Have You Been to The Library?
We don't mean to borrow a book, we're talking about the Facebook Ad Library which stores all the adverts a page has run (although when a page runs a lot of adverts they may not all show). This is visible to anyone, simply go to a brand page, scroll down to “page transparency”, click “see all” and then scroll down to the “Go to Ad Library” link.This will take you into a page where you can see all the adverts that page is running, and has run in the past.
There are a number of valuable insights you can get from the Ad Library, but firstly it is a great place to go for inspiration for your own campaigns.You might not only look at your direct competitors, but also at brands from outside your industry whose messaging you admire. You can view the adverts of any page on Facebook, so it pays to look around and see what formats of advert are being created by the most forward thinking brands.
Within the Ad Library you can filter adverts by the number of impressions they have got, whether they're active or paused, where they are run and which platform (Messenger, Instagram, Facebook or Audience Network) they are appearing on. These filters can help you see whether there is a significant difference between the ads that a particular brand is running on each platform, which will inform you as to whether there is a different approach you should be taking depending on where the advert will be seen.
Each ad campaign will show the dates it was run, which can tell you quite a lot of useful things.If you noticed a drop in sales or enquiries over a particular time frame was your competitor running a promotion in that period? Do your competitors create new content for seasonal promotions and tie-ins? Look out for the dates campaigns have spanned – short runs indicate unsuccessful performance (so steer clear of making the same mistakes) but it can also indicate a time-limited offer, so cross-check the dates and the content of the advert to determine which is the most likely explanation.
If you find that your competitor has run several versions of a similar advert (perhaps with different copy, or one with a static image and one with a video) this shows they are testing the waters to see which is the most effective. You can tell which one won because it will have the longest campaign dates.You can also see how your competitors are targeting different demographics by tailoring a message to each market segment, as there will be subtly different versions of the same advert running at the same time. You can't see the criteria for targeting on the Ad Library, but some educated guesswork will get you there.
The Facebook Ad Library is a very useful repository of information that, with some careful analysis, can give you the kind of insights into your competitors that could give you the edge over them when it comes to your next social campaign.It's also a great place to identify trends, get inspiration and learn important lessons in social media marketing, both on Facebook but also on Instagram and the burgeoning sector of Messenger advertising.
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