Competitor Analysis: How to “spy” on your competitors

With Facebook reporting that last year there were over 10 million businesses actively advertising on Facebook and Instagram there’s never been a more important time to market your own business on Facebook. A significant portion of effectively marketing your own business is competitor analysis. More and more businesses are taking advantage of Facebook’s nearly 3 billion active monthly users in order to grow their business online and a lot of them will be potentially operating in the same niche as you.
Ignoring what your competitors around you are doing is simply not an option. Having insight into what other businesses within your industry are doing can be just as valuable as the content you produce.

More companies than ever are advertising on Facebook.

One very simple way to gauge the effectiveness of your competitors’ content is to browse their social media accounts. (Try to not limit your search to just Facebook as there are many new and upcoming social media platforms emerging). This will allow you to easily view the number of likes and comments on a post to get a quick and effective idea of what types of posts are successful and which aren’t. This can also offer unique opportunities to give you an insight into subjects such as what topics your competitors deem to be important, a chance to see if any gaps exist within your current content marketing strategy,  which topics generate interest in your businesses niche, and a way to improve upon that content in order to stand out from your competitors.  

All these things are things that were readily available to you, but what about paid ads?

Facebook is now allowing users to see what active ads a Facebook page is running with just a few clicks.

In order to see what ads a page is running:

  • Navigate to the page you wish to “spy” on.

  • Click on “See more” under the page transparency section.

  • Click “View in ad library” under the ads from this page section.

This will enable you to view all of the pages’ ads that they are currently running. It will not show you any ads that are currently scheduled. It is also worth noting that if you do not see any ads at first, you can change the filter to include all countries and any ads will appear. Some pages may not have ads running at all.

You can visit the Facebook ad library page directly and search for your competitors, this may speed up the process by removing the need to navigate to each Facebook page individually.

This can give you a good insight into what creative material and copy competitors are using, however, it is important to remember that you cannot view their metrics, for example, budget, bids, scheduling, etc. This means simply copying them does not guarantee success. Furthermore, aside from avoiding any claims of plagiarism, it’s important to produce different content to stand out from the crowd. We recommend using this method as a way to get inspiration for your own social media and producing your own content while also putting your own unique spin on it.

By using the tools Facebook freely provides, you can perform effective competitor analysis without the need for third-party tools.

Here are a few things to consider, for example, You can find out about what products they are currently promoting as well as any offers they may currently be running. Or knowing what countries your competitors are targeting, may give you an indication of a potential market you hadn’t considered before. Again, it is worth reiterating that you can’t see any real data, so it’s almost impossible to ascertain whether the content your competitors are producing is effective or not. It is very important not to fall into the trap of looking at what industry leaders are doing and replicating them in an attempt to duplicate their success.

If you have any questions or you require any support with your competitor analysis or your own content, get in touch and we would be happy to help.

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