TikTok remains one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world. It has over 1 billion monthly active users and was the most downloaded app of 2022.
With numbers like that, it’s no wonder brands are flocking to the platform looking to connect with their target audiences.
While you can run traditional ads on the platform, similar to Snapchat or Facebook, there’s another way you can reach your audience now.
Enter Spark Ads.
This advertising method for TikTok users places authenticity and creativity at the forefront of your social media marketing strategy.
Spark Ads are the best way to leverage TikTok influencers and content creators to help market your brand. But what exactly are Spark Ads and what makes them so useful?
At Collabstr, we’re bullish about social media marketing. We believe that partnering with influencers and using TikTok’s Sparks Ads feature is one of the best ways to get your brand out to new audiences.
Here’s a primer on Spark Ads: what they are, why they’re worth it, and how you can get started using them.
What Are TikTok Spark Ads?
Spark Ads is a native ad format that allows advertisers to boost and promote organic content from other TikTok accounts with their authorization.
Brands can leverage Spark Ads to boost the content of influencers and customers that have posted about them or their products. With Spark Ads, you can choose your target audience, set interest targeting, and set a budget so that the content is only shown to viewers that fit your targeting criteria.
It’s essentially TikTok’s answer to Meta’s Branded Content Ads - a feature in Facebook and Instagram ads where brands can promote content created by an influencer partner as an ad. This sort of advertising is also known as influencer whitelisting.
What’s the difference between Spark Ads and Regular In-Feed Ads?
This contrasts with traditional TikTok advertising, where videos are displayed in a user’s feed with no way to interact or engage with the post beyond clicking a call-to-action (CTA).
For all intents and purposes, Spark Ads are regular TikTok videos from real accounts. Brands just pay for them to be shown to users. Users can comment, like and share content, and interact with a brand or influencer’s account as normal.
As with any organic post, engagement from Spark Ads - such as views, comments, and follows - is attributed to the brand or influencer’s account.
Can you use TikTok Spark Ads to promote content created by other accounts?
Spark Ads are designed to let brands associate themselves with content that aligns with their products or services - whether that’s from videos created by the brand or other accounts.
It provides a great way for businesses to market their products without having to create content themselves.
It also gives brands the chance to litmus test content in the wild before committing to sponsorship.
The tool allows brands to identify existing video content relevant to their brand, products, or target audience and capitalize on this trending content to benefit their own business.
For example, let’s say that a content creator on TikTok creates a video about your company and you really like the way the video is done.
Traditionally you would hope that the content performs well enough for you to get some exposure, but with spark ads you can put an advertising budget behind that piece of content and boost it.
By doing this, you will be able to specify to who you want to show this video, and you’ll also be able to track how well that piece of content is performing.
Why should you use TikTok Spark Ads?
Marketing in today’s digital, tech-savvy age is incredibly difficult. Users can smell a hard sell a mile away and know to tune out the traditional marketing messages.
Spark Ads bypass this pitfall by ensuring the content being used as marketing material is genuine, user-based, and market-ready. There’s no “avoiding” the ad because the ad IS the organic content.
Let’s discuss the primary benefits of using Spark Ads to guide your TikTok marketing strategy.
TikTok Spark Ads Lead To Higher Engagement & Better Conversion
The added authenticity of partnered content collaboration and UGC does wonders for engagement and converting customers.
Users don’t want to be shown ads and tend to ignore and skip right past branded content. This damages the effectiveness of traditional in-feed ads.
When the content you promote is genuine videos from real TikTok accounts, users are far more likely to engage with it.
In fact, TikTok found that up to 157% more users watch Spark Ads than regular in-feed ads.
This leads to a 69% higher conversion rate too, as users can easily swipe to view a profile, tap to see the post’s caption and find out more about the promoted product.
A boost in engagement and conversion rates will inevitably make your campaigns more cost-effective. TikTok found that using Spark Ads brings an advertiser’s cost-per-action (CPA) down by 37%.
Use TikTok Spark Ads To More Effectively Sell Your Product
How consumers discover and evaluate products has changed - and promoted videos play a key role in this.
According to Wyzowl, 84% of consumers have been convinced to buy a product by watching a branded video.
TikTok launched Spark Ads to allow businesses to tap into the platform’s unique influence over users’ buying decisions and habits.
67% of users say that TikTok has inspired them to buy products even if they didn't intend to shop.
TikTok says users enjoy their platform as it “lifts their spirits” and helps them discover new things. You can reach an inquisitive and curious audience by promoting TikTok videos that contain or discuss your brand or product.
Leverage Organic User Generated Content (UGC)
Organic, user-generated content is massive online and only growing in influence. This simply refers to anything produced by a creator that isn’t part of your brand.
UGC allows brands to get their product in front of potential customers naturally. Consumers are getting good at spotting marketing material and don’t like being ‘sold’ to.
85% of consumers say that UGC is more influential in affecting their purchasing decisions compared to content produced by a brand. Why?
UGC content is seen as more authentic than videos and ads created by a brand.
UGC content is more trustworthy. Consumers trust other buyers to provide reviews or recommendations for a product. This is especially true with younger audiences - millennials trust UGC 50% more than branded content.
This benefit is amplified when using a respected influencer to create UGC videos. Influencers have an existing audience and credibility within your niche, making any product recommendation or showcase much more effective. This method also gives you more control over the type of UGC for TikTok advertising, as you can collaborate with influencers directly.
Spark ads allow brands to tap into the power of this content and use it in a natural way to market their products or services.
Stretch Content Created By Influencers Further
Partnering with influencers is an effective way to tap into a creator’s existing audience base and reputation. It’s also a brilliant way to generate UGC and advertising content for your brand.
TikTok Spark Ads gives brands an easy way to promote any content created by partnered accounts. With their permission, you can pay to promote an influencer’s video about your product and help it reach new audiences.
Essentially, Spark Ads gives influencer content ‘more legs’ - allowing the promoted content to reach new users outside of the influencer’s “sphere of influence”.
Need help finding the right influencer for your TikTok Spark Ads? Collabstr is the perfect platform for hiring trusted, vetted influencers. Find influencers today!
How to Create Tiktok Spark Ads
Spark ads are relatively easy to set up. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Enable ad authorization
The ad authorization toggle must be turned on in a creator’s app to enable advertisers to feature their videos in spark ads.
Using the app, the content creator should do the following:
Navigate to your personal profile and tap the dots at the top-right of the screen.
In the settings and privacy page, select “privacy”.
Toggle the ad authorization to “on”.
Step 2: Authorize video for promotional use
The video to be used in the promotion needs to be authorized for ads by the creator.
Using the app, the content creator should do the following:
Open your TikTok app and click on the TikTok post that will be used for advertising.
Tap the three dots to open the menu and hit “ad settings”.
Read and agree to the Advertising Terms of Service. This will authorize the content for ads.
Step 3: Generate video code
Once a creator has authorized a video for promotional use, they’ll need to generate a video code. This code can then be shared with advertisers to link the TikTok post with a campaign.
From the Ad settings module, the creator should do the following:
Hit “generate code”. This will prompt you to select a period of time - this is how long an advertiser can use your content.
Hit “copy code” to share it with the advertiser using the video.
Step 4: Enter the video code on TikTok Ads Manager
Once an advertiser has received the video code from the creator, they’ll be required to enter said code on TikTok Ads Manager.
From the Ads Manager, advertisers can now boost the content:
Navigate to the Creative tab.
Open the Spark Ads list. There’ll be a button you can tap to apply for authorization.
Paste the creator generated code into the content field and hit search.
Do a full review of the post.
Step 5: Publish Spark Ads
Once you’ve added the video codes, you’re able to start designing Spark Ads.
From TikTok Ads Manager:
Make a new campaign and select an ad group.
Select the Spark Ads format at the ad level.
Navigate to “upload creatives” and hit “select posts from library”.
Choose which creator post you’d like to use.
Finalize your ad and hit “submit”.
A Few Notes
You should note that:
Once a post has been authorized as an ad, you cannot edit its caption.
All videos are public when used in a campaign. This means a post’s privacy settings will change if it was set to private initially.
The video used in the Spark Ad will still be delivered organically.
A content video code can only be removed when all the campaigns running with it are either aborted or complete.
Best Practices & Tips for Using Spark Ads Effectively
Spark Ads are so effective as they don’t “feel” like advertisements. This helps brands connect with TikTok users in a more personal, authentic way.
The mistake that many brands make, however, is taking the same approach as traditional video advertising.
Here are some tips and tricks to follow when creating and selecting content for Spark Ads.
Use Popular TikTok Trends & Formats
TikTok is a brilliant tool for influencing consumers through creative, fun trends and videos.
You will need to take a different approach with TikTok Spark Ads than with in-feed ads, YouTube ads, or Facebook promotions. To perform well, your branded content will need to feel like ordinary TikTok posts.
There’s no better way to do this than following trends and popular formats within the app. What sort of content is performing well right now? What do users love sharing with their friends?
By following trends and using popular sounds, you’re creating and sharing content that feels at home on TikTok. This will make users want to stick around to watch your content - ultimately increasing engagement and conversions!
For example, Swedish baby care brand Libero used the popular “tell me you X without telling me you’re X” trend to create a relatable, cute Spark Ads campaign.
The brand partnered with popular influencers in the new parent & baby care niche. Libero promoted a series of short videos where content creators show off the brand’s diapers and baby products in fun and humorous scenarios.
And it worked! Libero enjoyed a 100% increase in their 6s view-through rate (VTR) when compared to an in-feed benchmark, and the entire Spark Ads campaign generated 70K+ paid profile views.
How can you find and track TikTok trends and sounds?
Keeping up with what’s trending on TikTok can be a tiring task, especially if you don’t actively use it yourself.
But, given the importance of getting these trends right, how can you discover and evaluate new trends?
TikTok recently launched a Trend Discovery tool. This dashboard gives you a top-down view of what’s performing well in your region.
With it, you can see:
The most popular songs and sounds and how this has changed over time.
Trending hashtags and key phrases.
See popular creators and trending videos to see who’s making the best-performing content on TikTok.
You can filter these results based on the industry or niche you’re in. Given that TikTok ‘For You’ pages are so personalized, looking and trends in your sector helps you find what’s likely to work for you.
Allow Users To Interact With Your Ads
Many brands turn off interactive features like comments and duets to avoid unexpected surprises. But, this could be hurting your ad’s success.
The ability for users to interact with your content is a key benefit of Spark Ads.
With this format, users can:
Comment on your ad, and even tag their friends
Duet or stitch your ad to create their own content using it
TikTok recommends you leave these features ON. In fact, allowing users to comment on your Spark Ads can increase your conversion rate by up to 1.69%.
Stitch and Duet allow other TikTokers to repurpose your content. These features have a neat effect of increasing the reach of your promotions.
Let’s see an example of Duet & Stitch in action. Israeli supermarket chain Shufersal partnered with a foodie influencer to create snappy recipe videos to use as Spark Ads.
The brand then partnered with three other TikTokers who were asked to “Duet” these recipes to show their own spin on them. This dramatically exploded the reach of the campaign and led to a 251% increase in sales for the chain.
In fact, TikTok found that Duet & Switch Spark Ads performed up to 11% better than regular spark ads and a whopping 198% better than in-feed ads!
How can you moderate and filter comments on Spark Ads?
Allowing users to comment and interact with your Spark Ads does create some risk, and many brands turn their comments off to avoid inappropriate or malicious messages from users.
How can you enjoy the benefits of interactivity without the risk? TikTok’s Comment Management Tool helps you moderate, hide and reply to comments on your Spark Ads.
It gives social media managers an intuitive dashboard to see every comment, track how other users have engaged with them, and find unique ways to use them to create new content.
For those businesses who value brand safety, keeping on top of your comments is crucial.
Partner With The Right Influencers In Your Niche
As we mentioned earlier, TikTok Spark Ads are perfect for leveraging influencer-created content and promoting it to new audiences. We highly recommend working with influencers to create the content you promote on TikTok.
TikTok Influencers have two brilliant qualities: a dedicated audience and an understanding of what works on the platform.
These creators have spent years building an audience base that trusts their opinions and sees them as an authority figure within their niche.
In fact, the largest creators with millions of followers have strong recognition and brand images outside the platform too!
Promoted content performs best when it has a hook for users to stick around. The right influencer can provide that. Their audience and reputation can also be powerful for convincing viewers to buy your product or follow your brand.
Secondly, TikTok influencers are masters of their craft. For marketers who don’t understand what makes a TikTok video popular, partnering with an experienced content creator is a lifeline.
They’ll be tuned into the latest trends, understand what formats perform the best, and can give you crucial guidance for your Spark Ads campaigns.
How can you find influencers in your niche?
To get the most out of an influencer’s reputation and audience, you’ll need to make sure their following and niche align with your brand. After all, a tech influencer isn’t exactly the best person to promote a beauty or clothing brand!
With an influencer marketplace like Collabstr, it’s ridiculously easy to find influencers tailored to your sector or niche.
To get started, head to Collabstr.com and find the Influencer Search tool on the homepage.
From here, select TikTok from the platform list and enter your niche into the “Category” section. You can search for anything, but Collabstr offers you a set of popular categories and tags.
Need to find a lifestyle influencer? Stick that in! Looking for new parents or childcare influencers? Type in the relevant keyword and hit search.
The biggest names on TikTok have millions of dedicated followers, and they’re pushing out organic TikTok content that’s practically guaranteed to land well with audiences. If you can find an influencer that’s a good fit for your brand, getting them on board is going to promote brand awareness to a pre-established audience likely to be interested in your business.
How to Find Content Creators for Spark Ads on TikTok
Finding content creators to partner with to utilize Spark Ads is tricky but not impossible. One of the best ways to navigate these waters is to look at influencer search tools like Collabstr.
Collabstr is designed to help brands partner with TikTok influencers. With it, all the influencer’s information is in one place. You’ll be able to determine their follower count, packages and pricing, and more – all in one place.
Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to get your brand in front of your audience in an authentic way. With Spark Ads added to the mix, influencer partnerships are even more viable on TikTok going forward.
The key to influencer marketing is to partner with the right person. You want someone who matches your brand ideals and who has the reach to be able to offer you a back door into your target market. Platforms like Collabstr ensure you’re matched with the right influencer by making the partnership as transparent as possible.
Partner With a TikTok Content Creator Today
TikTok Spark Ads give brands the power to leverage creators like never before. Even if you’ve dabbled in influencer marketing before, you ought to sit up and take notice of this new marketing tool.
Now you know everything there is to know about TikTok Spark Ads!
Looking to partner with a TikTok influencer? Check out our TikTok influencers to get started.