If you think that marketers have a pleasant job coming up with creative ads that will attract tons of consumers and drive sales, you may not be far from the truth, but you’re missing a key element of the digital marketer’s job description – hours and hours of going through numbers and all sorts of information.
No business in the world has exclusive rights to the entire market. Every company has at least one competitor. Being successful means constantly paying attention to what competitors do. As marketers, we need to focus on their marketing efforts, take notes, and make sure that their practices and ideas can be used for our benefit.
This activity is professionally called competitive intelligence. One of the segments of monitoring competitors’ activity is ad intelligence or ad spying. Numerous tools provide information on competitors’ ads and allow us to take a peek into their strategies for gaining clients and leads.
In this article, we’re focusing entirely on ad spy tools. We will talk more about what they are and what they do. We will answer a few key questions that you may want to know, and we’ll show you the best ad spy tools on the market right now. Follow up to learn more.
What are Ad Spy Tools?
Shortly put, ad spy tools provide information about competitors’ marketing activities. Although the term may sound like this is a black hat move, you should know that there’s nothing illegal. Ads that companies post on the internet are traceable, and everyone can see details about them.
An ads spy tool will show you how you’re positioned compared to your competitors. They show you how these brands spend money and the results they are getting from their efforts. Based on their decisions, you can drive conclusions and use the same moves if they were good, or avoid doing the same if your competitors didn’t receive the wanted feedback.
Ad spy tools are software that knows how to get through the insights of search engines, social networks, or other websites where ads are published. This software would look into the competitors’ offers, type of traffic, volume, promotions, and the creativity they used to get the job done.
All this information is gathered and stored on your server, which you can later go through and analyze. When you see how competitors handled campaigns, you can learn from their mistakes and improve their work – only to gain value for your brand. If you want to learn more about ad intelligence, click here.
How do Ad Spy Tools Work?
If you’re doing well in your line of work, be sure that someone’s already spying on you. They probably use the same technology as you’re using. If you’re a successful affiliate marketer, you’re surely drawing attention to some of the other affiliate marketers trying to see how you’re doing your job.
They are surely using ad spy tools to inspect how you’re creating your ads, how you are dominating organic search, and what kinds of social media channels you are using. They do this by downloading and using some of the many online tools.
Spy ad tools work by going through the posted ads of your competitors and providing information about them. For example, the spy tool will see where a particular brand searches for a particular traffic source. Finding the right leads is not easy, and if you see that they’ve set an ad to a target group you never would’ve thought of, you’re getting excellent information.
The software will also look into the Google ads and see which keywords they use. You may even go through the database of Ads posted on Google and see how others shaped their campaigns. Learning a little from everyone will make you create the best ad.
How to use Ad Spy Tools Effectively?
It’s important to know that these tools will not advertize your brand on their one. They merely provide information that you should use for your benefit. With the insight these tools provide, you need to determine how the competitors did their campaigns and how you should be doing better than them.
With this being said, it’s clear that for effective use of the adspy tools, you should be comparing various competitors and see how they managed their campaigns. For example, you should look into the medium they used for their campaigns and see which one had the best success.
If some of them used Facebook Ads, while others preferred SEM, but those who chose the second option had more success, then it’s clear you should be using SEM for your campaign. But the investigation doesn’t stop there; the next thing to do is find out how they managed their SEM campaigns.
The core of SEM, or search engine marketing, is choosing the right keywords. It’s always a gamble when you’re doing this because you can never know what will motivate consumers to convert. You should be looking at your competitors’ solutions and find out what were their most profitable keywords.
Compare more ads and see which ones provided the best results. Use those which made the most conversions. This is how you make the best of spy ad tools and how you can gain from looking into your competitors’ efforts to make more of their ad campaigns. Of course, there are tons of other options, and we’re just scraping the tip of the iceberg here.
What makes various Spy Tools different?
The digital marketing field is enormous. One software can’t cover everything. Although some programs out there try to establish dominance over the entire market, you should know that the best programs are those that focus on the tiniest details.
We recommend using spy tools that focus on the field you’re interested in. Suppose you’re an affiliate marketer who’s only working on Facebook. In that case, you should be looking into Facebook ads spy tools or social media in general. Still, if you’re an affiliate marketer who’s getting most of its traffic from search engines, you’ll want software focused on SEO.
Other features make them different and valuable too. For example, not all of these tools are free. Some are paid, but their data is far more advanced than those who come free. For example, you’ll not be able to find free ad spy software that is a native ad spy tool.
Native advertising is complex, and only special tools will know how to break the algorithms to find out what your competitors did to create amazing native ads. Some affiliate networks offer native ads, which have proven to be the best advertisement in the digital era.
What are the Best Ad Spy Tools in 2023?
After you’ve learned enough about ad spy tools, it’s time to dive deeper into your options. You surely want to know which one is the best of them all, but there is no simple answer to satisfy your lust for knowledge. Various tools are great for different use cases. Follow up if you want to know which ones are best in particular areas and for different needs.
Best Ad Spy Tool for Beginners: BigSpy
When you’re a beginner in the world of spying, you want things to be simple and possibly free until you learn how to manage the more expensive tools and gain from them. It’s not smart to dive deep immediately and get lost in the ocean of data. Instead, you want a free option.
One of the few free ad spy tools online is the software called BigSpy. It is also extremely easy to use and provides access to more than 650 million ads online. It follows and provides data for Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Yahoo, Twitter, and others.
Once you start using it, you’ll see how simple it is. You can search using a few key metrics, like CTA or marketing objectives, but the results are not as thorough as more experienced researchers would want them to be. It provides basic info, which is perfect for beginners.
Size: More than 650 million ads
Platform: Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Price: Free and paid subscription
Best Ad Spy Tool for Affiliate Marketing: Mobidea
Affiliate marketing is a complex industry that makes millions to those who truly know how to do it. If you’re coping with getting better in this field, you surely want to know how the best ones are doing it. The ultimate intelligence tool for affiliate marketers by far is Mobidea.
This software has access to 19+ million ads on various platforms, far more than any of its competitors. They stretch across 90 countries and 40 different push networks. If a platform holds affiliate ads, be sure that Mobidea will find them.
The price for this pleasure will cost you only $59.99 for the native option and $79.99 for the push option. Both together can be acquired for a fair price of $124.99, which considering the volume of information you’re getting, it’s not too much.
Affiliate marketing is all about getting the right leads and making conversions, so knowing where to look for traffic, which sources are the best, and how to make the most of your campaigns is only possible if you see how competitors did their job. That’s what Mobidea does for you. Want to know more affiliate marketing spy options – click this link.
Size: 19+ millions ads
Platform: Push networks
Price: From $59.99
Best Ad Spy Tools for SEO purposes: SEMRush
Is there a better page to handle your SEO and SEM research than SEMRush? There may be someone close enough to them, but when it comes to ad spy tools, there’s no better tool than the one provided by the SEO giant – SEMRush.
SEMRush has access to more than 310 million ads on Google and the rest of the search engines. Although you can use their page for all of the intelligence you’re aiming for, a Chrome extension for your browser will help you read data from competitors in real time.
Aside from looking at how competitors managed their ads, with a subscription of $200 and above, you get an insight into nearly everything that’s happening on the internet and the search engines. SEMRush is truly versatile and aims to be an all-in-one SEO tool that will help you raise your SEO game.
Suppose you’re aiming to build a blog and earn from affiliate marketing. In that case, you know you need a flawless SEO strategy and organic traffic coming from search engines. SEMRush helps you spy on your competitors and create outstanding marketing strategies in general.
Size: 310+ million ads
Platform: All, focusing on Google mostly
Price: from $200 and above for different features
Social Media Ad Spy Technology: PowerAdSpy
PowerAdSpy is the most popular Facebook ad spy tool on the internet. At the same time, it is probably one of the best too. It has access to more than 100 million ads across multiple social media platforms and uses various methods to gather the information you might need from your competitors.
As some like to say, this is a tool built by affiliate marketers using Facebook for the same target group. If you’re looking for the best intelligence tool for sneaking into the competitors’ strategies on Facebook and other social media, PowerAdSpy might be the way to do it.
It uses ads from more than 100 countries and more than eight different platforms. With it, you can use a tracking system, data interval search, and it has many filtering options available for its users. It also provides live support and has a huge community of people that help each other.
The only problem for some might be the amount that they’ll need to spend on the subscription. On a yearly level, you’ll need to come up with $588, which means this is software made for true professionals. If you’re just starting the business, you’re better off with some more affordable options.
Size: 100 million ads
Platform: Facebook, Reddit, Google, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, GDN, Native, and Quora
Price: $588 per year
Best Ad Spy Tools for Paid Advertising: iSpionage
iSpionage is amazingly simple to use and has a few free features that will make you spend some time researching and analyzing your existing SEO and PPC strategy. By inserting your basic info, you can gain access to some of the PPC data about your competitors, like their PPC volume, the main competitors in the niche, search particular keywords and the traffic for them, etc.
If you pay a yearly subscription of $50, you’ll get access to more. Stuff like thorough funnel inspection, effectiveness index score, reports on users, and other stuff. The best thing about it is that it is amazingly simple to use, and you won’t even need previous experience in the industry.
The database they have surpasses the number of 35,000 customers, and the search goes through all channels where pay-per-click advertising is available in four different countries (USA, UK, Australia, and Canada). With iSpionage you can find out about your competitors’ conversion strategies and see how they used their creativity for the company’s best.
The only downside of this tool is the interface which may be annoying for some. You’ll need to spend a few minutes getting used to how things are controlled on the page, but if you overcome this, you’ll surely enjoy working with iSpionage.
Size: More than 35,000 customers
Platform: All containing PPC
Price: Free for some features, $50 monthly with a yearly subscription for everything
Other top ad intelligence solutions you should try:
AdPlexity – This ad spy tool goes through ads in more than 75 countries and has ads from more than 100 affiliate marketing networks. It is available on mobile devices and desktop computers and provides info about in-app ads, pop-ups, and mobile web. Prices start from $149 per month, but this amount provides a lot of value.
AdSpyder – AdSpyder is known as the most popular SaaS-based spy tool on the internet. It provides ads from most of the big social networks, and some of the features include tracking, keyword search, native ad solutions, etc. The trial version is free, but the prices start from $49 and go up to $249 per month if you want the real juice.
As you can see, the choices for ad spy tools for your business are vast. Every tool has its pros and cons, and unique features that others lack. Some of the advanced filters are staggering and provide fantastic value for your marketing efforts, so choosing the best one means understanding what fits your needs best.
This is why we mentioned different options for various niches and industries. To create successful campaigns, you’ll need the help of true professional ad spy tools, so be sure that investing in them is money well spent. Go through the options, see what seems like the best tool for you, and enjoy your marketing done seamlessly.