- TikTok this week launched an advertising tool that lets brands sponsor trending organic content that aligns with their offerings, according to an announcement.
- The new ad option allows brands to identify existing videos relevant to their products, brand or target audience and capitalize on this popular content without having to produce fresh videos. Spark Ads are still in testing and not yet available to all users, but showed strong results for key performance indicators in early tests with brands Isle of Paradise and Vessi.
- Instead of blindly trying to develop an ad that mirrors a TikTok video and hoping it reaches users, Spark Ads promise brands a greater chance of success by letting them observe the virality of user-generated content before sponsoring it.
TikTok's new offering aims to help advertisers hone a more efficient social marketing strategy, per the announcement. Spark Ads now let brands allocate ad dollars to amplify organic content after it has gone live and generated traction among users.
TikTok previously allowed brands to sponsor posts only before they published. Now, it appears the platform is looking to compete more directly with social media giants like Facebook and Instagram, which allow sponsorships after posts run. TikTok's new tool is similar to LinkedIn's option to boost strong-performing organic posts, which launched in late May.
For the social video platform, Spark Ads are the latest indication that creator content is a key draw for users and, thus, a space marketers want to tap. The new tool removes friction and lets brands quickly hop on TikTok content that is going viral. Spark Ads could cut out the middleman — the agency working with creators — as brands can directly seek the creator's approval to sponsor their video.
TikTok released case studies alongside the Spark Ads announcement to demonstrate how the new tool can boost brands. Beauty line Isle of Paradise partnered with TikTok to develop its first paid campaign strategy, using both branded and creator-led content to drive sales of its Glow Drops product at Sephora. The brand generated 45 million video views, 500% return on investment and 58% revenue lift per week compared to the prior nine weeks, according to the case study. Meanwhile, direct-to-consumer shoemaker Vessi piloted TikTok's new Spark Ads for a conversion-focused campaign that drove a 59% lower cost-per-purchase and 38% lower cost-per-click, resulting in two-times higher return on ad spend (ROAS).
The new tool follows another recent announcement looking to attract businesses to TikTok. The app on July 19 announced it's teaming with Vimeo to integrate more robust video-creation tools. The Vimeo Create feature, now available in the TikTok Ad Manager, targets small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to help them trim production times and costs.