target audience

How to See Your Competitors Facebook Ads

Facebook recently released a new section on every businesses Facebook page that allows anyone to see the organizations currently active ads, and any boosted posts they are running.

Facebook rolled out the feature in light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal as an effort to provide increased transparency around ads and pages. Before this, the only way to see what ads your competitors are running was to actually get targeted by one of their ads yourself. Now you can see all of their active ads across each of their networks:  Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network.

You can access it a couple of different ways.

1) Pull up any Facebook page, and look for the ‘Info and Ads’ link in the left side nav:

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 8.25.54 AM.png

2) Or just replace [Page Username] with the Facebook page name and it will take you there directly.[Page Username]/ads

Example: (check these guys out for some Facebook Ad creative inspiration)

Do you know if your competitors are running any Facebook Ad campaigns?

Now you can find out. Not only can you see their ads, you can also click through to see where they are driving traffic. This is helpful to understand and possibly reverse engineer their strategy.

What you may be able to figure out from analyzing your competitors ads:

  • Are they using landing pages or are they driving to their main website?

  • Are they testing landing pages? (maybe hard to tell unless you know exactly what to look for, but a sub-domain and subtle hints in the URL might indicate that they are. Ask us if you need help identifying this.)

  • Are you seeing similar versions of the same ad? They are likely testing their ad creative for better performance over time.

  • Are they targeting ads to people in different stages of the buying cycle?

    • While you can’t see the targeting of the ads, you may be able to infer their target from the messaging.

    • Ads should be tailored to each audience and where they are at in the buying cycle. An ad targeting a new audience that has never heard of you before should be very different than an ad used in remarketing.

There is also an ad archive to see ads that ran in the past, although it doesn’t seem to be very up to date.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.