How to Spy on Your Competitors’ Ads
Or Fialkov, Tue Aug 17 2021, 9 min
If one of your digital dreams was to see your competitor’s ads and spy after their sponsored campaigns, then your dreams are about to become a reality. Everything you do online can be analyzed and monitored, including what your competition is doing! This article will explain exactly how to do this and which online tools you can use! Learn what’s working and be inspired to make the best digital campaigns.
As digital marketers, seeing what your competitors are up to is a game-changer, to say the least.  Imagine using intelligent digital tools that can show you the traffic source of your competition, how much they pay for their acquisition, which ads work best, amongst many other crucial details. Sounds “juicy” and highly contributing to your marketing efforts, doesn’t it?
Today, we will discuss the fascinating area of ad intelligence. We offer a breakdown of the best tools that allow you to view and learn about your competitor’s advertising efforts. So put on your spy hat and sunglasses, and let’s get our spy game on!

Why do you need intelligence tools for ads and competitors?

As digital advertisers and marketers, you clearly want to send the right message, to the right audience, at the right time. But in today’s competitive reality, it is much easier said than done. Just as you use software and analytic tools to measure and track the performance of your own marketing and advertising efforts, it makes perfect sense to make the same effort to get the same data pertaining to your competitor’s actions. Tools that allow you to see the ads posted by your competition and the data about their campaigns provide that missing piece of the puzzle (and this piece can help you make a more efficient digital presence).

Is This Practice Legitimate?

It’s important to note that intelligence tools and “spying” on outside sources are totally legit, even if for some of you, it is in the grey area of digital marketing. There is nothing wrong or illegal within the platform rules, but these are simply innovative technological tools extracting relevant and practical data from the mounts of big data available online.  Rest assured, your competitors are also using the software and tools surveyed here to monitor your campaign performance!
What’s more, if you head on over to Facebook, you’ll be able to browse through all the ads that are running through Facebook. While you probably won’t be able to view much on elections, politics, or world issues, you can see exactly what ads and creatives your competitors are running. The Facebook Ad Library is open to anyone, hence playing down the question of legitimacy. 

What Is The Best Spy Software? 

We’ve rounded up a list of 9 popular spyware tools that track and analyze ads posted by your competitors. For each tool, you’ll find a breakdown on which types of ads it shows, how much it costs, and how many ads it includes:

BigSpy

BigSpy is a very convenient tool for new users, with an intuitive interface. This tool allows you to search by marketing objectives, CTA, and creatives in specific markets. The tool allows for notifications and real-time updates about the brands and companies of your choice. This tool may not provide depth statistics and complex analysis, but it certainly provides valuable and vital data.
BigSpy’s platform works on ads from Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, Twitter, Admob, Yahoo, and Pinterest - and includes more than 650 million ads to survey. 
The price starts at $9 a month. If you want deeper data, though, then the monthly package that costs $99 will do the trick!

AdSpy

A high-quality, convenient ad tool for beginners. It also checks out sponsored campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. It’s a user-friendly software embraced by affiliate marketers. It specializes in locating ads on Facebook and Instagram and enables you to receive comprehensive data via different filters.
AdSpy’s tool includes more than 90 million ads and works on Facebook and Instagram. It also enables search and filtering by comments, big data statistics, and so much more.
Subscription pricing starts at 149$ per month.

SpyFu

One of the best spyware available lets you download all the most profitable keywords by your competition and the relevant ads in sponsored and organic searches. SpyFu’s tool provides you with a plethora of marketing secrets.
You just perform a search by domain and get plenty of useful and relevant data about any given website’s search ads, display ads, PPC, keywords, organic ratings, and ad changes. SpyFu also offers additional tools of competition research, mainly for Google ads. This is a high-quality competition and spyware tool, mostly in the context of SEO and PPC.
The price starts from 33$ per month.

PowerAdSpy

Power AdSpy is a superior, recommended spyware and competition research tool. PowerAdSpy is one of the most powerful tools to research ads posted by your competitors. The tool surveys and monitors Google ads, display, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Native, Reddit, and Quora. The tool contains ads from more than 100 sources and more than 50 million ads.
The subscription starts at 49$ a month for Facebook ads only and reaches 349$ for ads within all advertising channels.

SEMRush

Many people are familiar with SEMRush as one of the most popular, powerful, and valuable spyware tools for competition research and digital competition data. The company also offers a tool that allows you to see ads posted by others and receive useful data about them. This tool mainly relates to the activity of your competition in sponsored and organic searches, keyword research, etc. You can see and realize what works for your competition and their marketing strategy regarding Google searches.
The ad research tool by SEMRush arrives as an additional element in its powerful, inclusive software and not as an exclusive spyware service. This way, you get a compelling and capable platform.
The subscription fee starts at 119$ per month.

AdVault

AdVault is a digital intelligence, advertising, and marketing tool focusing on Native Ads and landing pages. The tool’s abilities are similar to other tools that also monitor native ads and landing pages. It offers a high capacity to trace the best ads and landing pages in terms of performance, with more than 10 million ads and landing pages to survey. It also works with Outbrain, Taboola, etc.

You can use the tool to trace winning ads and landing pages in your area of expertise and copy the most successful campaign for your website and business.
AdVault’s service begins with 97$ per month.

WhatRunsWhere

This tool allows you to view your competition’s Facebook ads and receive valuable and interesting data about their social media campaigns. You can see what works, what doesn’t, and their overall strategy regarding Facebook ads. You can also use this data to set up more successful campaigns for yourself. High-quality data emanating from display and native ads allow you to trace successful and efficient creative ads in your marketing niche and use effective campaigns to create your next winning strategy.
WhatRunsWhere’s tool (https://www.whatrunswhere.com) is relatively expensive and mainly designated for agencies rather than small business owners.
Its pricing starts at 299$ per month just for native and desktop ads. For complete coverage, you’re looking at 399$ a month, and it also includes mobile ads.

Anstrex

Here’s another excellent, powerful tool for native ads. Anstrex’s tool is convenient and has great abilities in data extracting. It mostly allows using the data to improve your conversions in the campaigns you run.
The tool includes more than 10 million ads. It works well on native ads placed on various websites (aside from its many capabilities and extracting plenty of useful data from Anstrex’s platform). It works on most advertising networks that use native ads and also push ads. It also offers a unique tool for push ads intelligence and dropshipping product ads - with data from around the world, including Israel.
Pricing starts at 70$ a month for native ads only, or 140$ a month for native and push ads.

AdPlexity

The last spyware to review is more on a professional league; it’s built for serious digital marketers only. AdPlexity’s tool is a powerful, all-inclusive tool that provides an all-in-one system from a variety of traffic sources. AdPlexity works with all types of ads - search, social media, native, mobile, desktop, e-commerce, push, and other campaign types. It enables the analysis of competitor’s campaigns via various networks. There’s also a follow-up feature that finds other new campaigns made by the same advertisers. AdPlexity’s tool is also suitable to trace winning landing pages.  In addition, it is possible to download these landing pages and other ads to gain a more transparent perspective.
AdPlexity’s model is that you purchase a service for each type of advertising channel that you want data for. Therefore, each module is priced separately. For instance, mobile ads, desktop, e-commerce, native, mobile from various providers have different price ranges, which can entail very high costs compared to other tools in this article. 
The price module starts at 199$ monthly per user. There are unique pricing options for large clients.
Summary
Researching your competition is probably not the thrilling aspect of digital marketing, but it is important and can significantly promote your business’s digital identity. It includes viewing and learning your competition’s most successful campaign. A good campaign starts with checking your competition, what are their best landing pages, what are the ads that work for them, and how eye-grabbing creatives look in your niche. Simply put, do not start a campaign without reviewing the actions of your competitors. 
How do you decide which tool to use? Ask yourself the following questions-  are there ads in the USA that you currently run campaigns for? Second, does the tool include various ad sources, and on what platforms does the tool analyze ads? I recommend trying out three different tools and then choose the one most relevant for your needs, taking the cost into account. If you are doing such research only once a month, there is no point in buying a tool for 350$.

About the Author
Or Fialkov, 38, Founder and CEO of Fialkov Digital, a company specializing in Facebook advertising and various channels, an expert on digital marketing, provides workshops and lectures about marketing using advanced tools for companies and individuals.

Owner of
EasyCloud – WordPress hosting, a company that provides access to cloud hosting to anyone, using Cloudways, with the largest cloud storage companies globally, using an advanced interface, maximal website security, and an excellent price.