How it works
So, as you may have already heard, Facebook has launched their transparency tools for advertising that will from now make all running ads on the platforms visible. This especially concerns “paid advertising” as these can only be seen by those who have been targeted by a certain business.
Firstly, let’s quickly explain how you can find a company’s “dark posts” on Facebook. For those unfamiliar with this term, “dark posts” applies to the news feed style ads that companies pay Facebook to promote, without them ever getting published on their own Facebook Page.
Every Facebook Page now carries a new button called “Info and Ads”. This can be found on the left-sided function bar and allows you to view a Page’s active ads. Clicking on it takes you to a page where you will be able to browse through company’s complete set of currently active ads.
It gets better, you can use the filter option near the top of the page to allow you to check a Page’s running ads in each specific country, giving you the perfect view of which ads a Page is running in different regions.
This option isn’t just available to marketers or agencies. Anyone can do it. Try it out!
But the real question is, how can you use this to benefit your company?
Find out what your competition is doing
An obvious one to start with!
This is a highly significant, game-changing addition to Facebook that is set to give you the chance to see exactly what ads your competitors are currently running. Before, the only way you could precisely find out what your competition was doing in terms of sponsored content, you would have to be targeted by one of their ads. Now, it’s a simple click of a button away.
It gives you the opportunity to make a detailed competitive analysis of their current social advertising strategy, see the type of ad creatives they use and how many different version they are currently testing. This unprecedented move Facebook has made is going to definitely hotten the competition between some companies.
You can also use this to compare their ad creatives to yours in order to discover what you think you’re doing better and what they may be better. Don’t be afraid to use other companies’ Pages for a bit of inspiration! Of course this doesn’t mean you should be plagiarising other companies’ ads! But there’s nothing wrong with take a little peak at what others are doing when you feel like your inspiration is drying up!
What is, however, important to remember is that this a two-way street. You get to see their actively running ads, but they get to see yours. Competition always creates extra motivation and better results, especially when companies can now see each other’s strategies and try to outperform one and other.
Gain Valuable Insights
Find out some specific details about your competitors’ advertising strategy such as:
Targeted Regions: As has already been mentioned, this ad transparency tool allows you to see what countries a specific Page is targeting and with what kind of ads. Discover what kind of content they use to target specific countries. This can help you understand your competitor so you can calculate how you are going to counter their strategies.
Number of active ads: Find out how many active ads a specific Page currently as. Although past ads cannot be seen, it is still interesting to see how much activity there is from your competitors. You can then use the result to compare it to the number of ads your company is currently running.
What product/services they are promoting: Discover what kind of product or services your competition is promoting and in what way they are doing so. Are they dropping a new product on the market? Find out in the simplest of ways.
Ad variations: As Facebook allows you to see all ads being run by a company, it means you can also see if they’re testing variations against each other. This allows you to take a look into their strategic mind and lets you see how they’re thinking and which variations they are considering and comparing against each other.
A lot has become available for display, however, as you’ll find out, there are still some things that will be kept private…
Performances and Engagement
One thing that won’t be publically displayed in the “Info and Ads” page is how a certain ad has performed. This means you won’t be able to see the amount of likes, comments or people reached, and they won’t be able to see yours. The only things that are visible to the public are the ad itself, the countries it’s targeting and the CTA (Call to Action).
Another thing that can’t be done through this page is interacting with the advertisements. The “Like”, “Comment” and “Share” buttons are disabled and the only clickable part of the ad is the CTA. This means that nothing can be done to affect the ad’s data.
The only debatable question left unanswered for now is whether users that enter your ad through the “Info and Ads” page will count as conversions and increase web traffic.
Increase Customer Trust
We’ve talked a lot about how competitors can use this new ad transparency tool to check each other out, but let’s not forget that this page can be accessed by anyone, meaning your customers, potential buyers, leads and others also have access.
The terms transparency and trust are interlinked. By being completely transparent with your customers and leads, you give them the opportunity to increase their trust in your brand. And this can only be achieved if you play a clean, fair game.
What better way to prove this than by having all of your “dark posts” openly displayed? Leads and prospective buyers may check out your page to find out more about your company and brand and make their own decision about whether they find your company trustworthy based on what they’ve seen. Of course, there are many other things customers can look into when judging a company for credibility and trustworthiness, but this definitely shouldn’t be underestimated.
Nowadays, customers are more careful and wary than ever about making online payments and they’ll go through several measures to ensure that they’re not being scammed.
What do you think about this new ad transparency tool? Have you tried checking out a company’s “Info and Ads” page yet? Do you see this as a positive development in terms of increasing trust between business and customers? Share your thoughts with us below! And if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter in order to stay up to date with our latest content, news, updates and inspirational blogs & whitepapers!
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