How to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads

8 July 2019 0

When it comes to the making your mark in the world of paid social, it’s all about keeping your friends close, and your competitors closer. Discover how to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads.

When it comes to the making your mark in the world of paid social, it’s all about keeping your friends close, and your competitors closer. Gone are the days of hoping you meet the right criteria, either in relation to your interests, demographics or online behaviour in order to be targeted with your competitors’ social media advertising efforts. Due to Facebook’s pledge to become more transparent, it’s never been easier to spy on what your competitors are up to. Read on to discover how to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads.

How can competitor analysis help improve your paid social strategy?

Before we get down to some old-fashioned Facebook stalking, all in the aim of delivering high quality, high returning social advertising campaigns, you might be wondering how this can help improve what you’re doing. Well, without further ado here are five reasons why you should be undertaking competitive analysis on Facebook and Instagram ads.

It can inspire you to take your creative to the next level

Are your competitors using polished, high resolution imagery and video content as the basis of their ads, or have they gone for something more authentic to create resonance such as user generated content or simple iPhone created material? You’ll be able to take away some great hints and tips to structure your content production process for your ads, and chances are it’ll get the creative juices flowing much more than a standard round table idea generation session.

It’ll make you consider new ad formats

If you notice trends such as a reliance on carousel ads or experimentation with more immersive ad types such as Collection ads, you’ll be able to work out which ads are generating the best results in your industry. Then it’s time for you to take the plunge into new ad type waters.

It will help you determine your call to actions (CTAs) and messaging

By looking at the tone of voice, messaging and CTAs your competitors are using in their ad copy, you might be able to determine customer pain points previously unaddressed by your business. Remember that a great message is NOT when your ideal client understands you, but when your ideal client feels understood by you, so always go beyond a strictly promotional approach.

It can help you discover which new audiences your competitors are going after

Although you might not be able to see the exact audience targeting strategies your competitors are using in Facebook Audience Manager, you’ll still be able to see whether they’re targeting audiences overseas as you can filter by the country they are running campaigns in. This is useful as you can gain some insight into whether they’ve used localised language, have created new campaigns, or are offering exclusive deals or competitions for a specific country or region.

It’ll save you from making expensive mistakes

Perhaps the greatest advantage of all – you’re able to take your competitors’ learnings on board from extensive testing and optimising without spending a penny.

Step by step guide to finding competitors on Facebook ads using Facebook Ads Library

The following steps will tell you everything you need to know about your competitors’ paid social activity, and is the same regardless of whether you’re using Facebook on mobile or desktop. Here’s how to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads.

  1. Log into Facebook.
  2. Search for your competitors’ Facebook page.
  3. Look for the ‘Page Transparency’ section of the Facebook page.
How to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads

4. Scroll down to ‘Ads from this Page’.

5. Click ‘Go to Ad Library

How to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads

6. This will then show you all the ads which your competitor is running.

7. They will be displayed with the most recently published at the top.

8. Take note of the creative, ad types, and everything else we’ve mentioned above.

9. To find out what they’re doing internationally use the ‘filter by’ option where you can select a chosen country.

How to research your competitors’ Facebook and Instagram ads

10. If you want to go further than looking at your direct competitors, you’re also able to type in a specific topic, location etc. This will only bring back ads about social issues, elections or politics, however.

Have you been able to use Facebook competitor insight to help determine your paid social advertising strategy? If so then let us know by Tweeting us. If you’d like to learn more about managing paid social campaigns, or wish to improve your social media knowledge in general, then social media training from our experts at NGI Solutions could help you up-skill. Drop us a message via our ‘contact us’ page and we’ll be in touch to discuss your needs further.

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Lisa Kelly

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