If I were to only ever create one audience for someone, it would be a Lookalike Audience.

That’s how important these audiences are.

They are consistently the top-performing and most important audiences to build awareness and drive new website traffic.

In this blog post, I’ll take you through what a Facebook Lookalike Audience is, the role it plays in your customer journey, and how to create it.

What is a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

A Lookalike Audience is a powerful way to reach new eyeballs without needing to play the guessing game of which interest your target audience has, how old they are, what industry they work in, or how they behave online.

This is because you’re able to provide data to Facebook and they will match that data to the Facebook users, create an audience of them, and then through a Lookalike Audience, you can create a new audience of people who ‘look like’ them.

One of the key reasons this audience performs so well is that it’s a unique audience based on your unique data. When you buy ads, you’re buying digital real estate… the more demand there is for that real estate, the more you need to pay.

So if you’re buying real estate with less competition, you won’t have to pay as much.

And if you give Facebook a decent amount of high-quality data, Facebook will also make a high-quality Lookalike Audience.

In summary, with Lookalike Audiences, you’ll generally pay less and reach a higher quality audience than creating one based on the typical audience targeting options of interests, demographics and behaviours.

The Role of a Lookalike Audience in Your Customer Journey

Now, if you haven’t created a Lookalike Audience yet, I don’t mean to make you feel bad, but we created our first Lookalike Audience in 2014. Don’t wait another day before you create some Lookalike Audiences and split-test it against your current ones. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome and it will take you less than 10 minutes.

The reason these audiences have been vital in getting ourselves and our clients’ great results is because we understand its role in the customer journey.

I’ll touch on this lightly now because I covered it quite in-depth in my last blog post, Choosing the Right Facebook Campaign Objective

Essentially, you’re reaching people who are either at the Unaware, Problem Aware or Solution Aware ‘Level of Awareness’. I.e. they don’t know they have a problem, or they do know they have a problem but aren’t aware of any solutions, or they are aware of solutions but they just don’t know about your solution to their problem.

A simple ad stating your features and benefits likely won’t do the job here. You need to play the role of a teacher, and your audience is the student. Educate and emphasise their problems, show them that you understand their world, and join the conversation that’s already happening in their head. Then If I were to summarise the top of funnel ads in one word, it would be ‘empathy’.If you have enough empathy for your customer, you have the ability to move them from one emotional state to the next, which is what marketing is all about. Do you know how your ideal customer is feeling at each stage of their ‘Customer Awareness’?

How to Create Lookalike Audiences

Facebook explains, “A Lookalike Audience is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers.”

The last part of that sentence needs some context because it’s a little misleading.

It’s 100% accurate… if you’re creating a Lookalike Audience using a Customer List as the source, however, you can create a Lookalike Audience from any of the below Custom Audiences, which is the first step of creating a Lookalike Audience.

Yes, you can create a Lookalike Audience of your “best existing customers”, however, you may be better off creating a Lookalike Audience of all customers, or perhaps all of your website traffic over the last 180 days. The key consideration is the quality of data you’re giving Facebook vs the quantity.

Facebook recommends a source audience of between 1,000 and 50,000.

So if you have more than 1,000 “best existing customers”, go for it, but it’s likely your best data source (due to size) will actually be your website traffic over the last 180 days (if you have a pixel installed) or your email list.

To create a Lookalike Audience from your Custom Audience, head to your Ads Manager, click on the hamburger button (three lines), then Audiences.

Click ‘Create Audience’, then ‘Lookalike Audience’.

Type in the name of your Custom Audience, which will be the source of your Lookalike Audience, and select the region or country you will be targeting.

The final task is to set the audience size. The smaller the audience, the more similar they will be to your original source. You might assume a smaller, more similar audience will be the top-performer, however, quantity over quality is normally the winner with Lookalike Audiences.

We often find a 3% or 5% Lookalike audience outperforms a 1%, because Facebook has a larger audience to choose from in trying to find you the cheapest cost per objective.

Your Turn!

I know how valuable Lookalike Audiences are, so if you haven’t created any yet, I’m super excited for you!
If you don’t have the time or staff to follow this process and would like to learn more about how my agency and I can help, simply click here to book a quick 15-minute chat.