Posted by kyler890
Oh no! An article about Facebook advertising on an SEO blog.
If you’re in the digital marketing game these days, you can’t ignore a powerful channel to bring traffic and sales. While your results from the SEO campaign could take months, you should use Facebook (or another PPC channel) to gain an initial boost for your digital marketing efforts.
Here we are talking about lookalike audiences – what they are, why you should be using them and how to create some for yourself.
What are lookalike audiences?
To put it simply, a lookalike audience is a tailored audience similar to one that you’ve already created within Facebook. These can be based on current customer lists, page likes, and website custom audiences. You can even create an audience based on people who have watched your videos, but that’s getting a little more advanced.
Basically, Facebook goes through the list of people in your custom audience to find the people with the most shared similarities.
Once Facebook a good understanding of who the people in your custom audience are, Facebook will create a new audience (with new people) that are closely related to your custom audience.
Why you should use a lookalike audience
When it comes to direct response advertising, retargeting is amazing. Why? Because the people being shown your ads have already interacted with your brand and shown some interest in it.
The next best audience to target is your current customer lists. Once they’ve purchased from you, they have a higher chance of giving you more money. Actually, they are 60-70% more likely to buy from you again in the future.
But what if you’ve exhausted both of these audiences, and they’re simply not responding to any more ads?
That’s where lookalikes come in.
If you upload your list of customers, you can ask Facebook to find more people that are similar to them.
This is a lot easier than trying to find specific interests to target and hoping that it works.
It just makes sense. If you have an audience and they’re all into crafting and sewing, then wouldn’t you want to find other people that have a high probability of liking crafting and sewing?
This really helps when you want to scale up your campaigns. There is a lot of conversation around scaling Facebook ads and everyone wants to share their “secret” tip or idea. But not everything works for everyone.
Lookalike audiences are one of those audiences that you should at least attempt to hit when scaling up your campaigns.
How to create a lookalike audience in Facebook
Now that you know what a lookalike audience is and why you should use one, I’ll show you exactly how to create one.
Step 1: Load your Facebook ad account.
Step 2: Click “Tools” and then select “Audiences” from the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Click “Create Audience” and then choose “Lookalike Audience.”
Step 4: Choose the source audience (Facebook page or website) and choose the country.
Note: Your source audience must have a minimum of 100 people in the country you select. If it doesn’t, Facebook will not allow you to create a lookalike audience for that country.
Step 5: Choose the size you want to use. This will be the percentage of the country that you want to reach. The higher you go, the more people there will be in the audience, but the similarities will be more loosely matched.
If you choose 1%, you’ll usually get around 2 million people (at least for the more populous countries). Keep in mind that the smaller the country, the smaller the audience size. Example: Zimbabwe gives me 8,800 for 1% audience and 87,000 for 10% audience.
New advanced options for lookalikes
This isn’t exactly super new, but it is something you need to know about:
This option will help you reduce the overlap between the lookalike audiences. That is, if you create one lookalike audience for 1% and another for 2%, there’s a good chance the 2% audience will have some of the same people as the 1% audience.
With the advanced option, it will give you the 2 million for the 1% audience and a separate 2 million for the 2% audience. (Facebook will allow you create up to six of these at a time.)
Test each one out and see which works best for you. Personally, I’ve seen the best success with 1% audiences, but I’ve heard that 10% audiences work well, too (probably for very general/broad niches).
If you are going after a very specific audience, then loosely-based lookalike audiences probably won’t be the best for you.
Fun tip: You can still layer in interest and demographic targeting to these audiences. It will help you keep on track for hitting the right people.
Manually creating a lookalike audience
Manually creating a lookalike audience takes a little more work, but it’s pretty awesome. I do this when I want to use my own customer data to control the ideal audience to target. I really think this gives me a better audience than the automated Facebook system does.
I’ll show you my process, which you can easily modify so it works for you.
First, click the drop-down tools menu in your account and choose “Audience Insights.” If you haven’t done this before, you’re really missing out on some valuable information.
From this screen, select “A Custom Audience.” Now you’ll see a lot of stuff going on with the blue and grey bars. This article isn’t going to cover what all of that means. Just know that if the blue exceeds the grey, then it’s good – and if the grey exceeds the blue, it’s not good.
Let’s look at one of my random audiences that’s not connected to HostGator:
This audience has 6,600 active people in the United States. In the screen shot above, you can see that it is heavily dominated by women. You can also see that the age range, 35-44, has a lot of blue outside of the grey. So, I’m going to make a note to reach out to these ladies.
I also noticed that they’re mostly married and have completed high school.
Now, click the “Page Likes” tab. There are no screenshots here as you’ll see what niche it’s for. Apologies.
You don’t need the screen shots anyways. Just use this area to find interests that have a high affinity to your audience. Check out this post from Adweek to understand the affinity.
What you’re doing is defining the demographics of your audience, such as their age. Once you’ve got a good idea of who these people are, you can remove the audience from Audience Insights and apply each piece of targeting you found in your audience.
Once I did this, I was able to create a lookalike audience of 140,000 women who should be very similar to my source audience of 6,600.
There you have it – that’s pretty much everything you need to know to start creating lookalike audiences on Facebook. The only other thing you might want to know is that some marketers use the acronyms LAL or LLA audiences when referring to Lookalike Audiences.
If there is anything else you want to know about creating Lookalike Audience, though, I’d love to help. Please ask your questions about creating Lookalike Audiences in the comments.
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