How To Spy On Native Competitors' Ads? (FREE Tools)


Spy on native competitors ads

Table Of Contents

Spying on native competitors' ads to remain ahead in the ever-changing world of e-commerce marketing. That's why nearly 90% of publishers use it, and 40% expect it to be a significant source of their digital income.

Follow this guide in this blog to spy on your rivals' native adverts for free. We'll examine creative methods using mainstream technology and social media to help you evaluate and design successful marketing campaigns.

What Are Native Ads?

Unlike disruptive banner advertisements, native ads blend in with the surrounding content, making the experience less intrusive and more engaging.

There are several forms that native advertising may take:

  • Programmatic advertisements.
  • Articles and in-depth stories.
  • Content includes both video and audio. Surveys and data visualization.
  • Digital resources, games, and experiences.

Here are three main native advertising channels:

  • Search: With sponsored search results, search engines like Google and Yahoo pioneered a new "native."
  • Social: Native in-feed and carousel ads became trendy on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Open Web systems like Taboola provide tailored content suggestions and in-feed native adverts on prominent publisher websites.
Native ads
Native ads.

What Does "Spy On Native Ads" Mean?

Enter native ad spy tools, your digital detectives working diligently to get information from the web. With this valuable information, you can

Find out which images, headlines, and messages excite your audience. Find out which types of forms-photos, movies, or carousels-your competitors' customers like the most.

Also, native ads spy tools display the specific markets and targeted tactics your rivals are using. This may be a goldmine for discovering new consumer categories ripe for harvesting. You may broaden your reach and capitalize on untapped possibilities in your market.

Finally, the native advertising environment continuously changes with new trends and developments. Native ads spy tools let you keep up to date on the latest changes, ensuring that your native ad campaigns remain fresh, competitive, and successful.

How Can You Spy On Native Competitors' Ads For Free? (Without Tools)

Even while commercial spy tools provide a lot of data, you may learn much about your rivals' native ad techniques for free.

This part will provide you with essential investigation skills for discovering the secrets behind their successful native ad strategies.

Option 1: Take Advantage Of Retargeting Ad

Even if you don't use an ad-blocking tool, you should read this part to learn how to see your native competitor's advertising without any tool.

Retargeting advertising targets consumers who have interacted with a brand or website. You might see their ads on a competitor's website or social media page.

For instance, we went to MailChimp's website after searching for the term on Google. Then, we noticed that Facebook and LinkedIn, among others, were showing advertising for MailChimp.

Native ads

Facebook's native ads.

Take advantage of this:

  • List your main rivals, then check out their websites and social media pages.
  • Allow cookies on these sites; they could be used for tracking, and turn off your ad blocker briefly (or use an anonymous window to keep your browsing private).

If you keep surfing the web like usual, you'll start seeing ads for your rivals in a few days.

When you use retargeting along with the tips below to spy on your rivals' native ads, you can get a good look at their ads.

Option 2: Searching On Google

While SEO tools provide various insights, you may still learn vital information without them.

Here's a simple method that emphasizes accuracy: Using incognito tab in your browser. Because incognito browsing prevents Google from personalizing search results based on your browser history, this makes your competitor's rating more objective.

Now, open your incognito tab and search for your competitor's brand name or the service they provide. This simple search might yield a surprising amount:

  • Are they running advertisements? Look for sponsored results toward the top of the search page. If they are advertising, you may see their ad text and landing page, which provides insight into their message and target audience.
  • What is their advertising copy angle? Examine the keywords and phrases they use in their advertisements.
  • Branded vs Non-Branded Keywords: Are they spending only on their brand name (branded keywords) or broader phrases relating to their industry (non-branded keywords)? This might reveal how they approach their SEO campaign.
  • Competitive Bidding Wars: This might suggest a profitable market sector and offer information about prospective keyword strategies.

For example, suppose we search for the keyword "mail tool" in our Google incognito tab. With the "Sponsored" sticker, Mailchimp appears at the top of search engines before Brevo Email Tool results.

Google search example

Google search example.

This simple search tells us a few things. Firstly, Mailchimp may target the "mail tool" to reach more people and spend on keyword advertisements for higher placement. Second, advertising against "Brevo Email Tools" shows a competitive email tools market.

Read more: How Do You Spy on Competitors' Google Shopping Ads?

Option 3: Analyze Native In-Feed Ads On Social Media

By converting into a social media detective, you can study these native in-feed advertising and get valuable insights for your e-commerce operations.

This part will provide a strategic framework for dissecting these advertisements on Facebook and TikTok, revealing their secrets, and eventually creating even more successful native ad campaigns for your company.

3.1. Searching Facebook Ads Itself

But before you buy expensive spy tools, there's a simple, risk-free way to learn a lot from their local ads. Get behind the curtain with this method, but to fully access this data, read our detailed blog post: How To Spy On Facebook Ads?

Here's how you can use the Facebook built-in to spy on native Facebook advertisements:

Step 1: Choose the "..." symbol in the upper right corner of the native Facebook advertising named "Sponsored."

Searching Facebook Ads Itself

Step 2: Next, selecting it brings up a menu with options like "Why am I seeing this ad?".

Searching Facebook Ads Itself

For example, as the image below, meta notifies you that you're seeing the ALL-Accor Live Limitless ad due to two factors:

  • The advertiser's choices: ALL-Accor Live Limitless wants to display ads to people who can communicate in English (US), are above 18 years old, and live in Vietnam.
ALL—Accor Live Limitless advertiser's choices

ALL-Accor Live Limitless advertiser's choices.

  • Your activities on Facebook: Users engaged with advertising related to food and drink, business solutions, and banking and finance. Also, users engaged with sites and postings about pop culture, books, literature, and electronics.
Users' activities on Facebook

Users' activities on Facebook.

You may discover a lot about their target audience and marketing strategy. This information may be used to target and convey Facebook ads to people who are similar to them.

3.2. Analyze TikTok Ads Itself

Unfortunately, unlike Facebook advertisements, native TikTok ads do not provide demographic information like age or device kind. The "About this Ad" feature doesn't have this information.

Here's how to use TikTok's built-in capabilities to spy on native TikTok ads:

  1. Deciphering the status section:

Pay special attention to the status of your competitor's native adverts. The language chosen, the sorts of questions answered, and the general tone may disclose a great deal about the demographics and interests of the intended audience.

  1. Analysis hashtags:

The TikTok Creative Center is a goldmine of information for content producers and marketers.

TikTok Creative Center explores current trends in Vietnam

TikTok Creative Center explores current trends in Vietnam.

The hashtag-specific Insights section is one of its most useful features, including:

  • Popularity: See the top 100 hashtags used in your country and how many views each hashtag receives to understand its reach.
  • Associated hashtags: Find similar hashtags that often appear alongside the ones you searched for. This can reveal broader trends and niche communities your competitors might be targeting.
  • Videos using the hashtag: View a selection of videos related to the hashtag. This will help you observe what kind of material connects with that particular audience group.
Hashtag analysis via TikTok Creative Center

Hashtag analysis via TikTok Creative Center.

You may find hashtags your rivals haven't used but may be relevant to your target audience by examining these patterns and filtering by category or area.

  1. Trending sounds:

Also, you can use TikTok Creative Center's inspiration from popular music to learn trending sounds on TikTok. Understanding the sound linked to the ad will help you better understand the target audience the marketer aims to attract.

Popular music inspires TikTok Creative Center

Popular music inspires TikTok Creative Center.

Check out our guide for more practical information: How Do You Spy On TikTok Ads for Success?

2 Ways To Spy On Competitors Native Ads Using Tools

This section gives you two free tools to analyze your competitor's native ad campaigns. By combining these tactics with some strategic thought, you may still obtain helpful information to inform your native marketing campaigns.

Option 1: Using AdBeat Tool

While several "spy tools" are available, AdBeat stands out for its extensive information. Here's how you can use the free edition of AdBeat to get important insights into your competitors' native advertising strategies:

Step 1: Create A Free Trial AdBeat Account Without A Credit Card

Visit AdBeat's website and join up for their free trial. The procedure is fast and simple, with no credit card information necessary.

Create a Free AdBeat account

Create a Free AdBeat account.

Then, you'll get a confirmation email; confirm your account, and you'll be ready to explore.

Step 2: Analyze Competitor Ad Presence

Once you've logged in, enter your competitor's website URL into the AdBeat search window. Let's use the hotel chain ALL-Accor Live Limitless as an example.

Searching on AdBeat tool

Searching on AdBeat tool.

AdBeat will provide a thorough picture of its advertising presence across several media. The free version shows the following:

  • Ad Channels: This reveals where ALL - Accor Live Limitless focuses its advertising efforts. You might see a breakdown like "Direct Ads (1%)", "Native Ads (26%)," and "Programmatic Ads. (74%)".
Ad channels analytics data

Ad channels analytics data.

  • Ad Creative Formats: This section shows the types of ad formats the competitor uses, such as "Image & Text" or "HTML5." In this case, ALL - Accor Live Limitless prioritizes image-based ads, which makes sense for the hospitality industry.
Ad channels analytics data

Ad creative formats analytics data.

  • Publisher Categories: This reveals the types of websites where ALL - Accor Live Limitless displays its ads.
Publisher Categories analytics data

Publisher Categories analytics data.

Continue to step three for an analysis of native ads in more detail.

Step 3: Limited Native Ad Insights (Free Version)

In the "Native Ads" part of the Accor Live Limitless ad example. It is noted that fewer than 1% of the advertisements on the site are native, with the longest-running ad and page.

Now, click on any of the native advertising featured below for extra information about them. You will subsequently be sent to a website focused on Native Ads metrics.

Publisher Categories analytics data

Native ads from Accor Live Limitless were analyzed by AdBeat.

Even with the free edition, AdBeat offers valuable insight into your competitors' advertising behavior. This information might be a valuable starting point for developing your successful native advertising campaign.

Consider AdBeat's subscription plans for a more in-depth analysis of native ad effectiveness and creative specifics.

Option 2: Using the AdFlex Tool

AdFlex offers premium solutions and a free native ad spy tool. AdFlex's free version provides advertisers a great starting point for comprehensive native ad analysis with their 30-day free plan.

Here is how to use AdFlex to spy on competitors' native ads:

Step 1: Create An AdFlex Account

Visit AdFlex's website for a free trial. Link your Google or Facebook account to register quickly without filling out forms.

Create An AdFlex Account

Once logged in, go to the "Native" tab on the main menu.

Create An AdFlex Account

To access the free trial features, go to the Native section and choose "Analytics."

Create An AdFlex Account

Step 2: Analysis of Native Advertisements AdFlex

After step one, enter your competitor's website URL or ad term into the search area.

For example, we will choose "Domain" and input the domain name

Analysis of Native Advertisements AdFlex

Here you may see:

  • Top Networks: Discover which networks your competitors use for native advertisements, showing their advertising reach tactics.
Analyze top networks using AdFlex

Analyze top networks using AdFlex.

  • Top Regions (Limited View): The free trial provides an overview of the countries where your competitors' native advertisements appear. They are upgrading grants to full access.
Analyze top regions using AdFlex

Analyze top regions using AdFlex.

  • Devices & OS: This section identifies which operating systems and devices will most likely view your competitor's native adverts.
Analyze devices and OS using AdFlex

Analyze devices and OS using AdFlex.

  • Top publishers: Discover the websites and platforms where your competitor's native advertisements appear most often.
Analyze top publishers using AdFlex

Analyze top publishers using AdFlex.

  • Used Placements: This identifies the spots on websites or applications where your competitor's native advertisements appear.
  • Ad types: Understand the sorts of native ad formats that your opponent utilizes.
Analyze the placements and ad types used in AdFlex

Analyze the placements and ad types used in AdFlex.

  • Top advertisements (Free Sample): The free trial includes a sample of your competitor's highest-performing native advertisements.

You can see where they advertise, their target demographic (using device and OS data), and some of their most successful commercials. This data may help you create successful native advertising campaigns.

Tips For Effectively Leveraging Data From Competitors Native Advertising

So you've got the inside scoop on your rivals' native advertising strategies - that's a beautiful start. Here's how to use competitor knowledge to choose the ideal native ad for your e-commerce store:

Choose the Right Native Ad Format

Consumers trust news and lifestyle websites more than social media. 75% of consumers trust native advertisements on journalistic websites, compared to 54% for social media ads. This trust leads to increased involvement and effectiveness.

Here's how to tailor your native ad format to their stage in the buying journey:

  • Attention Stage: Captivate new audiences with in-feed native ads. Stunning visuals or short, captivating videos featuring high-quality product photography or lifestyle shots showcasing your product in action are perfect for grabbing attention.
  • Consideration Stage: Spark more profound interest in native content ads. Imagine informative blog posts or articles woven into relevant contexts, subtly highlighting how your product solves customer pain points. This is your chance to showcase expertise and build trust.
  • Decision Stage: Push potential buyers towards buying with comparison shopping ads that showcase your product's competitive edge. Native ads featuring customer testimonials are also powerful at this stage, building social proof and trust.

Pro tips: You can use the AdBeat tool by clicking on each ad to reveal the precise date, ad run date, ad kind, ad size, and a glimpse of the 7-day trends chart. Take advantage of competitors' ad sizes and ad types for reference.

AdBeat analyzes Accor Live Limitless native advertisements

AdBeat analyzes Accor Live Limitless native advertisements.

Choose the native ad kind that best engages your target audience and increases sales for your e-commerce site by combining competitor insights, data analysis, and a full understanding of their route.

Designing Mobile Display Native Ads

According to the research, over two-thirds (63.2%) of all mobile display advertisements will be native. In other words, your mobile native ads need to be specially made for watching on smaller screens.

Pro tip: You can use technologies like AdFlex to analyze users' devices and operating systems to produce relevant native ads. You can also examine your most successful advertisements to see what elements contributed to their effectiveness.

Analyze top ads using AdFlex

Analyze top ads using AdFlex.

Uncover Landing Page Optimization (For Shopify Store)

Spying on your rivals' local ads is only half the battle. To create an effective sales path, you need to know where their clicks or landing pages go.

Tools like AdBeat or AdFlex provide peeks at rival landing pages, providing useful information into their strategy.

Analyze landing pages with AdBeat

Analyze landing pages with AdBeat.

Here's what you should look for on the landing page:

  • Messaging match.
  • Clear value proposition.
  • Call to action button.
  • Visual consistency.

Pro tip: If you own a Shopify shop, consider using the EComposer Page Builder tool. Its drag-and-drop interface and huge collection of themes and features let you create amazing landing pages that convert clicks into buyers without coding.

EComposer drag and drop landing page designer

EComposer drag and drop landing page designer.

Read more:


1. Is It Legal To Use A Spy Tool For Native Ads?

In general, using spy tools for native ads is considered legal. Here's a breakdown of the key points:

  • Public Information: These technologies collect data from websites and ad networks. Accessing publicly exposed information doesn't violate privacy.
  • Not Copying, Focus on Insights: How you use data affects legality. Using competition ad tactics to improve your own campaigns is OK. Copying their creative parts or landing sites may violate copyright.

However, certain ad platforms may have their terms of service for data scraping or utilizing automated techniques. Before employing any spy program, it is usually a good idea to read the terms of service for the particular platform.

2. Are Free Apps Enough To Get Good Insights On Native Ads Of Competitors?

No, free spy applications often have limits in terms of data access and analysis.

They may just give basic information, such as ad formats or placements, but do not go into detail regarding targeting, performance metrics, or landing page data.

So, for further insights, explore premium native ads spy tools.

3. When Might It Be Worth Upgrading To A Paid Native Ads Spy Tool?

If native advertising is an important part of your marketing plan and you want the best results, a sponsored spy tool may be a game changer. It offers deeper insights that free tools cannot supply.

Also, a paid spy tool is helpful if you work in a crowded industry with several essential rivals. It enables you to thoroughly examine their native ad strategy, providing a detailed view of the competitive environment.

Key Takeaways

Congratulations, you've finished your guide in spy on competition native ad without using pricey spy tools. By combining the power of free social media analytics and smart rival website visiting, you've gained important data to help you create successful native ad campaigns.

Stay up for our blog for tips on spying on advertisements across platforms.


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