Ever heard the term lookalike audience and wondered what on earth that actually is?

When a Facebook advertising strategist talks about a lookalike audience they mean an audience that Facebook can create for you with people who have similar traits to those who are in a custom audience you create.

Let’s first explain what a custom audience is, in case you are wondering about that. A custom audience in Facebook is an audience you can create based on people who already have interactions with your brand. For example, you can upload your customer database into Facebook, or create a custom audience of people who have visited your website within a specific timeframe, or people who have watched a particular video. 

So when you create a lookalike audience you can basically tell Facebook to find people who are similar to for example your customer database, or to people who have visited your website.

It’s a really powerful tool and advertisers (like me!) love using it.

When you create a Facebook Lookalike Audience, you select a country you’d like Facebook to find these people from and you select a percentage of people that are most similar to your custom audience. For example, if you chose Australia and 1%, Facebook creates an audience for you with 1% of all Australians on Facebook who are most similar to the custom audience that you uploaded.

In order to create a lookalike audience you need 100 people in the custom audience you created that are based in the same country. It doesn’t necessarily need to be the same country as the audience that you’re building. For example, I could upload a list of over 100 Australians and create a lookalike audience of Canadians.

When should you use a lookalike audience?

As with many marketing activities, it really depends on your goal. I often use lookalike audiences when I’m running list building campaigns and want to find more people who ‘look like’ those who are either already on my clients’ list or who ‘look like’ those who have actually purchased from my clients.

It’s good to remember that a lookalike audience based on your customer database is likely going to be a much higher quality audience than a lookalike audience of people who have watched a specific video or who like your Facebook page.
The best way to learn which lookalike audiences are the best for your business is to create a few different ones and test them.   

What you must remember about lookalike audiences.

When marketers speak of audiences they often divide them into cold, warm and hot. A cold audience is an audience who has never heard of you before and never had any interaction with your brand.

When you use a lookalike audience you need to remember that these people have never heard of you and you need to treat them as a cold audience, even though they have been ‘sourced’ from a warm audience.

They ‘look like’ the people who know, like and trust you but you still need to engage in the process of building a relationship with this audience.

How you can use a lookalike audience in your ads?

As a starting point I’d use them to grow your list by setting up an ad to promote your free download to a lookalike audience.

To get extra specific I sometimes use some ‘hacks’ by layering the audience. The way I do this is by using a lookalike audience and adding in specific interests or other options to further narrow down the audience.

Start experimenting with lookalike audiences in a strategic way to see what they can do for your business.

If you’re unsure of where to start with Facebook advertising, watch my free training 5 Steps to Creating Strategic & Profitable Facebook Ads that Build Your Email List… without overwhelm or wasting money here.  


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