Digital Marketing Blog

How to See Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

by | May 11, 2020

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In the world of digital advertising, there is constant competition. Especially now, as the pandemic-induced downturn in the economy scares consumers away from purchasing many categories of products, the competition against countless other advertisers who sell the same things you do is hot. 

Wouldn’t it be incredibly helpful to investigate the ads you’re competing against? 

The Facebook Ad Library gives you precisely that power. But it’s not a magic ball or some kind of cheat code you type into the interface. It’s a completely legitimate tool that Facebook provides publicly in the name of ad transparency.

The ad library offers a searchable collection of every active ad currently running across Facebook Products. Anyone can use it, regardless of whether or not you are part of the advertiser’s target audience, or even have a Facebook or Instagram account. It even works well on mobile devices, as shown below.

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Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Go to the Ad Library at www.facebook.com/ads/library.
  2. Select the country in the top right corner.
  3. Click “All Ads,” above the search bar.
  4. Start typing a business name and then select the correct one from the dropdown menu.

As you look through the ads, you can filter them by:

  • Country.
  • Number of impressions over a specified time period.
  • Platforms displayed on, including Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Audience Network, and Facebook Messenger.

While you can’t see every detail — like spend, targeting, and conversion data — you can still learn a lot from your competitors’ ads. As an advertiser on Facebook, you need an edge. Something that will stop a user from simply scrolling past your ad. 

Analyze the big names in your field. How are they utilizing ad copy? What ad format do they use the most? What does their creative look like? 

While you should never reuse a competitors’ ad copy or creative, you can use the Facebook Ad Library to find inspiration.
For example, if you run a retail business, Target might be a good competitor to check, as shown below.

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In all three of Target’s ads, you can see that the creatives are bright, clean, and inviting. The ad copy, as well as the creatives, all mention a sale. The headlines and descriptions are short and sweet. These are examples of ads that most likely perform very well on Facebook, as they have a clear call to action and are aesthetically pleasing.

Which of these learnings could you apply to your own ads?

When you need a little spark of inspiration while creating your Facebook ads, visit the Facebook Ad Library. Learn from the competitors’ ads that catch your eye in your vertical and use that knowledge to make your own ads uniquely awesome.