If you are using Facebook Ads to get traffic, your first action step should be to find your target audience.
Once you have a target audience in place, wouldn’t it be nice to find other people with similar interests to get even more people in front of your offers? That’s what lookalike audiences are made to do and that’s what we are going to talk about today.
We are going to cover:
- What are lookalike audiences
- Where to begin with lookalike audiences
- The benefits of lookalike audiences
- Using lookalike audiences effectively (there is a wrong way and we want you to avoid it)
So let’s get started…
Lookalike Audiences Explained
To get started with any type of audience, you need to of course find your target audience. We talk a lot about finding your target audience right here on Fearless Social. You can check out The 8 Demographics of Your Target Audience to point you in the right direction to finding your ideal customers.
Once you have a target audience in place, you can then create a lookalike audience in Facebook, which simply means that Facebook will go out and find other people with similar interests (among other similarities) of your target audience. This is really cool because it’s kind of like a magic button that Facebook gives us to find more people who might be interested in what we have to say.
To use the lookalike audience feature of Facebook, you need a custom audience. Let’s talk about how to get a custom audience shall we?
2 Ways of Getting Facebook Custom Audiences
There are 2 main ways to obtain a custom audience on Facebook. Well, there are more than 2 but these 2 are a good place to start.
1) Upload A List – The first way to obtain a custom audience is to use a list of existing people who you are already marketing to. You may have their email address, phone number or user ID (if you have an existing fan page or group that you own).This way assumes you have already done some work to get in front of an existing audience already. Not many people have this option available, especially if it’s a new niche they are tapping into. In that case, you must use option #2, which is…
2) Paid Traffic With Facebook Advertising – This is the best way to get in front of an audience if you are testing out a new niche.This method actually levels the playing field because anyone who knows how to pay for traffic and convert can tap into any market and make money relatively quickly. It’s very promising and exciting and many marketers have been making a lot of money using this strategy.With this particular paid traffic method, there are actually a few steps you need to take to get these people from the audience you are targeting with Facebook ads and turn them into a member of your custom audience list.It’s pretty easy though.
There are 2 ways:
The first way is to send your traffic to a web page that you own. You would have install a Facebook Tracking Pixel and whoever lands on the page with the tracking pixel gets put on your custom audience list.
Go To Home => Ads Manager => Audiences => Create Audience =>
Choose Custom Audience From Your Website => then you will have to give it a name and install the pixel FB give you on your website.
The second way is to send traffic to any place you want (like like a Facebook Fan Page) and essentially get people to buy from you. Once they buy from you, then they will most likely (hopefully) get on your email list and then you can just upload your email list right into Facebook and create a custom audience.
There you go. Now you are on your way to creating a custom audience!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into lookalike audiences.
How To Create Lookalike Audiences
Here’s what you need to do:
Facebook => Home => Ads Manager => Audiences => Top Right
(you can also create lookalike audiences in the power editor, but it’s really easy doing it from the ads manager, so I would recommend the really quick process I outline below).
On the next screen you will see this:
Choose the custom audience you would like to build a lookalike audience for. Then choose the country. As you can see, the slider indicates Similarity versus Reach. Audiences that are optimized for similarity will behave more like your source compared to a larger audience that are optimized for reach. It’s up to you what you want to do, but I pick similarity any day of the week because I want to reach the most targeted people. However, the best way to see which one gets the best results is to, of course, test test test!
After you’ve done this, you can create a lookalike audience for every country your market is in.
The next step is to sit and wait until Facebook creates your audience. This could take up to 48 hours.
The Benefits of Lookalike Audiences
The major benefit of building lookalike audiences is to automate your target market research. Instead of having to find every possible page and interest on the web that your target audience might be interested in, Facebook has nifty algorithms it uses to automate this process…well, somewhat.
Have you ever noticed that people on Facebook who like a certain page like other types of similar Facebook pages? A good exercise is to start recognizing what kinds of people like certain pages. It’s really a lot easier to look at your industry (or an industry that you know) first because you will recognize the people who like the pages. It’s harder to go into a niche where you don’t know many people and try to find similarities across the different pages. However, you can notice demographic information like gender, age, race, and religion…but be careful not to make generalizations just by using this method alone.
Overall, this is a good practice because it will open your eyes to more Fanpages you could be targeting with your ads.
These are the types of things Facebook is doing behind the scenes when they are finding lookalike audiences for your custom audiences. They are finding similar people with similar interests. Creepy right?
Here’s How Facebook Explains it:
Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to target more people who look like their established customers. A lookalike audience uses either an existing custom audience or conversion data (conversion pixels) as a “seed” and an audience is built of similar users. Lookalike audiences can be used to support any business objective: Targeting people who are similar to sets of customers for fan acquisition, site registration, off-Facebook purchases, and coupon claims, or simply to drive awareness of a brand.
Creating a lookalike audiences is your fast path to finding similar people in your marketplace. Do they work? You need to do some testing to find that answer – that’s the only way to find out.
Lookalike Audience Warning
Facebook might create a lookalike audience that has over 1 million+ people. You must make sure you ‘target down’ your lookalike audiences. This means, don’t just blanket market to the entire lookalike audience Facebook so kindly created for you!
You still must have knowledge of your target audience so you can drill down and only target people who might be interested in your stuff. I can’t stress this part enough!
=> Have you had success with lookalike audiences? Please share with us below!
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Sandy Halliday says
Thanks for that very clear explanation Debbie. I was on a webinar recently when it was briefly explained but it’s good to have this post to refer to as I am just about to do some Facebook advertising.
Debbie Drum says
Thanks Sandy!! Many marketers just breeze over this but it’s actually a really cool feature FB gives us 🙂