The 10 Most Recommended Tools to Monitor Competitor Ads

Ad Creatives
Nov 27, 2023
Nov 27, 2023
11 mins
On this page
competitor ads

Trying to get a leg up on the competition? Learn how to monitor competitor ads across Meta, Google, LinkedIn, X, and TikTok with this guide.

Since the dawn of marketing, competitive research has been an important tool in every company's arsenal. Some might say this goes double in 2023, when ad strategy is more visible (and trends change much quicker) than ever before.

In this post, we're going to show you how you can get insight into competitor ads across every channel—including Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Google, LinkedIn, X (or Twitter), and even TikTok.

So put on your best mustache and black-rimmed glasses and get your shaken (not stirred) martini ready as we unleash the secrets of marketing espionage.

Why spy on your competitor’s ads?

I get a lot of questions about ethics in marketing, particularly when it comes to this topic. But the truth is that there's nothing inherently wrong with spying on your competitor's ads or keeping tabs on their strategy, so long as you're not trying to hack into their accounts or copy them outright.

As a matter of fact, you can guarantee that they're probably doing it to you (or others just like you) at this very moment.

Monitoring your competitor's marketing strategy can help you with things like:

  1. Understanding market trends: By observing your competitors' strategies, you can gain insights into their customers' latest trends and preferences
  2. Identifying competitive gaps: Analyzing competitors' ads allows you to spot gaps in their marketing approach, which you can exploit. This could be in the form of targeting an audience they may have overlooked, positioning your products' unique value proposition in comparison to your competitor's, or improving upon their messaging and creative approach.
  3. Benchmarking: Watching your competitors’ ads provides a benchmark against which you can measure your advertising efforts, which is especially helpful when you're just starting. Learning from their successes and failures can help you optimize your campaigns more effectively and avoid the pitfalls they fall into.

All in all, there's no reason why you shouldn't spy on your competitor's advertising campaigns, and every reason you should.

The 10 top tools for monitoring competitor ads

Without further ado, let's dive into all the tools you'll need to monitor your competitor ads across every channel!

Meta competitor ads

The Facebook (Meta) Ad Library

Facebook/Meta Ad Library

The Facebook Ad Library (now the Meta Ad Library) was originally created to appease consumers and legislators after their 2016 political ad scandal, however, it's remained an important tool for marketers who want to keep an eye on their competition's ads ever since.

Here, you can search for topics or a specific advertiser, and Facebook will show you all the results they have for that query. You can use the keyword filter to further refine your search for specific elements like Black Friday deals or specific products.

Spy on competitor ads - Facebook Ad Library

While you won't see any ad results like CTR or Impressions, clicking on an ad will give you extra information, like if the ad is running multiple versions, as well as the start date for those ads.

ad details - Facebook Ad Library

It is important to note that only ads that are still running show on the Facebook Ad Library, except for political ads, which are shown for up to 7 years after their start date.

Though you do have to have a Facebook account to use this service, there is no cost to view anything inside the ad library.

2. Madgicx Ad Library

Madgicx ad Library - Competitor ads

We know a thing or two about ad libraries here at Madgicx because we have one of our very own. :)

The Madgicx Ad Library takes the concept of the Meta Ads Library to the next level. In addition to being able to search Meta ads by advertiser or topic, Madgicx also lets you filter ads by industry, format, and even aspect ratio.

Madgicx Ad Library - Facebook Ad Library

After clicking on an ad, you can view additional ad details, such as the landing page link (if applicable), format, aspect ratio, and the platform the ad was run on.

Madgicx ad library - ad details

But the absolute coolest feature has to be the Board option. Here, you can choose to save any ads that you see to a collection board (a la Pinterest) to view later. Say goodbye to the days of manually taking screenshots of every. single. ad.

Madgicx ad library - Board

Better yet, you can even share the link to your boards with anyone on your team, even if they don't have a Madgicx account. Talk about a complete inspiration gallery at your team's fingertips for only $9/month. ;)

The Ads Library is just one small piece of the Madgicx Creative Workflow, which also includes tools like:

  • Sparkle - See an ad that you love but don't have the creative skills (or teammates) to bring it to life? Click the Sparkle icon on any ad, and our in-house design team will send your creative in just 48 hours.
  • Creative Insights - Creating ads without monitoring performance is a recipe for disaster. Creative Insights uses AI to analyze your ads and provides actionable insights, not just flat charts and graphs.

Better still, both Sparkle and Creative Insights have a free trial period, so you can test drive them just in time for the busy advertising season. 

Google competitor ads

3. Google Ads Transparency Center

Competitor Ads - Google Ads Transparency Center

While a lot of new companies might immediately head over to Facebook and TikTok for ads (and for good reason), Google Ads are a tried and true staple in the marketer's toolkit.

In fact, Google estimates that they're responsible for over $701 billion in economic activity in the USA alone in 2022. (So, if you aren't running search ads now, you need to start ASAP.)

The Google Ads Transparency Center features ads from verified advertisers during the past 365 days and from up to seven years ago for political ads. Here you can search by advertiser or website name and filter by topic (political or otherwise), as well as time frame, location, and format.

Google Ads Transparency Center - Ad Example

After clicking on an ad, you can see a few extra details like additional ad variations, the date it was last shown, the format, and the location where the ad was displayed.

Ad Details - Google Ads library

The Google Ads Transparency has no cost to use it. However, it does state you will need to sign in and verify your age before you're allowed to see any age-restricted ad content.

4. SEMrush Ads History

SEMrush - Google Ads library

While a lot of the tools on this list are limited to only showing you the visuals of the ad, SEMrush takes it a bit further.

With their Ads History tool, simply enter a keyword, and SEMrush will show you a list of all the domains that placed a bid on that keyword AND had a PPC ad in any of Google's top 8 paid positions over the past 12 months.

SEMrush - Google Ads examples

In addition, you can also see the amount of ad traffic, price, and the total number of ads for a specific domain.

Ads History - SEMrush

While they won't give explicit data like CTR or ROI, this is enough data to be able to get a good idea of what your top competitors are bidding on, when you'll have the most competition, and even find new keyword opportunities.

This tool is included in the standard SEMrush platform (which features a ton of incredible tools for SEO/PPC), which you can purchase for around $129.95/month.

LinkedIn competitor ads

5. LinkedIn Ad Library

LinkedIn Ad Library

Next up is LinkedIn. While you haven't been able to see a competitor ad on LinkedIn without having to scroll through your feed manually in the past, LinkedIn finally released its version of the Ad Library in June this year.

Here, you can search by company, advertiser name, or keyword and filter by things like country and date.

LinkedIn - competitor ad

Unfortunately, you can only view ads that were created on or after June 1, 2023. LinkedIn's documentation also states that ads will be viewable for one year after their last ad impression was served.

Like the other platforms on this list, LinkedIn allows you to view additional information after clicking on the ad. However, LinkedIn also includes a section displaying some of the top targeting parameters selected by the advertiser, as well as the total impressions and countries served.

LinkedIn ad details

The LinkedIn ad Library is free to view for everyone, even if you don't have a LinkedIn account.

6. AdSearch.IO's LinkedIn Ad Library - ad library is a tool that specializes in one thing-creating a vast library of LinkedIn ads. In addition to the basic filters LinkedIn's ad library has, adds some incredible options, like the ability to filter by industry, CTA, company size, and even the number of reactions or comments. competitor ads LinkedIn

While you can't click on an ad to get more details as you can natively, does feature ads that were run before June 1, 2023. allows you to have unlimited searches through their entire ad library (over 1 million by their statements) for $49/month.

X (Twitter) competitor ads

7. Sprout Social Listening Tool

sprout social

Sadly, there aren't a ton of options for being able to view ads on X/Twitter, especially since their tool isn't a viable option. You can go one of two routes if you're looking for more competitive intel on X:

  • Scroll through X and screenshot them manually
  • Use a social listening tool to scan for trends/competitors on the organic side

While the first option is off of the table for most marketers due to the time constraint side, luckily, there are a ton of tools available to help you with organic social listening. One of them is Sprout Social's Listening Suite.

With Sprout, you can set up a list of filtered criteria to create your own feed of X posts directly inside your dashboard. This works both for finding posts about your niche or keeping an eye on what people are saying about your competitor.

Sprout Social Listening suite

You can also monitor specific hashtags relevant to your industry and even measure post volume, engagements, number of authors who used the tag, and even sentiment.

listening performance - competitor ads X

And even though this data isn't about ads specifically, it can still go a long way to helping you to create content that's engaging and highly clickable for X.

All of this good data does come at a price, though. Social listening is only available on the Professional plan, which starts at $399/month.

8. BuzzSumo

If you find that Sporut is a little out of your price range, our next pick will be right up your alley.

BuzzSumo is a versatile digital tool that aids in content marketing and SEO strategies. However, it’s also particularly useful for gaining competitive intelligence on Twitter.

After you log in, you can easily spot the top trends across social platforms (Twitter/X included) or even sort by Twitter shares alone.

BuzzSumo - Twitter Ads Monitoring

And if one of your goals is to partner with more influencers to help with ad reach and engagement, BuzzSumo has you covered there too. You can use their Influencer Search tool to find X influencers by location, activity, and any keywords like cosmetics or fashion.

influencers - BuzzSumo

And just like we saw with Sprout Social, you can set up an alert and feed to keep tabs on your competitors across X and even have that synced directly into Slack for real-time updates.

competitors - BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a tad cheaper than Sprout Social, with plans starting at $159/month for the features listed here.

TikTok competitor ads

9. TikTok Ad Library

TikTok ad library

While TikTok is the new kid on the block to most advertisers, their ad revenue is projected to grow to over 24 billion USD (yes, billion) by 2024. Even if you're ignoring the platform entirely, you can rest assured that your competitors aren't.

Luckily for us, TikTok has an ad library that can help you take a peek at some of their social ads in no time flat.

Here, you can choose the target country, ad type (even though there aren't any singular types available to choose), the published date, and the advertiser name or keyword. After entering your criteria, you can then view any of the ads that fit the description.

(Note: The TikTok Ad Library only features ads that were published on or after October 2022 and are targeted to users within the EEA, Switzerland, or the UK. They last for one year after the ad was viewed by the last users.)

After clicking on an ad, you can get some interesting data like how many unique users have seen it, as well as some targeting options like gender, age, country, interests, or interactions. It also denotes who the advertiser is (and who paid for the ad) as well as the advertiser's registered location.

TikTok competitor ads

They also have an ad report available on the next tab, which can give some great overarching information about the state of TikTok ads in general. Here, you can see things like how many ads are posted from each country and how many unique ads are published every day.

TikTok ad spy tool

The TikTok Ad Library is available for free to anyone, even if you do not have a TikTok account.

10. TikTok Creative Center

The TikTok Ad Library is their official ad library. However, there are more tools available for TikTok advertisers inside the TikTok Creative Center. These ads are cherry-picked from TikTok experts (and approved to be shown by the advertisers themselves).

Though it doesn't contain all of the ads shown on TikTok, the insights you can get from this section are a bit better than what's offered with the ad library. Here, you can see keyword insights and an interactive time analysis of ads broken down by CTR, CVR, Clicks, and Conversions.

TikTok Creative Center

Just like their ad library, this tool is available for free even if you don't have a TikTok account.


Today, we've gone through a pretty insightful journey exploring the top 10 tools for keeping tabs on competitor ads. Our list included heavy hitters like Facebook (or Meta) and Google Ads, along with a selection of other key platforms: TikTok, LinkedIn, and X.

Each of these tools offers valuable insights into what your competitors are doing, helping you fine-tune your marketing strategies.

Remember: your goal with these tools is not to copy your competitors entirely, but to keep abreast of industry changes and use that knowledge to make sure your ads are effective and stand out in your unique way.

Stay sharp and use these insights to stay a step ahead in the dynamic world of digital advertising. 

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Ad Creatives
Nov 27, 2023
Nov 27, 2023
Tory Wenger

Tory is a digital marketing specialist and the current Marketing Manager of She's been featured in various high-profile marketing blogs like Hootsuite, AdEspresso, and Databox and holds certificates for both Google and Facebook Ads. In her spare time, she gardens and paints from her house in the Florida panhandle.

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