Enrollment Insights Blog

How To Do Competitor Analysis: Facebook’s Page Transparency Tool and Ad Library

The world of digital marketing can feel like an endless sea of data. There are insights reports, industry standards, surveys, national averages, general key performance indicators, charts that never end, and the list could go on. While it can seem overwhelming to see what’s trending and important in the education industry, there are tools and websites that help you and your team stay on top. Today we’ll be digging deeper into Facebook’s Page Transparency tool and how you can use it to your digital marketing advantage.

Facebook Transparency Overview

Facebook Page Transparency Snippet from Niche.com

It’s no secret that Facebook (now Meta) has received criticism for withholding information and data on the users and advertisers that operate on both Facebook and Instagram. In an effort to be more transparent about pages, Facebook introduced the transparency section. This allows anyone to discover who runs pages and the location they are being managed. The section highlights other information including when the page was created, the number of people that manage the page, any previous names the page held, any merges the page has had since 2018, the confirmed business/organization that owns the page, any other business/organization that has access to manage the page, and if the page belongs to a state-controlled media organization. The only time that some of this information can be hidden is when the primary country location creates a risk to personal safety.

While some of the information above may not be entirely relevant to your school’s digital marketing efforts, it is an easy and free way to get a deeper understanding of what your competitor schools are doing and who is doing it for them. This tool also grants your school credibility as it showcases that you are a legitimate institution. The bottom of the transparency section offers a link to the page’s Facebook Ad Library granting deeper insight into any advertising that is run on Facebook or Instagram. 

Facebook Ad Library

While the transparency tool is a high-level overview of page management and location information, the Ad Library is an endless source of ad information. The pages allow you to see exactly what you, and your competitor schools (or any other page), run for paid advertising. 

Facebook’s Ad Library allows you to see when ads ran, the images used, the copy attached, and the overall budget used. Whether your goal is to better understand the market or see what competitors are doing, the Ad Library freely tells all. You can easily access what your competitors are focusing on during recruitment season, events they are promoting, ad copy they frequently use, all the way down to how much of their advertising budget is used on Facebook and Instagram. 

When diving into Facebook’s Ad Library for the benefit of your school there are a few tactics that can be beneficial and easily applicable. Looking specifically at competitor schools’ copy in ads and captions can help you better understand what is already in the market, sayings/verbage to avoid because the market is already saturated, and phrases or sayings that work well. The same can be said for imagery. Focus on trends like students performing a task, groups versus one student, specific locations on campuses, wide shots compared to close ups, and seasonality. Tying said information into your creative planning could substantially aid the creation process as well as the ad performance. 

The platform also provides a great opportunity for A/B testing. You can easily see what is running and compare across a single school or multiple schools. Determining what differences there are, what copy stood out, and how ads flow from top to bottom can really give you and your team the upper hand when marketing to parents and students.

Keep in mind that social media never sleeps. Continuously using Facebook Ad Library can help you understand seasonal trends, give you insight into fads that may have faded, know when competitors have used and paused ads related to deadlines (open houses, applications closing, prospective student events, etc.), and see how your campaigns compare. While it is a great tool for you to spy on the competition, you must also remember that the same can be done for your school.

Although social media and digital advertising will continue to evolve, using tools like Facebook’s Page Transparency Section and Facebook’s Ad Library keep you and your team informed and in-tune with what your competitors are doing as well as on top of what’s trending in educational social media advertising.

The Power Of Social Media Marketing:

In a world full of screens, likes, shares, comments, subscriptions, and clicks it’s important to make your school’s name known. Marketing has always been about meeting families and students exactly where they are, that space now being the world of digital. As you set out on your journey to build awareness, applications, and/or promote your school’s brand, it’s important to keep your branding consistent and compelling across all platforms including social media.

It can be daunting to jump into the world of digital marketing on your own. At Niche, we have a digital marketing team dedicated to helping you and your school reach interested families and students. With industry-specific knowledge and experience across various platforms/ad types, our team will not only manage your campaigns but optimize to provide the best performance possible. Learn more about Niche can help you get started today. 

Courtney Camp is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Niche. She works with College partners monitoring performance, optimizing digital campaigns, and leveraging industry knowledge to provide high value insight.