TikTok whitelisting allows brands to turn creator content into awesome ads. Here’s how to give brands access to your TikToks for whitelisting.
TikTok Whitelisting: How to Whitelist Creator Content on TikTok
TikTok whitelisting with Spark Ads can instantly transform creator videos into top-tier ads. We explain how to whitelist TikTok content and why brands that work with influencers should do it.
“What’s the deal with TikTok whitelisting?”
We’ve been getting this question as more and more brands run TikTok Spark Ads.
Especially as the app touts how creators boost ad engagement and performance in a big way.
Imagine taking a trending creator video and running it as an ad ASAP. This allows you to piggyback on a post's positive performance and save time coming up with fresh ad creatives.
Now imagine doing that scale with dozens of influencer posts.
Whitelisting influencer content on TikTok lets you do exactly that without wasting time.
It's no surprise that brands feature influencers so heavily in their campaigns via Spark Ads.
And you totally should, too! In this post, we break down all things related to TikTok whitelisting:
- Why brands are going all-in on creator-based TikTok ads
- The specific steps to set up (for brands and creators)
- Best practices for whitelisting influencers and scaling Spark Ads
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What is TikTok Whitelisting, Anyway?
TikTok whitelisting is the process of obtaining advertising access to a creator’s videos to promote on your brand’s account. These creator videos are also referred to as Spark Ads.
Translation? You take a piece of organic content and transform it into sponsored content. Below is an example of a high-performing Spark Ad found on the #FYP.
Source: Drunk Elephant
Here’s the short of how the whitelisting process works:
- Creators provide advertising permission for brands to promote their content via video code. Brands must request a Spark video authorization code provided by the creator. This unique video code gets pasted into TikTok Ads Manager and becomes the basis for the Spark Ad. Creators specify the duration of time they authorize brands to whitelist their content. This can be anywhere from 7 days to 365 days, although most creators authorize for 30 or 60 days in our experience.
- Brands set up their TikTok ads as normal. Details such as campaign goals and budget are the same as other types of TikTok ads. The key difference is that brands use the creator’s whitelisted video instead of uploading their own.
- The whitelisted video gets published as an ad using the creator's TikTok handle. Brands cannot edit the captions of the Spark Ad but can add custom links to send leads to. Note that your Spark Ad campaign duration is also tied to the authorization duration provided by the creator.
Know how TikTok says “Create TikToks, not ads?" That’s what whitelisting does in a nutshell.
Typical branded content on TikTok runs from the creator’s account with an #ad disclosure. With whitelisting, you promote creator content from your brand account and present it as your own.
Note: influencer ads on TikTok can also be run without the platform's native ad whitelisting tools. These ads are essentially dark posts that you promote through your brand account. We refer to this process as "manual whitelisting" (or allowlisting), which is more time-consuming and intensive. You can learn more in our breakdown of Spark Ads vs. Non-Spark Ads.
What Are the Requirements for Whitelisting on TikTok?
Here’s the good news: TikTok makes the process of making creator ads pretty easy.
But before we get into the steps of white-labeling videos, there’s a bit of housekeeping to do.
Below are the prereqs to Spark Ads for both brands and creators:
TikTok Whitelisting Requirements for Brands
- Make sure your account is able to run ads. Shocker, right? You’ll need access to the TikTok Ads Manager. If you’re already advertising on TikTok or have run campaigns in the past, you’re golden.
- Know which creators you’ll be requesting content from. Is there a creator that regularly shouts you out? Or maybe a customer video’s going viral and you want to keep the momentum going? Nice! Ideally, you should run Spark Ads with creators you already know and trust. Doing so will save you time when it comes to negotiating content usage rights or obtaining Spark Ad video codes.
- Be prepared to coordinate with your creator(s). Again, there are a couple of minor details to hash out prior to whitelisting a TikTok influencer's content. This includes which deciding video to promote, campaign duration and compensation. These details can be discussed via email or DM (and likewise communicated in your influencer agreement).
Note: although it is possible to find influencers through the TikTok Creator Marketplace, this post focuses on whitelisting creators you already have relationships with. Of course, you can streamline the process with a TikTok influencer platform like Statusphere that enables two-click Spark Ads.
TikTok Whitelisting Requirements for Creators
- Enable your account to share videos with brands. We’ll explain the process below! Thankfully, only a few quick taps in your TikTok settings are required.
- Be ready to share the code for the video you whitelist. This is also super simple and straightforward. Many creators charge $100+ for content usage rights for Spark Ads.
- Be prepared to follow up with the brand. For example, brands might want to discuss performance metrics and interactions for a whitelisted video.
How to Whitelist Content on TikTok Step-by-Step
Now, let’s say you have a positive, working relationship with a creator and want to get the ball rolling on a campaign. Here’s a rundown of the whitelisting process on TikTok:
Step 1 (Brand): Pick the TikTok Video You Want to Promote
No surprises here — you can’t run ads without a video!
Review your creator’s content and decide which video would best translate to a TikTok ad. To narrow down your choices, consider:
- Recent organic content that’s seen strong engagement
- Creator posts that have gone viral
- Videos that highlight your latest products or promotions
View counts can clue you in on potentially strong ads. Likewise, you can always reach out to your creator to see which of their branded posts have been crushing it lately.
For this post, we coordinated with our own creator (Hi Alexa!) to explain how whitelisting works. We’ll be working with her videos to document the process.
Unlike Instagram, whitelisting on TikTok doesn’t give you blanket access to their account assets. In other words, you do need to specify a particular video to promote before moving forward.
Step 2 (Creator): Enable Ad Authorization and Share the Video Post Code
This is the only step in the whitelisting process that directly involves your creator.
At this point, creators will need to authorize the brand’s account to use their content. They’ll also need to provide the unique code for the video you want to promote.
If your creator has partnered with brands in the past, chances are they’ll know what to do.
If not, don’t sweat it! Creators simply need to go to their TikTok account settings. From there:
- Select “Creator tools” and turn “Ad Settings” on
- Toggle “Ad authorization” on (this prompts the creator to authorize content for promotion)
- After selecting a time frame, tap “Authorize”
This screen will also provide a Spark Ad video code for creators to share. Brands will need to coordinate getting the code from their creators. This can be done via DM or email.
And yes, your code should look like a jumbled mess of numbers, letters and special characters!
Once you have access to the video code, the creator’s role in whitelisting is done for now.
Step 3 (Brand): Paste the Spark Ad Video Authorization Code in Ads Manager to Generate Your Ad
From here on out, the brand is in control. Here’s what’s next now that you have your Spark Ad code:
- Log into TikTok Ads Manager
- Select “Assets” on the top bar and then “Spark Ad posts” on the left-hand side
- Click the “Apply for Authorization” button in the middle of the screen
This is where you’re going to paste your creator’s video code. Assuming you have it, pop the code into the search bar and proceed.
If the code is correct and the video is valid, a preview will appear. You’ll also see a few details about your whitelisted video such as length and resolution. Then, click “confirm.”
After receiving confirmation of authorization, you’ll be prompted to go create your Spark Ad.
Step 4 (Brand): Define Your Ad’s Audience, Budget and Goals
At this point, you’ll fill out the specific details of your ad campaign. This includes your audience, budget and objectives.
Because all of the above is dependent on your individual business, we won’t get too into it.
If you’re new to TikTok, you can use the “Simplified Mode” for speedy ad creation. On the flip side, “Custom Mode” provides a more in-depth creation process for fine-tuning your ads.
When you reach the “Identity” and “Ad Details” sections of ad creation, you’re almost at the finish line!
Step 5 (Brand): Select Your Creator’s Video and Submit the Ad
This is where you’ll link your creator’s video with your ad.
- Under “Identity,” click the checkbox (“Use TikTok account to deliver Spark ads”)
- Under “Ad Details,” select “Ad format” and then pick your creative (“Single video”)
- Select “Use other authorized account or post”
- You should see your creator’s account pop up — click on their name
- Select “TikTok Post”
You’ll then be prompted to look through the creator’s authorized content. Find your whitelisted video, select it and click “Confirm.”
You should see a preview of your Spark Ad in action! From here, you can fine-tune the details of your creatives, captions and targeting based on your campaign. When it’s good to go, click “Submit.”
That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Why TikTok Whitelisting is So Valuable for Brands
With millions of consumers rushing to TikTok, brands are eager to reach more social shoppers.
And creators are key to making it happen.
This is especially true on TikTok where recommendations and product discovery are central to the platform. To wrap things up, we’ll highlight why the white-labeling process is worth it for brands.
Creators Instantly Improve the Performance of Ads on TikTok
The numbers don’t lie: creators boost ad engagement massively.
From more interactions to greater reach and brand recall, featuring creators is key to getting the most out of our campaigns.
That's why the best brands on TikTok lean so heavily on creator content. It's the same reason we're seeing more and more of our brands running Spark ads.
Creator interactions also go hand in hand with higher engagement. On the flip side, this highlights why ads using dark posts from your brand's account might be limited in terms of performance.
Remove the Guesswork from Your TikTok Advertising Strategy
Marketing is often a matter of trial and error. Trust us: we get it.
Thing is, creator whitelisting helps you identify ad content your target audience will love.
Think about it. If an organic video performed well on TikTok organically, it’d likely be a strong candidate for an ad.
Rather than wrack your brain for fresh TikTok campaign ideas, you can promote organic content with a sense of confidence.
Add Much-Needed Variety to Your Brand’s Feed
An underrated bonus of influencer whitelisting is that you can break the monotony of your “traditional” content. If you’re solely posting product videos, an off-the-cuff video from an influencer might be a welcome addition to your feed.
You might also learn the style of videos that creators produce is something you can emulate yourself. This includes how-tos, tutorials and showcasing products in action.
Gather Valuable Data to Grow Your TikTok Presence
Between the dark funnel and restricted ad targeting on the horizon, anything you can do to gather more customer data is a plus.
Ad campaigns themselves are a great way to learn more about your target audience.
Of course, that comes with a price tag.
But when you run Spark Ads, consider the data and performance of the original post are visible to the creator. Through influencer whitelisting, you can gather three sets of customer data per ad versus just one. This includes:
- The organic post’s view count and engagement prior to the campaign
- Paid campaign performance when the ad goes live
- How the organic post continues to perform post-campaign
Likewise, Statusphere's software aggregates all of your campaign content and performance data within our platform. With real-time reports, you can determine which of your posts are top performers and therefore the best candidates for whitelisting on TikTok.
Boost the ROI of Your Influencer Marketing Efforts
Brands rightfully want to see a strong ROI from their influencer campaigns.
Getting more out of your creator partnerships means taking action after their content is live.
Food for thought: every piece of creator content is a potential ad.
And so influencer whitelisting is a valuable next step for brands that want to maximize the ROI of their creator campaigns.
For example, white-label ads allow you to build campaigns without filming or editing a frame of content. You already have existing creatives proven to perform organically. That’s huge time saved.
Influencer whitelisting is a cost-effective advertising opportunity by default. That said, how well Spark Ads perform versus other social ads is telling.
A recent case study from Hootsuite highlights how the company experimented with a Spark campaign that resulted in a $0.002 cost per view. The study notes that TikTok’s ad platform isn’t nearly as saturated as Instagram or Facebook. How’s that for stretching your influencer marketing budget?
The Best TikTok Creator Ads Start with the Best Creators
More engagement. Awesome creatives. Less money spent.
The recent buzz around TikTok whitelisting is totally justified. If you’re already running influencer marketing campaigns on TikTok, testing Spark Ads is a smart next step if you haven't already.
But to run the best possible TikTok ad campaigns, you need a few things first:
- Consistent influencer content (to test and prevent ad performance decay)
- Authentic content (which is proven to outperform polished ad creatives)
- A process to streamline influencer management for whitelisting permissions
We know firsthand that finding and pitching creators for TikTok campaigns can quickly spiral into a full-time job. Despite the benefits, the process of managing creator campaigns can eat into your schedule before you even have a chance to scale.
That’s why you should let Statusphere's micro-influencer marketing platform do the heavy lifting.
Our software matches brands and creators based on 250+ unique, first-party data points. Since you only match with vetted influencers from our creator community, content is authentic and guaranteed. Coupled with our Instant Spark Ads feature, brands can whitelist content at scale without waiting.
Not to mention that content rights management is built into the content you get from our platform.
Want to learn more about how our software works? Get in touch with our team of experts to see how we can scale your micro-influencer marketing and earn authentic TikTok content for ads faster.
This article was first published in June 2022. It was last updated January 10, 2024.