As Facebook makes its comeback from many privacy breaching scandals in 2018, their new efforts have been based mainly on increasing transparency and privacy on the platform. Ad Library is Facebook’s newest transparency feature, which allows individuals to search any person, organisation or topic and see all ads that they are currently running. Whilst it was primarily created to promote transparency and monitor politically motivated ads, it has proved to be a great feature for those wanting to watch over their competitors’ activities.
Facebook advertisements are quite an investment, so knowing your competitors’ advertising strategies is so important when designing your own ads. With all the various types of Facebook ads that are available, choosing the right content for your ad and the interest targeting is imperative.
Facebook’s new Ad Library feature means that you can search and find your competitor’s Facebook ads, see the date they were published, any name changes and the location of the page operators. Facebook users in the United States and Europe currently have the opportunity to also see demographics (e.g. age, and gender) of the targeted audience of each Facebook Ad. Other features also include how much that page has spent on ads both individually and as a total. These features are coming to Australia in June, which will provide a different dimension to your competitor analysis and understanding of their target market.
With the constantly changing trends in digital marketing, it is important to keep your ads relevant to the needs and interests of your target audience. Seeing the different types of ads and messages that are being spread by your competitors, provides an insight into their strategies, and approaches to their marketing campaigns. Finding and comparing the ads of your competitors will allow you to see which types of advertisements (videos, photos, gifs etc.) are the most effective, and which don’t gain as much of a response.
If your Facebook ads are not gaining as much traction as your competitors’, you can now have access to the demographic information used by successful companies. Using this information to improve your ads, will enable your business to gain a higher return on investment whilst elevating its online presence.
The Page Transparency feature on the side of the page is available on all pages which have paid content. When clicking ‘see more’, you are given information about that page such as how many times they have changed their name, and what they used to be named, and any merges with other pages. If a page merger has occurred, this means that the current page has combined followers, other information given includes the primary location of where the page is managed. A discrepancy between the home of the company’s HQ and the place from which the Facebook page is run may be questionable to the true operations of the business.
Between Facebook’s Ad Library and page transparency features, you can find your competitor’s Facebook ads of the past and present to enhance your competitor analysis. Knowing your competitors’ target audiences and marketing strategies will allow your business to choose its own avenue, whether that is to steer away from targeting the same market or using alternative strategies to compete for the one market. This information can lead you to create unique ad copy to help you gain that competitive advantage.