Mark J. Wolf Blog

The Best Ways to Utilize Facebook Ads Lookalike Audience

 

The good thing is, this data gives advertisers the opportunity to engage an extensive collection of targeting methods on Facebook.

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Now the variety of targeting options can turn out to be a blessing or curse to advertisers. For starters, the wide array of options allows marketers to get the very specific with their targeting, and that’s great.

Well, the bad news is, advertisers can easily waste time and money testing several targeting combinations with the goal of hitting the best-performing audience segments.

There’s actually one ad type that might not be familiar to you. The good thing is, this option is super easy to use and converts well. This ad type is known as Lookalike Audience Ads.

The good thing is, this option is super easy to use and converts well. This ad type is known as Lookalike Audience Ads.

Introducing Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences give marketers the chance to take advantage of Facebook’s vast amount of data to target quality audiences without much trial and error. Sounds great right?

So What Is a Lookalike Audience?

The idea behind a Lookalike audience is that people who are very similar to your existing users are most likely to convert. In other words, lookalike audiences give advertisers the opportunity to target Facebook users who happen to be similar to their customers away from Facebook.

Facebook’s algorithm for creating Lookalike audiences analyzes its data on an input audience known as a seed audience. It does this to find patterns between the seed audience and the entire Facebook user base.

This algorithm considers various aspects of information that Facebook has on its users. It’s important to note that the information goes beyond simple user input data and also includes inferred attributes. The thing is, Facebook doesn’t let us in on what’s included in its Lookalike modeling, but I’m pretty sure it consisted of likes, post interactions as well as other behaviors of particular seed audience.

It’s important to note that the information goes beyond simple user input data and also includes inferred attributes.

The thing is, Facebook doesn’t let us in on what’s included in its Lookalike modeling, but I’m pretty sure it consisted of likes, post interactions as well as other behaviors of particular seed audience.

How To Create a Lookalike Audience

The very first thing to do when it comes to building a Lookalike is to set up a seed audience. What’s a seed audience? Well, this is the set of people that are meant to resemble the audience for your campaign.

For starters, create a customer audience.

You can simply do this by uploading your customer database. You can also build a custom audience based on traffic to your site or app.

Here’s the deal:

If you want a custom audience to work on the basis of a Lookalike, it has to include over 100 people from the same country who own Facebook accounts that correspond to the uploaded data.

Alright, now that you’ve created your seed audience, just input the same in “Source” field of your new Lookalike audience.

That’s it! From this point on Facebook will start analyzing data to find users who look a lot like your seed audience.

How To Maximize Results with Lookalike Audiences

As you can see, the process of creating a Lookalike audience is easy and straightforward. However, you have to employ some key strategies to maximize your results with Lookalike audiences. In this section, I’m going to explore some of them so you can get the best results possible. Sounds good? Let’s dive in!

In this section, I’m going to explore some of them so you can get the best results possible. Sounds good? Let’s dive in!

Sounds good? Let’s dive in!

Sourcing Your Audience

The first you have to consider is where to get people for your seed audience. There are quite a number of ways to do this including:

• Building a customer list of phone numbers and email addresses

• Creating a website custom audience based on a Facebook pixel that keeps track of a user’s behavior on your website.

Or

• Building an audience on the basis of events in your mobile app.

Using Customer List as Source of Your Audience

 

Do you want to use your Customer Lists as your source of the audience? If yes, Facebook will do the job for you by matching the phone numbers and emails you upload to the corresponding Facebook profiles.

If yes, Facebook will do the job for you by matching the phone numbers and emails you upload to the corresponding Facebook profiles.

One thing to note is that the match rate will never be 100% accurate. Why? Well, for starters, not everyone has a Facebook account and those that own one are very likely to have more than one email.

Tip: Just ensure that you have a reasonably large list to account for a match rate of less than 100%.

Using Facebook Pixel or App Events

For starters, sourcing your audience using Facebook pixel or mobile app has its pros and cons. The good news is, getting an audience on Facebook pixel or app events will automatically update your seed audience.

You’ll also get to define the event you find to be a conversion — this could be an actual purchase or some other significant event in the funnel.

Now, the major disadvantage of using Facebook pixel or app events as your source is that customer information will only be captured after it’s built into your site.

In other words, creating an audience will be time-consuming if you don’t already have a pixel or mobile app. The bottom line?

Using Facebook pixel or mobile app events as your source might be difficult if you do not have any history of advertising on Facebook.

In other words, creating an audience will be time-consuming if you don’t already have a pixel or mobile app. The bottom line? Using Facebook pixel or mobile app events as your source might be difficult if you do not have any history of advertising on Facebook.

The bottom line?

Using Facebook pixel or mobile app events as your source might be difficult if you do not have any history of advertising on Facebook.

Size of Your Seed Audience

How large do you want your seed audience to be?

This is the next thing you’ll want to consider when building your seed audience. For the most part, the minimum size is 100, but it’s also great to aim above this figure. You should do this because Facebook will be able to build

For the most part, the minimum size is 100, but it’s also great to aim above this figure. You should do this because Facebook will be able to build higher quality audience if you provide it with more data points.

Just try not to go overboard with the data points as this can lead to pattern degradation.

Segmenting Your Seed Audience

What you should know is that creating a list of all your customer email addresses and phone numbers is only a slice of the job. In other words, you cannot just use the list as your seed audience.

You need to place more emphasis on quality when building your seed audiences and the good news is, segmenting can help you achieve that and more.

Similarity or Reach — The Choice is Yours

Now that you’ve planned out your seed audiences, you’ll have to decide if you’re going to optimize for similarity or reach.

You should know that Facebook allows you to pick a sliding scale between 1% to 10% when creating lookalike audiences.

So, the percentage you choose points out the amount of Facebook users who are most similar to your seed audience. It’s expressed as a percentage of Facebook’s total population by country. For instance, only a 1% Lookalike in the United States has a reach of up to two million people.

With this, you can see that the lowest percentage audiences have the lowest reach, but they’re the ones that look very similar to your seed audience.

One interesting thing about reach is that the size of your seed audience typically matches the resulting Lookalike audience irrespective of its size. Well, this alone can reduce the need for optimizing the size of your seed audience. For the most part, a seed audience of 500 people is very likely to provide the same reach as that of 5,000 people. It’s however important to note that the quality of the Lookalike audience with a seed audience of 5000 people will be much higher than that of 500 people.

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It’s crucial to find the right balance for your business when it comes to optimizing for similarity and reach. I recommend starting with a 1% audience when defining your Lookalike strategy. You can eventually build towards higher percentage Lookalikes as each audience satisfies your efficiency goals.

Create a Hierarchy

Now that you’ve created your Lookalike, I guess you’re ready to start using them in your campaigns.

Well, it’s crucial to exclude other Lookalike audiences so you can attain the marginal reach for each audience.

Since Lookalike audiences are large, it’s very likely that the Facebook users you’re targeting belong to several audiences, and you do not want to target unnecessarily. I mean, targeting the same user with more than one campaign is not a good idea.

It’s also important to note that limited population makes audience overlap inevitable. This happens when you build several Lookalikes from similar seed audiences.

The good thing is, you’ll get to greater reach when you segment seed audiences this way. Just be sure to keep audience overlap in mind when using this technique of seed audience segmentation.

Most advertisers tend to tier lookalikes based on similarity, and that’s great. However, it’s also crucial to base the tiering on the quality of your source audience. It’s highly recommended to establish a hierarchy of Lookalike audience quality so everything can be in order.

Doing this will give you the chance to target each audience based on merit without competing with higher quality audiences.

Final Words

With all that has been said, you can agree with me that Facebook ad targeting is huge. Facebook Lookalike audience is clearly an excellent way to boost your marketing efforts and overall conversions.

The only issue is that you’ll have less visibility and control for audience relevance and scale. This might be a bit tough for performance marketers who are looking to seek out even the tiniest bit of efficiency.

The bottom line is, Lookalike audiences are awesome! As I mentioned earlier, they’re a great way to boost Facebook advertising and achieve excellent results.

So what next?

Well, it’s time to start using Lookalike audiences for your upcoming campaigns! Good luck!

Mark J. Wolf

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