You’re likely to have competitors in any B2B or C business. We’ve all heard it: a little bit of competition can be healthy and even encourage innovation! It’s even better to stay ahead of your competition and using Competitor’s Facebook Ad promotional activity monitoring, especially with your FaceBook Ads.
Your competitors may have customers similar to yours, so it’s a good idea to target people you already know or use similar strategies.
We’ll show it to you below Four tips to target Facebook ads of your competitors. You’ll be able to come up with new strategies and ideas for optimizing your campaigns.
Tip 1: Check out the UTM tags of your competitors in their ads
Tagging your ads and links with UTM parameters are a best practice in your marketing efforts. It allows you to track where your visitors come from and correctly attribute conversions.
These are the 5 standard UTM parameters:
- utm_sourceChannel where traffic originates, like “facebook”.
- utm_campaignA name is used to identify the campaign.
- utm_mediumType of link used: “ads”, “paid”, or even “cpc”.
- utm_contentIt is often used to test A/B, to see what clicked to redirect the user to the URL.
- utm_termSearch keywords that you are targeting for paid searches, such as “b2bmarketing”,
To see the retargeting campaigns of your competitors, you will need to first do some research.
- Your competitor has broad websites retargeting campaigns and/or you are their target audience.
- Your competitor tags their ads with UTM parameters.
How to do it
- Click through the content of some competitors’ sites and visit their websites.
- After waiting a while, scroll through your Facebook News Feed and see if any of their ads are retargeted. This is a common test that we do, and we are often retargeted with ads from other companies we visit.
You can still find inspiration for ads from brands you follow if you are having trouble being retargeted by any of your competitors’ ads.
Here’s an example:Taboola A large content discovery platform.
- Click on the competitor’s ad to view the URL.
To see if any UTM parameters have been added to your ad URL like Taboola’s, you can either copy/paste it into a note or scroll to the end.
- You can often find more information about a campaign if they have added UTM parameters in their ad URL. This is often a good indicator of the type and targeting of the ad they are running.
This is an example of a copy/paste from Taboola’s entire advertisement URL, which takes people to a custom landingpage:
You can see that they use the following UTM tags.
- utm_source= Facebook
- utm_medium= cpm
- utm_campaign= mg_en_remarketing_conversions_desktop_custom_fb_high-pluslowrev-7 – dynamic-19-07-ufc_bof
- utm_term= mg_en_fb_an_nf_plus_desktop_non_converters_lead_custom-website_dynamic-19-07 na-in_ir-nl–es-ch–uk-il–au-brfrde-fidk-is–mx-za–at-se
- utm_content= mixed_fb_an_nf_plus_desktop_nx_nx_fp_mixed_rec_sq-dynamic –19-07–bof
Here are some key points to remember:
- Based on their Campaign and Medium data, they are running CPM-based Remarketing campaigns to people who have not converted in approximately 20 countries. They likely launched the ad in July.
- There are remarketing campaigns that target desktop users. Pro tip: Create separate campaigns for different placements so that you can optimize content and creative for mobile and desktop.
- Many companies will have their UTM taxonomy. It may take some digging to find out what they are doing. As you can see, it’s possible to get a good overview of their ad targeting setup and implementation.
Tip 2 – Click on the ellipsis in a News Feed ad
This allows you to easily see the targeting of any ads that appear in your Facebook News Feed.
It’s necessary that your competitor has broad websites retargeting campaigns and/or you are their target audience in order to see their ad targeting.
How to do it
- Visit a few competitors’ websites to track their retargeting campaigns and browse through some of their content.
- After waiting a while, scroll through your Facebook News Feed and see if any ads are being retargeted.
Not seeing ads from competitors? You can still see what other businesses are doing with your News Feed to target you.
- Click on the grey ellipsis with 3 dots “…” to open the Facebook News Feed. This works both on desktop and mobile.
Here’s an example of an ad.WordStreamThe leading platform for online advertising optimization,
- Click on “Why am I viewing this ad?”
- That’s all! Then, you’ll see general information about their target audience.
Wordstream, for example, shows their ad only to people who are interested in it.Visit their websiteOrUsed one of their appsPeople who are also18 years and over in the United States. They’re also doing website retargeting to their US customers.
This is a great way to get some ideas for strategies that you could use in your Facebook ads.
Tip 3 – Use AdInboxMe for tracking competitor’s ads
It is often a good idea to look at the ads of your competitors in order to determine what type of audience they are targeting.
Take, for example:ActiveCampaignAn email marketing platform called, promotes workshops and targets people who reside in the same city (San Francisco). They even mention San Francisco in their ads. You can also find a promo code to track who registered at your event.
AdInboxMe allows you to track your competitors’ Facebook Ads and be notified of new ads that they launch.
How to get started
Add yourself to the AdInboxMe waiting list and we’ll notify you as soon as we have access! Follow the steps below once you have access.
- Visit AdInbox.Me
- You can enter the entire URL of any competitor’s Facebook Page. We love Buffer, a social media management tool that we love. Their Facebook Page URL is https://www.facebook.com/bufferapp/
- Click the “Alert Me” button next to the business.
- Enter your email address and name, and voila! Each time a business posts a new advertisement on Facebook, you will receive an email alert.
The email alert will look something like the following whenever a new advertisement is launched by the company (Buffer in this case).
Tip:Based on the messaging and creative formats of your competitors, you can focus your ads on your unique differences and create ads that are different from what they are.
Tip 4 – See the Facebook audience of your competitors with Audience Insights
Facebook offers a free service Audience Insights. This tool provides a wealth of insights on people who are connected to your Facebook Page as well as other people on Facebook.
It’s difficult to create a large following on Facebook without ads. This is a more indirect way to see people who have connected with your competitors’ pages, which may include some that came from their ads.
Audience Insights can be used to your advantage by analyzing the Facebook pages of people who are similar to your competitor’s.
This tool will show you their demographics and other Pages they liked. You can also use this information to create new buyer personas that you can target with your Facebook ads.
How to get started
- From Business Manager, Audience Insights
- Next, choose “Everyone on facebook”.
- You are now ready toCreate your audience. TheInterestsIn the section to the left, you can enter the names of each competitor. Next, you can take a look at aggregated insights for each tab, including Demographics, Page Likes, and more.
Here’s an example of when to enter inMailchimpThe leading email marketing platform is.Interest. We also filter for peopleAges 18+Who are you?Located The United States.
You can see the Demographics tab.
- GenderIt is evenly split between 51% men and 49% women.
- The top 3Position TitlesInclude Sales, Management, and Administrative Services.
- To view pages they have liked, toggle the Page likes Tab next to Demographics.
Here is a quick snapshot of the Top Categories Mailchimp is liked by people who like specific Facebook pages.They like Facebook Pages. These are most likely to be relevant for the audience you have filtered.
This is where you can come up with creative ideas when targeting customers based on their interests. The top three Pages that were liked by Mailchimp (other than HubSpot) are Tim Feirriss (a well-known entrepreneur) and Inc. Magazine (startup magazine).
People seem to be drawn to tools, people, and services that are geared towards SMBs, startup-oriented, and tech-oriented. To determine which ads are most effective, you can create different customer profiles.
- You won’t see all the Facebook pages of your competitors in the Interests section. It’s best to target bigger competitors and well-known brands with a larger Facebook following.
- To get a better understanding of your ideal customer, you can create an audience with a range of interests.
Optimize your Facebook Ads Targeting
These are some tips to help you target people just like your competitors. Keep A/B-testing different targeting techniques, creative, messaging, and messaging.
Finally, with tools such as Smartattribution, you can measure your ROI across Facebook Ads campaigns, and other channels, in order to determine which ads are driving the most results.
Do you want to track the ROI of your Facebook Ads? Register for a 7-day free trial of PixelMe, Send us a message via the chat icon in the bottom-right corner.
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