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Getting Started With Facebook Ads Library

Published on
April 4, 2023
The Facebook ads library is among the many online tools that can help marketers improve their campaigns. Learn more about the platform here.

With billions of active users worldwide, it's no surprise that social media marketing continues to be the most dominant advertising practice today. It's become such an essential component that many modern businesses make it one of their priorities to launch social media to reach their target audience and improve their brand image. Most would rather entrust their social media pages to marketing professionals to create campaigns that impact potential customers.

Today, Meta's Facebook and Instagram are among the top choices for social media marketers globally. One 2022 survey revealed that 90 percent of social media marketers use Facebook, while 79 percent use Instagram. That's because most of the general audience is highly active on these sites.

Since more online users are becoming demanding of what they consume, a well-crafted campaign is critical to effectively connecting with them. Fortunately, many online tools can help marketers create a thorough campaign on top social media platforms.

Keep reading below to understand more about the Facebook ads library and how you can maximize the platform to improve your ad campaigns.

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Understanding the Meta Ads Library

The Facebook ads library, now named Meta ads library, is a free online platform that enables users and marketers to access ads across different Meta products: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. Through this database, users can get various ad information, including publisher profiles, content types, and ad duration.

When it was launched, the ads library was Meta's response to the infamous 2016 political ad controversy on Facebook. It's why one of the many primary features of the platform is the ability to detect social-issue-related or political ads. Meta created it to help consumers by improving page transparency on existing Facebook advertising materials. However, in doing so, marketers found an excellent online advertising opportunity for their businesses.

Today, many consider this platform an accessible pool of helpful information. With the ads library, they can study specific ad campaigns that their competitors are launching. They can learn more about the ad details, track progress, and identify the ad creative used in the campaign. Plus, they can do so for competitors worldwide, big and small.

The Meta ads library is beneficial, especially for businesses with newly-established Facebook pages or any Meta product account. It can help marketers create a concrete first-time campaign by understanding successful ones conducted by other brands online. Because of this, they can compete aggressively in the early stages of their Meta launch.

Using the Meta Ads Library

One of the best things about the ads library is that it's accessible even to the average online user with no marketing experience. To maximize your use of the platform, the following are some basic steps you must remember.

Image by Will Francis on Unsplash

Opening the ads library

Type in facebook.com/ads/library on your browser to access the platform. When entering the site, you must log in with your Facebook account. The platform is still accessible without logging in. However, users won't be able to see restricted content or ads targeted at adults. These include ads that feature alcohol and gambling, among others.

Selecting country and category

Before searching for an ad, it's important to disable your ad blockers. Plus, you must prepare a list of factors before searching. These factors include location and category.

There are five categories you can select from the platform. The ads library names them: "all ads," "issues, elections or politics," "housing," "employment," and "credit." You must select an ad category before proceeding with your search. However, it's best to choose all ads to maximize the results.

Searching with keyword

After selecting the location and category, type in the relevant keywords in your niche. For instance, you're in the clothing industry and want to launch new shirts. You can simply enter "shirts" and discover various campaigns from brands in the same field.

You can also use brand names as keywords. However, if you're using big names in your industry, you must expect different ad accounts in multiple countries. That could mean different ad templates and messages too.

Filtering your results

Today, Meta now offers extensive filtering to help businesses look for the right creative inspiration for their marketing strategies. That means you can now filter your search results in various ways to narrow your search.

Apart from language, advertiser, and platform, you can also specify the media type used in the campaign. You can set if you want your results to contain only images, memes, videos, or text-only posts.

Furthermore, the platform lets you select the status of the ads you're searching for. You can choose between active and inactive ads to help you compare previous and existing campaigns. However, it's important to remember that the ads library only shows past ads for a certain time. It's best to save a copy of them immediately, especially if you want to use them as a reference for later. You can do so using an online downloader.

Lastly, you can also filter impressions by date. With this filter, you can gauge how successful the campaign was at a particular time.

Analyzing a specific ad

Once you get the search results, click on a particular ad you want to study. Click "see ad details" under each ad to know more about them. You will see ad duration and platforms used. You will also see if a specific ad has multiple versions running. That means the advertiser is testing the effectiveness of different versions of the same campaign.

Improve Your Campaigns With Meta Ads Library

Accessing all ads across the Meta platform provides an opportunity for marketers to improve future campaigns in many ways. Here's how.

Image by Christin Hume on Unsplash

Better competitor analysis

The ads library provides specific ad details on all campaigns in their search results. It means you can see how well your competitors perform across different Meta channels. You can determine the common target location and duration of their ads. Plus, you can also learn more about their messaging approach. From there, you can identify what you lack in your current ads and make improvements immediately.

Of course, competitor analysis can also mean discovering what not to do with your strategy. You can also utilize the ads library to study underperforming or bad ads and list factors to avoid.

Moreover, the success of your campaign may also depend on your timing. That's why you should adapt to your competitors' campaign running times. Publishing too soon or too late may make you miss your target audience's availability. Studying more successful campaigns allows you to learn the proper time to post your ads.

Thorough A/B testing

While studying your competitors and their campaigns, you might come across different versions of the same ad. That could mean your competitor is conducting A/B testing for their ideas. You can use this information to narrow your search for effective ads to follow. For instance, if you notice that one of the two ads your competitors are launching is failing, you can skip over that and look at the other. Meanwhile, you can turn that around and look at their bad ads and ensure that you don't make the same mistakes.

Content form strengthening

Content is king in social media marketing. If your brand is still learning the ropes of how to create quality content, you can use the ads library to look for inspiration.

The good news is that you can filter the results based on the media type. For instance, if you want to strengthen your video ads strategy, you can set the search to videos-only and learn various ads in video form.

Take the opportunity to also learn about content forms you haven't tried before. Some brands only focus on static images and videos. Others go for GIFs, infographics, and podcasts.

Accurate budgeting

Pouring money is not always the solution for a successful social media marketing campaign. If you're in the budgeting stage of your campaign, consider consulting the ads library first.

The Meta ads library provides a comprehensive report on all available campaigns in their channels. This platform allows you to access details like competitor ad spending to help you budget your campaigns wisely. If your competitors are spending less but still performing, that could be because of other factors like targeting and content. Budget accurately and focus on different elements that make up your ad for a successful run.

Ad impression filtering

An impression is when the target audience views your ad on their social media feed or anywhere else online. It's one of the most vital metrics in social media marketing because it presents how successful a campaign is.

In the ads library, you can identify how many people your competitors are targeting or have successfully targeted by filtering their ad impressions for active and inactive campaigns. You can filter ads by date range to learn how fast their campaigns reach the target audience.

Combine the number of impressions with other details provided by the platform, such as ad spend, demographics, and content, to create a formula that you can use for your ads.

Learning more about social media trends

Social media trends are becoming more fast-paced across different platforms. Memes, in particular, are among the most aggressive content types online. They're one of the best ways to entertain and engage your target audience. However, because of how fast memes emerge, some templates may feel outdated if used later.

Marketers must be on the lookout for the type of content trending on social media channels, like meme templates. With the ads library, you can access running and previous ads across different platforms. You can study how effective specific trends are online. Adapting immediately to emerging trends is vital in social media because using them at a later time might give the impression that your page is behind.

Studying campaign messages

Accessing various campaigns in Meta provides you with an opportunity to improve your overall messaging. Collect multiple creative inspirations or approaches to discover how to communicate effectively to your target audience.

Copy and design go hand-in-hand when it comes to social media content. They're vital in terms of engaging with your potential customers. It's not enough that you write or design them properly. They must be able to touch your target audience in many ways. Through the ads library, you can learn various creative elements to communicate and convert on social media.

Discovering other styles from other industries

Using the ads library for competitor analysis is an excellent use of the platform. However, you don't have to limit yourself to pages within your industry. Try looking into other businesses from other fields. It might give you more ideas about ad creatives and campaign setup.

However, when doing so, look for ads in areas that complement your business. For instance, if your business is in the clothing industry, you can look at brands from the beauty section.

Understanding competitor funnel

Most of the time, social media ads are not the end of the customer journey. More often than not, marketers take their target audience elsewhere to continue their engagement. For instance, they can take their potential customers to landing pages with special offerings, like free trials or bundles upon sign-up.

If you want to expand your ad campaigns, you can study such funnels by going through their ads on the platform as a customer. For example, you can select a particular ad and go through the links presented in them.

Pro Tip: Try utilizing user-generated content (UGC) in your social media ads. UGC helps promote brand authenticity and build trust with potential customers. You can use the Meta Ads Library to look for the type of UGC your competitors use to endorse their brands.

Maximize Every Tool for Your Online Campaigns

Social media remains a vital component of digital marketing today. The best thing about social media marketing today is that newbie marketers have various opportunities to create thorough campaigns for their clients or businesses.

Platforms like the Meta ads library help brands create quality social media campaigns by allowing them to study active ads and inactive ads. Through this platform, social media marketing becomes more accessible and effective.

When doing social media marketing, it's best to maximize every tool available. Apart from the Meta ads library, there are tools that can help marketers leverage quality content, like user-generated content (UGC) for their social media pages, like user-generated content.

User-generated content is one of the best forms of social proof that brands can use to humanize their brands and gain more trust online. Unfortunately, many brands miss out on helpful user-generated content that they can use, particularly on Instagram, where most user-generated content is posted.

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FAQs on Getting Started With Facebook Ads Library

Why isn't your ad showing when you look for it?

If you just launched your ad online, you should wait a while before it appears in the Meta ads library. An ad could take around 24 hours to get impressions and appear on the platform. If you make any creative changes to your campaign, you should also wait an additional 24 hours.

Is searching for restricted content allowed?

Yes. However, you should log in with your Facebook account first. Using the Meta ads library without an account will prohibit access to such content.

Is there a premium or paid feature?

No. All Meta ads library features are free to use.

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