Keep Tabs on the Competition with Facebook Ad Library

A major key in advertising is to be aware of who the competition is and what they are doing. Advertisers can learn and grow from their competition by researching their current and past campaigns, and using insights from your previous campaigns as well as your competitors to help shape your campaign strategy . This kind of research can prove to be difficult to obtain and can get pretty pricey. Luckily, there are still a few ways to use competitor campaigns to shape your own strategy. One great option is to use the Facebook Ads Library.

Facebook originally launched the Ad Library as the Ad Archive in 2018 in order to offer more transparency on ads running on Instagram or Facebook related to politics or policy issues. Although the Ads Archive was originally focused around political ads, they have made changes throughout the history of the Ad Library, and can now be used to find more information about other ads.

Since the launch, it has been updated to now include all active ads on any topic as well as all political ads, active or inactive. In a later change, they made more information visible such as page creation date, page name changes, primary location information, and ad spend details. Although the Ads Archive was originally focused around political ads, they have made changes throughout the history of the Ad Library, and can be used to find more information about other ads now. The search function has also been improved, allowing the user to search by page or keyword. Many advertisers have utilized the option to stay up to date with competitor advertising campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Keeping tabs on the kinds of content and targeting that competitor companies are utilizing can offer valuable insights to improve campaign performance within your own company.

There are several methods to use when analyzing competitor ads which will each give you different insights. Filtering by impressions and duration can be helpful to find top performing competitor ads. For example, filtering by duration will show you which ads were running the longest and filtrering by impression will show you which ads were seen the most. If an ad has a long run-time and a high number of impressions, we can assume that this is one of their higher performing ads, and it can be beneficial to try to figure out why that ad may be performing well. 

Once you find the high performers, there are a few main trends to look for. Take a look at what kind of media types the most popular ads are, the messaging of the ads, and the locations of those ads.

Once you look at the high performers of one page, move on to a few other similar pages. If multiple pages are using media types that your company is not, it may be useful to draw inspiration from the competition and test out that media type for your campaign. If there are similarities between the messaging in high performing ads, incorporating similar language or visuals in your campaigns may improve results. Creating similar content can help you align your strategy with the trends, but it is important to stand out as well. Comparing the most popular ads from a few competitors also presents the opportunity to separate your company from the competition and create content that stands out compared to other ads.

For the right price, there are other researching services that can go further in depth, but the Facebook Ad Library can provide very valuable insights without the price tag. This can help you either create similar content or to stand out with groundbreaking content. Using Facebook Ad Library as a preliminary tool that guides the rest of the research for a campaign can prove to be effective as well. Whatever your goals, utilizing Facebook Ad Library to keep tabs on the competition can help improve campaigns to be more effective and more efficient.

Written by Zachary Thompson

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