Facebook Ads:

How to Work With Lookalike Audiences

Digital Marketing Consultant Washington DC - Alex Lloro


Managing Director

Before you run any Facebook ads, you need to understand what a lookalike audience is and how to work with one. Keep reading below to learn more.

In 2021, Facebook is projected to generate $94.69 billion in ad revenue in the United States. But sometimes, it's hard to tap into the Facebook ads market. This is especially true when you're unsure about your target audience.

Thankfully, with Facebook Lookalike Audiences, you can literally target people that "look" and "act" like past site visitors, page interactors or even past purchasers. That's right with Lookalike Audiences, or LALs, Facebook will do the hard work for you and find people similar to past converters.

with Facebook Lookalike Audiences, you can literally target people that "look" and "act" like past site visitors, page interactors or even past purchasers.

Here's our guide to working with LALs.

Prospecting with Lookalike Audiences

Prospecting audiences are all about finding new customers. With LALs, you can take past purchaser CRM lists and with the help of Facebook's algorithm, find people that act similarly online to your purchasers.

The first step to doing this is to go to your Facebook ads Audience page. Next, upload a custom audience list with your past purchasers' information. Facebook even supports Mailchimp imports on this screen.

Upload this list and give Facebook some time to digest the information.

Next, click on the Create Audience button once more. Select "Lookalike Audience," and you're almost done creating your new method of finding new customers.

Lookalike Audiences are built on a 1-10% similarity level. This means that you can control how specific the generated audience is. Keeping in mind that each 1% of audience size generates around 2 million users, choose a range between 1 and 10%.

1% audiences may cost more to serve to as they are the most similar to your uploaded customer list. However, 1-2% LAL audiences are safe testing ranges when first investing in LALs as a whole.

Lookalike Audience Sizes

In line with 1% LALs, 2% LALs populate audiences of about 4.4 million people. This is important to keep in mind based on your budget. While a 1% LAL audience will be more similar to your past purchasers, your cost per impression or CPM here will also be higher.

How much do your products cost? What is your average CPA, or cost per acquisition? How much profit do you make on a standard sale? These should all determine how comfortable you are with selecting a lower percentage LAL audience.

Larger LALs for More Leads

Alternatively, 10% LAL audiences may be too broad to actually get you Return On Ad Spend, or ROAS. You must be careful to balance your budget accordingly. Testing larger and smaller LAL audiences are essential to balancing ROAS with searching for prospective customers that may convert further down the line.

Testing larger and smaller LAL audiences are essential to balancing ROAS with searching for prospective customers that may convert further down the line.

Think about it this way: why do you think the US will spend $89,905 million on social media advertising in 2019? Because social media is where we find products and services to purchase.

But additionally, social media platforms are plentiful. We don't advertise on just Facebook, just Twitter, just Pinterest or YouTube. We advertise across platforms.

Different types of people use different types of social media platforms. Think of 10% LAL audiences in this way.

With 20 million people in your 10% LAL audience at least, you are casting a wide net that is based only on your one, uploaded customer list or page engagers. This list could be super targeted if your original list is large.

Worst case, it could be super vague, if you base it on a list too small. So when you're looking for super broad audiences, make a larger LAL. It may be faster and more effective than testing interest-based audiences on interests you aren't sure are relevant to your market.

LAL Audiences and SEO/SEM Efforts

SEO and SEM efforts are essential to growing your audience online. Search engines will reward you for updating your content regularly. Additionally, you can attain new potential customers with content creation.

For example, if you post a tutorial online, anyone who wants to learn that skill or how to use that product could find you online. If you have your site's Facebook pixel set up, this can even benefit your LAL targeting.

Here's an example consumer journey. First, someone searches "how to ride a bike," on their favorite search engine. Your SEM ad shows up and brings them to a blog on your site titled, "All You Need to Know About Riding a Bike."

Since you have your Facebook pixel installed onsite, your site then "pixels" the visitor. They are now available to be retargeted as a site visitor in your Facebook campaigns.

Finally, you can create a LAL audience based on your site visitors. This will populate with Facebook users who act similarly to your "how to ride a bike," site visitor and more.

With that, you're ready to target those LAL potential customers and a step closer to cultivating new fans.

Ideally Suited for Prospecting New Customers

Catching prospective buyers and clients at all levels of the funnel is essential. While chatbots can target all stages of a buyer's journey, LALs are ideally suited for the early stages of a prospective buyer's journey.

Many marketers use interest-based audiences to target prospective buyers instead. This makes sense for clear-cut markets.

If you sell shoes, target an audience that has an interest in shoe brands and fashion. But for other niches, determining this interest can be harder.

What if you sell life coaching lessons? It would be hard to target people just on their need for coaching or wanting a better life. "Happiness" itself, while we all want to attain it, is next to impossible to target as a subject.

Instead, look to lookalike audiences. By uploading a customer list of your past customers to Facebook, LALs can do the work for you and find people who act similar to them online.

Ready to turn to the experts of Facebook Ads Lokealike Audiences and all things Facebook marketing? Schedule a free consultation for your marketing needs and growth strategy.

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