How the Facebook Ad Library Will Give You a Competitive Edge in 2022

Promo Team
By Promo Team
December 25, 2021 · 18 min read

It’s rare in business that you can get insight into the plans and tactics of another company or organization. Typically, everything about how a company is run is kept close to the vest to avoid giving anything away to the competition. With the Facebook Ads Library, however, you have an opportunity to gain exciting insights into ads run by anyone on any of the various Facebook properties, making market research for ads much simpler. This database of information provides transparency about advertising on Facebook. It gives marketers an exciting opportunity to examine what others are doing on these popular platforms.

What is Facebook Ad Library?

The Facebook Ad Library is a tool you can access to gather information about the ads running currently on Facebook and other sites/apps within the Facebook family. So, if you see an advertisement while you are using Facebook, and you would like to know more about that ad, you can visit the ads library to do some research.

Advertising on Facebook is a powerful thing simply because of the reach that this platform possesses. With billions of users around the globe, it’s staggering how many people can be accessed with a single ad. Of course, there are practical concerns around this kind of reach, like potential interference with government elections. Also, the reach is notable for businesses of all shapes and sizes since basically every target audience can be found somewhere in the Facebook ecosystem.

About Ads Library

While it may have been created in political transparency, the ads library has had a powerful impact on marketing in the online world. With so much information available after a short search, marketers have been quick to jump on the opportunity to see what their competitors are up to. If you do any form of online marketing for your business, even if it doesn’t occur directly on Facebook, this tool is too good to ignore.

Packed with Information

A simple list of companies running ads on Facebook properties wouldn’t be beneficial from a marketing perspective. But that’s not what you get here. Instead, you have access to a significant amount of information related to each ad – enough to pull out some valuable insights and apply them to your business (more on that later). Whether you just want to find Facebook ads or check out ads on other platforms like Instagram and Messenger, you’ll find what you need here. It only takes a few moments to learn how to read the ad library report, and from there, you’ll be off and running.

Accessible to All

There are no restrictions on access to the Facebook Ads Library. If you want to see Facebook ads currently running on the platform, you can simply go to the tool and start searching. You won’t need to create an account, log in, or anything like that. Not only does this make the device convenient and easy to use, but it also means you can have everyone on your team make it part of their workflow without having to set up a network of accounts, manage access, etc. It is worth noting that this ease of access means your competition can put this tool to use, much in the same way you can. So, it’s safe to assume that if you launch a Facebook ad campaign, everyone in your industry will know what you are doing.

Search Friendly

The Facebook Ad Library search function is one of the key features that makes it such a helpful tool. Given the volume of ads run across Facebook properties each day, you’d never be able to sort through the wild to find what you need manually. Fortunately, the search function works wonderfully and will help you zero in on relevant ads in just moments. For instance, you could search the name of your industry as a starting point. Or, you could search the name of a competitor to see their ads specifically. The search tool works just like any other online search, so you won’t need to spend time learning how to use it to get great results.

Puts Social Issues and Politics at the Forefront

With the tremendous power of Facebook ads available to anyone who wishes to pay for ad space, there is the potential for political manipulation and other related problems on the platform. And, to be sure, these issues have become a significant talking point in some countries during past elections. One of the primary functions of viewing Facebook ads is the transparency that this tool provides. With just a quick search, interested parties can see not only what ads are running on Facebook but who is running them. Facebook has prioritized these types of ads within the tool, retaining them for seven years after they have stopped running.

Critical Information About Ads

The wealth of information provided about each ad makes Facebook ad lookup such a worthwhile way to spend your time. By exploring the FB ad archive, you can track down many different data points, including impressions, spending, demographics, and more. The pieces of information that you will find helpful will depend on what your goals are with this market analysis. There is a lot to be learned from demographic info, but you can also get an idea of how much competitors are spending when they are spending, and so much more. As you gain experience using the Facebook Ads Library and applying it to your organization’s needs, you’ll likely develop methods for sorting, filtering, and analyzing the data to pull out valuable insights.

Apps Supported

While it might be called Facebook Ads Library, this tool actually pulls information for ads from across various Facebook properties. That includes Facebook itself, Instagram, Messenger, and the audience network. The Audience Network includes digital properties from across the web, as this is a way for publishers to show Facebook ads and monetize their content. So, when searching the ads library, you’ll see not only advertisements that are being shown right on Facebook and Instagram but also in countless other locations. This broad reach makes the Facebook ads database a practical tool even if you aren’t advertising directly on Facebook.

How to Use FB Ad Library for Competitive Research

The discussion we have already had about the Facebook Ads Library should have clarified what an exciting and powerful tool has been made available. But how do you actually put it to use in your business when performing competitive research? If you would like to complete some Facebook ad competitor analysis, follow the simple steps below to get started.

  1. Visit Ad Library. This is a web-based tool, so nothing to download or install on your machine. Just visit the appropriate URL, and you’ll be off and running.
  2. Select Country. You can pick the country you would like to research from the drop-down menu within the “Search ads” section.
  3. Click “Search All.” After the country field, you’ll be able to pick which kinds of ads you would like to explore. For research purposes, we suggest choosing “All ads” from this menu.
  4. Enter Search Keyword. This is where your search really starts to take shape. Like operating any other kind of search engine, you can enter keywords and phrases in the bar to direct your search appropriately.
  5. Choose Results that Match Search. While the tool works nicely with just a quick search, you can dial in your results through filtering. Available filters include platform, media type, active status, advertiser, and more.

Even if you aren’t quite ready to get started with your first research project, head over to the tool just to try it out and perform a few sample searches. You’ll quickly get the hang of how it works, and you’ll soon be ready to leverage the power of this database to further your marketing efforts.

How to Use the Ads Library for an Advantage

We’d like to turn our attention to how you can put this library to work for you and your business. By looking at Facebook competitors’ ads, you can figure out what others in your industry are doing, what is working and what is not, and much more. To help you get started, we will highlight some ways you can use the ad library to your advantage. Of course, this is far from an exhaustive list, so you may find plenty of other beneficial ways to use it as time moves on.

Search Your Competitors

This is the prominent place to start. Go to the ad library on Facebook and enter the name of some of your top competitors in the search field. What kinds of ads are they running across the Facebook network? Are they running ads at all? You can analyze everything about their ads, from the timing of when they are displayed to the copy they write, the demographics they target, and on and on. Evaluating the advertising methods of the competition is nothing new in business, but having a tool that will compile their ads all in one place is an excellent opportunity for streamlined research.

Emulate, Go Above & Beyond

So, once you find some ads from your competitors that you like and seem to be working, you should just copy those ads, right? Not so fast. Rather than directly copying their ad content, your goal should be to rise above their level to earn your share of the market. So, use the Facebooks ads list to get some ideas, and then strive to create better ads in some way. For example, you might write sharper copy, take better photos, or offer more appealing deals. See the competition as your baseline, and then work up from there to set the bar higher.

Look for Trends

As you search Facebook ads, remember that marketing is an ever-changing landscape. Don’t mistake thinking that what is working today will still be working tomorrow – or next year. Are there any notable trends that you can spot within your industry or within the broader landscape of Facebook advertising as a whole? Keeping up with the trends can help you avoid spending money on outdated ads and ineffective with your target audience.

Pay Attention to Graphics

It’s easy to focus solely on copy when creating ads, and there is no doubt that copy is essential. But don’t overlook the graphics you use to go along with that written copy. Specifically, video is a powerful force in the advertising landscape, as it grabs attention quickly and can deliver a concise message. With the tools available at, you can create competitive ad videos that will help your brand stand above the rest in your field. You’ll notice that video ads are a trendy option on Facebook platforms. You can create your own by leaning on what has to offer.

Look for Ideas Outside of Your Industries

The scope of advertising on this platform is hard to get your head around. When you do a Facebook ad lookup, you’ll likely get a massive number of results – in the thousands or tens of thousands. Given the size of this database, you don’t need to limit yourself to doing research within your own industry. In fact, one of the best ways to innovate is to get away from your industry and find ideas from other areas that seem to be working. Try researching markets that are somewhat adjacent to your own, but not exactly the same thing. This approach might reveal ad styles that aren’t yet used in your niche, which would give you a leg up on the competition.

Look for Time Consistencies in Successful Ads

Now that you have a place where you can search ads running on the various Facebook platforms, you can get down into the details of the ad library on Facebook to see how the best marketers work their magic. For example, are the best in your industry running ads at certain times? Do they lead up to big sales or promotions with a run of ads at a specific interval? If patterns show themselves in terms of timing, you can bet those patterns aren’t an accident. Instead, they are intentional based on research and testing that has already been done. Instead of reinventing the wheel, use what others are doing as an informed starting point.

Why Businesses Use Facebook Ads

It’s easy to understand why businesses are drawn to the Facebook ads platform – reach. There are billions of people available to target through this network of sites and apps. So every business should consider utilizing this marketing channel. Also, the ability to publish dynamic video advertisements is appealing for companies who want to engage with the audience and leave a lasting impression. And, thanks to tools like the Promo video maker, it’s easier than ever before to create that type of content. Let’s look deeper into some of the specifics of what makes Facebook such a compelling advertising option.

Targeted Ads

Facebook is a powerful advertising tool in large part because of the targeting options available. Since users have provided basic personal information to create their account, they can target relevant advertisements. Your target audience can be segmented in many ways, including by age, gender, interests, location, and more. Also, if you would like to see how your competition is targeting customers so you can take a similar approach, just open the FB ads library and search for the relevant brand name. You’ll have access to valuable data about how others in your space try to find their ideal customers.

Measure performance

Anytime you spend money on a marketing venture, you need to track the results of that spending to ensure that it is worth it. Of course, it’s easier to track the return on your spending with some channels instead of others. On Facebook, it’s easy. You’ll be able to see essential data points like ad impressions, cost per impression, click-through rate, and more. And, thanks to Facebook ads transparency, you can get an idea of how your competitor’s ads are performing, as well.

Avoid the Wrong Demographic

One of the easiest ways to waste money on a marketing initiative is to target the wrong people with your ads. You will pay for all of your advertising activity, so wasting some of that spend on people who won’t be interested in a big mistake. The Facebook ads database can help toward this end by helping you see who is traditionally targeted by what kinds of ads. You can block parts of the audience from seeing your ads, which will help you avoid unnecessary spending. For example, a product that is only meant for use by women might want to block men from seeing that ad on Facebook.

Forecast Results

You can’t know exactly how your advertising tactics will work. But the ability to forecast results when setting up Facebook ads does help you get an idea of how much you’ll spend and how many people will find you. If you see ads on Facebook that you would like to know more about how they are performing to project your own results, the FB ads library is the ideal tool.

Easy to Set Up

It doesn’t take long to set up a Facebook ad campaign. Of course, you’ll want to put plenty of thought and effort into the planning of your campaign. That being said, the platform is easy to use, and you can start with a modest spend just to get an idea of how it works and how your ads will perform. It’s a good idea to dive into the FB ad library before going live with your first ad, just to make sure you are in line with current advertising norms and trends.

How Can Help Your Ads Succeed

When creating ads, some marketers are intimidated by video. It seems easy enough to write some compelling copy, photo and publish the ad. Going through the trouble of making a quality video feels like a challenge that is too big to overcome. That might have been true in the past, but it’s no longer the case considering the video ad maker available here at Promo.

Engaging, professional video ads have never been so easy to create. To make it as easy as possible for you to get started, we offer a Facebook ad template library. Now, rather than starting from scratch with a blank screen, you’ll hit the ground running. By picking one of our existing templates and customizing it to meet your needs. With this tool in your hands, using video ads on Facebook can be an effective, realistic option for your marketing strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to find ads on Facebook Ad Library?

The search function is a quick and easy way to find relevant ads on the Facebook Ad Library. When you visit the webpage for this tool, you can pick the location you would like to search and the category of ads you want to explore. Then, you can enter relevant keywords that will return results targeted to your needs. In just moments, you’ll likely be returned many results that you can sort through to find what you need. On the results page, there is a filtering function to help you narrow down options.

How to find an ad on Facebook in a specific industry?

If you want to see what competitors in a given industry are up to on Facebook advertising, just use a word or two that describes that industry in the search bar. First, select “All Ads” so you are sure to capture everything relevant to your query. Then, pick a word or words that best describes the industry you serve and perform the search. You may want to perform a few searches with variations of the words or phrases you are using to make sure you capture all relevant ads in that industry.

How to use Facebook Ad Library?

The task of searching for an ad, or for all the ads by a company or in an industry, is pretty simple on Facebook Ad Library. We have described this process earlier in the article if you would like a step-by-step explanation. Once you understand the steps required, you can decide how to use the ad library for your benefit. Do you want to track the ad patterns of a specific competitor to see how they approach marketing? Or, would you like to master the timing of your ads by spotting industry-wide trends? Both of these objectives, and many more, are possible when using the ads library.

How do I access the Facebook Ad Library?

To access the Facebook Ad Library and search for ads relevant to your business and marketing efforts, simply visit the homepage for this tool. One of the best things about this tool is that it is open for everyone to use. It does not require an account or any form of membership. You can simply head to the site, enter your search parameters, and get started.

What is Facebook Ad Library?

Facebook Ad Library is a database of all ads running on Facebook and various platforms. It’s important to understand that most ads, they will only appear in the library while they remain current on one of the Facebook properties. Once the ads are discontinued, they’ll no longer be searchable in the database. However, for ads related to political, social, and other vital issues that impact the general public, they will remain available in the library for 7 years they can be discovered and analyzed long after they are turned off.


The Facebook Ads Library can not only play an important role socially. It can also be a powerful tool for marketers who want to monitor the competition in their industry. Sure, you could manually go around to various Facebook platforms looking for ads from your competitors. But searching within the ads library is far more effective and efficient. It takes only a moment to learn how to use this tool, and it’s free. So, there is really no reason to ignore this valuable data source. Check it out today and see how it can help you fine-tune your organization’s marketing efforts.

About the author

Promo Team

We believe that words shape thoughts and inspire action. Promo's content team is fueled by the motivation to help you to transform your words and ideas into powerful videos that help you communicate better with your audience and grow your reach.

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