Running Facebook ads can be a daunting experience, particularly if you’re a small business that can’t afford to have a digital marketing agency on the payroll. You’re probably having to do everything yourself, from designing the creatives to writing copy, setting up campaigns, dialing in the targeting and executing the campaigns.
It can all get a bit too much and if you’re a novice, chances are that you’ll end up burning up a significant chunk of your ad budget before you get the hang of things. In such cases, you may often find yourself wondering if there was a secret weapon of sorts that you could use to learn how the pros are doing marketing on Facebook these days and what seems to be working for them.
Trying to search for such a Facebook secret weapon can turn up all sorts of dubious results online. From useless courses to shady tools, there’s no shortage of people willing to make a quick buck on the backs of small business owners that just want to take advantage of the great advertising opportunities that Facebook provides.
Now for the good news. There is a Facebook secret weapon of sorts that you’ve probably never heard of. It’s called the Facebook Ad Library. This tool is officially offered by Facebook so you don’t have to pay for it. Just fire it up and see what your competitors are doing to make the most of their Facebook ad campaigns.
What is Facebook Ad Library?
The Facebook Ad Library is quite simply a collection of all ads that are running on Facebook and related properties like Instagram. The Ad Library was created to promote transparency in the ads being run on the world’s largest social network. If your competitor, no matter how big or small, is running an ad on Facebook you can use this tool to see what creative and copy they’re using and how it’s performing for them.
There’s a lot of information that the Facebook Ad Library shows you. It lists the date when a particular ad started running and the platforms on which it’s being run. If an ad has multiple versions, which it may well have if A/B testing is being performed, you’ll see that as well. The Ad Library also provides you with the entire ad copy and creative for even more insight into your competitors.
The Facebook Ad Library is accessible to everyone, even those who may not be signed into Facebook. Do remember that it only displays ads that are currently running, it won’t provide information on ads that are no longer being run on Facebook’s platforms.
How the Facebook Ad Library can be useful for your campaigns
1. It’s great for seeking inspiration
You can never outright copy your competitor’s digital marketing content. That’s a recipe for disaster and it’s not a good reflection on your brand. It’s important to realize that the purpose of Facebook Ad Library is not to copy what others are doing, it’s to seek inspiration when brainstorming for your own campaigns.
With this tool, you can instantly see what creatives copy that brands you will compete with are using. Take note of the finer details as well, whether they have a certain style for the copy or if they’re using short-form videos more over images, for example. These insights will help you craft a campaign that has a higher chance of resonating with the audience.
2. Keep an eye on the trends
For digital marketers, it’s necessary to be on top of the trends. Brands that are able to successfully leverage trends can see their campaign’s reach skyrocket organically as content that’s trending tends to go viral.
This Facebook Ad Library is your secret weapon to catch trends as they’re just taking off, allowing you to ride the wave with your own campaigns. By effectively keeping your finger on the pulse, you can understand advertising trends based on what others are doing and pick the patterns that will help elevate your campaigns.
3. Find new potential audiences
You may not even be aware that your competitors are focusing their advertising efforts on other markets that you may not even have considered to have potential for your brand. With Facebook Ad Library, you can sort your competitors’ campaigns by country, allowing you to see if there are any new potential markets that you should be considering for your brand.
You can even try searching for ads targeted to specific cities by typing the name of the desired city in the keyword box. If the ad uses the city’s name in the copy, you’ll be able to see it.
4. Understand how your competitors’ funnel works
A fully optimized online sales funnel is the dream of every digital marketing. However, achieving it is often easier said than done. There’s always room for improvement and so also for inspiration.
This tool makes it possible to research how your competitors are building their funnel. You can utilize this information to effectively crack open their funnel and see what approach they’re taking. By iterating on that, you can further improve the sales funnel for your brand.
5. Learn from the deals they offer
Digital marketers are always on a mission to figure out how their competitors are driving their conversions. There are valuable lessons to be learned here as they can then put that same knowledge to use in order to increase their own conversions.
If your competitor is running ads through which they offer limited-time deals or offers, the Facebook Ad Library will reveal all of that to you. See what offers they promote consistently, it’s an indicator that they’re converting. That way, you can create a similar strategy to lift conversions.
Why the Ads Library is the ultimate Facebook ads spy tool
There will be little incentive to waste your money on a dubious Facebook ads spy tool once you start using the Ads Library. This official tool from Facebook provides enough information and inspiration for you to take what your competitors are doing and make it even better.
It should be a starting point for all small business owners that start advertising on Facebook. The tool can prevent you from making costly mistakes and help improve your return on ad spend.
Blamah is the founder of Web Collaborative, a full-service creative agency. He is an established marketing strategist and consultant. He is also a graduate of Bucknell University and native of Chester County, PA with extensive experience in business development and brand management.
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