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How To Get Ahead By Making Your Facebook Lookalike Audiences More Specific

August 17, 2020
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written by Amber Dawson
Copywriter

Master the art of Facebook Lookalike Audiences and how to make them super specific with our helpful guide.

We’re all trying to increase our potential audience size. But making your targeting highly focused is essential to ensure you’re not wasting your budget on people who are unlikely to buy.

Often we know who our best audience is – we just need more of them.

This is where Facebook lookalike audiences are strong. There seems to be a hesitancy in utilising them amongst some Facebook marketers, but here at Adzooma, lookalike audiences are some of our most reliable performers. The way to get them to work for you is knowing how to scale their potential.

How lookalike audiences work

A lookalike audience is a way to reach more people who are like your best existing customers. Facebook knows everything about everyone: Cambridge Analytica had 5,000 data points on each US voter which it used during the last presidential election. The volume of data Facebook has is fairly ridiculous, but something you may as well use to your advantage.

Lookalike audiences are created from your existing customer’s data. Facebook’s algorithm finds people it determines as close matches and compiles them into a custom audience. It provides you with a scale of how similar they are between 1% – 10%; the further you stray from 1, the less precise the targeting is. For best results, you want to stick as close to 1 as possible to increase the chances of them converting. If your percentage is too large, you might as well save yourself the trouble and go back to broadly targeting.

How to choose your best customer data

All customers are good customers (unless they wreak havoc, verbally abuse you and then leave a bad review). For building a lookalike audience, however, you want to use your strongest customers – those who will bring in the biggest ROI.

Let’s say you’re a furniture seller. You sell everything from large, handcrafted kitchen tables to cute wooden coasters. Whilst a sale is a sale, you want more of those who are paying thousands of pounds, rather than 3 quid for a coaster. By ranking your customers in order of how much they spent, you can establish your highest value customers (HVCs). These HVCs are the best people to compare lookalikes to as it’ll mean that 1% is not only closely matched, but likely to dig deep into their pockets.

Further to this, you should build an audience targeted to whatever you’re selling. So if you’re building a campaign for sofas, create a lookalike from everyone who has bought a sofa from you. Then, create one from those who have bought anything other than sofas (so there isn’t an overlap) and run them against each other. This will make your sofa-buying audience more specific.

You can run different lookalike audiences at the same time, so you don’t just have to choose one.

It’s not just about the lookalike percentage

Scaling your lookalike audiences isn’t a case of using a larger audience. Increasing the size, in turn, damages the quality.

It’s always best to keep your 1% lookalike audience separate so you can see its success in isolation.

From there, layer your same lookalike percentages on top of one another to test the waters. For example, have an ad set with all your 1%s in as they’re your closest matches. Then, in another ad set, have your 2-5%s and in another your 5-10%s.

Think of lookalike audiences as casting a big net: it’s still targeting a specific area, just slightly widening your chances of getting a fish. But you still have control and aren’t targeting the whole ocean.

Stacking your way to success

You can build more than one lookalike audience. So why not stack them on top of each other? The more data you feed Facebook’s algorithm, the more it can do for you. Give it as much quality information as you can and let it drill down into it with its optimisation toolkit.

Here, we’ve layered different 1% lookalike audiences on top of each other to build one super custom audience. This is by far our best way of ensuring top-quality clicks on our ads. After all, we’ve given Facebook some strong stuff.

Lookalike audience list

Here, we’ve layered different 1% lookalike audiences on top of each other to build one super custom audience. This is by far our best way of ensuring top-quality clicks on our ads. After all, we’ve given Facebook some strong stuff.

Better yet, you’ll be improving your relevance score as your high-quality clicks turn into high-quality conversions. Facebook rewards you with a lower CPM (cost per thousand impressions) and boosts your ad set performance – win win.

Turning up the specificity

How do winners pull away from the pack? Marginal gains.

You don’t have to find groundbreaking secret tactics to get your ad campaigns to overtake the competition. You don’t have to make huge changes. You just have to be smart and gain ground where you can. A bit like the Adzooma platform and its AI technology. (And lately, we’ve gone a little smarter and made it totally free of charge.)

Once you’ve set up your audiences, be sure to utilise the demographic/interest targeting as well. If you’re a fashion retailer making ads for shoes, your lookalike data will be based on those who have bought shoes from you. But, if your ads are specifically for trainers that would suit sporty 18 – 30 males, you’ll qualify your audience further here.

Lookalike audience list 2

Once you’ve set up your audiences, be sure to utilise the demographic/interest targeting as well. If you’re a fashion retailer making ads for shoes, your lookalike data will be based on those who have bought shoes from you. But, if your ads are specifically for trainers that would suit sporty 18 – 30 males, you’ll qualify your audience further here.

A word from our Paid Social Manager

“Lookalike audiences are a really undervalued way of bringing in new customers. The Facebook algorithm does all the hard work for you – the only thing you have to focus on is giving it your best data. Get organised and get experimenting. There are a lot of variables which will affect which type of lookalike audiences will work best for your business, so the easiest way to find out is to try.”

Matt Hogan

Make the most of what’s on offer

Making the most of Facebook’s lookalike feature and ensuring your audiences are super specific will ensure you’re getting the best leads for your budget.

If you’re advertising on Facebook and looking for other ways to give your results a boost, Adzooma’s Opportunity Engine is bursting with ideas specific to your account.

Link yours for free today and get personalised optimisations for your ads.

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