Facebook, Shared Media
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You might get exhausted just thinking about everything Facebook advertising has to offer. And you might be justified in feeling overwhelmed by it all.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to one-up your competition by creating the “best” Facebook ad… after all, everyone is following the same best practices!

So how can you stand out from your competitors and get the most out of your Facebook advertising budget?

To outsmart your competitors, you must consider the larger context – promoting relevant and personalized content that supports a user experience that goes beyond the individual ad creatives.

If you are stuck wondering what could possibly be next, we are giving you a couple pointers to guide you down the path in getting that leg up on your competition.

1. Match Retargeting Ads with Buyer’s Journey Phases

Most people have heard of retargeting ads and buyer’s journey. However, they’re often not considered together.

To create a more relevant user experience, match the messaging of your retargeting ads to the appropriate stages in their buyer’s journey to reflect your prospects’ relationship with your business.

This can significantly increase your conversion rate by delivering a message that’s more relevant to the audience’s relationship with you than your competitors’ ads are.

Sales Funnel

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To move the audience from the Awareness to the Discovery stage, your ads should focus on enticing them to check out your products. In other words, evoke a desire to own the product, agitate the problem your product solves, use images to showcase the craftsmanship or share relevant information with a sponsored post.

Potential customers who have already visited your product pages are good candidates for ads designed to move them from the Intent to Buy stage by showing coupon codes or other incentives, leverage the Dynamic Product Ad format to showcase the exact products they’ve viewed, or use Canvas Ads to create a visually immersive storytelling experience.

Your retargeting ad campaign doesn’t have to end after a customer has made a purchase. You can continue to leverage retargeting ads to move these customers to the Repeat Purchase phase.

Use them to encourage repeat sales, remind customers to renew a membership or subscription, upsell or cross-sell other items, or incentivize them to share your products or services.

2. Use Audience Insights to Stand Out From Your Competitors

Facebook collects a large amount of data on users, which is available for you to leverage when you’re creating ads or sponsored posts.

Many advertisers (that includes your competitors!) make the mistake of selecting an audience that’s too generic. They end up wasting a lot of money on me-too ads with very little to show for them.

To increase the ROI of your Facebook ads, you can tap into Audience Insights to inform the creation of relevant content and copy for your ads.

This helps you stand out from your competitors because you’re delivering a message that really speaks to a specific segment of your audience.

Audience Insights also allows you to identify your competitors by seeing the pages and categories that your target audience is most interested in.

How to identify new target audiences on Facebook

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After you’ve identified the pages that have received many “likes” from your audience, you can look at the posts on those pages to see which ones are getting the most engagement.

This can help inform the type of content that your audience finds most relevant and you can use this insight to guide your ad copy.

You can take this a step further and use tools such as BuzzSumo to check out those high-performing posts and see what other related content is popular among your target audience.

3. Spy on the Facebook Ads of Your Competitors

Trial and error – creating a campaign and analyzing the results – is essential to refining your targeting and messaging.

But it doesn’t have to happen all on your dime!

You can research your competitors’ ads, and use those insights to inform the creative of your Facebook ads.

The key is not to copy what your competitors are doing, but to learn from their successes and failures and apply that to your ads.

The problem is that your competitors’ ads probably won’t all show up on your newsfeed, and even when they do, you don’t get to see all the stats.

Luckily, there are quite a few online tools that can help you spy on the Facebook ads of your competitors and even analyze their ad spending: for e.g. AdEspresso, Adicted.io, and AdsVantage.


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4. Increase Your Relevance Score to Lower Advertising Cost

While your competitors are throwing their marketing budget at numerous ad campaigns and hoping something will stick, take a step back and figure out how to generate better ROI with your ad dollars.

One way is to improve your relevance score – when Facebook’s algorithm interprets your content as relevant, it will prioritize your content in your followers’ newsfeeds.

Facebook calculates this score based on the likelihood that your ad will get positive or negative feedback from the target audience. The more positive interactions expected, the higher the relevance score will be.

A high relevance score will help you lower the cost of reaching your audience, allow you to test ad creative options before a campaign, and optimize your existing campaigns.

You can increase your ads’ relevance score by being specific with your targeting, developing compelling creative, and making sure that your messaging is focused.

5. Diversify Your Ad Types

Most advertisers on Facebook – including your competitors – spend more on Website Conversion ads than on any of the other type of Facebook ads.

Now we’re not saying don’t do Website Conversion ads, however, your audience’s newsfeeds are probably saturated with them and it’s more likely that they’d overlook or dismiss this type of ad.

Instead of using Website Conversion ads for everything, focus on using them for retargeting, and use other ad types for campaigns in which you want to drive awareness.

When you do that, you’re more likely to stand out in your audience’s newsfeeds and get the conversion you’re looking for.

Nanigans Facebook Ad Types Infographic

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6. Create Urgency with Incentives

Your ad is not only competing with your competitors’ ads but also all the other news and updates that are going on in your audience’s newsfeeds.

You want to give your audience a reason to click on your ad right then and there – if they navigate away from their newsfeeds, chances are they won’t be shown your ad again.

The best way to grab the attention of your audience and make them pay attention to your ad is to create urgency. For example:

  • Offer limited time discount, e.g. “sale ends on [date]”
  • Communicate that stock is limited, e.g. “only 100 items available”
  • Emphasize rarity, e.g. “releasing 200 ‘first edition’”
  • Create an irresistible deal, e.g. “get 3 bottles of wine plus free shipping for just $15”
  • Position offer as “Facebook exclusive”

In order to stand out you can’t simply do what your competitors are doing. Just because they’re offering 10 t-shirts for $10 doesn’t mean it’s the right incentive for your audience.

Your incentive needs to speak to your target audience so that they’ll find your ad irresistible. If the X factor that differentiates you from your competition is that you cater to T-shirt connoisseurs, a limited-quantity first-edition is probably more appealing to your audience than a bulk deal.

7. Use Dedicated Landing Pages

Your competitors probably know about segmenting their audience and using Facebook’s audience targeting function to deliver ads with different copy to different segments.

However, they’re missing out if they aren’t considering the entire user flow and simply send the traffic to a generic landing page.

When a visitor sees a page with a messaging that’s inconsistent with the ad, they’re more likely to click away.

Create dedicated landing pages to keep your messaging consistent. It also gives you the opportunity to tailor the content to match that of the traffic source, and eliminate anything that’s irrelevant or generic.

This coherent user experience will help your brand stand out and increase your conversion rate.


Many marketers consider Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm an inconvenience. It’s probably quite a pain in the neck; however, you don’t have to be reactive about it.

Instead, outsmart your competition by being proactive – build a solid foundation with a good understanding of your target audience, relevant content, and well-designed user experiences – and you can be adaptive to changes that might rock your competitors’ boats.


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