Anything that we do in digital marketing, and specifically social media advertising, comes from segmentation. We understand our customers, sometimes design their personas, and then we try to optimize our advertising messages to serve the right audience at the right time.
Targeting different layers of the marketing funnel and driving the best-qualified traffic from one group to the other is another example of segmentation. But targeting the right cold traffic at very early stages, specifically in social media advertising, is no easy task. This is where a lookalike audience makes our lives as digital marketers a little bit easier.
What is a Lookalike Audience?
Here is how Facebook defines lookalike audience:
“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.” Or a little more sophisticated: “algorithmically-assembled group of individuals who resemble, in some way, another group of members.”
We create a lookalike audience from one source audience. Meaning we have already begun a custom audience (by using Facebook Pixel information, our Facebook page visitors, or any valuable data such as demographics). Now, we want to have a new audience list with people who are similar to those on our core audience list.
A lookalike audience is generally bigger than the core audience, and it will help us reach more people on top of our funnel.
Why are we creating lookalike audiences?
Your business needs new customers, and new customers come with proper advertising. Remember that the most critical point in digital marketing is targeting. If you target the right audience, you can achieve your goal. Without accurate targeting, you don’t have a chance.
You can start by targeting new audiences based on demographics and interests. But you need to test this cold audience to make sure they are who you need. Then filtering the traffic and assessing their quality helps you move forward. You may have your customers’ personas, which makes your life a little bit easier, but you still need to spend money and time to test the lists and narrow them down to the qualified traffic.
But, if you have website visitors, you have a list of your customers, and you have followers on Facebook, you can use a shortcut. You can create a lookalike audience from each of those sources.
By creating a lookalike audience, you are taking the first step, creating the initial layer for your funnel, and your information is as accurate as possible. You are going to leverage your customers’ information from your current customer base and discover new opportunities.
Let's Create the First Lookalike Audience
To create a lookalike audience, you need to have a role from the list below:
- You have to be the admin of the Page or pixel you’re making the lookalike audience from.
- If you create a Lookalike Audience from a Custom Audience, you need to be an admin, Advertiser or Analysis on the Ad account.
- If you create a Lookalike Audience from mobile app installs information, you need to have an Administrator or a Developer role on the app.
How to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience
- Login to your Facebook Business Manager
- Go to your Audiences
- Click the audience that you want to create the lookalike audience from.
- Click the “Create Actions” dropdown and choose “Create Lookalike.”
- Choose the country/countries where you’d like to find a similar set of people
- Choose your desired audience size with the slider.
- Click Create Audience
There is another way for you to create a Lookalike Audience while creating your ad in Ads Manager.
- It may take 6 to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be ready to use. Then, if you continue using this audience in your advertising, every 3 to 7 days, the audience will refresh its members.
- You can start your advertising right away, and you don’t need to wait for your Lookalike Audience to update.
- You can revisit your Lookalike Audience by visiting your Audience Manager page and checking the date under the Availability column.