If you’ve spent any time in the digital marketing world, you already know that paid media spend is on the rise. Predictions point to over $20 billion being allocated to paid media, including paid social media advertising, in 2021 alone. When we talk about paid media, we’re referring to digital advertising that requires paid placements. Those top search results on Google? Promoted posts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more? The video ads that pop up on your YouTube video? Those are all examples of paid media, and they are an essential part of growing business online. 

Why? It’s all about the dollars – and putting money into your online advertising spend helps brands get their content in front of targeted audiences. That means, unlike organic media (which occurs naturally as a brand or influencer grows), that brands will reach their target audience in the places they’re most likely to visit. And that targeting means more potential business driven by your ideal consumers.

There are a lot of paid media iterations out there. But for influencers specifically, and the brands that work closely with them, paid methods in the social media space are the most important. When considering paid media as a creator, here’s what you want to focus on: branded content, allow listing and boosted content.

Working with Branded Content

Facebook and Instagram both have a Branded Content tool embedded into their platforms. It is one of the most common ways for influencers to distribute their content through paid media, and there are special features for both creators and brands to efficiently manage their content. 

Branded Content for influencers 

The Branded Content tool lets creators tag up to two brands on their original sponsored content, specifically on their posts, Stories, Live streams, IGTV and Reels. Creators will even be able to get approval from brands to tag them in future content – and there is also the option to limit access to advertisers on specific posts. With branded Content, creators retain power over their captions, as brands are not able to change them. 

Branded Content for brands and advertisers

Brands have more operational tools within the Branded Content tool. They’re able to view analytics on their creators’ sponsored posts, enabling them to evaluate performance on the content itself. They’ll also be on the other end of creator content wearing the “approver” hat. 

From there, brands have the power to then promote user content according to their targeting strategy – though the content cannot be attributed to their social media handle. All sponsored content that they share must come from the creator’s social media handle. There are also formatting and targeting limitations of what brands can share, and what creators can post, depending on the platform. 

What is allow-listing? 

Allow-listing goes by many names. You may have heard terms like priority listing or advertising access; all of this essentially means the same thing: it’s the process of brands obtaining permission from creators to create and run paid ads on behalf of that influencer. Typically, this practice happens through Facebook Ads Manager. 

One term for this practice that we’ve retired from our nomenclature is “whitelisting,” which was previously used as a synonym to the aforementioned terms to describe a list of influencers considered to be acceptable or trustworthy. We don’t like this term as it associates “white” with a preferred connotation or experience. (By the way – you can read more about our inclusivity mission here). 

Allow-listing for influencers

Allow-listing lets influencers do a few things: for one, they can limit the number of ads in their feed. They can also increase the visibility of their own content due to the exposure their content now has to the brand’s followers. The downside, however, is that the influencers will have less insight into the changes that the brand makes to their content, like changes to calls to action or the captions themselves. 

Allow-listing for brands and advertisers

Brands have more control over paid media in the allow-listing practice compared to Branded Content since they’re the ones advertising the content under an influencer’s name. For example, brands can include calls to action like “Learn More” or “Shop Now” which wouldn’t happen with Branded Content. Their posts also won’t live in the influencer’s organic feed, thus separating paid media from organic media.

Brands should be aware, however, that while allow-listing is a helpful practice, it does require the paid media manager to have more experience with Facebook’s Business Manager tool as they will be managing permissions across teams and have unfettered access to the influencer’s likeness to create ads (which some influencers may be hesitant to allow). There are also certain limitations, like the ability to target the influencer’s specific audiences. 

What is boosted content?

Boosted content is a basic way for brands to distribute their influencer’s sponsored posts to a broader audience. Unlike allow-listing, the brand shares the ad directly from the influencer’s profile, which requires the brands to compensate the influencer for the promotion. Overall, this is considered an elementary form of paid media since the Branded Content Tools on Facebook and Instagram have better functionality and allow-listing has a more robust reach and controllability, especially in regards to audience targeting. 

Boosted content for influencers

Under the boosted content strategy, it’s best practice for brands to compensate influencers to further promote their post. There is also more power for the influencer to control the content as the primary creator. 

Boosted content for brands and advertisers

Boosted content famously has limited capabilities in terms of reporting and the ability to see the campaign as a whole. Targeting the posts toward the right audience is also practically nonexistent. While boosted content is a way to ease into paid media, there are better ways to get started – and investing in more robust tools can make all the difference for brands looking to expand their reach and the effectiveness of their influencer partnerships. 

More for brands

Third-party platforms like Mavrck can help with creative asset export. This allows brands to export influencer content from our software and upload it as the creative asset in an ads manager campaign, but this ad will appear to come from the brand, not from the influencer, despite using the influencer’s photo/video asset as the creative. This allows brands to

repurpose content but control the message, audience, and timing, long after the influencer has posted. For more about how Mavrck can help take your influencer marketing to the next level, contact us for a demo


Key points

    • Paid media is a great way for both brands and influencers to expand their reach on social media
    • The Branded Content Tool on Facebook and Instagram is an efficient, easy way to amplify specified pieces of content. 
    • Allow-listing is a more robust tool that gives more control to the brand and more time back to the creator. 
    • Boosted content is a way to ease into paid media but is not the preferred method of boosting posts and reaching content. 


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