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Competitor Analysis: How to Spy on Your Competitors’ Facebook Ads

If you want to hold your own in the market, you should know what your competitors are up to. This also goes for the Facebook Ads they run. After all, paid advertising is becoming increasingly important. So it makes sense to learn from the successes and failures of others and get inspiration for your own campaigns. 

The catch is that you’ll only see your competitors’ ads in your newsfeed if your profile matches their targeting. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for that to happen. Because there are other ways to spy. You can find eight of them here.

1. Become a Fan of Your Competitors

Do you know who your main competitors are on Facebook? Then give their page a Like, visit them regularly, and respond to a couple of posts

This will increase the chances of your competitors’ ads appearing in your newsfeed in the future. It also keeps you up to date with their content marketing in general.

Competitor analysis is important in social media marketing, and not just when it comes to Facebook Ads. To find out what you should pay particular attention to when scrutinizing your competitors and which tools are suitable for doing so, read our blog post “Analyze Your Competitors on Social Media with the Right Strategies and Tools.”

2. Ad Library and Information on Facebook Pages

Facebook itself gives you two ways to view active ads from competitors:

  • In the Meta Ad Library, you simply type in a keyword or the name of the company.
    Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Meta Werbebibliothek
  • You can also go to the “Page Transparency” section of a competitor’s Facebook page to see whether they are currently running ads. If they are, a link will take you back to the Ad Library.

The important thing to know is that this only gives you an insight into active ads. You won’t get any information about budget or targeting either. As such, these methods are sufficient for getting a first impression at best.

3. Social AdScout

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Social Ad Scout

Social AdScout is one of the most highly recommended tools for analyzing Facebook Ads. The ads from major social networks available there come from 21 countries and can be browsed with the help of detailed search filters. 

The information on the results is just as impressive. It includes the exact targeting of ads and detailed information on their performance. The price for these services is USD 147 per month.  


  • Ads from 21 countries
  • Detailed search filters
  • Valuable information on targeting and performance


USD 147 per month

4. AdSpy

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Adspy

AdSpy claims to have the world’s largest database of Instagram and Facebook Ads: more than 132 million from countries all around the globe. But because quantity alone doesn’t mean quality, the tool also sets standards with its search features. You have the option to search by ad text, number of likes or landing page technology. AdSpy even offers a search for user comments, a feature that we haven’t seen in any other tool. 

You get the results delivered with a lot of useful information about targeting and performance. And the price? It’s not a bargain, but it’s still within reason at USD 149 per month.


  • Large database of Instagram and Facebook Ads
  • Ads from 216 countries
  • Search feature includes search for user comments
  • Valuable information on targeting and performance


USD 149 per month

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5. Dropispy

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Dropispy

Dropispy markets itself as an affordable alternative to AdSpy. In fact, even the plan for EUR 29.90 per month – or EUR 14.90 per month if you pay annually – has an impressive range of features. You can search and filter ads according to various criteria, compare details and refine your strategy on this basis. However, Dropispy focuses on dropshipping (direct mail) companies.


  • Large database of ads
  • Extensive search and filter features
  • Additional shop spy tool


Starting at EUR 0, for professional use from EUR 14.90 per month

6. Power AdSpy

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Power Ad Spy

AdSpy and Power AdSpy are not only similar in name. The latter also relies on detailed search queries. However, at 50 million, the number of available ads is significantly lower than that of its competitor.

Yet, Power AdSpy does offer competitor analysis for Facebook, Google, Instagram, YouTube, GDN, NATIVE, Reddit and Quora ads.

The tool offers its services for free for a trial period of 10 days. After that, you can choose from a variety of plans. For professional competitor analysis, it’s worth spending at least USD 99 per month.


  • 50 million ads from over 100 countries
  • Competitor analysis on various platforms including Google
  • Detailed search filters


Starting at USD 49 per month (10 days free)

7. Pathmatics

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: Pathmetics

Pathmatics promises a comprehensive view of companies’ marketing strategies on various platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Its references and the fact that Pathmatics does not make its prices public show that it’s a premium solution that you have to be able to afford. In return, the tool provides detailed insights, even into ads that are difficult to track. It also offers its own solution for integrating the collected data into other platforms. Anyone who wants to try Pathmatics can request a free demo.


  • Detailed data on various platforms
  • Eight countries (USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK, Australia, New Zealand)
  • Custom integration solutions


Not public

8. BigSpy

Facebook Ads Mitbewerber: BigSpy

BigSpy gained its name for a reason. Its impressive database contains one billion ads. What’s more, the tool is not only suitable for competitor analysis on Facebook and Instagram, but also for checking in on competitors on YouTube, Pinterest and even TikTok. However, the extent of its features depends entirely on the plan you choose. The EUR 9 plan is good for a trial run, but will not be enough in most cases. The Pro plan costs EUR 99 per month, or a little less for annual or semi-annual billing.


  • Database of over one billion ads
  • Ads from many different platforms
  • Advanced search and filter features


Starting at EUR 9 per month

Final tips for a successful competitor analysis

Tools like the ones mentioned above reveal a lot of insightful data about your competitors’ ad campaigns.

In order to take advantage of this potential, it’s important to ask the right questions right from the start:

  • What audience are your competitors targeting? Generally, both your company and your competitors will have a similar – if not the same – target group. Analyzing competitor ads gives you the opportunity to further define your audiences and discover additional ones.
  • What types of ads are others using? Videos, images, carousels – which ad types do your competitors rely on and which of them are successful?
  • Which keywords are they using and do they work? Take a look at what keywords your competitors are using and create your own leaderboard based on the results. 
  • How does the interaction with different ads play out? Which ads are often liked, shared and commented on? What could be the reason for that? 
  • What objectives are your competitors’ campaigns based on (e.g. lead generation)?

Also consider the following tips:

  • Pay attention to weaknesses and strengths: when analyzing your competitors’ Facebook Ads, don’t just look at which of their strategies are working, but also at which are not. This can help you to avoid mistakes in advance.
  • Get your bearings, but don’t copy: avoid copying others’ Facebook Ads at all costs. The goal should be to get inspired.
  • Keep the uniqueness of your business in mind: despite any similarities, every business is unique. This also means that not everything that works for your competitors will work for you – and vice versa.

Also, while looking at the competition, don’t forget to continuously analyze and optimize your own ad campaigns. Your Meta Pixel provides you with the data you need for this.

The most important tool for successful social media marketing is a good social media management tool. With Swat.io, you can keep track of everything whenever you want thanks to a clear editorial plan, a central ticket inbox for all your channels, cross-channel analysis, automations and much more. Try it out for free now!

Efficient Social Media Communications With Swat.io

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