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How Facebook's new Ad Library can help you best your competitor's Facebook Ads

Lauren Og A Lauren Irwin Profile

Lauren Irwin

Facebook launched their Ad Library in a bid to show more transparency across the platform after last years heavy criticism and controversy, especially around social issues and elections. This new and improved technology allows anyone (and we mean literally anyone) to see a business/company's page activity when it comes to their ads, whether they’re active or not.

How Facebook's new Ad Library can help you best your competitor's Facebook Ads

Whilst it’s more assuring to be able to see politicians advertisements during their campaigns as individuals, this new level of transparency means that we, as marketers, can get an eye on what ours (or our clients) competitors are up to when it comes to advertisements across Facebook, both new and old.

Ever wondered just how competitors are getting so much business? What are they doing to target their audience or what messaging are they using to engage with their customers? We know they’ve got the Facebook Pixel on their website, but how exactly are they using it to remarket to their audience?

Wonder no longer…

How to see your competitors Facebook Ad Library activity

To start with, you need to visit a company's Facebook page and scroll looking at the right hand navigation until you see "Page Transparency" and click "see more", which will open a pop-up window.

How Facebook's new Ad Library can help you best your competitor's Facebook Ads

This window will give you a short summary on the page's history and a snippet if any ads are running. Don't worry if they're not - you still get to see everything by clicking "Go to Ad Library." This will open the Ad Library for the company page that you're on, but you can use the search bar to look for any company or verified account that has a Facebook page.

How Facebook's new Ad Library can help you best your competitor's Facebook Ads

You'll be able to see the amount of results (ads) for that page that are active and inactive, the dates they started running the ads, if there are multiple versions, the messaging and imagery, etc. The only thing you can't see are the exact audiences or the cost associated with the ads.

How Facebook's new Ad Library can help you best your competitor's Facebook Ads

Why is this beneficial to marketers?

  • It allows us to see exactly what products our competitors are pushing to audience segments through Facebook Ads, which will help determine your own marketing strategy when it comes to paid marketing activities. Had a sudden drop in sales on a particular product? Maybe a competitor is running an ad on the same item or something similar a lot cheaper.
  • Being able to see the big brands activities helps those who are smaller or an independent business to understand how larger companies are using ads to their advantage, and where to create more interesting and creative ads in the market space.
  • By seeing and comparing what multiple competitors are advertising, it's easier to find a sweet spot that might have otherwise been ignored by competitors.
  • See what type of messaging your competitors are using and if they're openly competing against you. Consider Coca Cola and Pepsi and their age old war through tongue in cheek quips at one another.
  • Understand the sort of discounts/discount codes that competitors are using to sell certain product.
  • When it comes to the likes of Amazon, many of their product carousel posts have been curated and designed, so they're very likely to be best selling products. By clicking on "see ad details" on ads with multiple versions, you can see the different content images used and what products are being sold.


Take a look for yourself and see what information you can dig out comparing competitors to better understand and build your Facebook Advertising strategy. Not got the time? Get in touch to discuss how we can help with your digital marketing strategy.

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