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How to steal acquisition ideas from other brands 🥷
The 1 habit every marketer needs to master, especially following LinkedIn's arrival this week.
I'm always amazed by how few marketers tap into the goldmine of official ad libraries. It's the easiest way to steal acquisition ideas from your competitors. Now, with LinkedIn's own ad library launch, it's a habit every marketer should embrace.
🧐 What exactly is an ad library?
Ad libraries give access to ALL live ads on a platform. It's very straightforward — just search for a company or keyword, and the ads unfold before your eyes. No hidden agendas.
Thanks to regulations and public pressure, social media platforms open up their ad libraries to everyone. So, yes, you can spy on what other companies (and competitors) are advertising, all the time.
Check out these official ad libraries:
TikTok Creative Center (https://ads.tiktok.com/business/creativecenter/inspiration/topads/pc/en?period=30)
🏆 Why ad libraries are a game changer
First, we can see what works.
Ever wondered what grabs people's attention as they scroll through their feeds? It's the images, the text, and, most importantly, the Call To Action (CTA). Our goal is to find the most common elements in those ads. E.g. if all of them have “Buy Now” instead of “Learn More” as CTAs, it’s probably a good idea to imitate. By observing 5-10 competitor pages, we'll gather a treasure trove of 20-30 stellar ad examples.1
Second, we can tap into keyword popularity.
The number of search results indicates how competitive our industry's ad space is. For example, on LinkedIn, there are 33K ads with "cybersecurity" but only 5K with "CISO" (the cybersecurity chief).
❌ The catch (and the trick)
Ad libraries typically show only live ads, not historical ones. However, here's the golden nugget: check when an ad started running.
If an ad has been running for more than 2 weeks, it's likely a winner2.
Make it a weekly habit to check your competitors' ads. Watch for ads that suddenly disappear. I personally use the GoFullPage Chrome extension to take snapshots of the library, allowing me to track changes over time.
👔 LinkedIn's new ad library
LinkedIn's new ad library gives marketers real superpowers. No joke. We can see some historical ads, view counts, country targeting, and more (if there's enough data).
OK, wow. 🤯 That’s a crazy amount of data points.
And heck, we can even see “personalized” message ads!
Plus, only on LinkedIn, we can dive into any company page > posts > ads to explore specific ads. This provides insights into reactions and comments, shedding more light on ad success.
P.S. I use the Facebook ad library daily in a creative twist you'll love:
Just before checkout when buying online, I visit the ad library to find live ads by that company. Often, there are cart-abandonment coupons, offering fantastic savings. Coupon extensions like Honey usually miss these gems.
That’s my personal life hack 😉
See you next week ✌️
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On Facebook, you can sort ads by impressions (high to low) – but only for political ads.
Some advertisers may re-launch winning ads (resetting the date), but it's rare. Great ads tend to accumulate likes and engagement. Advertisers don’t want to lose that.