How can I see what my competition is doing in ads?

By July 14, 2023 No Comments

Decoding Your Competitor’s Strategies: A Deep Dive into Facebook’s Ad Library

One of the lesser-known but incredibly useful tools Meta provides to businesses and marketers is the Facebook Ad Library. Introduced as a step towards ensuring transparency and integrity, the Ad Library is a comprehensive, searchable collection of ads currently running or that have been run on Meta’s platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

But how can the Facebook Ad Library help you see what your competition is doing with ads? The answer lies in the vast amount of information that the library provides and how to effectively use it.

searching shoes on facebook ad library
Searching shoes for all ads that include shoes.

Exploring Facebook Ad Library: An Overview

To start using the Facebook Ad Library, you don’t even need a Facebook account. Simply visit the Ad Library page and enter the name of the page (your competitor) whose ad information you wish to view. The tool then displays all the active ads that the page is running across Meta’s platforms.

Once you select a specific ad, you can see its details including the ad’s creative, the date it started running, and the primary language used. You can also see the platforms on which it’s running, like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, or Audience Network. This information provides valuable insights into your competitor’s creative strategy, their active marketing campaigns, and the platforms they prioritize.

Can I See Engagement on Ads within Facebook Ad Library?

While the Facebook Ad Library does provide substantial information, it’s important to clarify what it does and doesn’t offer in terms of metrics and engagement data.

The Ad Library does not provide direct engagement metrics such as likes, shares, comments, or click-through rates on the ads it displays. This restriction is likely due to privacy considerations, preventing advertisers from gaining too much insight into the performance of competitors’ ads.

However, the Ad Library does provide some valuable data related to an ad’s reach and spending. For political, electoral, or social issue ads, you can view the range of impressions the ad received, demographic data (age, gender, location) about who saw the ad, and the ad spend range. These data points can give you an idea of your competitor’s targeting strategy and budget allocation.

Maximizing the Use of Facebook Ad Library

While you may not be able to see direct engagement on competitors’ ads, the Facebook Ad Library is still a treasure trove of insights. Here’s how you can maximize its potential:

  1. Ad Creative Insights: Reviewing the ad creatives of your competition allows you to understand their messaging, offers, design choices, and call-to-actions. This can inspire your own creative process and help you craft more effective ads.
  2. Campaign Timing: By seeing when ads start, you can gauge when competitors launch campaigns. This can help identify key marketing periods for your industry.
  3. Platform Usage: The library shows which Meta platforms your competitors are using for advertising. This insight can guide your own platform choices.
  4. Political/Social Issue Ad Insights: If your competitors run these types of ads, use the provided demographic and spend data to better understand their targeting and budgeting strategies.

In conclusion, while the Facebook Ad Library does not provide direct ad engagement metrics, its vast information makes it a powerful tool for competitive analysis. As digital marketers, we need to make the most of every resource available, and Meta’s Ad Library is an effective way to keep an eye on the competition and improve our strategies.

Keith Hubert

Keith Hubert

Fractional CMO