How To Research Your Competitor Ads on Social Media?

Tired of figuring out how to research your competitor ads? Learn how to unlock the true potential to online advertising on social media.

The online shopping trend skyrocketed over the last few decades. Part of the reason is attributed to increased marketing efforts on behalf of so many businesses. As a result, the overwhelming percentage of virtual buyers has diverted marketers’ focus towards online advertising.

Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have become the online marketing hub for prospects. However, with so many competitors working on more or less the same type of strategy, advertising becomes a big issue. It’s no longer about shilling money on ads – advertising calls for research, analysis, and optimization of ad strategies for better sales.

This post highlights one particular aspect of online advertising, i.e., How to research your competitor ads. The ads on social media sites (stated above) significantly impact sales as a seller. Suppose you are already familiar with online advertising on social media. In that case, you know that the recent change in privacy policies on Facebook and Instagram has setback many businesses without any prior warning.

Therefore, it has become more critical than ever to figure out an ad placement strategy that works in your business’s favor.

In that order, advertisers are constantly playing the “How to research your competitor ads” game.

Why Do You Need To Research Competitors Before Executing Ad Campaigns?

Researching competition is often dubbed as ‘spying’ – and that too, without raising any flags.

But then again, if you don’t know what your competitors are up to, you’ll have a hard time figuring out how to research your competitor ads on social media platforms.

Nonetheless, research and analysis call for multiple benefits. Some of them are listed below:

  • Get a jump start. Insights on what your competition is doing give a head start and help to avoid wasting energy and resources.
  • If you’re a newbie in the digital market, the contestants you aim to outperform are already past the learning phase.

Study their ads. Analyze which ads perform better. Pay attention to what works and incorporate it into your campaigns.

  • Target the right audience. When a competitor’s ad shows up in your newsfeed, Right-click on it, tap on “More Options,” and click “Why am I seeing this ad?” option. It shows the demographics the ad creator chose to target.

This information helps know which audience the competitor is targeting with Facebook ads.

  • Save time, save money.

Seeing how other marketers position their products, reach customers, and invest in advertising campaigns saves time and money when it comes to planning your own advertising expedition. Moreover, hiring someone to research, advertise and analyze is expensive.

Now, let’s see how deep the rabbit hole goes. This article looks at researching your competitor’s ads and what you can do to improve your ad campaigns. This practice can help your marketing strategy, boost sales, inspire your campaigns and avoid mistakes to make better business decisions.

How To Research Your Competitor Ads On Facebook?

Back in June 2018, Facebook introduced a new transparency measure to Pages called the “Page Transparency” (formerly “Info and Ads”) section. It was an attempt to extinguish the constant accusations that Facebook has some genuine privacy and censorship problems.

While it hasn’t stopped the allegations, it has served the purpose of providing valuable insights to businesses.

But what is “Page Transparency”? Well, it’s simply a section that provides a background into the Page’s history and associations. Moreover, It gives the user opportunity to view ads currently running on that Page.

This is where we delve deeper into how to research your competitor ads on social media platforms.

  • Ads From This Page

From this section, a user can keep track of all the active ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network.

Although, the interactive elements are all clickable, but the engagement elements (likes and comments) are not. Also, this section’s impressions and clicks do not cost the advertiser anything.

  • Page Info

You can find another valuable piece of information under this section, such as People who manage this Page and the Organization(s) that manages this Page.

We have nailed down the competitor with the details out of the way. Here’s how some of the ‘target’s’ most recent ads can be viewed:

1. With the competitor’s business page open in front of you, locate the “Page Transparency” section in the bottom right.

2. Click “See More” to reveal various sections with the additional page information.

3. Scroll down to ‘Ads From this Page’ section.

how to research your competitor ads, research competitor's ads on social media

4. All the Business Page’s active ads can be viewed in the Ad Library, even if you’re not part of the target audience. You can also prioritize ads by country, impressions, and platform.

If the above seems “too complex to follow,” what you can do is follow the specific advertiser’s Facebook page. On the downside, you’ll only be seeing ads targeted toward you.

How To Research Your Competitor Ads On Instagram?

Since Instagram is also owned by Facebook, you can follow the above steps to see your competitor’s Instagram ads.

Here’s how you can do that:

1. Once again, navigate to the Facebook Ad Library.

2. Filter the ads by platform.

how to research your competitor ads, research competitor's ads on social media

That is not the only option, the other being to view them directly on Instagram.

1. Open the advertiser’s profile you are after.

2. Click the menu dots in the top right corner.

3. From the pop-up menu, select “About the Account.”

how to research your competitor ads, research competitor's ads on social media

4. Now you can see all the information about the account. To view active ads, tap “Active Ads” to be taken to Facebook Ads Library.

How To Research Your Competitor Ads On Twitter?

Twitter is no exception and has faced its share of allegations linked to privacy and censorship. Like Facebook, it now provides more clarity regarding promoted tweets and advertisers. The conclusion: a simple search feature for all Promoted Tweets an account is running.

how to research your competitor ads, research competitor's ads on social media

On Twitter, there is a dedicated page for finding ads on the social platform, including but not limited to sponsored tweets and suspended ads.

Let’s take a closer look at how to view competitors’ promoted tweets.

1. Head over to Twitter’s Ad Transparency Centre.

2. Search for the account whose ads you’d like to see. For example, T-Mobile, as depicted in the above image.

3. You can see all the active tweets and promos they are currently running from your account.

4 Tips For Optimizing Your Online Ads' Scalability

There are a couple of things you can do on the social media platform to get in front of the line of your competitors. As you scroll through their ads, look for ways to improve your campaigns and aid you in learning from someone else’s mistakes.

1. Visuals

This is an ongoing argument about visuals and which form attracts more audience, video or images. After many analyses and case studies, it all boils down to one thing: it all depends on your product.

You can find out the hard way by trial and error or learn from your competitor’s ads performance for guidance.

Helps with the ad budget when running your campaigns. For example, you can consider many factors, like product photos, angled shots, and customer testimonials. Secondly, stay up to date by regularly checking the ads of interest for variations, kept or discarded.

2. Copy

Another thing you’ll come across regularly is the variations of the same ad. Differences will be in the copy. The takeaway, you learn which benefits are attractive about the product and how the seller talks about it.

3. Prices

Competing on price is a guaranteed race to the bottom. However, it’s better to know the level you’re competing at and when the competition is running a discount or promotional codes.

4. Platform

One important thing to understand is that audiences react differently to products on various social media platforms. A campaign doesn’t necessarily have to run on every social site. For a better understanding, study your competitor’s behavior on social platforms.

Over To You

With the change in the privacy of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have proven very valuable for marketers. Using the social medium, you can better understand your competitor’s ad strategy and use that information to improve your strategy.

In the e-commerce world, success comes from keeping a balance between shoppers and buyers. However, before you conclude your research on how to research your competitor ads, don’t forget that customers are extremely important & equally intelligent. Poor ads experience will dissuade them from purchasing your product or service.

Therefore, avoid invasive advertising as much as possible.

Regardless, the question is: “How will you use this information in developing your ads strategy?”

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