Discover eight ways to use the Facebooks Ads Library to boost your business.
Whether you know it or not, there’s a good chance you’ve used an app created and overseen by Meta. But even if you’ve never had an account on the social media platform that shares the company’s former name — Facebook — if you use Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Meta View, or Horizon Worlds, you’re still in the Meta Universe. And you’ll still be seeing ads curated by the company.
But what if you could use those banners and ads to improve knowledge and success in your freelance business instead of ignoring them? What if there were a tool offering a glimpse into how similar products or services have performed across an enormous demographic?
A company, as vast as Meta, has numerous resources and archives that the general public can tap into. Some can be used to help Independents get a better idea of the proverbial lay of their business’s land. That’s exactly what the Facebook Ads Library is for.
What is Facebook Ads Library? 🤔
Facebook Ads Library is a publicly accessible database that came into existence primarily to counter political attack ads and misinformation campaigns.
In 2016, Cambridge Analytica harvested millions of users’ data from Facebook to create targeted political ads. The Facebook Ads Library offers page transparency as a way of understanding where targeted ads on some Facebook pages come from, who’s paying for them, and whether or not they’re relaying “verifiable” facts.
But this isn’t the only thing the library is good for. The Facebook Ads Library is a new and vital tool for beginning your social media marketing strategy. Savvy Independents have begun using it to understand the ins and outs of industry and sales. Thanks to the library’s user-friendly interface and lack of a sign-in process, even the most novice marketers can access in-depth and helpful information. This includes the ability to scan both inactive and active ads to gauge their usefulness and keep an eye on competitors’ ads.
If you’re still not sure how to find an ad on Facebook or access the relevant data, Meta offers clear and accessible instructions in their introduction to the Ads Library.
Why you should check out Facebook Ads Library 🔑
Whether you’re just beginning life as an Independent or looking to expand your business(es), the Facebook Ads Library offers a wide variety of information to spur your creativity. Even if you’re not considering running ads but operate in a particularly competitive field, having complete information about a competitor company’s ad campaigns could make a huge difference. You may eventually delve into Facebook advertising, and your Facebook ad strategy will be much more straightforward with the ad library from Meta.
With the ad library, Facebook provides Independent operators with a way of doing market research without contracting out to an expensive firm or service provider. The search tools are designed with transparency in mind. A few clicks allow you to access demographic information, keywords, and a vast range of handy information about your target audience. Is there a particular time of year that your product or service sells better than others? A little training on how to use the Facebook ad library will answer that and many other questions.
8 tips on how to use the Facebook Ads Library 🧑🏫
Here are some specific metrics that the Facebook Ads Library reveals. Each can help you to grow your business and improve your next marketing strategy:
- Check up on your competitors. Suppose you’re entering or working in a marketplace that already exists, or you have a great idea for getting your product or service out there. Facebook Ads Library will give you an idea of how well competitors are performing and what strategies they find helpful — and not so helpful — in their marketing. It’s a smart way to avoid wastes of time and/or resources.
- Harvest useful keywords. If you’ve looked over a few different campaigns that intersect with your business, you may notice repeated words across the ads of various other companies. Pay attention to these — they’re good keywords to use in your own campaigns.
- Create complete performance reports for ads and campaigns. If you’d like a general overview of an ad’s performance, you’re in luck! The “See All” option offers an idea of the scope of the campaign, how the ads performed, and who their primary targets were. You can even see how much money was spent on some ads.
- Filter by region. This is a handy tool for Independents whose businesses cater to a small, regionally specific market. Understanding how competitors in the area advertise their services will help you to make similar decisions.
- Filter by date. Date-related advertising is critical so you don’t spend time and energy on a campaign only to realize it would have been much more successful six months down the road. With this ad library, Facebook lets you schedule the start dates of your campaigns for success.
- Other filters. If you’re not interested in a specific region or date, the Facebook Ads Library offers a wealth of additional filtering options. Once you’ve found an ad or campaign, you can look at which platforms it was on, how it performed on each, what kinds of media or ad formats (e.g., still images, video ads, interactive ads) were used, and whether or not the ads are still active.
- A/B testing. Sometimes a company will run different ads for the same product across one platform. Each ad includes similar information but relies on a different audience network for feedback. This helps an Independent understand what strategies work for diverse audiences.
- Check active and inactive ads to see what didn’t work. One excellent example of how to use the Facebook ads library is to check “impressions,” or the number of views an ad gets. Searching through inactive ads can give you an idea of what worked, what drew people’s attention, and what didn’t.
Moving to the next level 🚚
Researching your competitors on the Facebook Ads Library is only a first step. With the ad library, Facebook gives Independents, whether they’re newbies or experts, a way of determining whether or not their business idea is viable even before investing any time or capital in building or expanding. You can get a good idea of how similar services and products have fared in the social media sphere and how much time you should spend on them.
The ad library should be seen as a source of creative inspiration, not direct emulation. Just because a particular keyword or ad worked well for one business doesn’t mean that you should adopt the exact same practice. Look at what’s worked for other Independents in the same field and apply your unique creativity and perspective.
If the internet has proved anything, it’s that there are people who share your interests, ideas, and visions, no matter how niche. The Facebook Ads Library allows you to target those audiences and send them ads for products or services they hopefully didn’t even know they needed.
Starting out as an Independent can be scary. So can be starting a new business venture for veteran Independents. The Facebook Ads Library is one valuable tool for making your brand and business unique.
When you're ready to bring your idea to life, join Contra – a commission-free platform built for Independents, designed to help you grow your business into a successful and fulfilling venture.