Spying on Your Competitors With Facebook Ad Library

Anyone who has done even one Facebook Ad has had the same question: How does my competition do it? Whether good, bad, or ugly, it’s both best practice and human nature to want to know how your competition is advertising and who they’re targeting. However, what used to be a guessing game is becoming a bit clearer thanks to Facebook’s push to be more transparent to its base, allowing you to “spy” on your competitors.

While you won’t get a direct listing of who a particular ad is targeted toward (you can only gain insight into that by being a part of the target audience and seeing the ad in your feed) you will get clues to help you piece together your Facebook Ad strategy, which, if you’re marketing nerds like us, is like Christmas morning! There are two ways to go about spying on your competitor’s ads: through their page itself and the Facebook Ad Library.

The first way is to look at the page transparency right on the Facebook page itself. Go to the page you’d like more information on, click “see more” next to Page Transparency, and voila! Here you’ll see the history of the page, the location(s) where the page is managed, and the ad(s) the company is currently running. It will also give you the option to click through to the Ad Library, where you can see a history of what ads the company has run in the past.

Facebook Ad Library


The second way is to skip the page and go right to the Ad Library itself. Once there, you can search either by a company or by topic. When searching by topic, you’re able to take a look at any ad that matches the criteria that you search for. It can take a few tries to get your search keywords right, but it is worth the added effort. In addition to what you can see through the Page Transparency, you can also click to see how much they have spent on individual ads and as a total of all ads. This not only helps you to set your own budget, but it also shows you how successful their ads have been at targeting, which is key information. A low spend on a long-running ad tells you there is ad space to be won with proper targeting.

Facebook Ad Library

The information you can gain from Facebook Ad spying isn’t perfect and does rely on you correctly drawing conclusions. Still, it can show you what types of ads your competitors are running, what they look like, and how much they’re spending, which are good weapons to have when creating your own ad. 

If you’re reading through this and it’s coming off a bit like a foreign language, that’s okay! This information is designed for people who already have a high-level knowledge of Facebook Ads. That’s where we come in. Let us flex our marketing prowess and give you expert social media recommendations based on this in-depth analysis. Give us a call today at 321-255-0900 or email us at info@theadleaf.com to schedule your one-on-one Facebook Ads discovery session.


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Shannon Sullivan Shannon Sullivan