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What is “LookAlike Audience”? 5 ways you can use optimize Facebook ads using look alike audience?

What is a Lookalike Audience?
When you think of “lookalikes,” probably the first thing that comes to mind is how your friends and
family might look like. But what if we said instead: “The audience you need to create for your
campaign can be found online in places like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest?”
If this statement sounds familiar it should! As social media platforms continue growing more
popular with advertisers, so have online audiences become increasingly similar to one another. This
means that while certain demographics may appear different from others on average, they are
ultimately very much alike in terms of key characteristics such as age, income level, gender, race,
education level, and other demographic factors. So why would you ever want to target an audience
that looks like someone else’s when you could be targeting an audience that looks like yours?
This blog post will teach readers about how to build an audience that looks like theirs by leveraging
data analytics and statistical modeling. While there are many methods available for building an
audience, such as manual optimization and paid search advertising, those methods often aren’t
scalable beyond small test markets. To overcome these challenges, marketers must turn to
machine learning, which allows them to make predictions based on historical data without needing
to specify all desired output variables beforehand

With Facebook Lookalike Audiences, you can target people who look like your existing fans

With Facebook Lookalike Audience targeting, you can target new prospective customers by
selecting people who share similar characteristics to your current fans.In fact, the average person
only has about 20% overlap between their friends’ demographics and themselves. That means 80%
of your audience is left untouched. Using our Facebook Lookalike Auditing Tool, we found that you
could potentially double your targeted audience size with just 10% of your current fan base. This is a
huge opportunity to turn your most loyal customers into brand ambassadors and gain access to
new audiences.A Lookalike Audience works similarly to an email list where you select people based
on certain criteria. However, instead of sending messages directly to your email database,
Facebook allows you to send personalized messages to users who meet the same profile criteria.

How Lookalike Audiences will help you to optimize your campaign

Lookalike audiences are essentially an extension of Facebook’s audience targeting feature. Instead
of using a broad selection of parameters to find interested users, you narrow down your search by
selecting similar profiles based on criteria you set. This results in a much smaller pool of potential
customers to choose from. By focusing your efforts on finding highly relevant leads, you’ll increase
the chances of success. Using lookalike audiences allows you to target specific demographics
based on certain interests or traits. This lets you know whether or not a particular group is likely to
respond to your ad. It also helps you determine which types of ads perform well for each segment.
For example, most women don’t watch football, so sports-related ads won’t appeal to them. On top
of that, you can use lookalike audiences to create custom audiences. Custom audiences are groups
of users that share a common trait. These can then be used to drive targeted advertising

 For example, I might want to advertise a new product to all of my female friends. With a
custom audience, I can select all of my female fans and send them a message about my latest
offering. In order to generate accurate lookalikes, Facebook uses data collected from its website.
This includes information about interests, hobbies and even purchasing histories. Once that
information has been compiled, the system generates a list of possible matches based on your
chosen filter. The system works best when you already have a solid base of fans. In fact, lookalike
audiences are only effective when your audience size is large enough. To see how it works, let’s take
a quick look at some examples. Let’s say I wanted to target women between the ages of 25 and 50
who live in New York. To begin, I would go to the lookalike audience builder tool. Here’s a sample of
my options. As you can see, the first option is too broad. While I am looking for someone who lives
in New York and is between ages 25 and 50, any woman could fit that description. I’m going to try
the second option next. Since we are narrowing our focus, I can eliminate anyone over 60 years old.
Then, I can limit the search to people who live within 100 miles of Manhattan. The third option
focuses on people who enjoy shopping for shoes. Again, I’m going to narrow things down to people
who live in Brooklyn. Once I’ve created my target audience, I can decide which type of advertising I
want to run. Facebook offers two options for advertising: Facebook Ads (which I’ll explain below)
and promoted posts. Both of these options require me to create a separate campaign for each
target audience. Once that campaign is active, I can start running ads. I decided to test both
options, since they have different costs and targeting options. One thing to keep in mind is that
lookalike audiences can be expensive. This is because you’ll need to spend money to generate the
initial population of leads. However, once you have that list, you’ll save time and money in the long
run by not reaching out to people who weren’t interested in your business. Overall, lookalike
audiences allow you to reduce marketing waste by targeting your messaging to the right audience.
They also improve the efficiency of your overall campaigns .While there is still plenty of room for
improvement, lookalike audiences offer a number of benefits.

LookalikeAudiences: How Do You Create Audiences on Facebook Advertising Platform?

Creating Lookalike Audiences on Facebook Advertisements
To create a lookalike audience, follow these steps:
1. Go to Facebook Ads Manager:
In the left column of Facebook Ads Manager, click “Create New Campaign,” “Create New Ad Set,” or
“Create New Targeted Listing,” whichever applies to your campaign.
2. Click the “Audience Builder” tab on top of the page.
3. Choose “Create Audience” from the dropdown menu as shown below.
4. Select “Ads” from the category dropdown menu.

5. Enter “lookalike audience” into the search field.
6. Choose one of the following options: “Users who live near me,” “People who watched videos
about”, or “People with interest in”.
7. Check “Also include people who liked this Page” if you’d like to get more people from this page.
8. Add a location by entering it under “Location” or choosing a state, city, postal code, county,
country, region, province, or territory. Note: Your location settings will show what areas of the world
they apply to. If you aren’t sure where your users come from, you can check the analytics reports in
9. Expand your target audience by clicking “+More Options.”
10. Choose “Only People Who Liked…” from the drop-down menu. Type in the name or keyword of
the content you want to target or enter an exact phrase. Click Next Step .Note: This means people
who liked other pages or news sources related to this content.
11. You can choose between three options: “Pages Only,” “Competitions Only,” and “Lists Only.”
Choose “Lists” if you’re trying to gather users for your brand, organization, company, product,
website, blog, video, podcast, etc., or if you want to make an app. Otherwise, leave the default
setting – “Pages Only.”
12. From here, you can add another criterion for your audience. Choose “Keywords,” “Interests,” or
“Content Categories.” Or, you can choose “None” if all you want to do is collect people who liked
something similar to what you did. Click “Next Step.”
13. Find your ideal audience members. When you enter keywords or tags, Facebook shows you the
details of each person found in the search.
14. Click “Save Audience” to complete the process.
15. Click “Get Started” in the upper right corner to bring up your new lookalike audience.

Also Facebook gives some limelight on the following points regarding Lookalike audience which are
Your Lookalike Audience will only include people from the country/countries that you select during creation.
Your source audience must contain at least 100 people from a single country in order for us to use it as the basis for a Lookalike Audience.

You can create up to 500 Lookalike Audiences from a single source audience. People in your source audience will be excluded from your Lookalike Audience unless you use a pixel as your source audience. You can use multiple Lookalike Audiences at the same time for a single ad set.
The ad set will target your ads to people who are in any of the selected Lookalike Audiences.

we are going to discuss how in 5 ways we can sharpen our Facebook Ads targeting using Lookalike audience.
Let’s start……….

1) Scaling Facebook Ads

If you have ever faced any trouble in “Audience Fatigue” while scaling Facebook Ads then “Lookalike
Audience” can be a lucrative weapon in your arsenal to tackle this problem. But remember each
weapon has to be used consciously.
So how to use Lookalike audience to scale Ads……
Basically “Facebook Ad Scaling” simply means to reach out more audiences or you can say more
targeted audiences with right offer of your product so that you can maintain and optimize the
streamline of your brand revenue.
So when you are preparing to reach new audience you must have enough insights of your Facebook
ad metrics.
Let discuss more about the metrics and how you can create Lookalike audience while scaling
Facebook Ads….

A)Website Visitor– Check out the cost per click of your previous Cold Campaign
and track engagement ( i.e. website visitors for a given conversion windows ).
Create top 1% lookalike audience for your next audience target. Please note that
if you have 10,000 product views in last 30 days and you want to create top
lookalike audience for USA audience then you may have 3-4 million audience
segment. However it may vary for smaller countries.
If you have higher budget then you can test upto 4%-5% of your Look alike audience.

B) Add to cart Value– Add to cart can be an initial indicator of your audience and
their purchase intent. If you run an e-commerce store and your certain segment of
Add to Cart value is higher than your expected value or average value then you
can create a top 1% Lookalike audience to scale your Facebook campaign.,..
Please note that top 1% add to cart value can be best option for in this type of lookalike audience
however for higher budget you can test larger audience.


C) Purchase value – Similarly to Add to cart “an website purchase value” can be
used to create a lookalike audience for ad scaling. You can create lookalike
audience for conversion value/purchase value for ad scaling..
Please note that this requires an advanced Facebook Pixel to be installed in your Product page to
track your page event.
If you have a definite “Average order value” goal then you can also change the value of your currency
of your standard events.
Suppose you want to create a lookalike audience of purchasers with average order value of $100.
Then To change the value and currency of your standard events:
1) Go to the web page where you placed the Facebook pixel.
2) Find the snippet of code for your standard event.
3) Edit the code snippet into like below
  fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {
  value: 100.00,
  currency: ‘USD’


NB- Values should always use a decimal point (e.g. 9.99) regardless of the location, currency etc.

2) Increase More Facebook Ad Engagement– The basis of Facebook ads engagement is to get
more people to see and engage with your Facebook post and page. Initially Facebook engagement
objective ads compromise with Page likes, post engagements ( Like, comment & Shares ) etc.
So when you are boosting your page or optimizing your Facebook ads for more engagement you
can create an lookalike audience based on your engagement objective campaign.
– Create an Lookalike audience for Your Page likes
– Create and Lookalike audience for your Page views audience ( Ex- Top 25% of last 180 days )
– Create an lookalike audience for your Facebook Fan page
– Create an lookalike audience for Pre-sell article visitors
– Create an lookalike audience Visitors that viewed a specific page which signals a desirable intent
like product page or service page

3) Optimize Lead Generation using Lookalike Audience

Lookalike audience can be a Game changing audience targeting strategy for lead generation
objective when expanding audiences to a new spectrum. Since there have been many practices to
create a look alike audiences based on your pixel data of visitors engagement but for lead
generation objectives Lookalike audience can be very tricky but if it is well implemented then you
can expect a good CPL ( Cost per Lead ).
Let discuss more about how you can diversify your targeted audiences using Lookalike Audience
Assuming you have a good Pixel history and steady flow of traffic to your ( At least 100 traffic per
day ) we can create high valued targeting audience

A) Lookalike Audience Based on Ad engagement– If you have certain posts/promoted posts/ Ads with good engagement then rectify your audience with new segment of Lookalike audience based on engagement activity.
Note that Ad engagement is just initial phase of your audience journey and it is still in your “COLD PHASE” category. If you are spending several hundreds of budget per day then try to minimize the lookalike audience reach for example don’t cross 2 million lookalike audience based on engagement.
Example- Top 1% Lookalike audience of your Ad post engagement
If possible try to target a single location and target a specific interest of audience for engagement
Lookalike audience to get most out of your ad spend.But if you still have higher budget and you are willing spend more money on A/B testing then you can test larger Lookalike audience.
For example, you can go up to 5% Lookalike audience of your ad engagement to test your different Ad

B) Create a Lookalike Audience based on your Mailing list-If you have an already a good number of Mailing list then you can utilize them to create Lookalike
audience. Also keep in mind that you must have atleast 100 email subscriber/ mailing list to avail
this audience creation feature.
However another advantage of creating Lookalike audience from your mailing list is that Without a
large Facebook audience to draw from, your mailing list is a reliable and high-quality source of
According to our past experiences and case studies custom Lookalike Audience generated from
mailing list has a good return an ad spends with Lower CPM and higher engagement.

C) Create Lookalike Audience based on Website visitor/ Form Submission –
While you can use Lookalike audience as per your convenience but to be your ad profitable always
Choose a source group that gives you a base to expand the KPI that will be more relevant for your
campaign Objective.
If you have good flow of traffic and Form Submission and you want to show your ads to the
audiences who are likely to be interested in your service and submit form or queries then Lookalike
audiences based on website visitor and Form Submission can be another must try option.
For Example you can create and “Conversion Tracking Pixel Event” like Form submission etc.
If you have more than 500 form submission in last 30 days then you can create Lookalike audiences
from top 1%-10% to create Facebook Ad campaign.

4) Reduce Audience Fatigue using Lookalike audience- While testing and Scaling Facebook Ad campaign most marketer faced “Audience Fatigue” due to audience saturation and it results massive hike in CPM, CPC while altering Return on Ad spend to a significant low.
And to grip with such problem “Lookalike audience testing” can be a vital solution to meet the rising
cost of Facebook Ads…..

Meanwhile the basic definition of Audience Fatigue is that any Facebook ads are served with higher
Frequencies or you can say one type of offer/ creative are served to one type of audience segment
multiple times..

If you have an indication that you are Frequencies are high ( For a typical ad campaign try to
maintain Frequencies well below than 3 or 4 ) and your CPM is rising that means your ads are not
matching interest of your targeted audience resulting low engagement and ad relevancy.
In this scenario you can create multiple Lookalike audience in different ad sets to tackle the
audience Fatigue and maintain the stability in Facebook Ads…
You can create different Lookalike audience based on your campaign requirement

1) 1% Lookalike Audience for Past website Visitor for small budget or up to 5% Lookalike audience
for Large budget (Especially For Ad testing)
2) 1% Lookalike for your Add to cart, purchases or signup forms for last 30 days for lower budget
or up to 10% Lookalike audience for Higher budget for Testing
3) 1% lookalike audience for Page engagement
4) 1% Lookalike audience for top 25% videos, 50% videos , 75% video views or ad clicks
5) 1% Lookalike audiences for Email subscriber/ Email opener for last 30 days

Note- “ For top of funnel metrics like Ad click, Ad Engagement, video views etc always create 1%
Lookalike audiences for better outcome

If you want to optimize ads for Conversion then always use Bottom of Funnel metrics like Add To
cart, Purchases and Signup forms event and can be used up to 10% for Testing and scaling if the
budget is high.

5) Testing Facebook ads: Seed Audience vs Lookalike Audience

In case if you are an E-commerce brand and want to scale and reach a different audience segment
with a new product/offer with appropriate creatives and strong pixel event data in place then testing
between seed audience and Lookalike audience can be a game changer for your campaign…
So what is Seed audience……
“Seed Audiences” are initial Observed audience which was recorded in Facebook pixel for certain
event taken places..
For example
You have set a brand awareness campaign optimized for website click. After spending $1000 in
that campaign you generated 1000 clicks to your website.
Then your pixel tracks that event and registered that as your Website page views
And Then you can utilize that pixel data to generate lookalike audience from 1% to 20% depending
your scalability of ad budget
So basically how to use both “Lookalike Audience” and “Seed Audience” to optimize your overall ad

Uses of Seed Audience– When you have certain pixel events have been tracked
let say 1000 Website views and you have no purchases/ signup in your landing
page then you can change your offer or creative and “Retarget” same Seed
Uses of Lookalike Audience-But in case of Lookalike audience you have to alter
your strategy and to generate new audience based on your Seed audience. If you
have 1,000 seed audience data then you can use them to generate Lookalike
audience .
Your lookalike audience can be like
1%-20% of your website page views
– 1%-20% of your Add to cart audience
– 1%-20% of your email subscription audience etc

NB- “ Don’t test both the different Audience segments ( Lookalike and Seed audience ) in same ad set
level. To amplify more Data always test them in different “Ad Set” level.”

Final Thoughts

Lookalike can be an ‘Hit and miss’ strategy if you are not well prepared with proper creative, ad copy
as well a good landing page in place. Also Remember that you can’t create lookalike based on your
keywords however it is created on the basis of your individual custom audience. In case of
Advanced lookalike audience creation you can use “Value based custom Lookalike audience” for
example you can create a lookalike audience of seed audience with $100 average order value ( With
proper pixel tracking of standard events with values).
If you still have any concern please share your it in comment section and I will be happy to assist

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