, we hope you now have a general idea of where to begin with creator licensing and how to approach the subject wisely. When done correctly, this type of collaboration can produce fantastic results. Register for the Hypetrain platform now to start your influencer marketing campaign.

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