Thanks to increasing concern over people's privacy and massive changes brought by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), ad companies have become more transparent. These companies now disclose a meaningful context about advertisers in their platform.
As a digital marketer, what you get is a trove of valuable insight about your competitor's ads. It includes the type of ads being run, A/B ad testing, types of ad creatives, ad copy and much more. The best part everything is free, easily accessible and searchable to a great extent.
If you're on to social ads or advertisement on social media, companies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have adopted advertising transparency. These social media companies now provide an easy way to find your competitor's social ads. Previously, these data were available only in premium tools and mostly not affordable to small marketers.
Why you need to see Competitors Ads
Researching on your competitor's ads help you to get an insight into your competitor's tactics and target audience. As these companies are already successful in engaging with their fans, you could adapt those ideas or get inspiration for new ones that are better to attract your target audience.
- Get better insight on your competitor's ads strategy.
- Type of ads (like sponsored, promoted) being run on different ads platform.
- Different ad copy or specific keyword ideas used in the ad.
- Competitor's ads popularity with the audience, its reach.
- Ad creative (images, videos, carousel) used by your competitors.
How to Find Competitor's Ads on Facebook and Instagram
Facebook offers a simple tool called Ad Library, that offers a comprehensive, searchable collection of all ads being run on their platform. It covers ads on all Facebook properties including Instagram, Messenger and Audience network. You could filter the ads based on region (country) where its running, period up to 90 days (ads that have at least one impression) and platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network).
To find your competitor's ads on any Facebook platform, head over to Facebook Ad Library. Their search for your competitor's / advertiser's name (or competitor's Facebook Page name). You would instantly get all their active ads as a result. It even highlights ads with multiple version or A/B testing ads (with multiple images, videos and text options). Here an example of our loved cloud hosting provider - DigitalOcean.
One thing you need to remember here is that it will only show all active ads or currently live ads of an advertiser on Facebook platform.
How to Find Competitor's Ads on Twitter
Moving to Twitter, the social media platform also offers a searchable database of Promoted Tweets and video ads running on its platform. To find your competitor's ads on Twitter, head over to Twitter Ads Transparency Center. Their search for your competitor's brand, company name or Twitter account (search option is on the top right corner). It will then show all Promoted Tweets and video ads they are advertising.
The best part here is that you could click on the date of any promoted tweet to go to an individual ad. There you would find more insight on audience engagement with the ad, like comments, retweet and likes.
Note that, you could only view ads run by an advertiser in the last seven days and the data is being updated every 24 hours.
How to Find Competitors Ads on LinkedIn
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, searching for competitor's ads on LinkedIn takes one or two steps extra. To find your competitor's ads on LinkedIn, head to their company page or brand page or the product page. Look for the 'Ads' tab on the sidebar. Click on it and you would see all ads run by the advertiser on LinkedIn.
You could also easily find audience engagement on these LinkedIn ads (like the number of comments, likes etc). For that data, click on the three dots in the upper right corner of an ad and select 'Copy link to post'. Now open a new browser tab and paste the copied ad link to view the original promoted ad. There you could find the number of reactions and comments gathered by the ad copy.
Note that, LinkedIn seems to show all ads (both active and paused/inactive/past ads) run by an advertiser with a condition that it's shown to a user at least once in the past 6 months.
Finally, you have all the insight on how your competitors run their ads on social media. Don't wait, as your competitor would be already sneaking on your social ads. Analyse-it, get an idea, create an awesome ad and start connecting smartly with your audience.