Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have access to a library showcasing your competitors’ active and inactive Facebook ads? Imagine you were also able to see what ages, gender, and location the ads were most effective. Seems unlikely right? Wrong! Thanks to a new venture into transparency, Facebook has made it super easy to see any and all ads a company has run on their platform. By following a few simple steps below, you could access all of this information without ever having to get off your couch!

1) First, navigate to Facebook and type the name of the company into the search bar in the top left of your screen. You’ll want to visit their Facebook Page url. Be sure that it is actually the official Facebook page of the intended company, and not a fake listing or their Facebook Group. Click on the hyperlink to their Page. We’ll use “Hootsuite” as the example throughout this tutorial.

2) Next, find the box titled Page Transparency. It is located in the right sidebar underneath the About section.

3) After that, click See more. This will lead you to a popup which provides easy access to explore the Page History, People Who Manage This Page, and most importantly, Ads From This Page.

4) Underneath the section titled – Ads From This Page – is a hyperlink titled – View in Ad Library. Click this link. 

5a) On the next page, you will be able to see all the ads the company is running on Facebook. If you’d like to explore deeper, the following options are available:

  • Filter by Country – some companies run different ads based on the country their targeting. Therefore, sometimes it makes sense to filter the view for ads only from United States or elsewhere.
  • Filter by Ad Status – in most cases, you’ll want to see Active Ads. However, there’s many good reasons to view inactive ads as well. It’s a great way to infer what does NOT work for that company. After all, if an ad was generating positive results, it’d still be running. So use this tool to determine what was tried but didn’t work. 

5b) Ad Details – If you want to see all data related to a specific ad, click See Ads Details hyperlink under the desired ad.

There you go! You now know how access to the entire collection of your competitors’ Facebook ads. Pretty easy right?

The Benefits of Facebook’s Ad Library

Now that you know how to access this amazing data, you may be wondering just how can it benefit you or your business. Here are the top benefits of the ad library.

Ad Inspiration

Data is gold and competitor analysis is key! Having access to all the ads both competitors and similar companies are running provides an excellent source of inspiration for your own ads. Instead of blindly burning money hoping an ad will be successful, you can use the Ad Library to cherry-pick winning ads and craft your ad copy and creatives to one-up your competitors. Find where your competitors are succeeding and failing, and use that to come up with better ads. For the pros, this is a great way to source an entire ad campaign strategy in preparation for a client meeting, or to impress them with your industry knowledge. You know what they say, you never get a second chance at a first impression!

Keep Your Friends Close, but Your Enemies Closer!

One of the main reasons you’re probably reading this article is to get a step ahead of your competition. With Facebook’s Ad Library readily available, you can monitor what your competitors are doing at all times. Look for patterns in how and what they may be advertising, what ad angles they are using, and who they’re targeting. Try and focus on how you can improve on their ads and your own. In the same way that we monitor brand mentions, the Ad Library is essentially a free monitoring tool for you competitors ads. 

Industry Knowledge and Trends

With access to all of this information, you can study the industry and advertising trends over time. For example, identify 20 – 30 (or more) active advertisers in a specific industry and monitor the type of ads being run, the targeting, and the volume of ads active. Take note of those ads that become inactive. Over time, this date will surface patterns that will correlate to trends in your industry. With enough time, you will really start to understand how everything works. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to predict what the next trend will be and really capitalize on that opportunity.

Want more? Check out this article by the Crowdfunding Formula team for more Facebook Ad Hacks.

The possibilities are endless when you have access to such valuable data. Let us know below how and for what purpose do you use the Ads Library? 

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