Facebook Ads secret most agencies won’t tell you!


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If you are a business owner or marketing person looking to find a way to improve your Facebook ad campaigns, then this blog is just right for you. We explored a secret strategy that many agencies have successfully used to quickly learn about what type of creatives could perform better before putting a lot of ads spend behind them.

First, head to Facebook’s Ad Library 

In facebook’s ad library, you’ll be able to view all ads currently running on Facebook platforms. 

Select the country, and search for your competitor’s name. Make sure you leave the ad category to ‘All’.

Please note some companies have multiple pages for different locations, so if you don’t find any ads on their main page, have a look at other associated pages, and you will see their live ads.

How to find a competitor’s best-performing Facebook ads?

Once you find your competitor’s ads, you may see a long list of ad creatives and copies, which could be overwhelming at first. Scroll all the way down to find the oldest ads that are still running. Now, why would you want to do that? 

Since you have no access to your competitor’s dashboard, how would you know which ads are underperforming and which ones are successful in generating profit? 

The simple answer is if your competitor has been running a Facebook ad for the past four months, then that’s a clear sign that it probably has been performing well. Otherwise, it would have been replaced with a new one. The newer ads suggest experimentations or new variations of an older successful ad, so don’t outright just ignore them.

Once you have found your ad, click on it to view its creative and copy variations. You can learn a lot about their strategy by analysing the tone of voice, design style, creative asset type (image, video, carousel etc.) and finally, their landing page experience. 

The only thing you can’t see is their targeted audience! But we have another blog on how to avoid mistakes in ad targeting, so make sure you give that a read!

Try not to overlook anything; every tiny detail could give you a clue. Be curious and open to challenging your assumptions. If you are a fan of corporate-style videos, but you see more amateurish testimonial video ads, don’t dismiss the idea, it might be something that could work for your campaign too!

Pay attention to these Facebook ad elements 

Here is a list of things to look out for:

  • The ad copy length
  • Ad creative type
  • Text density in ad creative
  • Colours and visual stimuli 
  • If it’s a video, the size and style of it
  • Landing page length, load speed and next steps
  • CTA button
  • The overall strategy, does it look like it’s geared toward brand awareness or it’s more conversion driven?

In this example from Mixpanel, you can see the headline text is short and to the point.

The ad creative indicates an eBook. However, the CTA is "Start Reading" as opposed to 'Download the guide'. This could be due to the fact that we are moving away from gated content in the awareness phase to ungated content. The knowledge that helps individuals learn more about your company and services shouldn't be held behind forms. Although most performance marketers wouldn't like the idea, the market is saturated with eBooks, guides and webinars. Your best shot to cut through the noise is to provide the information in the most accessible manner to your potential clients.

You can also see this company uses three different ad sizes:

-square (potentially for Instagram)

-landscape (Facebook);

and portrait format (Facebook & IG stories)

You could use the exact ad sizes for your first campaign and assess their success once you collect sufficient and statistically significant data (usually after a few hundred clicks & actions)

Pro Tip: Most large firms enjoy a good brand awareness in their sector, hence why their creative could be more formal and look less like organic content we often see on Facebook and IG. However, our experiment shows that smaller firms could see a boost in ad engagement if they create ad content that are more organic looking. What do we mean by that? well, we're working on a blog at the moment so make sure to follow us on Linkedin and you'll soon learn about that topic as well!

If you’d like to learn more about how to interpret these variables, we offer workshops for in-house teams. Just get in touch with us for a free 15-minute good fit call to see if we help you with your project!

Check out out blog on Outsourcing Digital Marketing.

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