App Tips
3  min read

How to target your Facebook ads to fans of a competitor page and also spy on their ads

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
February 25, 2022
Table of Contents

    Do you also spy on your competitors just like me? *wink*

    If your answer is a yes, this post is definitely for you.

    Keeping an eye on the performance of your competitors and their social media marketing efforts is a key to sustaining the competition.

    Having said that, have you ever targeted the fans of your competitors using Facebook ads?

    Well I did, and it worked wonderfully for me!

    What can I say, I am a smart businessman! *wink*

    In this article, I share those learnings with you. Go through it quickly to find out how to target your competitor’s fans, spy on them for their ads, and stay ahead of your competition. (wink)

    Finding out your competitor’s Facebook pages.

    The first thing to do is, research about the competitors you wish to target.

    To begin with, you can select your niche or target keywords and search them on Facebook.

    Then click on the pages section to fetch all the relevant pages.

    You can also check the profile of your target audience to find out similar pages liked by them and add them to your competitor list.

    Besides these tactics, Facebook provides a tool called Audience Insights.  

    Configure your audience details in this tool, and it will show you the top pages liked by them (these are your potential well-performing competitors)

    Once you find your competitors’ Facebook pages, you can proceed.

    Competitor Interest Targeting

    When you create your Facebook ads, there is an option for detailed targeting.

    It lets you narrow down your target audience and make your campaign effective.

    It has options like:

    • Demographics

    • Interest

    • Location

    • Behavior

    Out of them, we use the ‘interest’ option to target fans of our competitors. 

    You ask, how?

    Follow these steps:

    1. Open your ad set using the ads manager.

    2. Go to the audience section.

    3. Click on detailed targeting.

    4. Opt for interests, and in this, add the brand name/ website of your competitor. If that doesn’t help, try out keyword combinations related to your competitor.

    5. Thus, you have created an audience with interests similar to your competitor.

    6. Now you can use this audience to target ads to your competitor’s page.

    But searching for smaller or more localized competition may not yield you the required audience size. 

    So, you need to play around a bit to get your competitor’s interest targeting just right. 

    Targeting your competitor’s audience is fine, but what to do after that?

    Unless you have a good and appealing ad that wins over your competitor, the audience will not convert.

    So figure out the current ads showcased by your competitors. Then align your objective and ad copy accordingly.

    Do you wonder how to do so?

    Use Facebook Ad Library to spy on your competitor ads.

    The Facebook ad library is a collection of all Facebook ads.

    Follow the below steps to find out your competitor’s ads :

    1. Open your competitor’s Facebook page.

    2. Scroll down till you see the ‘Page transparency’ section on the left 

    3. Click on “See All”, and you will be able to get details like:

      1. Organizations that manage the page

      2. People who manage the page

      3. Page histories like date of creation and renaming

      4. Ads from the page 

    4. Click on ‘Go to Ad Library’ in the “Ads from this page” section.

    5. You will then land upon the Facebook Ad Library page of your competitor, where you will be able to see a list of active and inactive ads that your competitor had run for this page.

    8 Million+ Ready Automations
    For 750+ Apps

    How to filter your Facebook ads?

    You can filter the ads based on the following parameters:

    • Countries

    • Keywords

    • Language

    • Advertiser

    • Platform ( Facebook/ Instagram/ Audience Network/ Messenger)

    • Media Type (Images/Memes/Images and memes/videos/ no image or video)

    • Active status

    • Impressions by date

    This filtering helps you get ideas about your competitors like their:

    • Marketing campaigns, 

    • Images/videos in ads, 

    • Headlines

    • Copywriting

    • Target keywords,

    • Targeted locations,

    • Landing pages, 

    • Type of ads run ( customer-focused or product-focused)

    • The objective behind the ads ( like brand awareness/ product launch/ selling products/ running discounts, offers )

    For example :

    If you open the Facebook page of the ‘Semrush’ tool and check out the ads they run, you will find that :

    • They run ads for regions Brazil, Italy, Germany, and Spain

    Currently, they have 46 active ads, most of which target their ‘keyword magic’ tool

    • Platforms used are Facebook and Instagram both

    • Use of multiple versions for the ads

    • Blend of video and image ads

    Similarly you can collect such details of your competitors and design more effective campaign(s) (You can also fetch these details from your mobile app)

    Limitations to spying:

    Although you get a lot of information from the “Page transparency” section, there are some limitations.

    You cannot access the following details: 

    • Ad Engagement ( like views, likes, comments),

    • Specific budget allocation,

    • Statistical insights, and

    • Performance reports

    Overall, there is a lot you can do to get your foot through the door and put your company’s name and products in front of consumers interested in your competitors. 

    Beyond that, it will be up to quality content and solid marketing efforts to keep these followers engaged and interested in your brand. 

    Hope this helps you stand your competition. Best of luck!

    FAQs about Facebook Ads

    Where can you find your competitor's Facebook ads?

    To find your competitor's Facebook ads, visit their Facebook page and scroll down to the 'Page transparency' section. It will give you the details about the Facebook ads run by your competitor.

    How to find your competitor's Instagram ads?

    To find your competitor's Instagram ads, visit their Instagram account from your smartphone and click on the three dots at the top. In the menu that pops up, select 'about this account'. If you see the "Active ads" section, that means your competitor currently has active ads running. Click on it and get the details.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
    Integrate Your Apps In 1 Click With Integrately
    • #1 Highest rated Zapier alternative for non-techies
    • 8 Million+ ready automations
    • 18x-33x less expensive