5 Simple Ways To Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads.

by waqas Tue Nov 10

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Before a football match…

Each team does what is known as Opposition Analysis.

This is where a team starts pouring over the opposition’s match footage, data analysis that can determine a tactical profile, identify key players, discover patterns of play and come up with a strategic way to defeat their opponents.

And if they win, a part is usually dedicated to how well they researched their opponents and nullified their threat.

In marketing, it’s the same.

Competitor’s Research is a crucial part of marketing.

It’s good practice to research and understand what your competitors are doing.

And according to a report from Hootsuite, 90 million small businesses use Facebook

Chances are your competitors are among them.

Facebook makes it easy for you to spy on your competitor’s Facebook ads to see what they are doing and how you can make it better.

And in this article, you’ll learn how to research your competitors’ Facebook ads.

But first…

Why Care About Your Competitors Facebook Ads?

If you are struggling to get results with Facebook Ads, one strategy that works is researching your competitors’ ads. 

Here’s why…

Your creative or copy may not be speaking directly to your target audience.

However, quick research could give you ideas on where you can improve.  

Also, researching their ads is important because it helps you:

  1. Know exactly what works for your target audience, so you spend less money and time trying to figure out their interests.
  2. Identify what kind of ads work for them, and how they work.

But researching your competitor’s Facebook ads doesn’t mean you should steal your competitors’ ads and pose them as your own.

And it doesn’t require using any illegal software to steal information from your competition.

So what does it require?

Here are five simple ways to research your competitors’ Facebook Ads

5 Ways to Research Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

1.Use Facebook Ad Library

Facebook Ads Library makes it easy to search for ads running across Facebook apps and services (including Instagram).

You don’t even require a Facebook account to use it.

The Ad Library was created to promote transparency.

It allows users to see all the ad campaigns a brand is running and key information about the brand, including when the Page was founded. To use it, simply type https://web.facebook.com/ads/library on your browser, and you will be taken to the Ad Library.

Here, you can view thousands of ads currently running on Facebook.

The best part?

It’s 100% free.

Simply enter the name of your competitors and Facebook will reveal the ads they are running.

Here’s an example from Airbnb Ad Library.

The Ad Library shows you whether an ad is active or inactive.

You can also see the date the ad started running.

Pro Tip: Ads that have been running for at least three weeks may mean the campaigns are working well for that competitor.

There’s also a filter feature where you can filter ads by country

Or by platform

How is this tool important?

If you are a baker that sells cakes, it can show you how other bakers run ads on Facebook to get customers.

It will serve as inspiration when setting up your own ads.

The Facebook Ads library is a powerful tool you should definitely take advantage of.

2.Go Through Your Competitor’s Facebook Business Page

Another way to spy on your competitor’s ads is to go through their Facebook business page.

There, you’ll know whether they are running ads.

To do this, go to your competitor’s page on Facebook.

Once there, look at the left-hand side.

You’ll see a section titled “Page Transparency”.

Click on “See All”

Then on the popup screen, scroll down till you see Ads From This Page

Here, you can tell if your competitors are running ads. If they are, click on Go to Ad Library and you’ll be redirected to your competitors Ad Library page.

3.Follow Your Competitors

This method sounds very easy, right?

However, a lot of companies, either out of pride or ignorance, don’t implement this straightforward method.

This is a good way to keep tabs on your competitors with just a Facebook account.

You can avoid the use of analytics tools, or signing up on different platforms for insights. 

When you follow a page on Facebook, any ad they put out will most likely appear on your newsfeed.

This helps you also analyze the kinds of ads they put out.

Look at it critically.

If you were a potential customer, would you buy from them?

What do you think they could have done better?

What call to action are they using?

All these can help you craft better Facebook ads by improving on what their ads are missing.

4.Visit Your Competitor’s Site

Have ever visited a website and shortly after, you started seeing their ads on Facebook or Instagram?


This is called Retargeting.

And visiting your competitor’s site can trigger “retargeting ads.”

If you want to get even more information about their ads, go to your competition’s website. And spend some time there.

You can try to do something, like checking their catalogue or chatting with live support.

If they have installed a Facebook Pixel on their website, you will notice that their ads will appear in your news feed after some time.

Note the action you took on the site, and what caused the ads to appear.

This can give you an idea of what to do better and how their retargeting ads work.

5.Tap on The ‘Why Am I Seeing This Ad’ Button

The “Why Am I Seeing This Ad” feature gives you more insight about why you are seeing a particular ad on your newsfeed.

You can use the information to analyze what your competitors are doing.

To see this feature, whenever you come across an ad from your competitor, click on the three horizontal menu button in the top right corner.

Then click on “Why am I seeing this ad?”

Below, you can see Google Ads is targeting people interested in SEO, Web search engine, and more.

It is also targeting people between 21 to 64, located in Nigeria.

Knowing who your competitors are showing ads to can help you adjust your own ad strategy and target a specific group of people, or expand your advertising to their Facebook users, and not just the ones you are currently targeting.


There you have it!

Five powerful ways to research your competitor’s ads.

Remember that you are simply researching your competition to get better, not to compare who is more successful.

Your company is unique in its own unique way, and you add value to your customers in your own way.

Do not blindly copy what you see. That’s stealing!

Analyze their ads and look for how you can improve your own with the information you have obtained.

If you implement all these, you will see a significant improvement in generating quality leads for your business with Facebook Ads.

If you want to discuss your Facebook Ads strategy, get in touch here.


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