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Kris Sugatan
CEO & Founder | Sugatan
March 10, 2022

10 Must-have Media Buying Tools To Help You Optimize Ad Strategies

Our innovative Media Buyers have their fingers on the pulse of their ad campaigns 24/7, 365 days of the year.

There are a few must-have tools that assist them in researching, tracking, monitoring, and calculating metrics on the daily.

Here are the top 10 tools our masterful Media Buyers use when managing ad campaigns on Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

1. Meta Ad Library

Formerly known as “Facebook Ad Library,” this library is a helpful tool for keeping track of competitors’ ads.

It allows you to search and view any ads currently running on a Meta platform, such as Facebook and Instagram.

Search for an advertizer, organization, or brand to view the active ads running from their page. The ad creative and copy will display.

Alternatively, search for a specific keyword or topic to find ads in your niche running from various pages.

You can also search for ads in a specific country to narrow your search based on your demographic.

Click “See ad details” to view additional information like the page’s “About” section or more details on the lead form for a lead generation ad.

A screenshot of the Meta Ad Library

Check out the Meta Ad Library here.

 

2. TikTok Creative Center

This is a valuable tool for competitive analysis and to gain insight into what’s trending on TikTok.

The TikTok For Business Creative Center is a free service that shows the latest trends, success stories, and tools that will help you create top-performing TikTok ads. 

There are several menu sections, each with insights that will inform your TikTok ad strategy. 

The Inspiration section has three sub-sections: Trend Discovery, Top Ads, and Showcases.

Trend Discovery reveals all the trending user-generated content in real-time. You can either search for trending audio, hashtags, or TikTok videos here. 

A screenshot of the TikTok Creative Center's Trend Discovery section

Top Ads reveals the top-performing creatives on TikTok. 

A screenshot of the Top Ads section

Select a TikTok video to see more information. Click “About this ad” to see who the creator is, ad performance, and ad caption keywords.

You can also view the CTR (Click Through Rate) by the second to help you identify the most engaging moment in the video.

Showcases can be viewed as a database of case studies. Here, you can filter by region, industry, ad format, or campaign objective.

It allows you to view the video, creative highlights, and campaign information to help you create top-performing ads.

A screenshot of the TikTok Creative Center's Showcases section

 

3. AdSpy

If you want to know what level of engagement your competitors’ ads are getting, AdSpy should be your go-to spying tool.

AdSpy lets you explore 20 million ads from over 150 countries and gives you access to a competitor’s:

  • Landing page URL
  • Lading page screenshots
  • Links within the ad’s landing page
  • Targeted demographics (countries, age groups, and genders)

A screenshot of the AdSpy platform

The search function is advanced, giving you the option to see ads containing certain keywords in the ad’s text or keywords in the comments.

You can also search for ads from specific advertisers or search for specific web pages.

You can save your searches by clicking on “save current search” and naming them. Find them again by clicking on the drop-down menu next to “select search.”

Refine your search criteria based on the date ads were created or based on the date they were first seen to ensure the ads you’re viewing are current.

When you’ve hit “Preview,” and the ads are displayed, you can sort them according to the following criteria:

  • Most recent ads 
  • Oldest ads 
  • Those with the most likes
  • Those with the most love heart reactions
  • Those with the most laugh reactions
  • Those with the most “wow” reactions
  • Those with the most sad-face reactions
  • Those with the most angry-face reactions
  • Those with the most shares
  • Longest running ads


Click on the top right-hand arrow of each ad to view the ad. You’ll be able to see the following:

  • The platform on which the ad is displayed
  • Ad copy
  • Engagement volume
  • Comments


Dive even deeper with this tool by clicking on the “i” tab on the top right-hand corner of each ad. Below is an example of what you’ll see.

A screenshot showing more info available on AdSpy

A screenshot showing additional info on AdSpy

 

4. Similarweb

Similarweb Pro is one of our favorite tools for tracking competitors’ website data. 

A screenshot of Similarweb

You’ll be able to see how many site visits they get and their total monthly traffic.

Also find out which countries they sell to, which marketing channels they use (where they’re spending their marketing budget), and many more useful data points for your competitor analyses.

It shows unique visitor data on a monthly and daily basis.

Below are a few examples of the information you’ll see at first glance.

A screenshot of available data on Similarweb

A screenshot of Similarweb stats

A screenshot of data shown on Similarweb

A screenshot of data shown on Similarweb

Bear in mind that the data isn’t 100% accurate, but it’s still helpful in determining traffic sources and giving a useful estimate. 

You can view more granular details such as referral sources too.

If you upgrade to Similarweb Pro, you’ll have access to further information like device distribution, audience information, and traffic share from various social media platforms.

Visit the Similarweb site to try it out.

 

5. SimilarTech

Our team uses SimilarTech to track the technologies competitors are using, such as payment methods, ad platforms, and analytics tools.

This platform is in a data partnership with Similarweb. The SimilarTech systems incorporate Similarweb’s data to give users the necessary targeting abilities and all the website data they want to use.

Use the search function to explore technologies or websites.

A screenshot of the SimilarTech search function

Below are examples of the results shown when you enter a website into the search bar. 

A screenshot of SimilarTech results

A screenshot of more SimilarTech results

It lists technologies by Advertising, Marketing, ECommerce, Analytics, Information Technology, Content Delivery Network, Social, JavaScript, Mobile, Audio Video Media, Server, Email Services, Document Standard, and Other categories. 

Get the Chrome extension here.

 

6. Hyros

Hyros is a tracking platform that proved to be especially useful for our team after we lost data due to the implementation of iOS 14.

“By analyzing data and making decisions based on the results displayed on this platform, we were able to scale our ads more efficiently than looking at the results of native ad managers.” – Rui Silva, Sugatan Media Buyer

HYROS is an acronym for Hyper-Accurate Ads Tracking Software. They use print tracking to integrate with every part of a business.

Print tracking is like “tracking footprints,” and it allows for the tracking of things like:

  • Traffic sources
  • Checkouts
  • Landing pages
  • Funnels
  • Emails
  • Phone calls

This tool syncs traffic sources, landing pages, funnels, checkouts, phone calls, email, and more to one convenient source.

Hyros tracks customers across 10 data points and then combines the data to provide detailed, real-time, and highly accurate tracking data, including URLs, pixels, and cookies.

The above-mentioned data is precisely the type of information needed to monitor ROI on your ad spend.

 

Benefits of using Hyros

  • You get an overview of the customer’s journey
  • It tracks clicks and conversions
  • It brings all traffic sources into a central hub
  • It tracks your customers using 10 data points
  • It allows you to link conversions to the source with accuracy
  • It helps you identify your ad campaigns that are generating the most profit
  • You can cut up to 15% of wasted ad spend
  • Calculate the LTV (Lifetime Value) on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis

Below are two examples of what the platform looks like.

A screenshot of the Hyros tool

A screenshot of the Hyros pop-up

 

7. Facebook Pixel Helper

This is a browser extension that allows you to see if your pixels are firing correctly on the events that you want to measure for your online store. 

 

What is a pixel?

Pixels are small pieces of code that enable third parties to track user behavior and collect valuable information about a website’s visitors, as well as the actions they take on the site.

Pixels are super handy for conversion tracking, campaign performance measurements, and automatically building audiences based on behavior.

Observing these metrics helps you make informed decisions about the most relevant ads you should show to your site visitors.

Pixels are also useful for conversion through paid ads after a visitor has left your website.

 

What are pixel events?

Usually, the first thing you can track when you install a pixel is which pages the user visited.

This function is powerful in itself, but you can get even richer information from the user when you use pixel events.

Pixel events will allow you to track actions that users had on the website.

You can track things like which products they added to their cart if they initiated the checkout process or whether they purchased a product.

 

Why use Facebook Pixel Helper?

If you’re running ads on Facebook, this nifty tool is for you.

Facebook Pixel Helper is a browser extension that will help you understand if your pixels and events are being triggered when a user completes a specific action.

This tool tells you whether everything you configured is working as it should.

Here’s a screenshot of what the extension looks like.

A screenshot of the Facebook Pixel Helper extension

Get the Facebook Pixel Helper Chrome extension here.

 

8. TikTok Pixel Helper

Similar to the Facebook Pixel Helper, this browser extension helps you verify and troubleshoot pixels and events; but this time it’s targeted to your TikTok viewers.

This tool gives you diagnostics about pixel events and parameter implementations.

Below is an example of what it looks like on your browser.

A screenshot of the TikTok Pixel Helper extension

 

The benefits

There are 2 main benefits to using this tool:

  1. Monitoring pixel status
  2. Getting detailed diagnostics to help you troubleshoot common setup problems and improve pixel performance

Click here to add the TikTok Pixel Helper extension to Chrome.

 

9. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is one of the non-negotiable tools for website analysis. 

Our Media Buyers find it especially useful because it allows them to measure the results of Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok ads using UTMs in a website’s URL.

UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module. It is bits of code attached to the end of a URL. UTMs are useful in pinpointing web traffic sources.

 

What does Google Analytics do?

The short answer is that it’s a website analysis service that gathers user data from every site visitor through the use of page tags.

It enables you to track up to 200 different metrics to measure your website’s performance.

The downside: It cannot collect data from users who have disabled cookies. 🙁

The upside: It’s free if you have a Google account. 😀

You’ll get statistics and user-friendly analytics tools for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing purposes.

Google Analytics is a brilliant tool for tracking website performance and collecting visitor data. It gives you the following insights:

  • Top sources of user traffic
  • The number of users on your site
  • Bounce rates
  • Average session durations
  • Sessions by channel
  • Page views
  • Goal completion (like sales and adding products to carts)
  • Patterns and trends in user engagement
  • Visitor demographics

Below is an example of some of the Sugatan website data that displays on our Google Analytics home page. 

A screenshot of Sugatan's website data on Google Analytics

Under the “Customization” menu on the left, inside the “Dashboards” tab, you can also access the Data Studio, which provides different overview options of your site’s data metrics. 

Here’s a screenshot of our “Behaviors” overview.

A screenshot of the Google Analytics Data Studio

 

The dashboard

Customize your dashboard to see details of default categories or select custom metrics, and save profiles for multiple websites.

The available tracking categories include content overview, keywords, referring sites, visitors overview, map overlay, and traffic sources overview.

The dashboard is also available through a widget or a plugin if you want to embed it into other sites.

 

15 benefits of using Google Analytics

  1. Track your all-time online traffic in real-time
  2. Analyze and understand user behavior
  3. Get data reports that are customizable 
  4. Improve your online marketing strategies based on data-driven metrics
  5. It helps you improve SEO 
  6. Establish your target audience
  7. It’s free
  8. Monitor eCommerce performance
  9. See which keywords lead to your website
  10. Identify the pages and links your visitors engage with the most
  11. Segment visitors by new/returning visitors, location, and referral sources
  12. Improve pages that aren’t performing well
  13. Data is presented in a visually appealing manner with graphs, charts, and spreadsheets 
  14. Get reports to determine conclusions 
  15. Track current goals and plan future ones

 

10. Shopify Analytics

This analytics tool is very similar to Google Analytics, with the exception of it being native to the Shopify platform.

The dashboard provides a global overview of everything that happens in the online store in real-time and historically.

It shows metrics like:

  • Best-selling products
  • Countries that generate the most revenue
  • Main sources of traffic
  • Marketing campaign performance
  • Which products people are searching for in your store
  • Which landing pages have the highest conversion rates
  • And combinations of data that you can customize to analyze data and make decisions

Shopify’s analytics and reports allow you to scrutinize sales and customers in great detail. 

The types of analytics and reports available to you will depend on the store’s subscription plan.

Below is an example of what the platform looks like.

A screenshot of what Shopify Analytics looks like

 

Benefits of using Shopify Analytics

If you’re an online store owner, these are some of the benefits you’ll reap from optimizing the data at hand:

  • Improve your shopper interface
  • Improve the way you market your products
  • Upsell to your top customers
  • Create product bundles and special promotions
  • Increase your store’s AOV (average order value)

 

Did we miss any of your favorite tools?

We hope you found our Media Buyers’ top 10 tools helpful. What are some of your go-to tools that you think every media buyer should know about?

If you’re looking for more media-buying tips, check out some of our other articles. 

 

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