We’re all curious to know what types of ads our competitors are using and what ad strategies they’re implementing to win business. The goal here is not to become a copycat marketer but to gain insights and inspiration about what methods and trends are out there and how you can emulate and improve your own strategies. There are a number of legitimate tools to help you uncover this information. Here are three SunHouse Marketing favorites:
Facebook Ads Library
In their bid for transparency, Facebook offers marketers a completely free tool to check out your competition. Called the Facebook Ads Library Tool, it’s super easy to use:
You now have access to robust data including total ad spend, ad copy, ad length, call to actions and landing pages. Furthermore, Facebook Ads Library allows you to toggle between active vs. inactive ads, impressions and platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger) and shows you ads based on location by allowing you to toggle by country.
Online visibility platform SEMrush is a paid tool and a must in any digital marketer’s arsenal. When it comes to competitor data SEMrush is a goldmine. Whether it’s using their traffic analytics tool to determine which channels your rivals are using, checking out competitor website traffic, using their organic research tools to determine your competitors SEO practices and keyword strategies or using their backlinks analytics to check out link building opportunities, SEMrush is completely insane when it comes to digging out the competition. From an advertising research perspective SEMrush is a hugely important tool as well.
You now have entered an interface that provides you reams and reams of competitor data that you can toggle through. One of its best features however is the Ad Copies tab which provides similar data as Facebook Ads Library but is designed for Google Ads. This is a great opportunity for you to analyze headlines, ad copy, call to actions and landing pages (simply click on the arrow provided a the top of each ad to visit the unique landing page for that ad). Equally exciting, you can see exactly which keywords your competitors are targeting in their campaigns. Simply mouse over the keyword section at the bottom of the ad you are analyzing (this section will turn blue during the roll over) and click. You gain immediate exposure to a list of keywords that triggers this ad as well as information like keyword volume, position, cpc and more. You can download all the information into a nifty report as well.
LinkedIn Ads Tab
Are your competitors “killing it” on LinkedIn with their B2B audiences? Are you just dying to know what they’re up to? In a bid for transparency similar to Facebook, LinkedIn rolled out LinkedIn Ads Tab last year, allowing marketers to see all your competitors active LinkedIn ads over the last 6 months starting with the most current active ads. If there are no ads appearing in the Ads Tab this may be equally telling. Perhaps LinkedIn ads aren’t working for them and they have taken their ad dollars elsewhere. This tool gives you the ability to click through on the call to action button to check out if your competitors are using lead gen ads or traditional landing pages.
Tip: While you can’t find out how much engagement the post is receiving in the LinkedIn Ads Tab interface, simply click on the three dots to the side of the ad, copy the “link to post url” and see the post live. This allows you to see how many people have liked or engaged with that post.
*Please note the ads tab is only available on desktop.
As promised, these 3 tools will deliver the data you need to analyze competitor ad copy, CTAs and landing pages. Just take heed – as easily as it will be for you to spy on the competition they can spy on you too.