How To See Competitors' Facebook Ads

How To See Competitors' Facebook Ads

Do you have a competitor in your niche that you know for a fact is crushing it with Facebook ads? Are you not really sure where to get started with your own campaign and need some inspiration? Learning how to see competitors’ Facebook ads is a great way to research before spending a dime on paid traffic. You can hit the ground running knowing what type of copy and creative works best. After all, if your competitors are putting Facebook ads spend behind certain ads, you can reasonably assume they’re converting!

This tactic uncovers hidden marketing angles you may never have thought of. And while you may not have known it was possible to see the Facebook ads of your competitors, it’s true - and it’s actually pretty simple. In this article, we’ll walk you through how to see Facebook ads of competitors. We’ll then explain what you can do with these findings to improve your own campaigns. First and foremost, we want to explain why this is something worth looking into.

Can You Really See Your Competitors' Facebook Ads?

It sounds too good to be true - can you really see your competitors’ Facebook ads? Yes! In fact, this is something any good media buyer does before creating their own ads. Now, let’s clear one thing up - you won’t be able to see the specific structure of your competitors’ Facebook ads campaigns. You won’t see things like budget, targeting, or any other details of their campaign. However, you can quickly and easily spy on their creative assets - the actual ads themselves. You’ll see the exact ads that your ideal customers are seeing. And as you can imagine, this is some pretty powerful information to have in your back pocket. Here’s why:

Why Learning How To See Facebook Ads of Competitors Is Worthwhile

Is learning how to see Facebook ads of competitors really worth it? If you ask seasoned media buyers, this is something they do before building their own campaigns. Why is that? Simple - Facebook ads is trial and error. When first starting a campaign for your own brand or a client’s brand, you are going to have to make some assumptions about what works in terms of targeting, budget, attribution windows, and of course, the parts of a Facebook ad: copy, creative, and call to action.

As we just discussed, you won’t be able to gain insights into all that information through your competitors - just the actual ads themselves. But by seeing this information, you can gain an understanding of what works for your competitors. Chances are that if it works for them, it may work for you, too! And as a good copywriter and creative builder, you can take what’s working for them and make it even better. After all, entrepreneurship in 2022 is all about taking what’s working and making it better somehow.

In summary, there is no need to recreate the wheel when it comes to building your Facebook ads. By spying on your competitors and seeing what they’re putting their Facebook ads budget behind, you can reasonably assume that those ads are converting. This insight is important as you build your own campaign. But now comes the question - how do you see competitors’ Facebook ads with ease? Allow us to explain.

How To See Competitors’ Facebook Ads Easily

Ready to learn how to see competitors’ Facebook ads easily? It’s pretty simple - you just need a Facebook account, which we’ll assume is already set up. From there, you can navigate to the Facebook page of whichever competitor you want to spy on first. Before we explain which buttons to click to pull up the ads, let’s talk about setting expectations.

Start By Setting Expectations & Choosing A Few Competitors

We recommend coming up with a few close competitors to analyze to really get the most out of this tactic. The reality is that not all your competitors will run effective campaigns. You’ll have to take your insights with a grain of salt, as you won’t know for sure just how well those ads are converting. There will undoubtedly be instances where you find a huge database of live ads - and yet, if you were to actually take a peek into the competitor’s ads dashboard, you’d see negative ROAS and wasted spend. With that said, it’s generally fair to assume that if ads have been live for an extended period of time (more than a week or two), the ad is profitable. Otherwise, you’d think the competitor would turn their ads off, right?

To ensure you’re getting valuable Facebook ads data, pick 3-5 of your closest competitors. By analyzing more than one competitor, you can summarize your findings and get a better idea of what is working in the niche or industry as a whole. With all that being said, here is where you’ll navigate to in order to actually find the Facebook ads of your competitors. 

Scroll Down & Find “Page Transparency” On the Left Side

The specific section of your competitor’s Facebook page you’re looking for is “Page Transparency”. This is only available to view on desktop, so be sure you’re not wasting your time scrolling on an endless search on mobile. You’ll find Page Transparency on the left side of the Facebook page below photos, videos, and shopping. This feature is actually designed to show users - those being served ads - transparent information about the page in question. It will explain who is responsible for the page, and who is managing it (and from where). However, you can click the “see all” button to be taken to the database of the competitor’s live ads.

Go To Ad Library

Once you click “see all” under page transparency, a pop-up will appear showing you even more information. You’ll gain insights into when the page in question was created, the number of people managing the page and their locations, and more. But what you’re concerned with is learning how to see Facebook ads of competitors. So, you’ll scroll all the way down in that pop-up to the tab that says “Go To Ad Library”. This is where the hidden treasure can be found.

Once you click that button, you’ll be taken to a database of all the ads currently running from that page. You’ll find some powerful information here:

  • Visual copies of the ads themselves (what your ideal customers are seeing from the competitor)
  • When the ad started running
  • What platforms the ads are being run on
  • If there are multiple versions of the same ad
  • Call to actions

As you can imagine, all this information is incredibly valuable. You can take notes of anything that catches your eye - such as the type of creative they use. Is it professional photos and videos, or does it appear they use UGC more than anything else? What kind of copy do they use? Are they using a variety of call to actions or is there one that sticks out? Write down as much information as you can find, and we’ll talk more about what you should do with that information later on. First, we want to share another tactic that can help you uncover bits and pieces of your competitors’ Facebook ads campaigns and overall marketing strategy.

Gain More Insights Through “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?”

If you take growing your brand seriously, chances are, you have spent time researching competitors. You may have visited their websites and interacted with collections, products, blog posts, etc. You may even have followed them on Instagram and scrolled through their feed. As a result, there is a good chance you’ll eventually get hit with retargeting ads from your competitors. And while your first instinct may be to leave a nasty comment or report the ad (if you’re petty, at least), there is actually great value to be uncovered when you get served a competitor's ad.

When you click “why am I seeing this ad?”, a pop-up will appear. You’ll be presented with a brief explaining why the ad reached you in particular. For example, you may find that the advertiser in question is looking to reach people who have visited their website or used an app. This would suggest that the ad in question is part of their retargeting strategy. But Facebook will tell you other reasons you could be viewing the ad - for example, if a competitor is targeting people ages 25-40 who live in a certain demographic, that information will be included. We said earlier that you can’t really see the exact targeting that your competitors’ use - but this feature allows you to get as much insight in that regard as possible. Remember this the next time a competitor’s ad pops up on your feed. Bonus points if you start curating your feed and profile to be served these ads routinely!

Now - What Should You Do With Your Findings?

Once you’ve gained insights from a few of your closest competitors, what should you do with your findings? How do you actually use this information to create your own winning ads? First and foremost, remember what we said earlier about taking this information with a grain of salt. Because you can’t explicitly see the rate at which these ads convert, or see how much spend they have behind them, you have to be careful with going all-in on the findings. 

Instead, consider building ads to test against your existing ads with these findings. If you find that your competitors use different types of images or videos than you do, build ads with those types of images and videos. Then, let them run in a split test against the ads you’ve already built. Or, maybe the competitor only runs ads on a certain platform. Consider trying this out yourself.

The point is, you shouldn’t directly copy your competitors facebook ads blindly. Not only can this get you in trouble with the competitors themselves - but it can devalue your brand in the long run. You want your campaigns to be specific to you and your brand. But, you can take your findings and put your own unique spin on them. Then, test these new ads against your existing ads and see what results come about. From there, you’ll have a better idea of how to scale your campaigns going forward!

Final Thoughts On How To See Competitors’ Facebook Ads

As you can see, there is much to be gained from spying on your closest competitors. And now that you know how to see competitors’ Facebook ads, you can get to work. Remember - take all the information you gain with a grain of salt. And never copy an ad outright - you need to put your own spin on it. Think of spying on your competitors' ads as uncovering hidden angles for your brand, or ways to tweak your existing ads for better performance.

And, if you want to gain more insights into running profitable Facebook ads campaigns, you have got to join the Utopia today! The insights you’ll uncover in our digital marketing community are above and beyond what’s available online. You can watch in real-time as the best media buyers in the game share their tactics and explain what works these days and what doesn’t. With over 3,000 members and counting, the group is growing fast - get in today before it’s too late and start learning from the best!

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