• Black Rock Media

Start spying on your competition

When starting a new relationship with a client, one of the first questions that we are likely to ask is “who are your biggest competitors?”. Knowing what other businesses you are up against is crucial to building and growing. But if you want to beat them, you can’t just know who they are –you need to understand what they are doing and why.

Whilst the big players can splurge thousands on consulting firms to do their competitive research and analysis for them, this is something that the majority do not have the budget for. Thankfully, there’s a very easy and extremely inexpensive way to find out what you want to know, and all it takes is a little bit of espionage.

Now before you go worrying about whether you need to go Incognito on Chrome or change your IP address, it’s actually perfectly fine to spy on your competitors. In order to promote transparency on the platform, Facebook launched Ad Library which allows anyone to search for any active or inactive ads that have run since May 2018. What’s more is they actively encourage you to do so. You simply go to the site, type in the company name that you are searching for and it will show their active and inactive ads.

So, let’s have a look at how you can analyse your competitor’s ads to benefit you.

Review number of impressions

If your competitor has been running lots of adverts you can filter these by impressions. An impression is the number of times an ad is displayed for the first time. By filtering this way, it’s super easy to determine which of their ads are being seen by the most people.

Keep an eye out for trends

When investigating different competitors, you may see trends and similar ads popping up across them. Pay attention to their imagery, their message, types of offer and what calls-to-action they are using. Do trends appear during different seasons, holidays or any specific days of the year?

Look for successful media types

Another great tip for exploiting the Ad Library is to use it as a tool to gather inspiration for what format you should be using, e.g. photos, videos, stories, carousels, etc. Make a list of a few of your competitors, search for their ads and make a note of which media and format performs best.

Long running

Another way to filter your competitor’s ads is to see which ones have been running the longest. You can filter by active ads as far back as 90 days and the chances are, if they have been running for that long, they have been performing well.

You can use this free tool to look at the top performing ads for your competitors and use this information to inform your own decision making.

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