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The 7 Best Ad Spy Tools For Finding Competitor Ads

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Ad Spy Tools
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When it comes to finding inspiration for ad creatives, it’s easy to feel lost with the endless options out there. 

Luckily, there is one resource you can depend on for video ad inspiration, which is….

Spying on your competitor’s ads. 

Now, before we go into our list of the best ad spy tools for analyzing your competitor’s ads,  let’s start with how to conduct competitor research, the right way. 

How To Conduct Competitor Research

Researching what your competitors are doing is important because it will give you insight into the advertising platforms they’re running ads on and the style of ads they’re currently running. But what’s even more important, is to understand what’s working.  

For example, competitors in your industry may be running a variety of ads that include review ads, testimonial ads, or even whiteboard ads. So it’s crucial to find out the exact style of ad that’s working for your competitors and use that as inspiration. 

When you are compiling a list of your competitor ads, note that you should focus on finding competitors that are similar in size to your business.   If you are a small business owner, you should not be comparing your brand to big brands like MasterClass or Coca-Cola, as their advertising goals, objectives, and budget may not align with yours.   That being said, you can certainly take inspiration from successful ad campaigns, such as learning from these viral TikTok ads.

Doing your due diligence with competitor analysis will also help you better understand if paid ads will work for your business. If your similar size competitors are running ads successfully, there is a strong chance that paid ads can work for your business. 

When spying on competitor ads, make note of the following indicators of ad success:

  • View Count
  • Date Published (The longer a competitor’s ad has been running, the more likely it is that this ad has worked for your competitor)

Now, we will go over the ad spy tools you can use to see competitor ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. 

Facebook (Meta, Instagram)Ad Spy Tools

Facebook and Instagram are very popular platforms for businesses to advertise on, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you come to find your competitor is running ads on both Facebook and Instagram. 

The Ad Library, aka Facebook (Meta) Ad Library, is a free ad spy tool for spying on your competitors' ads on Facebook and Instagram.

The great thing about it is you can search for keywords related to your product/service and competitors’ pages too. 

And it’ll even show you which ads are specifically running on either Facebook or Instagram.   

Facebook Ad Library Example

Now, that isn’t the only tool for spying on your competitor’s Facebook ads. 

There is a paid Facebook ad spy tool called Power AdSpy that outshines Facebook's own Ad Library in a couple of ways.

What Power AdSpy does, is show you ads that have previously been run in the past. 

See, Facebook’s Ad Library will only show you ads that are running right now. 

Also, Power AdSpy shows you exactly how many likes, views, and comments each ad has.  

Power AdSpy is another ad spy tool for Facebook and Instagram.

This makes it incredibly easy to identify an ad that knocked it out of the ballpark VS an ad that performed poorly and got very little engagement. 

YouTube Ad Spy Tools

The best tools to find out if your competitors are running video ads on YouTube, are VidTao, PowerAdSpy, and also Video Ad Vault

VidTao is a free YouTube Ads spy tool,  so I’d suggest starting with that. 

All you need to do is put the name of your competitor into the search bar and see if anything comes up. 

VidTao is a free YouTube Ad Spy tool that allows you to see competitor ad's upload date and view count.

If you’d like to find out more in-depth information about your competitor’s advertising, like the landing page they’re using for each individual ad, then I’d recommend using PowerAdSpy

We touched upon PowerAdSpy tool earlier in the Facebook ad spy tool section. We also recommend this paid ad spy tool for finding competitor YouTube ads.

Check out our video below where we compare VidTao and PowerAdspy for spying on your competitor's YouTube Ads.

For example, if you have a business in the fitness niche, you could even search for fitness-related ads to see what others in your industry are doing. 

Here at Linx Digital, we created a pretty cool (and free) YouTube Ad spy tool to further help you on your competitor ad spy journey. If you have ever came across an awesome YouTube video ad that you want to save, but couldn't figure out how to get the video URL for this ad, then our YouTube Ad URL grabber is for you.

The next time you see an YouTube ad, all you have to do is to right click on the video, copy the debug info, and head on over to YTAD.co and paste this debug info code, and the YouTube ad URL is all yours to save for your file.

If you visit a competitor's website, it is entirely possible for you to be subsequently retargeted with your competitor's Google remarketing ad. This is a perfect opportunity to use our YouTube Ad URL Grabber tool and immediately save this competitor's remarketing ad for your competitor research file.

Want us to do your video ads marketing? Or do you want to learn it yourself?
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TikTok Ad Spy Tools

TikTok is a platform that’s quickly gaining traction with businesses in all kinds of niches, from eCommerce all the way to coaches and consultants. 

What’s great about spying on your competitor ads on TikTok, is that you’ll find some of the most engaging video ads you’ve probably ever seen. 

This is because people’s attention spans on TikTok are the lowest when compared to most of the other advertising platforms. 

Similar to Facebook's Ad Library, TikTok also lets you spy on competitors for free, using its Top Ads feature inside the TikTok Creative Center

TikTok's free ad spy tool: TikTok Creative Center > Top Ads

But unfortunately, it’s very limited in the kind of information it’ll give you. 

In some cases, it’ll show you fewer ads than other ad spy tools and it won’t give you the landing page the ad is going to either. 

That’s where Big Spy and PipiAds come in.  These ad spy tools will show you a wider range of ads, along with options to filter ads by marketing objective / CTA, showing you who the advertiser is and also the landing page an ad is going to. 

PipiAds is a popular TikTok ad spy tool with both free and paid options available.

However, both Big Spy and PipiAds require a paid monthly subscription. Users can try these TikTok ad spy tools for free, but the free version has limited features compared to the paid option.

Bonus Step - Compiling Your Competitor Research 

Now that you’ve found out exactly where your competitors are running ads and identified the ads that performed the best…

It’s time to compile everything into a single document that breaks down the advertising platforms that your competitors are running ads on, along with the best-performing ads separated by advertising platform. 

Next, all you need to do is take a close look at the ad ideas working for your competitors and follow a similar formula for your own ads. Also, you can use your competitor research to brainstorm brand-new concepts to test.  

Final Thoughts 

Putting together a document of your competitors’ best ads is one of the most important parts of this entire process. You can think of it as your “North Star” to ensure you’re heading in the right direction during the ideation stage. 

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