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9 ways to Spy on your Competitor’s Facebook Ads

Do you know what your competition is up to? What strategies are they using for their Facebook ads to stand out? The good news is, you can replicate their success by taking advantage of Facebook ads spying tools.

This post is a compilation of tools that are both free and paid, in no particular order. But before we dive in, let’s start with the basics: What are Facebook ads spy tools and what advantages do they offer?

What Are Facebook Ads Spying Tools?

Facebook ads spying tools uncover certain aspects of your competitor’s Facebook ads that you would not normally see without those tools. Some of the things that a spying tool will show you are your competition’s:

  • Current live and past ads that performed well
  • Ad copy
  • Targeting options used (location, age group, etc.)
  • Funnels and landing pages used for the ads
  • When and how often their ads were viewed

Of course, the insights you gain may vary depending on your tool of choice. For example, while our tool ConnectExplore does not technically spy on competitor ads, it uncovers interests that your competitors don’t know about or have not used yet… which makes you the winner.

Why Use Facebook Ads Spy Tools?

It’s no secret that the Facebook advertising landscape has become more competitive. Facebook announced that in the 2nd quarter of 2020, they had 9 million active advertisers — a huge increase from 7 million advertisers in the previous year.

With this in mind, it’s going to take a lot more work to run ads that resonate with your audience. Unless, of course, you have a tool that shows you what’s already working for other businesses in your industry/niche.

Facebook ads spy tools should not be used to copy and paste everything in your competitor’s campaigns. Make sure that you only use them to get inspired, extract valuable insights, and identify weaknesses in your competitors and new opportunities. All these will enable you to create better campaigns.

Check out the 11 tools below.

1. Facebook’s Ad Library

Facebook created the Facebook Ads Library in an effort to increase transparency after the 2016 US presidential elections. It’s a database of all active and inactive ads. Furthermore, these ads will stay within the ads library for 7 years.

What makes the ads library so valuable is that it’s open for everybody’s use. It provides lots of information for each ad such as impressions, multiple versions of an ad, when it started running, and the target landing page. You can also filter the ads by country and platform.

More advantages:

  • You can easily search for any advertiser name or keyword
  • See when a competitor’s Facebook page was created
  • A useful tool for beginners and experienced advertisers alike

Price: Free

2. Swipe-Worthy

Swipe-Worthy is a great resource for finding various types of content to inspire your campaigns. Its featured niches include automotive, beauty, blogging, consulting, dating, food, real estate, and more.

To view only Facebook ads, enter “facebook ads” in the search bar or select “Facebook Ad” under All Types. If you sign-up for Swipe-Worthy’s newsletter, you’ll receive their latest swipes each week and be the first to know about any new additions.

More advantages:

  • Each ad includes specific explanations as to why it worked and key takeaways
  • Features swipes from influencers and leading companies
  • Filter by niche and content type conveniently
  • Useful for finding ad copywriting inspiration

Price: Free

3. Poweradspy

Poweradspy claims to be a powerful database of social ads for advertisers, media buyers, and agencies. So whether you’re running ads for yourself or doing it for clients, this tool has what it takes to help you outperform the competition.

With its millions of ads, you’ll be able to search for ads based on demographic data, location, comments, likes, and more. And if you’re focusing on Facebook video ads to increase engagement, Poweradspy shows you the best-performing video ads.

More advantages:

  • Get detailed analytics of each ad
  • Check what ad placement has worked well (News Feed, Right Column, etc.)
  • Can also be used for other platforms like Google and Youtube (in case you run ads there)

Price: Free – $349/month

4. Social Ad Scout

Social Ad Scout boasts of millions of social ads from 21 countries including the US, UK, Australia, Netherlands, and France. It’s the ad spying tool you need if you’re looking for something very specific. With its detailed search filters, you can search an ad by its targeting, type, performance, and device.

Not only does the tool provide screenshots of each ad, but it’ll also allow you to interact with the live version of the ad. You can play video ads, for example.

More advantages:

  • View ads on both desktop and mobile
  • Check the recent interactions on each ad (comments, reactions, etc.)
  • Be able to view ads that have already been deleted
  • Save an ad as a “favorite”

Price: $97/month – $147/month

5. AdEspresso’s Facebook Ad Examples

AdEspresso’s Facebook Ad Examples isn’t technically a tool, but rather a huge collection of various Facebook ad types. It includes photo ads, video ads, and lead ads, to name a few.

All you need to do is click on a category so you can see ad examples from top brands and ad screenshots. Under each ad screenshot, AdEspresso includes a list of reasons why the ad was great.

More advantages:

  • Links to the original ad so you can check the ad’s engagement and landing page
  • Features leading companies like in different niches (digital marketing, food, entertainment, etc.)
  • Additional resources at the bottom of the examples

Price: Free

6. AdPlexity

AdPlexity is one of the best Facebook ads spying tools for uncovering ads across mobile, desktop, ecommerce, and more. Start by clicking “Choose your weapon” and AdPlexity will show you how the tool can boost your campaigns.

For example, AdPlexity Ecommerce lets you filter through over 70 million products on over 100,000 stores, check top trending products, and access store information. If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll probably need this kind of data to increase your products’ chances of selling.

More advantages:

  • Search for ads that promote affiliate offers
  • Review historical pricing changes
  • Download competitor landing pages
  • Find out which revenue-boosting apps are used by your competitors

Price: $199/month/user

7. ConnectExplore

ConnectExplore is one of our tools at Connectio. While ConnectExplore doesn’t show ads from your competition, it lets you find lucrative interests in any market that your competitors probably haven’t targeted yet.

After you enter one or more keywords, ConnectExplore shows you various interests in your niche. You can even uncover more interests by using search extensions. By doing this, you gain an unfair advantage over most advertisers in your space.

More advantages:

  • One search can already reveal hundreds of interests
  • Conveniently apply your searched interests to your Facebook ad sets
  • The layering feature lets you target overlapping interests in your audience
  • Beginner-friendly (features a simple dashboard and tutorials)

Price: $37/month – $47/month

8. SocialPeta

SocialPeta is trusted by customers like Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Moonton. If you’re not just spying on Facebook ads but also ads on other social platforms, this is the tool for you. Empowering businesses to maximize their campaigns, SocialPeta provides over 5 million global advertiser data and materials.

What most Facebook ad spy tools don’t have that SocialPeta has is its ad cost analysis. It also continually updates its information so you can get fresh ideas every time you use it.

More advantages:

  • Millions of ad creatives available to inspire your campaign
  • Check ad performance by country
  • Find out the audience size for any keyword
  • Advanced filter and detailed graphs

Price: $99/month – $249/month

9. BigSpy

BigSpy is an easy-to-use Facebook ads spying tool for the ecommerce, gaming, and app industry. The ad details it provides include advertising quality and effectiveness, language, and target country. You can save a competitor’s ad, download it, and copy the ad text.

This tool may not be as advanced as other tools but if you’re already satisfied with basic information, then you’ll like BigSpy. Plus you can access its free plan that allows up to 5 queries each day.

More advantages:

  • Mark an ad as a favorite and save it to your collection
  • Be able to exclude an advertiser from your search
  • Get a preview of ad stats such as likes, comments, shares, and heat score
  • Online support for the pro and elite plans

Price: Free – $399/month

Final Thoughts

Facebook advertising, when done right, can work so well for growing your business. However, you don’t succeed with FB ads by chance which is why research and experimentation help… including the use of Facebook ads spying tools that will show you what’s already working.

And remember, there is no one perfect tool. Give the tools on our list a try and see which simplifies your work best and meets your goals. If we missed a tool, feel free to suggest it in the comments section below.

Happy spying!

1 year ago

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