How to Best Utilize Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike Audiences

For those Internet advertisers who have taken advantage of the advertising service Facebook has built, you know that sometimes it’s tricky to get the right targeting for your campaign. You can try different combinations of interests, demographics, etc. and still not have your campaign succeed. The reason why these campaigns are not always successful is because not everybody utilizes the lookalike audience function. A lookalike audience is a way to target users on Facebook. Simply put, a lookalike audience is created when an admin uploads a list of users and Facebook finds these individuals’ profiles, looks at their interests, and finds users with similar interests, behaviors, and demographics.

How to Create a Lookalike Audience

To create a lookalike audience, an admin will first have to select a “seed” audience. A seed audience can be either fans of your Facebook Page, users who converted on a previous campaign, data from Facebook pixels, or an existing custom audience. For each of these methods, the larger the audience is, the better. The more data Facebook has, the more accurate the lookalike audience will be. Facebook can automatically create the audience based on pixel data, page fans and previous conversions, but to create a lookalike audience based on a custom audience, the admin will need to import contacts into Facebook.

Importing Contacts to Create a Custom Audience

To import contacts into Facebook and create a custom audience, you first need to select which set of contacts you believe will create the best lookalike audience for conversions. For example, you can build your audience based on the individuals who filled out a form on your website, bought a product from your website, used your mobile app, simply just visited your website, and more. You’ll need to export the phone numbers or email address of those users you wish to upload from your website’s back end and then import this information into Facebook as a single column .csv excel sheet. You will then need to have a minimum of 20 contacts to create this audience, but it takes at least 100 contacts to create a lookalike audience.

If you plan on advertising a product, it may be best to use the custom audience approach. You will be able to export a list of the people who purchased the particular product that you want to advertise, and target people with similar interests, demographics, and behaviors as those who have already purchased your product.

Creating the Campaign

Now that your custom audience is created and saved into Facebook, the next step is to set up your campaign. Create the campaign as you normally would except when you are in the “audience” section. Here, click on the “create audiences” and then “create a lookalike audience”. This is what you would need to select if you’d like to use an audience based on your app downloads, pixel data, page likes, or the custom audience you have already created.

After completing this step, use the slider to select the size of your lookalike audience. After selecting the seed audience for your campaign, further refine your targeting using the interest, demographic and behavior targeting as you would for any other campaign. Keep in mind that it may take anywhere from 6 – 24 hours for Facebook to generate the look alike audience.

Split Testing:

To see exactly how your lookalike audience is performing, it is often best to split test the lookalike against the custom audience that you originally imported. To do this, select a lookalike audience that is very similar in size to your original imported audience. Run these two campaigns either simultaneously or for the exact same duration of time. Make sure that you run these campaigns long enough to collect sufficient performance data. You will then be able to compare the data sets to see which performed better.

Additional Tips:

Segmenting the custom audience that you will use to create your lookalike audience great strategy. By breaking down your customer base into different segments, you can greatly increase the effectiveness of your lookalike campaign. You can segment your audience by the individual product the individual bought, if they were a returning customer or not, if they opted in to receive email promotions or just about anything else. Ensure that you do this before creating the lookalike audience and import each segment as a new custom audience.

Get Going!

Now that you have setup your lookalike audience and campaign, you are ready to start advertising! For the best results, split test a regular campaign with your lookalike audience campaign and monitor the results. Remember, the key to every PPC campaign is to test, analyze, and optimize. If you need help setting up lookalike campaigns or any kind of PPC campaign, call the experts at Optimum7. Our team will be able to assist you with any of your needs.