If you’re advertising on Facebook, you’ve probably hit a road block at least once when it comes to targeting. You can play with audience insights all day long, but sometimes you just can’t locate that exact sweet spot that would be best for your specific business. So, why not use what your competitors are using?
Whatever niche you’re in, you’ve probably done your research. You’ve visited some of the top sites in the game, Liked some of the highest performing Facebook pages, and maybe even bought an array of products. Doing all of this online has most likely made Facebook think you’re interested in the industry. Therefore, if your competitors are targeting properly, you’ll start seeing their ads appear. For example, I’m in the Internet marketing game and I see a lot of ads for Internet marketing products, ebooks, and webinars. But I also help my girlfriend with her makeup blog. So I also see a lot of ads for makeup and beauty products even though I don’t actually use these products and certainly am not their target demographic. This can apply to almost any niche provided that you’ve done your research into the given industry.
Spying On Your Competitor’s Facebook Marketing Strategy
Of course, you can’t get gain access into your competitor’s business / ad manager. Therefore, we will have to use a little reverse engineering to make this strategy work. This is something that I love to do when trying to kill time, and to see what my own competitors are doing as well. We’re going to do that here with some real-life facebook ad examples from my own news feed.
There are 3 main placements for Facebook advertising. You have your native ads on desktop and mobile, and you have your right rail ads. Each of them will show you information about the ad you are seeing. We’ll begin with the right rail:
Right Side Ad Targeting
As mentioned, the ads currently targeted at me include both makeup/beauty ads, as well as some for Internet marketing.
Given the above 3 ads, how do I find out what they’re doing? The answer is easy enough. Hover on the image to see a little X.
Click on the X and you’ll be presented with several options. Click the option “Why am I seeing this?
From here, you’ll be given a lightbox popup with information about the ad. Sometimes this is very vague, as we’ll see momentarily, but sometimes it will give you some interesting ideas. Let’s see how Mr. Brown targeted me.
For the Liberty Mutual ad, it’s one of the vague descriptions since they’re using an agency called TheTradeDesk.
The Nordstrom ad? They’re using TellApart to target people. So unfortunately it doesn’t reveal exactly how they targeted me. It’s possibly a retargeting ad.