This Facebook Ads course is not just about finding your competitors Facebook ads, but also about crafting an industry-leading Facebook ads strategy that can help benefit your social media marketing campaigns.
And that's why you need to know that it's important to take stock of how your competitors are using the platform.
How-To Find Competitors Facebook Ads & Using to Your Advantage
Understanding your competitor's strategies might sound time-consuming, but it’s an essential part of any great strategy. And definitely, one that will help your active ads and ROI.
Let me explain…
Understanding how your competitors are using Facebook ads can help you:
- Save thousands of dollars by not making the same mistakes as them
- See what ads break through the noise and drive results
- Learn what messaging connects with your target audience
- Ad transparency means you can see how your competitors audience is reacting to their messages
- And more...
Ready to Become an Expert When it Comes to Finding Your Competitors Facebook Ads?
Let me walk you through the best tactics and tools to research and find your competitors Facebook ads.
3 tools to help you find competitors Facebook Ads:
#1 Facebook’s Info and Ads tool
What if I told you can look at every ad your competitors are currently running on Facebook? And as a bonus: What if I said that it takes just a few clicks?
It's literally that easy.
As a way to increase transparency, Facebook allows users to view all ads a Page is currently running via the “Info and Ads” tab.
Here’s how it works:
- Simply visit any Page. For this example, we’ll use Outback Steakhouse:
- Click “Info and Ads” in the left-side menu:
- You can now see any ads that Page is running:
#2 AdEspresso’s Facebook Ad Examples
The team at AdEspresso has collected more than 170,000 Facebook ad examples from a range of industries.
You can search the database for ads specific to your industry and even search by brand name to single out competitors from within your niche. You can also filter results by placements and objectives if you’re looking for specific types of ads.
For example, searching for ‘sneakers’ returns some brilliant ad examples:
Once you’ve found an ad that you’re keen to dig deeper into, you can click on it to view an embedded version of the advert, the copy used, and the placement details.
#3 Facebook’s “Why Am I Seeing This?” Feature
Every ad you see on Facebook contains a goldmine of data about how that advertiser is reaching you.
To access it, simply click on ‘...’ icon in the top right corner of an advert and click the “Why am I seeing this?” option.
From here you can see why that ad is showing up within your feed. For example, I was shown the above advert from Moo.com because they are targeting a lookalike audience and I share some common traits with its customers:
Using this simple trick you can start to unravel your competitors Facebook ads targeting strategies.
But wait, how do I see ads from competitors within my feed?
There isn’t an exact science to this as the Facebook algorithm is pretty complex. But a couple of ways you can encourage ads from your competitors to show up in your feed include:
#1 Liking competitor Pages and ads
Many advertisers target their ads towards people who already like their Page and this is a good way to send signals to Facebook that you’d like to see content from this brand in your feed. If you also engage with their ads (react, click, comment) when you see them there’s a chance they’ll show up in your feed more often.
#2 Visiting competitor sites
Checkout out your competitors’ websites is another great way to send signals to Facebook that you’d like to see their content, and with many brands running re targeting ads to website visitors this
#3 Joining mailing lists
Many advertisers target Facebook users based on existing email and customer lists their email. For example, these are all advertisers who advertise to me based on my details being a part of their list:
If you sign up to your competitor's mailing lists, there’s a higher chance you’ll see their ads (if they use this type of targeting), plus you can also keep an eye on their email marketing strategies at the same time. Win-win!
3 Tips on using your competitors Facebook Ads to grow your business
So we now know how to spy on your competitors Facebook Ads, it’s time to put that new-found data into action. Here are four steps to using this information to grow your business:
#1 Know what you want to learn
Before you start your competitor research, think about what you want to achieve from this work.
If you go into research without clear goals, you can waste hours of valuable time gaining insights that won’t benefit your business.
Set 1-3 clear goals, and focus your research on those goals specifically.
For example, you might want to look at how your competitors are using video ads to boost product awareness.
In this case, you might want to specifically analyze things like:
- Video length
- How product(s) are featured in the video
- Do they use square, horizontal or vertical videos
Knowing your goals will enable you to remain laser-focused during your research to ensure you’re not wasting time researching every single detail about every competitor’s ad.
#2 Click-through to landing pages
Successful Facebook advertising campaigns revolve around much more than just the ad you put together and publish — the landing page that you drive traffic to also plays a major role in your conversion and success rates.
With each ad, you see, ensure you click-through to the landing page and see how your competitors are guiding customers through their funnel to making a purchase.
For example, this advert from Sleeknote talks about a feature of its product:
And drives traffic to a landing page specifically focused on the feature from the ad:
If you look closely at that landing page you can also begin to see how it tries to convert website visitors into users. There are two CTAs on the page as soon as you visit (and these remain visible as you scroll):
And more CTAs appear as you progress through the page:
When you’re looking at competitor landing pages, think about:
- What’s the selling point? Take a look at the main selling point they're focused on across the page, or if it’s an e-commerce product page, look at how they’re describing the product: What language do they use? How do they sell the benefits?
- Do they have any offers? In the above example, Sleeknote is offering a 7-day free trial to customers, and often, ads are followed up with offers to boost conversions. Make a note of any tactics you see here to keep in your arsenal for the future.
- What are the CTAs? If it’s an e-commerce page, the main CTA might simply be “Buy now”, but for other goods and services you might spot a bunch of variations like “Book a demo”, “Schedule an appointment”. Check out what your competitors end goal if with this funnel.
#3 Run experiments based on your research
Your research will help you generate a number of hunches about what will work for your business on Facebook ads, but we can’t rely on those entirely.
Take what you’ve learned from your competitors and create a number of experiment ideas that you can test.
A simple way to frame experiments is this formula:
If we (experiment idea),
then (expected results),
If we create short 10-second video ads,
then can build an audience of people to retarget with bottom-of-the-funnel ads,
because video ads get more engagement than other ad-types and we’ve seen this work for [competitor].
If we target ads to our previous customers,
then we can increase the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer and encourage repeat purchases,
because we know these people are happy to buy from us, so will be more receptive to sales-focused, bottom-of-the-funnel ads.
Use this framework to generate as many ideas as you can come up with — go wild (but aim for at least 20). Remember: sometimes the best ideas are the ones that aren’t so obvious.
Once you have a list of ad experiments, prioritize them so that you know where to get started.
One way to prioritize experiments is by using “ICE” scores. ICE stands for impact, confidence, ease:
- Impact: If this experiment works, how will it impact your business?
- Confidence: How likely do you think this experiment is to succeed?
- Ease: How simple will this be to implement?
Give every experiment a score out of 10 for each of these categories and the experiments with the highest scores are the ones you should prioritize first.
Frequently Asked Questions
We've covered all the basics, but maybe you still have a few questions you're still short on answers for. No problem! Let's review and get some answers.
How Do I See/Find My Competitors Facebook Ad Targeting?
Your competitors are very likely targeting the exact audience you will want to target for your own ad campaigns. Luckily, there's a way to take their work and make it your own to save valuable time.
The first and easiest way to see your competitors Facebook ad targeting is to look at your competitors' UTM tags.
Of course, this is only going to work if you meet two of the necessary requirements for viewing your competitors Facebook ads targeting settings.
First, your competitor has to be running a broad website re-targeting campaign, or you need to be in their target audience.
And second, your competitor needs to be tagging their ad links with UTM parameters.
How do you do it?? Go to several of your competitors' websites and start clicking through content and web pages on their site.
Wait several hours or even a few days, then start scrolling through your Facebook News Feed. Within a matter of minutes you'll start seeing ads pop up!
Why Shouldn't I Copy My Competitors?
The #1 reason for not copying your competitors in terms of targeting and ad visuals and copy is that thought they may be successful with it, that doesn't always mean it will be for you.
Your audience is looking for something new and exciting. You could be the gateway to the "different" they're looking for!
In addition, by playing copycat, you will miss out on the wonderful opportunity that *improving* on your competitors Facebook advertising strategy can provide. Why settle for less?
How Can I Make My Ads Cheaper Through Facebook Targeting?
When it comes to making ads cheaper overall, it's not just about targeting your audience. It's important to target your *content* as well, so the secret actually lies in your ideal unicorn content and proper Facebook ads targeting.
When it comes to making Facebook ads cheaper through targeting, tweaking content, both visual and written is the best way to find out what works best. (And bring your Facebook ads CPC down!)
You’re all set, but remember…
You’re now all set to dive head-first into your competitors Facebook Ads and research what makes them successful (plus where they could improve… no brand is perfect, right?).
But remember: What you learn here should just be a guideline to help you formulate your Facebook ads strategy. What works for your competitors, won’t automatically work for you.
Use your learnings to generate some ideas and experiments that you can put into action to figure out what works best for your business. This is true when it comes to Facebook advertising for larger businesses and Facebook for small businesses. And don't forget to subscribe to the newsletter for the exciting posts!