Three Tricks How To Target Your Competitor's Audience With Facebook Ads

In this article, I’m going to reveal 3 simple but powerful tricks to discover how to target your competitors audience with Facebook ads.

And at the end, you’ll have all the information about your audience that you’ll need to get conversions more quickly when you run your ads.

Using these methods will also shortcut your research, and give you certainty for who exactly you should target when launching your ads in the shortest time possible.

I’m also going to reveal four additional bonuses to find even more competitors so you can increase the amount of targeting information when running your ads, and how to find innovative ways of creating your ads for free.

Trick #1: Target your competitors audience By using your Facebook feed

This first trick is something that no one’s really talking about…

Which is, the ads you already get in your Facebook feed.

When Facebook shows you someone’s ad on your feed, you can see who they're trying to reach.

Screenshot of a facebook ad highlighting the three dots to press to get more info

All you need to do is tap on the three dots at the right-hand corner of the ad, and all the information about who the business is targeting is revealed.

Screen shot of facebook ad after pressing 3 dots highlighting option that says why am i seeing this ad?

It shows you the age group, target audience location, and it reveals all the information about who they're targeting at the interest level.

Facebook ad why am i seeing this ad with highlighted interests

after discovering your target audience its worth considering...

And with that, you can start taking down all the information, because not only will you be using these for your own ads.

It will also help with part of the strategy which I’ll reveal later in this article.

However, here’s the thing…

Some of you might be saying, you don’t get the ads you want from your competitors, or they're not showing up in your Facebook feed.

And if this is true for you…

Then this is where moving on to the next trick will solve this...

Trick #2: trigger Facebooks algorithms to show you your competitors ads.

Doing this will give you the advantage of letting Facebook directly put your competitor's ads in your feed, and that way you can get more specific with discovering their target audience.

There’s also three things you should know which are:

  1. What age group they're targeting.
  2. The top locations.
  3. What interests they're using or are they working with open targeting.

So here’s how you can do this

Firstly you want to have a list of competitors already written down,Then go to their websites and start browsing random pages.

If you google your competitors check if they have google ads running and go through their funnel.

Because what you’re doing is triggering the pixel on their site to display ads on your feed.

Even though some of these ads will show up on your feed as retargeting ads.

What we’re really doing is training Facebook to learn about what interests you’re into and what kind of sites you visit…

Use the Facebook ads library

Another powerful way is to go to the Facebook ads library

And search your competitors or even the industries, and click through the ads there and go through the funnel.

Screenshot of facebook ad library highlighting search bar

Once you have done all of this, give it some time as it might not come up immediately but once Facebook picks you up it will start showing you, your competitor's ads.

And then to add more fuel to the fire…

Make sure you immerse yourself into the industry, go into groups and start chatting with other people in those groups.

Get immersed in the conversations around the niche and relevant topics.

All of these things will get Facebook doing the work for you and trigger the algorithm of the ads you want to see.

However, here’s something you should know before doing this

If you go to multiple competitors' sites at once, you will most likely get their retargeted ads…

And one thing you don’t want to do is have your entire feed filled with all these competitors…

Because you won't see what interests they're targeting and will more likely be shown they targeted you based, on going to their site…basically retargeting ads.

But what it will do is allow Facebook to pick up what kinds of websites you visit and what you’re interested in helping the algorithms how more businesses that are similar to what you're searching.

Trick #3: Using the facebook search bar

Another way to find your competitors target audience is by using the Facebook search bar.

This is rarely mentioned but what you can do is type the industry you're looking for, Such as dentist.

And on the search results, it will start to show a few ads for that industry.

Again you can click through to discover their audience, this is more of a way to search the bigger picture of the industry.

So instead of getting specifics, you might just get the general industry niche of the competitors you're searching for.

But again this information holds so much weight when it comes to discovering targeting on Facebook for the perfect audience.

Now before jumping into the bonuses, here’s something you should be thinking about from all of this data.

Besides taking all the interests your competitors are targeting...

ask yourself the following

What’s the pattern your seeing?

Are you noticing there targeting lookalikes?

Are they doing a lot of retargeting?

Pay attention to the answers to these questions and add them as part of your own targeting strategy for the best results.

Because you're getting real feedback to tell you what’s actually working!

Now getting into some bonus tips…

Bonus Tricks To find the best target audience using your competitors

Bonus Trick #1 Using Facebooks ad manager

Using Facebooks ads manager can be used to find more competitors so you can repeat the process with more data if you don’t have many competitors.

So you want to take the information from your competitors and go through the steps for triggering the algorithm.

Here's how to do it…

you can go directly into ads manager, and create any ad, it doesn’t matter we only want to be able to get into ad set targeting.

Then go to detail targeting, and enter in one or more competitors.

screenshot of facebook detailed targeting with examples of how to use
Click Suggestions and you will find a list of interests based on your competitor.

Now click suggestions, and Facebook will show you similar interests to the competitors you've entered.

Take note of all interests and go to their website and ads, then go through the funnel, let all of this data go through the Facebook algorithm.

And perhaps best of all...

Bonus Trick #2 Similar web

Now another BONUS to find even more competitors is to use a website called Similarweb, all you do is take your competitors URL and enter it into the search bar.

Images highlighting how to use similarweb to find competitors interests

Scroll down and it should give you a list of more competitors…

And something to note here, you don’t need the paid version, the free version should be enough data for you to use.

Bonus Trick #3 Set Yourself Up To Win

Set yourself up to win and serve your ad with the best chance of being a winner.

So This step here you want to start taking note of three things about your competitors…

The Offer they're promising.

The Hooks used to grab attention.

And the structures they're writing their ads with.

Because these are going to help you come up with crafting an offer or hook that’s different from everyone else.
So pay attention to what the offer is.

Go to the call to action what are they saying to get their audience to click…

And then click and view the offer.

What can you spot about their offer that you could innovate?

You don’t do any stealing! Because not only is stealing BAD but the idea is to do something different.

Because once the market has seen something before, you’ll lose their interest if they think they know what it is.

Instead, look for things that can be different from what’s being offered by your competitors.

Then on the Facebook Ad.

What hooks are they using to grab the attention of your audience?

This is going to give you an idea of what your competitors are doing to grab their audience's attention.


The three mistakes that are killing your tomatoes…

Or why the top gardeners are using this single ingredient to grow their vegetables 5 times faster.

This will again inspire you to come up with a hook that you know people have seen before and that attracts them.
And finally by observing the copy…

What’s really important is to understand the structure of the ADs.
Now I can't say this enough…

But, this will give you a good idea of what process is working well to get your audience to read or watch a video.

Are they starting with a problem and then leading to the solution to the offer?

Does it start with a BIG Promise that tells a story?

How do they position their offers?

When do they add the call to action, and so on?

This is something you can take for your own ad.

Where you can use these structures to build out copy that’s proven to work.

Because there’s no stealing with structures as long as you create something completely different. 

Bonus Trick #4 know exactly which angles, hooks and offers are working for you to innovate

This will save you A TON of advertising money, because you're letting your competitors spend the money and then you're looking at their data to find what works without paying a single cent.

So the question becomes…

how do you know your competitor's ads are winners?

And the simple answer is, on the feed you Don’t know.

But, here’s an EASY hack to find which ads are winners.

Here’s how to make sure the ads you find are winners

Go to the Facebook AD library, and put in the competitors you found on your feed.

Then scroll to the very bottom and search for the ad which has been running the longest.

The dates will be an indicator that the advertiser has been running the ad long enough, to continue to spend on that audience.

So Dates that show only a few weeks or month this is usually ads that are running as a test.

So make sure the ad has been running for at least a few months first to give you a better idea of what’s winning.

And another way is to type the keyword, go to filters and put the date back…

Screenshot of Facebook library filters for selecting different dates

Usually at least within a few months and then you’ll have a bunch of ads that have been running long enough to determine if they’ve been spending a lot. 

Moving forward with targeting your competitors audience

So that’s it, and I hope you got a good idea of what you need to do, make sure to immerse yourself in groups and consume content and let the algorithm feed you your competitors ads…

Take note of everything you see and create a document full of these ideas.

Let me know by commenting below if I've missed any tips or if you have any questions.

You may also benefit from generally learning more about how to target with Facebook ads to further improve your results.