From Likes to Leads: TikTok Spark Ads For Car Dealers

From Likes to Leads: TikTok Spark Ads For Car Dealers

From Likes to Leads: TikTok Spark Ads For Car Dealers

There’s no doubt about it: social media is the go-to marketing tool for businesses to engage with their audience and drive sales.

One platform that has taken the social media world by storm is TikTok – and it’s transformed the way that car shoppers consume content and interact with automotive brands. 

TikTok Stats Car Dealers Need To Know: 

  • TikTok is #1 most downloaded app worldwide and the #1 in the U.S.
  • The average user spends 89 min/day on the platform!
  • 564 billion videos consumed per month
  • After seeing auto ads or content on TikTok: 12% purchased or leased a vehicle, 30% searched for more info about a vehicle, 18% contacted an online/local dealership, and 35% talked about It with friends and family

With its skyrocketing popularity and over a billion monthly active users worldwide, TikTok has become a powerful tool for businesses to connect with potential customers and build brand awareness.

And one of the latest, most innovative advertising tools that is gaining traction is TikTok Spark Ads.

It’s not just another ad format; it’s a bridge between authentic organic content and paid brand discovery. Let’s dive into what TikTok Spark Ads are, their benefits, and how your dealership can get started.

Click here to book a demo and schedule time to discover how we can help you leverage Spark Ads to stay ahead of the curve AND beat your competition.

What Are TikTok Spark Ads? 

TikTok Spark Ads were introduced in July of 2021…and since, brands have been utilizing this ad format to interact with their TikTok community, form a real connection with their audience, and drive brand awareness for their dealership.

Remember Facebook’s “Boosting” function that turned a normal post into a paid campaign? This is the same concept but with a lot more fuel in the tank. 

Spark Ads offer the best of both worlds, providing car dealers with a way to create ads from organic TikTok videos while maintaining the native feel and functionality of organic posts — a powerful, genuine way to reach your audience and promote your dealership. 

Users can interact with Spark Ads just like they would with organic videos. They can comment, like, share, visit your brand’s profile, or follow your brand. This level of engagement enhances the user experience and encourages a deeper connection with the brand.

5 Ways TikTok Spark Ads Benefit Car Dealers

1. Increase Brand Awareness and Social Presence 

People are naturally curious about what goes on behind the scenes of any business, especially dealerships. TikTok empowers dealerships to humanize their brand by sharing glimpses of the #salesfloorlife and introduce your dedicated team and culture.

These personal touches can resonate deeply with potential buyers…and make them laugh, too! Consumers connect to narratives, so use TikTok to tell your story. As people get to know your team, you will start to see direct requests to work with your TikTok stars.

2. Improve Visibility and Engagement 

TikTok Spark Ads take out a lot of the guesswork: you’ve already tested your content to see if it performs. Now take the videos with the best engagement, and put some budget behind them. This enables dealerships to show their best performing videos to users who are most likely to engage with the content, ensuring that your message reaches your ideal audience.

With the interactive nature of TikTok, Spark Ads prompt user engagement. Dealerships can incorporate call-to-action buttons that lead viewers to book a test drive, explore financing options, or visit their website—all directly from the ad itself.

Car dealers can foster a sense of community among TikTok users who share an interest in cars, which can lead to increased loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.

👀 In the example above, Hunt Ford Chrysler posted a TikTok replying to another user’s comment (a popular tactic) then turned it into a Spark Ad that directly links to the car! AND they get bonus points for using the “Wes Anderson” trend. 

3. Leverage Localized Targeting

TikTok’s precise geographic targeting allows dealerships to pinpoint potential car shoppers with a localized approach that can drive foot traffic to your showroom and lead to more sales opportunities. Previously, advertisers could only target by DMA, but with TikTok’s recent updates, you can target by zipcode!

4. Connect With A New Generation of Car Shoppers

TikTok is extremely popular among younger users, making it the perfect platform for car dealerships to engage with millennials and Generation Z consumers, who are shaping the future of the automotive market. These generations are using TikTok not only for entertainment, but also to research brands and find testimonials before making a purchase. Your TikTok Spark Ads will also show up in Search Results.

💡 Did you know? The main audience on TikTok consists of Millennials and Gen Z, who make up 1 in 3 new car registrations. 

5. Dynamic Vehicle Showcasing with Video Shopping Ads

TikTok Spark Ads empower car dealers to creatively highlight their inventory.

Imagine turning test drives, vehicle walkarounds, or demonstrations of high-tech features into immersive TikTok videos that also allow viewers to shop live inventory of your vehicles?!

We know users love the look and feel of organic video. This feature enhances your high performing vehicles with an interactive shopping feature on top of your automotive Spark Ads.


Get Started With TikTok Spark Ads For Car Dealers

Before getting started with creating TikTok content (that you will want to turn into TikTok Spark Ads!), we recommend that dealers do some light research on their audience and absorb as MUCH content as possible. 

Get a jumpstart submerging yourself in TikTok content with these 21 TikTok Examples for Car Dealers!

One free tool that you can use to quickly identify user demographics (and more important data, like potential results) on TikTok’s platform is our MarketAnalyzer Tool. 

In terms of doing due diligence on the TikTok platform itself: Look at other dealerships who you admire, your OEM, or even non-automotive brands you like! And utilize the ‘Discover’ tab to search top automotive hashtags, like: #electriccar, #cars, #SUV, #carlovers, #offroad, #driving, #roadtrip, #truck, #carsoftiktok.

Spending the time to research what type of content your ideal audience on TikTok is most entertained by and engaged with will only benefit you.

The TikTok Creator Center offers several tools like the hashtag tracker and trending songs library. Click here to access the TikTok Creative Center.

Once you do that, dealers can post content that’s similar (but not the same!) and include those popular auto-related hashtags in captions where they are relevant.

Take Advantage of Interactive Elements:

With Spark Ads, you can incorporate interactive components like clickable buttons, branded logos, or eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) banners into your chosen TikTok videos. 

These elements guide viewers toward specific actions, such as scheduling a test drive, visiting your website, or exploring your vehicle lineup!

The TikTok Creator Center offers several tools like the hashtag tracker and trending songs library. Click here to access the TikTok Creative Center.

Once you do that, dealers can post content that’s similar (but not the same!) and include those popular auto-related hashtags in captions where they are relevant.

Follow The Trends:

One of the most important things you can do is stay up-to-date with TikTok trends and incorporating them into Spark Ads can boost the visibility and impact of car-related content. 

Trend-focused content is more likely to resonate and perform the best across your TikTok community!

💡Spark Ads allow you to fully express your creativity by using trending music, filters, and captivating visuals to tell your dealership’s story in a fun and engaging way!

Check out how Auto Centers Nissan used this trending audio to showcase the unique color of this truck the above ad example. 

Handpick High-Performing, Relevant TikTok Content:

TikTok Spark Ads have to start somewhere, and they more times than not will originate from your dealership’s content. 

Selecting TikTok videos from your existing content library that align with your brand identity, resonate with their target audience, and have proven to drive success among your audience through organic results.

Steps to TikTok Spark Ads Creation:

Now let’s run through the actual steps you need to take to turn your post into a Spark Ad within TikTok! From the TikTok Ads Manager, choose the existing post.

Choose the existing post under your linked account using “+TikTok Post.”

  • Under Ad Details, choose TikTok Post and select a post you want to use in your Spark Ad.
  • After you select the video, click Confirm.
  • Complete the rest of the ad settings, then click Submit to publish your Spark Ad.

Once your Spark Ad is ready, you have the flexibility to promote it to a broader TikTok audience. You can customize your budget and tailor your ad’s targeting parameters to ensure it reaches the most relevant viewers!

Success With TikTok Spark Ads

TikTok Spark Ads offer car dealerships an exciting opportunity to leverage the platform’s immense popularity and connect with a younger, tech-savvy audience. 

  • Test organic, add fuel with paid
  • Leverage new features to maximize spark ads like video shopping, search placement, and zip targeting

By following best practices and creating engaging content, your dealership can drive brand awareness, engage potential customers, and ultimately boost auto sales in the digital age. 

Let us help you embrace the power of TikTok Spark Ads, and watch your dealership’s online presence accelerate like never before. Book a demo now. 

Written By Lauren Blackwell
Lauren Blackwell is a skilled content marketer who has spent the past 3 years working in automotive advertising technology and now brings her unique experiences to Dealers United. From running ad campaigns, to curating auto-specific resources, Lauren is empowered to create valuable content to help automotive dealers thrive on social media.

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