Everything you need to know about TikTok Spark Ads

Your one-stop shop to learning everything about TikTok's new Spark Ads.

TikTok Spark Ads are here and they’re set to be a game-changer for marketers.

Have you ever stumbled across some amazing user-generated content (UGC) about your brand on TikTok and wished you could amplify for more customers to see? Well your prayers have been answered by the TikTok Gods. That’s exactly what TikTok Spark Ads allow you to do.

TikTok’s mantra is “Don’t Make Ads. Make TikToks.” That’s because if you want to capture and keep the attention of the platform’s users, you’ve got to play by different rules – their rules. Sponsored content on TikTok doesn’t have the same polish as Instagram or sales-driven approach as Facebook.

Why? Because the TikTok For You Page (FYP) is unlike any other social feed we’ve seen. It’s the home of spontaneous and raw content. So your ads need to blend into the feed and not disrupt the user experience, or else they’ll just scroll on by.

This is why Spark Ads’ ability to turn organic UGC, or influencer content, into ads is a game-changer for marketers and why you need to know everything about this new ad option. Including: 

#1 What Spark Ads are

#2 What Spark Ads look like

#3 What the benefits of Spark Ads are 

#4 Five Pro tips for effective Spark ads

#5 How you create a Spark Ad


#1 What are Spark Ads?

Spark Ads are the latest ad option to join TikTok’s suite of ad formats. They’re a new, authentic way for brands to amplify native TikTok content and boost them in the FYP. They’re essentially the new ‘Instagram boosting‘.

The format lets you create ads out of your own TikTok posts or by using organic posts made by creators, with their permission. This means the content you use to create a Spark Ad needs to be published on TikTok already.

#2 What do Spark Ads look like?

Spark Ads are labeled as ‘Sponsored’, will include a call to action (CTA) of your choice, the account name, caption and audio will be visible and it features all the usual engagement drivers such as like, comment and share.

However, Spark Ad’s have unique functionalities. On a non-Spark ad when you click the profile photo, nickname, video caption, CTA button or swipe left, you’ll be taken to the advertiser’s chosen landing page. Whereas a Spark Ad behaves more like a regular TikTok. Users can click the profile photo, nickname or swipe left to head to the account’s page to follow them. Click the video caption or CTA button to be taken to the advertiser’s chosen landing page. Or click the music name and music disc to be taken to the audio’s page (this is especially useful if the post uses your own branded audio).

Remember when we said how important it is for ads to blend in? Spark Ads give a more organic functionality to users in the FYP, helping the ad to look and work more natively to the TikTok feed.


#3 What are the benefits of Spark Ads?

There’s a whole range of benefits to using this new ad option. Here are the four main ones.


Spark Ads are the only TikTok ad option with a 100% native in-feed format, that features all the native TikTok post functionalities. This unique ad option provides users with a better ad experience because of its authenticity and how easily they fit in with the organic content on the FYP. This uninterrupted TikTok experience can also help build trust with customers, as the content comes straight from the creator and works almost identically as an organic TikTok post.

Long-lasting marketing impact

The views your Spark Ads get are added to the total amount of views on the organic video. This is especially beneficial if you’re boosting your own TikToks. Plus, the option for users to click on the video creator’s profile and follow the account straight from the Spark Ad, allows brands to grow their TikTok audience and drive traffic to their profile. This could then lead to future engagements, new leads and re-purchases.

More reporting data

Non-Spark Ads only provide metrics on paid clicks. These are clicks recorded to the CTA button, ad caption, nickname, profile picture or swipe-left. But Spark Ads provide you with more metrics, helping you better understand how effective the ad was. Spark Ads provide data on paid clicks, music clicks, paid likes, paid shares, paid followers and paid profile visits.

Lift in ad performance

Thanks to the authenticity of Spark Ads and their ability to blend into the rawness of the FYP, they tend to perform better than the other ad formats that TikTok offers. According to TikTok’s data, the platform has seen a lift in video view metrics, engagement metrics, conversion metrics and cost metrics when Spark Ads are used, compared to non-Spark Ads.

Everything you need to know about TikTok Spark Ads

#4 Five Pro tips for effective Spark ads

#1 Only boost content that features royalty-free music or audio you have the rights to use. Although Spark Ads are not currently dealing with any copyright issues with popular TikTok sounds or record label tracks, it’s always best practise to avoid any copyright claims. Plus, non-Spark ads can trip copyright filters, so there’s no telling how far off Spark Ads are from doing the same.

#2 If you’re boosting a stitched or duetted TikTok, you need to have permission from all creators featured to be able to boost that post. Given this could be impossible, especially if one of the creators is a celebrity, it’s best practise to avoid boosting these types of TikTok videos. Another option is to ensure both creators are Vamp creators, so you have easy access to both approval codes.

#3 Branded hashtags in the original creator’s post could prevent a smooth ad delivery. It appears that if a creator uses a trademarked or copyright term as a hashtag, when they’re not actually licensed to promote the brand, the ad may not deliver since that breaches TikTok’s copyright policies. TikTok can flag ads that contain branded or trademarked hashtag terms. So we suggest you avoid using content with a caption that includes a brand name hashtag or trademarked term hashtag, to avoid the possibility of running into any copyright issues.

#4 When the creator generated the video code, they had to select a time period of 7, 30, or 60 days to authorise a post for use by a third-party advertiser. This means if the campaign period is extended, you’ll need to ask the creator to renew the authorisation period of their content, otherwise you won’t be able to continue to run the Spark Ad.

#5 There is no follower threshold for Spark Ads. This means you can use content from any type of creator, no matter their follower count. This is great news for brands who prefer using content created by nano or micro influencers.


#5 How do you create a Spark Ad?

To create a Spark Ad with influencer content, you’ll need the creator to give you authorisation first. Then you’ll be able to create the ad in your TikTok Ads Manager account. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you and the creator to follow, after you’ve found the content you wish to boost.

Step 1: Creator to enable ad authorisation

1. Tap on ‘Me’ then tap the three dots in the top-right corner. 

2. From the ‘Settings and Privacy’ page, tap ‘Privacy’. 

3. Turn on the ‘Ad authorisation’ toggle.

Step 2: Creator to authorise the video for promotional use

1. Open the TikTok post that is being boosted. 

2. Tap the three dots, then tap ‘Ad settings’. 

3. Agree to the ‘Advertising Terms of Service’ to authorise the post for ads.

Step 3: Creator to generate a video code

1. From the post’s ‘Ad settings’ module, tap ‘Generate Code’, then select a period to authorise a post for use by third-party advertisers. Choose from 7, 30, or 60 days. 

2. Tap ‘Copy Code’ to share the code with the brand.

Step 4: Brand to enter the video code on TikTok Ads Manager

1. Go to the ‘Creative’ tab. 

2. Open the ‘Spark Ads’ list and then click the ‘Apply for Authorization’ button. 

3. Paste the video code in the search bar and click ‘Search’. 

4. Review the post and click ‘Confirm’.

Step 5: Brand publishes the Spark Ad

1. From TikTok Ads Manager, create a campaign and set up an ad group. 

2. At the Ad level, select the ‘Spark Ads’ format. 

3. Under ‘Upload Creatives’, click ‘Select Posts’ from Library. 

4. Choose the authorised post.

5. Finish creating your ad, then click ‘Submit’.

Download our TikTok guide and learn:

  • The six things every marketer should know about TikTok
  • How to effectively use the app’s most popular features
  • Five steps to creating a successful brand account on TikTok
  • What type of organic TikTok content performs the best
  • How to effectively partner with TikTok creators
  • How to use the eight different ad options available to marketers
  • What it takes to create high-performing TikTok ads that maximise your ROI
  • How brands like Benefit Cosmetics, Sheridan, and Rimmel London achieved TikTok success with Vamp


Enter your details below to download Vamp’s free ‘Everything Guide to TikTok for Marketers’ and watch your brand become the next Duolingo.

Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.