Unclear about all of these new branded content terms? We hear you! This post explains influencer allowlisting, whitelisting and dark posting in plain...
How to Make Influencer Content into Ads More Effectively
High-quality influencer content translates to high-performing ads on TikTok and Instagram. Below we explain how to make ads with influencer content.
You don’t have to look hard to find brands using their influencer content in social media ads.
Because authentic posts from content creators don’t feel like advertising at all.
If you’re already sitting on influencer content, using it in ads makes sense. We’re seeing a bump in our brands featuring Statusphere creators in paid campaigns via TikTok and Instagram.
But how quickly you can turn influencer content into ads depends on a few factors
- Do you have permission to reuse your influencers’ posts?
- Is your influencer content actually marketing-ready?
- Do you have the bandwidth to run through the ad setup process with creators?
If you’re not 100% sure, our influencer ad breakdown and tips for effective ads can help!
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3 Ways That Brands Can Make Influencer Content Into Ads
Now, onto the good stuff!
We’ll bite: navigating the world of influencer ads can be tricky. Tactics and terminology are constantly evolving, as are the native branded content ad tools on TikTok and IG.
That’s why we broke things down into simple steps! Below are three options to help you figure out how to make ads with influencer content based on your needs and bandwidth.
1. Reusing Influencer Content and Running Ads Manually
Summary: This option is for making influencer ads that run solely from your brand’s account. In short, you get permission from a creator to use their content in an ad and set it up as normal.
🚨 Don’t assume you can turn your influencer content into ads by default! 🚨
Content rights are usually baked into the terms of your creator agreement.
But if you don’t have content rights management ironed out, you need permission.
Running unauthorized social media ads is not only a bad look but could cause legal headaches. The FTC has explicit guidelines about content rights and usage between brands and influencers.
In the case of an influencer platform like Statusphere, creators accepted into our network grant content usage rights to brands. No negotiations, no legalese.
Here are the steps for making ads with influencer content or UGC manually:
- Choose the influencer and their respective post you want to promote.
- Reach out and request permission to use their post in a paid campaign. This can be done via email, DMs or comments on their posts.
- Get the affirmative from the creator in writing. Ideally, you can point them to your promotional terms and conditions page so they’re clear on what they’re agreeing to.
- Once you have permission to use your influencer content in ads, gather the post(s) and prepare the copy to build your ad. You can then upload your assets directly into Instagram or TikTok Ads Manager. Alternatively, you can repost the content yourself and use that post as the basis for your ad.
- Define your campaign goals, targeting and budget. Run your ad as normal.
This method of turning influencer-generated content into ads requires some legwork for sure. Verifying ownership of a post and getting permission to publish it as an ad can be a time-sink. Especially if you’re managing the process alone or your creators aren’t responsive.
That said, getting written and explicit permission is crucial for the sake of staying out of legal trouble. Not to mention doing right by your influencers!
Keep in mind that you’re also on the hook for captions, ad copy and targeting with this method. That’s why making influencer ads this way is ideal for brands that have ample experience running ads on Instagram or TikTok.
Still, this approach works for brands testing influencer ads or using creator content in paid campaigns. You can also follow these steps when repurposing organic content.
Having rights-ready content makes it much easier (and faster!) to create influencer ads at scale. This highlights how Statusphere supports brands running a high volume of ads featuring our creators.
Approach #2: Manual Influencer Whitelisting/Allowlisting
Summary: Influencer whitelisting (aka “allowlisting”) is the process of obtaining access to a creator’s existing to promote in social media ads. Depending on the permissions you have set up, these ads can run through the creator’s account or your brand’s account.
Whether you call it whitelisting or allowlisting, the concept is the same: taking an existing influencer post and getting permission on-platform to manage via Ads Manager.
There are slightly different steps depending on whether you’re doing whitelisting on Instagram or TikTok. That said, here’s a simplified explanation of influencer whitelisting:
- Choose the influencer and pieces of content to promote. Determine whether you want to run the ad through your brand account or the influencer’s account.
- Reach out for permission from the creator to run your content as ads. The creator must authorize your brand to run ads on either the account or post-level. This can be done on-platform.
- Coordinate the whitelisting process. This involves Instagram and TikTok’s branded content tools and getting ad codes from creators. For more context, check out in-depth posts on whitelisting on both TikTok and Instagram.
- Confirm that you have access to your creators’ content in Ads Manager.
- Define your campaign goals, targeting and budget. Run your ad as normal.
While this process can be faster than asking for permission manually, it does still require some coordination on your part. Also, a few steps for the creators you work with. For example, TikTok Spark Ads require retrieving a code from creators before running an ad.
Whitelisting influencer content is ideal for brands with ongoing relationships with multiple creators. Once you’ve gone through the process with a creator once, repeating the process is much easier. This is an efficient way to make ads with influencer content when working with the same creators long-term.
Approach #3: Native Whitelisting/Allowlisting (Instagram Only)
Summary: Partnership Ads (formerly Branded Content Ads) on Instagram involve creators granting brands the ability to run ads with their assets. Once granted, ads can be run at any time without explicit permission from the creator in the future. These ads can run at the post-level and account-level from either the brand or creator’s account.
Here’s a quick rundown from Instagram themselves:
- Creators grant brands options to promote posts as Partnership ads by toggling it on in their account settings on Instagram (see the example image below).
- Brands can then run ads with post-level permissions using the creator’s account or content. These posts can be boosted with Instagram’s “paid partnership” label.
- With Meta Business Suite, brands can manage creator partnerships and their ability to run ads through their accounts or at the post level.
Below is an example of IG's branded content toggle.
Figuring out how to make Instagram ads with influencer content this way requires a learning curve but (in theory!) should save time in the long run.
What Brands Should Consider Before Turning Influencer Content into Ads
For consumer brands, reusing influencer content in ads makes perfect sense.
Doing so is a prime way to squeeze more ROI out of your influencer marketing. There’s a reason why more and more brands are incorporating ads into their strategies.
Meta themselves claim that creator-based ads see higher ROAS than non-creator ads. TikTok likewise touts engagement and conversions via creator-based Spark Ads.
That said, repurposing influencer-generated content and maximizing your results requires planning. Assuming you have influencer posts on deck, we’ll wrap up with a few final points to consider.
Platforms and Formats for Influencer Ads (Reels vs. TikTok)
It’s no secret that short-form video is the bread and butter of brands running social ads.
Video ads are part of the seamless scrolling experience of TikTok and Reels — done right, they really don’t feel like ads in the slightest.
Chances are you’ve seen a boom of video ads versus static images on Instagram. That’s because IG is going all-in on Reels and the format’s engagement continues to skyrocket. Meanwhile, TikTok continues to yield massive results for brands. The fact that 52% of TikTokers say they find new products from ads on the platform is staggering.
Anecdotally, we’ve seen firsthand how our own brands and creators have adopted an influencer marketing strategy focused largely on short-form video content. If you gathered influencer content on a particular social channel, it makes sense to start there.
Aligning Your Influencer Ads with Relevant Objectives
No surprises here: your ads should align with your influencer marketing goals.
CPG, ecommerce and retail brands will rightfully gravitate toward objectives related to lead generation driving traffic to specific promotions or products. Bonus points if you’re retargeting people who’ve engaged with your brand recently.
Both TikTok and Instagram allow you to choose objectives based on awareness, engagement, conversions and more. Meta, in particular, does a good job of guiding you in the right direction if you’re new to the process.
If you’ve run successful paid campaigns focused on promoting products in the past, you can slot in your influencer content seamlessly.
Incorporate Your Best Influencer Content into Your Ads
Conventional wisdom says that your top-performing creator posts are ideal for ads.
We agree! It’s important to own your metrics and performance data so you can pick and choose influencer content to run as ads without second-guessing your content.
This is yet another place where Statusphere can help in a big way. Our platform immediately identifies your most effective influencer content in a matter of seconds via your brand dashboard. For example, you can see at a glance which pieces of content boast the highest engagement rates.
With in-depth reporting at your fingertips, you can identify top-performing posts to promote as part of your influencer marketing strategy.
How to Turn Influencer Content into Ads with Confidence
Aligning influencers with your paid campaigns is a proven way to see more ROI from both.
Running ads with content creators is easier when you're working with a high volume of creators. The more influencer posts you earn, the more options and opportunities to create high-performing ads.
And if you need rights-ready influencer content at scale, Statusphere can help.
Our micro-influencer marketing software matches brands with creators from our vetted influencer community using 250+ unique, first-party data points. Since our creators grant content usage rights when they’re accepted into our network, you can turn your influencer content into ads ASAP.
Want to learn more about our software? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how we can optimize your influencer marketing strategy with guaranteed content at scale.