How to see your competitors' Facebook Ads
Last modified: 2018/08/14 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Part of running a business is understanding your marketplace, and this includes your competitors. It’s important to think about how your competitors use different marketing tactics to reach their audience, as well as their use of social media. Facebook is one of the key ways for businesses to understand their market, gain visibility and interact with an audience.
In the world of Facebook advertisements, you might not be sure how to find your footing and gain traction over your competitor. To fully understand your marketplace, we suggest it’s a good idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing. There are a variety of ways you can accomplish this, and we’re here to help!
Here’s how to see your competitors Facebook ads
Facebook’s built-in features
One of the easiest ways to look at your competitor's Facebook ads is to use the built-in features on the site itself. These will work to determine how their sponsored posts are showing up in your feed. You can start this process by taking a scroll through your news feed and looking for a post with the word “sponsored” next to it. Next, click on the drop-down menu that will be located in the upper right-hand corner. Scroll down and you can find an option stating “why am I seeing this?”
The information that you’ll see after clicking on this option will inform you as to why these ads appear in your feed. These targeting criteria can include the information collected from your Facebook profile, where you’re connected over the internet, specific age demographics, areas of interest, location and how often you have interacted with similar content.
Next, click the “Manage Your Ad Preferences” link. This will bring you to a screen that indicates your Facebook ad preferences. This page is useful, in that it will inform you about the ways in which Facebook categorizes you as a user. You should be able to click on specific interests and look at examples of ads created in the hopes of reaching people who fall into this category. This is incredibly useful, as you can see how other advertisers work to target the same audience as your business.
If you find a competitor's ad that is similar to something you’re hoping to produce, you can use the same drop-down menu to save the link for future reference alongside tagging the ad as helpful. This is a covert, built-in way to look at your competitors Facebook advertisements.
It should also be noted that in the past few months, Facebook has also progressively added a new feature where anyone can see what ads companies are currently running. Simply head to the Facebook page and look at the menu on the left side, where you will find the Ads tab. Click on there and you will be able to see whether they are sponsoring any posts and what type of content they are focusing on at the moment.
Facebook Ad Software options
Other than the options that we mentioned above, certain types of software are made to find and analyse Facebook ads presented by your competitors or other companies operating in your field.
Unlike simply using the built-in Facebook options, the software can allow an in-depth look at factors that include information about your competitors such as the following:
- Their spending habits;
- Their top-performing advertisements as well as specific details;
- How they target an audience;
- Performance analytics.
Another advantage of using software to look at your competitors' online activity is that you can track their location. This offers the potential to analyze how advertisements in your marketplace function in other parts of the world, and this can be especially helpful if you are looking to expand internationally or nationally.
Here is an example of a specific program that can help your business:
AdEspresso: Using AdEspresso, you can optimize a Facebook advertising campaign in an easy and affordable manner. It offers an ad gallery tool for free, which offers a large collection of examples that are real advertisements.
If you're looking for more information about Facebook advertisements, you should check out our article "Everything to know about Facebook Ads."
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