How to see what ads other businesses are running on Facebook - Small and Mighty Co.

How to See What Ads Other Businesses Are Running and Why You Should Take a Look

In this article, Social Media Expert Carly Stringer shares why you should have a nosey at what Instagram and Facebook ads other businesses are running, and why you should care.

Why You Should Take a Look at What Ads Other Businesses Are Running on Instagram & Facebook | smallandmighty.co

When it comes to creating a marketing strategy, it’s important to conduct upfront (and ongoing) competitor analysis to determine how you can stand out from the crowd…and Facebook and Instagram advertising is no exception.

By looking at what your competitors (or other businesses with the same target audience) are doing when it comes to Facebook and Instagram advertising, you can begin to gain an understanding of what is working well and what is working less well and to get inspiration of what you might want to test when it comes to your own Facebook ad copy, imagery and targeting.

In this blog post I walk through how you can see what ads other businesses are running right now and what insights you can take away from this research.

How to see what ads other businesses are running on Facebook

1. The info and ads tab

The first way you can see which ads other businesses are running on Facebook is via the ‘info and ads’ tab.

  1. Head over to the Facebook Page of the business you want to check out
  2. Click on the (i) below the cover photo if you are on mobile (or the ‘info and ads’ tab in the left-hand menu bar if you are on desktop).
  3. Here you can see ‘Page Info’ and ‘Active Ads’. Click over to ‘Active Ads’ to see the ads that business is currently running on Facebook.
  4. If you click on an ad you can see further detail, including the reactions and comments (this information is much easier to see on mobile vs desktop).

Note. This method also shows you the ads running on Instagram. But I recommend look at these in more detail directly in Instagram.

2. Get into their funnels

Another useful way to see which ads other businesses are running on Facebook is to get into their funnels. Do this by browsing their website, adding items to the cart, signing up for their email lists (using the email you use to log into Facebook), interacting with their Facebook/Instagram accounts (you can do this via a personal account if you don’t want to use your business account!) etc.

By doing this you’ll find it more likely that you’ll be served their ads in your feed. This gives one specific advantage over checking out their ads via the ‘info and ads’ section of their Page – you’ll be able to get an idea of what targeting they are using.

When served an ad click on the … in the top right-hand corner and then select ‘Why am I seeing this?’. By doing so you’ll get a little insight into why you have been served the ad. This can be really useful in starting to build a picture of what targeting strategies your competitors (and other businesses with the same target audience) are using.

How to see what ads other businesses are running on Instagram

To see which ads other businesses are running on Instagram:

  1. Head over to the Instagram Profile of the business you want to check out
  2. Click on the … in the top right-hand corner of their profile
  3. Click ‘About this Account’
  4. Click ‘Active Ads’ (this option will only show up if the business is running ads)

There are two tabs – allowing you to see what ads that business is running in the feed, and what ads are running in Stories. Click on each ad to see it in full, including the reactions and comments for feed posts.

Questions to ask yourself to help inform your ad strategy

When reviewing the ads other businesses are running, here is a list of question to ask yourself…

  • What ads are they running?
  • What special offers do they have?
  • What other ‘hooks’ are they using to draw people in?
  • What copy are they using? What language/tone? Long or short? What emojis?
  • Are they calling out a particular type of person in the copy?
  • What type of ad formats are they using?
  • What images/video are they using?
  • What headlines are they using?
  • What call to action buttons are they using?
  • Who are they targeting?
  • How is the audience reacting to the ads?
  • What ads are they running on Facebook vs Instagram?
  • On Instagram, are they advertising in the Feed and in Stories? Are they using a specific creative for Stories?
  • What insights can you get about who they are targeting?

Keep notes of your findings, any commonalities and your conclusions as to what is working well…and not so well and use these insights to inform your own Facebook and Instagram copy, creative and targeting.

My final tip is to think big. Don’t just look at what other small businesses are doing. Take a look at what the big brands with the same (or similar) target audience as you are doing when it comes to Facebook and Instagram advertising. They might have bigger budgets to throw at them, but you can be guaranteed to find some inspiration that you can draw upon for your own ads.

BEYOND THE BLOG

If you need some social media training, support with your strategy or Facebook advertising, Carly can help. Find out more about her services or find her over in the Small and Mighty Business Community.