In 2021, there have never been more ways to digitally advertise. And according to the Canada Digital Outlook 2021 report by eMarketer, digital advertising is on the rise and is not planning on slowing down anytime soon. The global pandemic we have all experienced has created a lot of disparity between traditional and digital marketing and has accelerated digital adoption by forcing businesses to realign their priorities concerning their ad spending throughout different platforms.
With that in mind, one digital platform has swept the world by storm during these last few years. You might’ve guessed, I’m talking about Tiktok. TikTok has actually been around since 2016, but only very recently gained massive and global popularity. Just to give you some numbers, in 2019, the platform boasted 508 million users, and now in 2021, that number has surpassed the one billion monthly users. It is one of the fastest developing social media platforms and offers the possibility for anyone to create and share their videos for the world to see.
In 2020, TikTok represented 1,5% of the total Social Media Ad Spending Share in Canada. This number is by far one of the lowest ones, for a big platform and clearly indicates a great potential for growth in digital advertisement. That being said, Tiktok has already started rolling out different solutions to help businesses.
In this article, we’ll define one particular ad solution, called Spark Ads, and let you know why they are important, how they differ from regular Tiktok ads, and finish off by showcasing a couple of examples.
What are Spark Ads?
Spark Ads are a type of native ads that appear organically on a user’s For You Page. This specific type of ad allows brands to advertise on videos that have already been posted and align with their brand. Tiktok defines this type of ad as being able to ‘‘enable brands to amplify existing organic videos that fit their campaign objectives’’. Basically, the concept is for brands to promote an existing organic post, so it becomes native advertising. It goes hand in hand with Tiktok’s saying: ‘‘Don’t make ads, make Tiktoks’’.
Why are Spark Ads Important?
Tiktok is a social media platform unlike any other. The users are very active on the app, with more than 83% of creators having posted at least one video. Trends go by super fast and different sounds are trending every other week. Creators are the driving force of the app, and Spark Ads gives brands a chance to interact and collaborate with them on an intimate level, while creating ads are that seamless enough not to disrupt user’s For You Pages. Simply put, this type of advertising offers enormous flexibility, by elevating original, creative, native content to get a bigger reach and more engagement.
3 Ways to use Spark Ads with examples
With all that in mind, there are a couple different ways to use Spark Ads. Below, we will establish three possible ways to use Spark Ads for businesses and brands.
Boost customer User Generated Content
This is when brands find viral content about their products or services from a random creator on the app and decide to promote it. For example, if a brand stumbles upon a video of someone using/doing a review of their product, service, or even just talking about them. That brand could then reach out to that person and ask to sponsor their video. The creator, if they accept the brand’s offer, will have their video sponsored and featured on many For You Pages, since the brand will be able to reach more viewers.
Unfortunately, this article doesn’t have an explicit example for this use of Spark Ads. However, it would be in every brand’s interest to take advantage of this option, as users are constantly creating interesting content. Below is a video H&M might be interested to use as a Spark Ad. The user in question, @laurenwolfe, shared a video of articles of clothing from the brand that she likes. This video has racked up more than 152k likes and 1,4M views in less than a week!
Source: @laurenwolfe on TikTok
Boost Inlfuencer Generated Content
This is actually a sub-section of the first way to use Spark Ads and is probably the use we see the most, since it is directly related to what is known of influencer marketing. Basically, it is when a brand does a partnership with an influencer/creator, who then posts videos of them talking, using, or, in a nutshell, promoting the brand on their personal account. The brand then promotes the influencer’s video so it can have a bigger reach, with their Shop Now call to action button.
Here is a great example of a Spark Ad with an influencer, in this case, @amanda__guido for YSLBeauty. You can see that the post is made by the influencer and when swiped-right, the screen redirects to her Tiktok personal page. We even see her unsponsored post amid her other videos. And if you wait long enough the Learn More button appears on the Spark Ad, and redirects to the product of the brand she is promoting on Sephora’s website.
Source: @amanda__guido on TikTok
Boost Brand Content
The last way to use Spark Ads is the simplest. It is when a brand boosts their own posts, from their own business Tiktok account.
The brand James Allen gives us a great example here below. You can clearly see that the brand promoted one of their very own TikTok videos and has the call to action button to redirect to their website.
Source: @jamesallenrings on TikTok
More than ever, advertising infiltrates the lives of consumers on a personal level. Consumers are constantly bombarded by different messages of promotion and sales trying to get them to buy different products or services. Thanks to Tiktok Spark Ads, brands can now boost organic posts, so they appear seamlessly to users while they are scrolling away on their phone. As we now know, more than ever, customer experience is key, and leveraging these ads might be one of the ways brands get recognition and build a loyal customer base.
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