Facebook Lookalike Audiences & Targeting

Facebook Custom Audiences are one of my secret weapons when it comes to Facebook Advertising. Keep in mind that in order for a custom audience to serve as the basis of a Lookalike, it has to include more than 100 people from the same country who have Facebook accounts that match the uploaded data (see below for an explanation of match rates).

For a lookalike audience based on this custom audience, Facebook will look for Facebook users with similar attributes to those people on your email list. Lookalike Audiences are a feature within Facebook's Ads Manager that was first rolled out in 2013. Because you have done the heavy lifting of determining this audience, as opposed to tapping into Facebook's enormous database, you'll typically save money compared with relying on Facebook's database 100%.

For privacy reasons your audience should include at least 20 people in order for you to be able to use it in your campaigns. Just like all Facebook audiences, the more specific (without being too specific) your Custom Audience is, the better your results will be.

Facebook will use the profile data from these audiences to create a new list of Facebook users who share similar demographics and interests. Lookalike Audiences can also help grow brand awareness by increasing your exposure to new potential customers. There are a variety of ways to do this, such as a Facebook Pixel on your website, a list of your existing customers, people who Like your Facebook page or people who use an app that's integrated with Facebook's Software Development Kit (SDK).

The 1% lookalike targeted around 2 million people. Then, Facebook's algorithm will start to query it's entire user base looking for people who most closely share the profile and behavioural traits that it has detected from your source audience. This post provides step-by-step instructions for creating a lookalike audience on Facebook using Amazon customer data.

Whereas if you're creating a lookalike audience from just website visits, or page engagements, and your custom audience size is small, then obviously that's going to impact the quality of your lookalike audience. Their feature, ‘Actalike Audience', allows you to target users by drawing on your own marketing data.

Be sure to split your audiences based on their engagement if you're able. For example, excluding a 1% LA from a 3% LA leaves a bigger audience to target than excluding a 1% audience from a 2%. Find out how to create a bucket of page visitors for your retargeting ads, and how to create new Lookalike audiences based on past buyers.

Your Lookalike Audience will be ready to use shortly after you create it (it usually takes 20-30 minutes). A few notes, the email list and the website custom audience had the highest conversion rate at around 31%, however even the lookalike audience still had a conversion rate of 25%.

For example, thanks to the test referenced above, we were better able to exclude those outside our targeting (salesmen, administrative types) and make device targeting adjustments to make our handpicked Facebook audiences become more effective. I ask if it's wise to combine email and website visitors into a super group of people who are both on an email list and visit the website.

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. If you are just getting started using a Lookalike Audience, we recommend you choose one end of the spectrum and adjust over time, optimizing for engagement, conversions and lifetime value of a customer.

Testing with a smaller budget to see how your custom and lookalike audiences work helps you proceed with caution. Simply tick the target by ‘Email Addresses' box within the targeting page of your Facebook Ads tool, copy your email list and paste it into the ad tool.

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