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what is a lookalike audience

What is a Lookalike Audience?

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to get the most out of your Facebook Ads, then you need to know about Lookalike Audiences. Facebook Lookalike Audiences are a special type of audience that you can create on Facebook Ads Manager.

To create a Lookalike Audience, you simply need to provide Facebook with a seed audience. This seed audience can be made up of people who have already visited your website, or it can be a custom audience that you’ve created yourself. Once you’ve provided Facebook with this seed audience, it will use its algorithms to find other people who are similar to those in your seed audience.

This allows you to target your ads at people who are more likely to be interested in what you have to say.

How do you create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook Ads Manager?

  1. Go to your Audiences. (You can also create a lookalike audience during ad creation in Meta Ads Manager.)
  2. Select the Create Audience dropdown and choose lookalike audience
  3. Choose your source. A source can be a Custom Audience not created with your Facebook pixel data, your mobile app data, or fans of your Page. Consider using a group of 1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on lifetime value, transaction value, total order size, or engagement
  4. Choose the country/countries where you’d like to find a similar set of people
  5. Choose your desired audience size with the slide.
  6. Select Create Audience

If you need more help, go to Lookalike Audience on Facebook

Why we LOVE lookalike audiences

We have had the best results with our Facebook lookalike audiences, as they deliver a more qualified lead and the cost per lead is much lower than the same ads targeted at interests.

And one of the best things about lookalike audiences is they can adapt to your audience. If you choose to create a lookalike audience from people that engaged with your page in the last 90 days, that 90 days is a moving target, so your audience will keep adapting to those most interested in your business.

My favorite lookalike audience to use is one based on your email list. Facebook suggests you have “at least 100 people from the same country to use it as the basis for a lookalike audience,” but in my monthly meetings with my Facebook Ads rep, they suggest the bigger the better.

However, I have found that the more distinct your list, the better. For example, I have a client that I have built an email list of over 100k. If I run a lookalike audience from that list, I will get okay results. But if I pull from that list the 20-30% that are the most engaged (so they open emails more often and click links), I will get a better lookalike audience to use.

How does Facebook determine which users to target with your Lookalike Audience?

With Lookalike Audiences, Facebook makes it easy to find potential customers similar to your existing customers. But how does Facebook determine who to include in a Lookalike Audience?

Facebook determines who to target by looking at factors like interests, demographics, and online behavior. This ensures that your Lookalike Audience is made up of people who are likely to be interested in your products or services.

This is much more accurate than if you “guessed” the interests of your customers. The data Facebook has is much deeper than our estimates and includes their actual online behavior.

As a result, you can confidently spend your marketing budget on ads that will reach your target audience and generate leads that convert into customers.

What are the benefits of using a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Lookalike audiences are one of the best ways to reach new potential customers on Facebook. By finding new people who are similar to your current customers, you can tap into a whole new pool of people who are likely to be interested in your products or services.

Lookalike audiences can also be used to target specific demographics, interests, or even locations. So whether you’re looking to expand your business internationally or just want to reach a new group of people in your local area, lookalike audiences are a great way to get started.

What is the difference between lookalike and custom audience?

Lookalike audiences are created by Facebook based on the characteristics of your current audience. Facebook uses its algorithm to find people who share similarities with your current customers.

Custom audiences, on the other hand, are generated by you. You can create a custom audience using data from your website, CRM, or even offline sources. Basically, a custom audience is any group of people that you define yourself.

Here is an example. You can tell Facebook to create a custom audience of people that have watched your videos in the last year. That is a specific number of people. Let’s say it’s 2,000 different people. That is a custom audience of 2k. Or if you said make a custom audience of anyone that liked my posts, or you can upload a customer list or subscriber list; again, those are a specific number of people.

A lookalike audience takes that custom audience and finds people that are similar. You can also make different lookalike audiences in different locations from your custom audience.

How can this help you?

You can take that custom audience of 2k people that liked your video and make a lookalike audience that is 100x as big.

You could take your customer list in Georgia and make a lookalike audience from it in Michigan or Florida. Even Australia if you wanted to.

Your lookalike audience is a sure bet that another new group of people will like you just like the group it was based on.

So, which one should you use?

It really depends on your goals. A lookalike audience may be a good option if you’re looking to expand your reach and attract new customers.

But if you’re trying to target a specific group of people with whom you already have a relationship, a custom audience would be a better choice.

How can you improve the results of your campaigns by using a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

By targeting a Lookalike Audience, you can reach more people who are likely to be interested in your product or service. As mentioned before, our lookalike audiences always outperformed our interest-based campaigns by far.

As a result, you can improve the results of your campaigns, attract leads at a lower cost, convert more subscribers and purchases, and grow your business more effectively.

What should you keep in mind when creating a Lookalike Audience?

When creating lookalike audiences, remember that your first one may not be a home run.

Make a Variety of Lookalike audiences

Make a variety of audiences and see which performs the best. Test the same ads for each audience and then pick the best one (or ones) to run with.

There is no cost to make these lookalike audiences, so create a lot of them. Facebook lets you create hundreds of lookalike audiences for each seed audience, so don’t be afraid of making too many.

Make more lookalike lists from the same audience

I like to run 3 versions of each lookalike list in varying degrees of similarity. You can choose from 1-10 %. I do 1, 2, and 3% for each list. And these audiences give different results for the same ads. For example, look at these:

Facebook Lookalike Audience Results Example

Facebook Lookalike Audience Results Example

Facebook Lookalike Audience Results Example

I have found that the tested results are not always what I would have assumed, so be sure to test and get actual results. I could have assumed that my 1% list would perform best since it is most similar, but often my 3% ends up the winner. I found more than 3% get worse results but test it yourself and see.

Make Facebook lookalike audiences from different segments

Rather than always making a lookalike list from your entire customer or email list, try making lookalike lists from segments. You could segment your customer list to those with the highest lifetime value or, as we did, people who were most engaged with our email list.

Update your lists and lookalike seeds

Some lists will update themselves when the data is coming from the same platform, like video views or post likes, but your provided seed lists, like customer lists, need to be updated. You will need to make a new list from the new data, but that doesn’t cancel out your old lookalike audience; it makes a completely new one. So it’s a good idea to date your lookalike audiences and see which works best by testing them.

You may find an older customer list for some reason, works well for a long time, maybe better than the new lists. Go with the lists that give you the best results, and don’t be afraid to try an old list here and there just to see what happens.

I would make new lists for one client a couple of times a year but found that our list of our first 2500 subscribers made the best lookalike list for years. And so that was the one that I kept using. I would test a new list, and that one would give the best results.

Now is the Time to use a Facebook Lookalike Audience

A Facebook lookalike audience can be a powerful way to increase your ad performance. By creating a lookalike audience, you target people similar to your current customers. This can be a great way to find new customers who are likely interested in your products or services. To create a successful lookalike audience, make sure you follow the best practices we’ve outlined. And don’t forget to test and measure the results of your campaigns so that you can continue to improve your performance.

Are you ready to try out a Facebook lookalike audience?

Looking to learn how to market your own business? See how Torie Mathis can help!

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine. Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

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hi im torie
I help entrepreneurs  learn digital marketing.
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What you need is to be SMART.

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