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TikTok’s new “Spark Ads” unlock influencer power

TikTok fuses content marketing, influencers & ads

The brain's trust at TikTok keeps on ticking over creative new ad options as it tries to position itself as the global leader in short-form video content.

TikTok's newest idea, Spark Ads, will enable brands to sponsor trending organic content that fits their values and offerings. This piggybacking will help companies associate themselves with popular content without being involved in the creation of it.

TikTok For Business, Editorial Team

"Spark Ads enables brands to amplify existing organic videos that fit their campaign objectives such as video view and conversion with great flexibility and efficiency."

Spark lets brands boost their own posts and relevant content created by third parties, and in the process, convert them to TopView ads or In-Feed ads. Offering an effective way for brands and marketers to maximise organic reach and hook relevant demographics by boosting strong performing content.

An easier way to leverage TikTok

Additionally, Spark Ads create an easy way for brands that don't have the resources to create original content but want a foothold on the TikTok landscape to develop a presence on the app.

Businesses can also tap into the creativity of the whole community and give themselves that extra little chance of going viral – an attractive idea.

TikTok For Business, Editorial Team

"Brands can keep the fun going with Duet features enabled making it easy for the community to build on the creativity."

Spark Ads in the wild

Aussie operator Kayo has already used Spark Ads to some success. Kayo shot TikTok videos of the Bathurst 1000, showing first-hand glimpses of the atmosphere at the event. They captured fans and celebs enjoying the day, as well as some entertaining football of the day.

Kayo wanted to increase brand awareness on TikTok and increase awareness of the event beyond its traditional base. According to the TikTok case study, it seems to have seen decent success, although to be fair, it would be a bit odd if the case study suggested it had tanked…

Kayo reached 500,000 people, had a 6-second view rate of 21.6%, which cost 77% less than expected. Kayo also increased its follower count by 16% in 24 hours, while its Spark Ads achieved a 2,760% increase in engagement compared to non-boosted Bathurst 1000 posts.

With TikTok firmly rooted in the awareness and brand building camp currently, rather than performance, that's probably not a horrible return on investment (ROI).

The best of all worlds 

Spark Ads offer organisations the best of all worlds.

TikTok For Business, Editorial Team

"When we created Spark Ads, we looked to create a one-of-a-kind solution for brands to cement their presence with the community in a seamless, authentic way. This product speaks to the nature of starting conversations and igniting interactions between brands, creators and the community."

However, to suggest they are a one-of-a-kind solution for brands is perhaps a bit of a stretch.

Typically we accuse Instagram of nicking ideas from TikTok, but has the reverse happened here? Spark Ads seem spooky-similar to Instagram's branded content ads.

Instagram says branded content ads' build advocacy and drives business impact at the intersection of culture and advertising.' Sound familiar?

The Instagram equivalent is helpful to brands and marketers in a similar way to Spark Ads. Businesses can link their products with popular influencers and content in a far more organic fashion – and can drive engagement and reach by leveraging the power of their audience.

To use branded content ads, marketers need to allow creators to tag your business in their Instagram branded feed posts or stories, and then ads can be created from Ads Manager.

Branded content ads launched in 2019 and are one of social media's best-kept secrets. Although some savvy advertisers have been running them since day one, most do not.

By working with influencers via Facebook Ads Manager, much like with the new Spark Ads, it firstly extends the reach of the influencer activity to ensure advertisers are reaching the correct audiences. Reducing issues with influencer fraud related to pods.

Additionally, activity running via Ads Manager brings much-needed performance visibility and clarity to influencer activity.

As per Kayo example above, partnering with talent in this way can have a transformational impact on advertising costs. With cost per impressions (CPMs) falling steeply as brands fully leverage the implied endorsement and relevancy that good influencers can bring.

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