If you’re setting up (or just planning to set up) a Facebook Ad campaign, the first thing to do is to research how your competitors are advertising online. Which ads they choose – carefully crafted videos or footage, photos or animation? Which creatives did they come up with?

There’re many paid services for this out there – from Sensor Tower for $35K per year to some Chinese tools for several hundred dollars. But do you need to pay at all, if you can spy on your competitors’ ads for free?

In October 2018 Facebook launched the tool called Ad Library. Initially, it was used to provide political advertising transparency, as people could find all ads related to politics that were running on Facebook or Instagram.

ad library screenshot

But in May 2019 Facebook opened access to all currently running campaigns and gave the possibility to look through all types of ads. That means you can watch ads of all types of businesses: mobile apps, SaaS services, restaurants, etc. Moreover, it’s possible to search the Library without even logging into your Facebook or Instagram account. Cool, isn’t it?

So to make the research for competitors’ ads easy for you and help you get the most out of it, we prepared a short to-do list.

How to use Facebook Ad Library:

If you use AdBlock, turn it off before start searching – otherwise, you won’t’ be able to find your competitors in the search bar. We also recommend you to choose “All” when you select a country, this way the number of impressions will be much bigger.

facebook ad library

Find the Fan Page of your competitors on Facebook. If you know the exact name (and the more accurate it is, the better) start your search with it.

spyder companies' search

Sometimes the search bar is not working and you can’t type anything in there, in that case, it’s better to find the Fan Page on Facebook.com, copy the name and paste it into the search bar.

spyder serach

And finally, you see all the ads!

Please note that you can share the links to the ads with your colleagues, but in a couple of days, the link can be inactive because the ad campaign was paused or relaunched. So if you want to have the access to the ad later it’s better to save it on your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive.

spyder features

Lifehack: you can use a free tool for this too! Spyder (GetSpyder.com) helps to create Ad collections, save them and share with your colleagues anytime you like.

After you register in Spyder and put the link there, it’ll download the ad and will keep it in your Ad collection.

That’s all, so spy on your competitors with ease!

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