How to see what Facebook Ads your competitors are running

How to see what Facebook Ads competitors are running [for FREE]

Competitor Analysis  is something all business owners should carry out. If you know how similar businesses is marketing their products/services and acquiring new customers, you can use their weaknesses to make your products or services stand out.

The same goes if you are running Facebook Ads, or considering using Facebook Ads to generate new business.

There are two main reasons you should research your competitors Ads:

  • To see their Advertising strategy, and see if you can improve yours
  • If you are dubious about running Facebook ads for your business, seeing which of your competitors are using them can help you make an informed decision.

Fortunately, there are various ways you can see your competitors ads, without relying on the off chance they show up on your feed.

Use Facebook Ads Library to find competitors ads for free

With Facebook’s increased efforts to push transparency, they have released a new tool called Facebook Ads Library, where you can search for any advertisement across Facebook’s platforms.

These platforms include Facebook, Messenger, Instagram. This platform is handy because you can see all the ads in one place.

Facebook Ads Library Homepage

If you have a list of your competitors, or businesses similar to yourself, just visit the Facebook Ad Library and type in the name of your competitor.

Click on the correct profile you’d like to view the ads of. For this example, we are using HelloFresh.

Hello Fresh on Facebook Ads Platform
Hello Fresh Facebook ads libary

Once you’ve clicked on the profile you’d like to look at, you can see the current ads that are running, and click into each one to see the variations of it.

If you’d like to look at ads that a company has run in the past, you can filter the ads by date. You can also filter to geographical location.

If you are on a company’s Facebook page, you can also get to their ad library by clicking ‘Page Transparency’

Hello Fresh Facebook Advertising Example
Facebook Message or website options

Choose how you’d like customers to purchase your products. If you already have a website, you can link this here and customers will be taken to your website to purchase. For this example, we’re going to use the message option, as this post is for businesses who may not have an e-commerce website yet.

You just want to hit ‘See All’ on the page transparency section, and a section will pop up, and most likely say that no ads are running on this page.

Hello Fresh Facebook Page for Facebook Ads
Hello Fresh Page Transparency for Ads

If you click ‘Go to Ad’s Library, it will take you to the Facebook Ad Library we just looked at, and show you the ads for the Facebook page you were just looking on.

?Why is this useful?

From what Facebook tells you, you can see if your competitors are using Facebooks platforms for advertising, see how often they are running campaigns, and make an informed decision as to if your business should be running Ads or not.

By evaluating the copy and creatives of your competitors ads, you can evaluate the positives and negatives of their ads, and make sure that your ad copy and creatives are more effective.

You can also see what type of Ads your competitors are running (e.g. Messenger ads, Traffic Ads, etc.) Which if you are new to online advertising, should help you decide what type of ads to use for your own advertising.

❌What are the drawbacks?

As useful as looking at your competitors ads is, this method of research does have its downsides as you can’t see metrics such as likes, comments and shares for specific ads. You are also unable to see what audiences your competitors are targeting, which would be very useful for your own ads!

✅How can we help?

We use special subscription programmes to monitor industries that our clients work in. The programmes we use (which we can’t name here!) go into more detail  than Facebook gives us for free, which means the ads we create and run for our clients are always profitable.

We work with online retailers, tradesmen and professional services to increase their monthly sales or number of enquiries. If you’d like a FREE Advertising demo, book a call with us today.

Now you’ve read this blog, you should be ready to nosey at where your competitors are spending their marketing budget, and be on your way to improving your own sales funnel. If your business sells products online (eCommerce store), you may find our blog on how to sell products online for free, useful.


We are a digital agency based in Huddersfield. We work with businesses to build their brands online. Our services include web design, social media campaigns, video production and marketing.