Facebook Ad Library: Find Ads that Suck so You can Write Copy that Sells

by | May 28, 2022

Facebook Ads Library is great for advertisers. You can spy on your competition without paying for tools, learn how businesses operate their Facebook ad campaigns and deconstruct their funnels.

For copywriters looking to find new clients, this is an outstanding opportunity. You get to see the quality of copy companies are using and offer your services if necessary. Let’s find out how to use Facebook Ads Library to get new clients.

How to use Facebook Ads Library to find Copywriting Clients?

Facebook Ads Library was made with ease of use in mind.

To view their database of ads:

Go to facebook.com/ads/library


  1. Choose your country
  2. Select the category of ads you want to search
    1. All ads
    1. Issues, elections, or politics
    1. Housing
    1. Employment
    1. Credit
  3. Add the keywords you want to see ads for

Let’s say I want to see what Unbounce is doing. To find their active ads, I would enter: 

Location: United States 

Ad Type: All Ads

Keyword: Unbounce

When the results get returned, you can see 7 years’ worth of Unbounce advertisements. 


You have the ability to filter the results. When you click the “filter” button to the right and immediately under the keyword search box you are given the following options:

  • Language – Choose the language you want to see ads in.
  • Advertiser – A list of past keyword searches
  • Platform – The Meta property where the ad is running (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Messenger.)
  • Active Status – Search for ads currently running or inactive advertisements
  • Impression date – The time frame in which an ad ran


Well-known brands often have different pages where they run ads. For example, a brand might have one page for North America and a different one for Europe.

Are you starting to see how this might be useful for competitive intelligence? I thought so! However, Facebook Ads Library is not just for finding the ads your competitors are running. You can find clients for your copywriting services too!

Is Facebook ad library Free?

Your customers understand how much of their data Facebook has stored. In response to rising concerns about privacy and consumer security, Facebook has made its entire library of ads free for anyone to access.

Social media users can now see what brands are doing with their data, and marketers can also access a repository of competitor insights.

Facebook’s push towards a more transparent advertising environment came from the 2016 scandal involving Cambridge Analytica

The fallout from the political ad controversy pushed Facebook to improve transparency and reporting on its ad platform. The resulting transparency tool was Facebook Ads Library.

How long are ads stored in Facebook ads library?

Ads in Facebook’s Ad library are stored for 7 years. The longevity of ad storage makes conducting competitive analysis and customer research possible over long periods of time.

How do I download a video from Facebook ad library?

Building an archive of ad examples can be a source of inspiration for any marketer when ideas are in short supply. Considering the importance of video in any social media strategy, it’s a good idea to save the best ones for later analysis.

How to Download a Video from Facebook Ads Library

First, find the video ad you want to download.  Follow the process I outlined above to search and find a relevant ad.


  • Play the video. If you don’t play the video, the option to “save video as” will not appear.
  • Right click the video.
  • Select “save video as”
  • The video will download to your computer.

Change Filetype to MP4

Depending on your operating system, you may need to change the file format to “.mp4”

To do this:

  • Right click the video file.
  • Select “rename” from the menu.
  • Add “.mp4” to the end of the video file. For example, “thisismyvideo.mp4”
  • Hit enter and move on!

Video content works. Try saving a few examples in a swipe file of sorts. Get some much needed inspiration and find what works.

 How can I spy on my competitors on Facebook ads?

Finding ads that your competitors are promoting is a critical step in advertising and finding prospective clients. Get a head start. Research what others are doing so you can save time and get better results.

How great would it be to know what works before getting started? You can! Facebook Ad Library is the answer. Social media is one of the most critical mediums for communicating with customers and conducting market research.

If you can understand who your competition is going after, you can find your target audience. There are far worse ideas than reverse-engineering what ideas are working for other businesses. Yes, it will require some creative testing. With time and research, you can make it happen.

Why Bother Spying with Facebook Ads Library?

Because it is essential for business, everyone does it. You will be at a cataclysmic disadvantage if you forgo this step. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you snoop through your competitor’s ads.

Keep in mind: 

  • DO NOT fall behind – gathering insights into what your competition is up to can ensure that you do not start with one hand tied behind your back. Plus, you will not waste time and money testing ideas that cannot work.
  • Know what performs – chances are if an ad has been up for a while, it is making someone money. It is utterly pointless to reinvent the wheel when you can know for sure what is working now. 
  • Find the right audience – gain a solid understanding of who to target and the messaging to use. 

If you need more reasons why spying on your competition is extremely valuable, here are two more massive benefits.

  1. Save your time – running ads is not easy. There are a ton of variables to consider. Product positioning, messaging, and market fit are just a few considerations. Save time where you can. If someone has done the work, don’t do it over again.
  2. Save your money – Did I say ads can get expensive? Well, they can! It is cheaper to do a bit of research than to hire a firm to fix any critical mistakes you might make. Do your research. Save your money.

How to use Facebook Ad Library for finding copywriting Clients?

Finding clients as freelance copywriter can be a challenge. It’s hard finding a good place to start. Here is one method that I have used with great effect! Let’s dive in!

Finding Companies To Audit (Appsumo)

The first thing you need is a source of potential clients. Companies that understand the value of advertising and copywriting and have a budget to spend on your services should do the trick.

I like to check appsumo.com for prospects.

If you want to find SaaS clients, look for companies in the space on their site.

Find a product or company that looks promising and search their name in Facebook Ads Library.

You will need to do some research. Not all the companies listed are running ads on Facebook. However, if you take the time and search around a bit, you will not come up empty.

Find Ecommerce Brands (Facebook Search)

This method of finding clients uses Facebook’s search feature. All you must do is log into your account and enter one of the following searches to find brands that dropship.

Dropshippers are known for spending money on Facebook Ads. It’s how most of them get traffic to their product listings.

Enter these terms into the search field on Facebook to Find eCommerce prospects:

  • 50% / 60% Off (or any other percent off)
  • Get Yours Now / Here
  • Free Shipping
  • Get It Here
  • Get It Now
  • Just Pay Shipping
  • Click Link
  • Buy Now
  • Limited Supply

Next find a product for sale with shit copy and go to their Facebook Ads Library page.

Next, click though to their Facebook page and:

  1. Find “Page transparency” section.
    1. Click “See all”
    1. Scroll to the bottom and click “Go to Ad Library”

This will open all the active and inactive ads in Facebook Ad Library.

Keep an eye out for missing CTA’s, value propositions, rambling copy, and other indicators of poor-quality writing.

Now that you know how to find companies that might be customers let’s discover how to extract ad data from Facebook Ads Library.

If you can put all the info from the ads library into an excel or Google Sheet, analyzing the company’s marketing strategy becomes super easy.


This method might seem technical to some. If you follow the process, you can get the data. I will do my best to document how you can do it in detail.

Analyzing Facebook Ads Library Data in Excel or Google Sheets

Facebook advertisers are a bunch of thieves. They steal everything. Stock images, ideas, and entire campaigns are all ripped off at this moment.

Here is how you can join in the free-for-all that is Facebook advertising. Finding multiple competitors is easy with this method. The best benefit of using Facebook Ad Library is discovering how others run their campaigns.

How to Extract Data from Facebook Ads Library

Here is an outline of how the process of extracting data from the Facebook Ads Library works.

  1. Search a keyword in Facebook Ads Library
  2. Open the “inspect element” in your browser tools.
  3. Click the network tab.
  4. Record the traffic from the page as you scroll down the ad listings.
  5. Download HAR file
  6. Convert JSON to CSV

Search for a keyword

Go to Facebook Ads Library

Enter a keyword in the search field.

 Using inspect element and finding data

The process is as follows.

  1. Right-click on the page anywhere will do.
  2. Find inspect in the menu options
  3. Navigate to the Network tab
  4. Refresh the page
  5. Scroll down the page to get more results

Downloading the HAR File

Next, you need to download the file containing all the data recorded in the network tab.

Finding the data

After you download the file, go to this website.

Not an affiliate link

Here, you will upload the file you just downloaded.

Next, go back to the Facebook Ad library and copy a bit of text from one of the ads.

Run CMD + F and paste the text you just copied into the field.

Match the text you copied with the correct JSON file to download.

Converting The JSON file into a CSV OR Excel File

Now it’s time to convert the file into a useable format.

Got to this website

Not an affiliate link.

Now, the site will convert the file into an excel/google sheets friendly format.

There is going to be a ton of data. Most of it will not matter to you. I put together a list of a few fields that you will find useful. Below are the column names of some helpful information.

  • Content body text —payload__results__snapshot__body__markup____html
  • instagram URL —payload__results__snapshot__instagram_url
  • Page name —payload__results__snapshot__page_name
  • origional image URL —payload__results__snapshot__images__original_image_url
  • extra text —payload__results__snapshot__extra_texts__text
  • External Links —payload__results__snapshot__extra_links__003
  • CTAS—payload__results__snapshot__cta_text
  • Captions —payload__results__snapshot__caption
  • CTA Type — payload__results__snapshot__cards__cta_type
  • CTA text —payload__results__snapshot__cards__cta_text
  • Reach estimate (for inactive)—payload__results__reachEstimate

This trick is cool. You can see multiple versions of ads that companies are running. It is possible to view the entire marketing strategy of a business in a spreadsheet with this little tactic.

In my opinion having the ability to see all the different CTA’s, body text, and other elements in one place makes researching potential clients easy.

When comparing copy, you will have a point of reference for what is working in industry. Not to mention the ability to put together strong proposals based on existing data. Give this a shot! You won’t be disappointed.

And this is just for ads that are currently active. If you do this same tactic on inactive ads, you can get spending estimates and reach, and some demographic data. Oh, you can also filter ads by impressions to see what’s really working! A powerful report features!

By this time, you should have a good understanding of how to research what’s working in Facebook advertising. Pop in some custom imagery and you will be set!


Remember to pay attention to what your competition is doing. This applies in all cases, especially if you are looking for prospects to sell copywriting services.

We went over how you can view all types of ads running on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. If you can download all the data from Facebook Ads Library for analysis, your job will be much easier.

I hope you found this info helpful. Good luck hunting down some copywriting clients! Stick with it!

Written By dhardt20

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