Facebook Ad Spying: How to see Competitors Ad’s on Facebook-Digital Marketing Kenya


Do you want to view Your Competitor’s Facebook Ads? Here’s How to Do It

Facebook Transparency Ad feature

On June 28, 2018, Facebook released a Facebook Transparency Ad feature due to Cambridge Analytica Scandal and the US 2016 election. Even here in Kenya during the 2017 elections, you might have been seen a sponsored post on Kenya Elections targeted at you that could be misleading without knowing the page source information.

According to Facebook:

“The vast majority of ads on Facebook are run by legitimate organizations — whether it’s a small business looking for new customers, an advocacy group raising money for their cause, or a politician running for office. But we’ve seen that bad actors can misuse our products, too. These steps are just the start — we’re always looking for more ways to improve. By shining a bright light on all ads, as well as the Pages that run them, we’ll make it easier to root out abuse – helping to ensure that bad actors are held accountable for the ads they run.”

With this Facebook Ad Transparency feature, Facebook said that you could:

  • View Active Ads: You can now see the ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and our partner network, even if those ads aren’t shown to you. Just log into Facebook, visit any Page and select “Info and Ads.” You’ll see ad creative and copy, and you can flag anything suspicious by clicking on “Report Ad.”
  • More Page Information: You can also learn more about Pages, even if they don’t advertise. For example, you can see any recent name changes and the date the Page was created.

Why Spy on Competitors Ad’s on Facebook

From a Facebook perspective, the new feature is to enhance ad transparency but as a digital marketer, you can leverage this feature to spy on your competitor ad strategy.  You will get insights like:

  • What kind of images are they using?
  • The videos format are they using?
  • The type of content works for them?

With this kind of insights, you will be able to use this information about in respect with your brand to enhance your campaign and take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses.

How to See Competitor’s Ads on Facebook

Now, we can take a few examples of Kenyan brands to learn how to view your competitors Ad’s on Facebook and what you can learn from them as a digital marketer.

 Step 1. Go to Facebook and search for your competitors Facebook page on the search box. For instance, if you are in the banking Industry, you can search for a leader like KCB Group.

search competitor Facebook
search competitor on Facebook

Step 2.  On the left panel, scroll down and click on “See More” and then click on “Info and Ads” tab. You will be able to see KCB group active ads.

see competitor's Info and ads
see competitor’s Info and ads

Also, you will see the page information of the competitor to the right like when it was created, the location of people who manage the page and original name of the page.

At the time of writing this post, KCB group had only two sponsored posts.  A video GIF with a message informing its customers of the zero percent interest on KCB Mpesa loans.

The other sponsored post is an image of informing customers still on the Zero percent interest on KCB Mpesa Loans. However, the image has more details on how long the offer lasts. You can also see the kind of language used to relate to its customers.

Also Read #RiversideAttack: How Social Media has Impacted Crisis Communication

How to view the Geographic Locations of your Competitor’s Ads on Facebook

Moreover, you can see the geographical locations that your competitor Ads are running. For KCB group are currently running Kenya. Here is how to view the geographic locations of your competitors’ Ads on Facebook

Step 4. Take for instance a Big data analytics lab in Kenya, Predictive Analytics Lab in contrast to Nakala Analytics.

Predictive Analytics lab has two training program Ads in its feed running in Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

predictive analytics lab ads
predictive analytics lab ads

On the other hand, the Nakala Analytics has one Sales teams workshop ad that is only running Kenya.

Nakala Analytics info and ads
Nakala Analytics info and ads

What then should you do after seeing your competitor’s Ads on Facebook?

After viewing your competitors’ ads, this does not mean that you need to copy and paste on what they are doing on social media. Putting in mind your target audience and your customer profile, you can now craft your strategy.

  • What image size is best for Facebook ads post or stories? You can check Facebook all Sizes and Dimensions and design them well.
  • The number of texts on images. Facebook prefers images with little texts.
  • Learn what is working for your competitor, and you can use the information to tweak your Facebook ad campaigns.
  • Your competitor’s strategy when it comes to creating brand awareness, creating engagements and when generating leads.
  • For the case of KCB group, we can tell that they could be testing whether the image or video GIFs works for them.

As a digital marketer, this feature comes in handy if you to analyze your competitor Facebook Ad strategies. However, some may argue that it is not helpful because “what works for them does not for me.”

Feel free to share your thoughts on the comment box whether you can use the Facebook Ad transparency tool for competitive analysis and strategies.

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