Want to diversify your TikTok ad creative with unique user-generated content? Wondering if spark ads could help?
In this article, you’ll learn why TikTok spark ads are important and how to use them to amplify user-generated content that mentions your business, products, or services.
What Are TikTok Spark Ads and Why Should You Use Them?
TikTok is more than just a passing fad for the younger generation. With almost 700 million users, the popular app has become one of the world’s top five social media networks.
While TikTok urges brands and marketers to make TikToks instead of ads, ads on TikTok aren’t a new concept. Marketers who don’t advertise on TikTok risk missing out on reaching millions of new leads and potential customers. So what’s the difference between regular ads on TikTok and spark ads?
Normally, creating an ad for TikTok requires marketers to film and upload video on their own. The ad’s performance is then tracked through TikTok Ads Manager.
Video ads posted by a brand to promote a product or service work well but user-generated content (UGC) posted by actual customers and consumers often carries more weight and establishes more credibility in the minds of others. Enter TikTok spark ads.
TikTok spark ads not only let you amplify your own organic content but also promote published organic UGC by adding your link to it and running it in a spark ad.
People who view your spark ad will be able to:
- Tap the call-to-action (CTA) button or the ad’s video caption to visit your landing page.
- Tap the profile photo or nickname, or swipe left to view the TikTok profile.
- Tap the ‘+’ sign on the profile photo to follow the account.
- Some users will be able to tap on the music element to visit the music page.
Spark ads offer you three main benefits:
- Save time because you aren’t continually designing and filming new ad creative. Instead, you choose a TikTok video from the extensive library of content people have already uploaded to the platform.
- Capitalize on social proof by using UGC.
- Quickly and easily partner with influential TikTok users.
Interested? Here’s how to get started running spark ads for your business.
#1: Choose a TikTok Video to Sponsor
Use the Discover feature to search for TikToks that mention or feature your product or brand. Searching for your branded hashtag, business name, and TikTok username will help you find a library of content to consider.
Before you put money behind a TikTok video, make certain it’s already performing well. Look for a post that’s pulling in consistent engagement via likes, comments, and shares.
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Setting up a TikTok spark ad campaign requires actions from both the marketer and the video’s creator.
When you’ve found a video you want to sponsor, contact the creator to ask if they’re willing to authorize advertising and send you their video sponsorship link. In your offer, be sure to include the window for running your ad. Your options are 7, 30, or 60 days. When you come to an agreement, the creator will need to change the status of their video to “Available” for ads.
It’s worth noting that marketers aren’t limited to sponsoring content from people who don’t work for their brand—marketers can also sponsor TikTok videos created by their marketing team. If you have a large and engaged team, this option could work well for you, too.
Note: Occasionally, a creator might initiate contact by sending you their video code. For example, if someone is wearing your brand’s clothing in their regular TikTok video, they could reach out to you with a sponsorship opportunity. If you’re interested, you can come to an agreement and move forward with creating a spark ad that would feature the video with your brand or product link included.
#2: Get Access to the TikTok Video
To give you authorized access to their video, the creator will open the video and tap on the three dots, swipe to the right through the options at the bottom of the pop-up, and then tap on the Ad Settings icon.
They need to check the box to indicate that they agree to the Advertising Content Terms of Service and then enable Allow Advertisers to Promote This Video.
Next, they’ll tap on the Generate Code button and choose the authorization period for which you’re allowed to use the video in a spark ad.
Finally, they’ll tap on the Copy Code button to get a unique code to send to you.
Note: If this is the first time this creator has worked with ads, they’ll need to tap on the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of the TikTok app to open Settings and Privacy. From there, they need to tap on Privacy and enable Ad Authorization before they can share access to the video.
#3: Add the TikTok Video to Your Spark Ad Post Assets in TikTok Ads Manager
Once you have the video code, open your TikTok Ads Manager to the Assets section and then tap on the Spark Ad Posts tab.
Tap on the Apply for Authorization button.
Enter the unique code the creator sent you in the search field and tap on Search.
When you verify you have the proper video, tap on Confirm.
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The video will now show in your Spark Ads Post assets.
#4: Set Up a TikTok Spark Ad
To run a spark ad, open the Dashboard section, tap on the Create Ad button, and choose Custom Mode.
Here, you’ll be able to choose from the following objectives:
- Auction ads for Reach, Video Views, Engagement, Traffic, Conversions, and App Installs
- Reservation ads for Reach and Frequency
Choose your advertising objective and work your way through the ad group set-up details. Tap Continue.
In the Ad section, tap on the Spark Ads option and fill out your ad details including your copy, website link, call to action, tracking details, and so on. Tap on the +TikTok Post button to view all of the videos you’re authorized to use.
Tap the checkbox on the video you want to promote, then tap Confirm.
When the video populates in your ad, tap Submit.
#5: Analyze TikTok Spark Ad Performance
Sponsoring a TikTok video via a spark ad is just the first step. As a marketer, you need to monitor your ads’ performance. This will inform decisions such as which videos you continue to sponsor or which creators you continue to work with.
You can track your TikTok marketing campaigns through the TikTok Ads Manager Reporting section.
Because you’re sponsoring a public video that’s often owned by someone else, TikTok limits the analytics data you’re able to review. You’ll be able to see:
- Paid taps: The number of taps on the CTA button and ad caption
- Paid likes: The number of likes the video creative received within 1 day of a user seeing the ad
- Paid shares: The number of times your video creative was shared within 1 day of a user seeing the ad
- Paid followers: The number of new followers gained within 1 day of a user seeing the ad
- Paid profile visits: The number of profile visits the ad drove during the campaign
- Music taps: The number of taps on the music disc icon and music title
The key performance indicators you track will vary based on the objective you choose. For example, if you’re after sales, you’ll want to keep an eye on cost to know whether the revenue generated from your ad is greater than your spend.
Extending the Run of Your Spark Ad
If you have a video ad that’s performing well and you want to continue to run it, simply contact the creator. If they agree, they can open the video, tap on the three dots, swipe to the right through the options at the bottom of the pop-up, tap on the ad settings icon, and tap on the Extend Authorization Period button to choose the agreed-upon time window.
3 Ways to Use TikTok Spark Ads
You can use spark ads in a variety of ways: to grow followers, drive traffic, generate leads, and increase brand lift, among others. Here are a few examples of brands and their success on TikTok.
Promote Employee UGC With TikTok Spark Ads
The French gaming app Lanslot focuses its marketing on creating a personal connection with its audience. When the company wanted an organic approach for connecting users to the app, spark ads was the perfect solution.
Lanslot’s CEO was already an avid TikTok user so he used his account to create videos about the gaming app, the games, and how to use them. The brand then used spark ads to promote his videos.
Promote Influencer UGC With TikTok Spark Ads
Vessi is a popular brand of waterproof sneakers that sells directly to consumers. The company partnered with popular Canadian TikTok user Kris Collins, who has an established audience of 25 million followers. Collins released a video on her account that reached her huge audience, and Vessi used spark ads to amplify the video’s reach for even more exposure.
Isle of Paradise is a well-known brand of natural and cruelty-free beauty products. The company partnered with five influential TikTokers to create TikTok videos showing off the application of Glow Drops. The brand then promoted those videos via spark ad campaigns that directed viewers to the Sephora website to purchase the product that content creators used in their videos.
Promote Your Own Organic Content With TikTok Spark Ads
Rather than promoting the content of others, Kayo Sports used spark ads to give more exposure to organic content on its own TikTok account that featured everyday sports fans during the Bathurst 1000.
As a marketer, you want to make the most of the money you spend on advertising and marketing.
Spark ads combine the power behind the reach and targeting of paid advertising with the natural, organic content TikTok users are attracted to. Instead of marketers creating their own video ads specifically for TikTok, you can now sponsor organic content that other users have already posted.
Your business can save time and money by using content others have created to connect personally with your audience through sponsored spark ads on TikTok.
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