The fastest way to lose your money on Facebook is to setup your ad targeting incorrectly or inefficiently.
There are thousands of posts out on the web that will tell you the correct way to set your targeting – they’ll include simple things like:
- If you own a local business only target people in your zip code
- If you sell clothing for working women only target females between a certain age group
- If you offer marketing software only target people who are marketers
Those are the basics and they will get your campaigns off to a good start but those type of blog posts fall short on telling you how to be truly efficient with your ad targeting.
In my experience, one of the best ways to be efficient with Facebook advertising is to use something called lookalike audiences.
What is a Facebook LookaLike Audience?
A Facebook lookalike audience is a type of custom audience that allows you to create super specific targeting for your ads.
Right now you may be wondering what a custom audience is.
When you set up targeting on Facebook based on location, demographics, interests, behaviors or any of the other options Facebook provides you are building a regular audience.
As you select targeting options you’ll see your potential reach grow or shrink under the Audience Definition section to the right of your targeting options.
When you build a custom audience you do not select any of Facebook’s built-in targeting options. Instead you upload a database of emails or phone numbers and Facebook matches those up with Facebook users.
For example, if you are an online retailer like Zappos you probably have a database of your customer’s email addresses. You can re-market to your customers through email campaigns, but you could also re-market to them on Facebook inexpensively by creating a custom audience. You would simply upload the database of emails and Facebook would match up those emails with user profiles.
You could then serve Facebook ads to your previous customers showing them your latest products, highlight deals and special offers or even get them to download your app where you can further increase your footprint with them.
All of this sounds great right? But what if I told you that Facebook offers something even better than a custom audience? It does!
A Facebook Lookalike audience allows you to take your custom audience and then serve ads to people who are similar to your custom audience. You can create a Lookalike audience based on people who like your current Facebook Page:
Or you can create a Facebook Lookalike audience based on your custom audience. Here I’ve created a custom audience of qualified leads collected in 2015 and will setup a Lookalike audience to target people who are similar:
You can only target Lookalike audiences to people in one country at a time – but your audience size will likely be large enough that this won’t negatively impact your reach.
Once you click the button to Create Audience it will take Facebook a little bit of time to match people up and finalize your Lookalike audience. While this process is taking place you can go ahead and create your first Facebook ad campaign to target this audience.
When you setup your targeting you would simply select your newly build Lookalike audience from the custom audience drop down list:
Then you create your Facebook ad as usual and launch the campaign!
How to Use Facebook Lookalike Audiences to Increase Sales
Now that you know how to create your Facebook Lookalike audience it’s time to put it into action to increase your sales starting as soon as today!
Here are a few ways you can effectively use a Lookalike audience:
1. Grow Your Facebook Page
You can easily grow your Facebook Page by targeting one of your Lookalike audiences. This has an advantage over traditional targeting options because you save time when setting up your targeting options and you take out the guess work when it comes to selecting options. Instead you allow Facebook to analyze your list and come up with the options for you!
Once you start growing your Facebook Page with the right people you can nurture them with daily content and include links to your website to move them down the conversion funnel.
2. Increase Sales for Your E-Commerce Store
If you run an e-commerce store you can easily setup Facebook ads that send your Lookalike audience directly to your website to make a purchase.
It may sound obvious, but provided you uploaded your custom audience based on segments you can send your Lookalike audience to the right areas of your website. For example, if you have a custom audience of only men that you created a Lookalike audience from you can link that audience to the mens ware section of your site.
3. Increase Leads, Free Trial Signups or Email Subscribers
Perhaps you run a B2B business like we do here at AdEspresso. In this case you will want to focus on increasing your number of leads, free trial signups or email subscribers.
You would do this similar to the way e-commerce store owners setup their ad campaigns. You’ll want to upload a custom audience, create your Lookalike audience and then send people directly to a page on your site where they can submit their information to receive something from you.
Once you have them in your sales funnel you can nurture them into becoming a customer.
Now that you know how to use lookalike audiences it’s time to put them to good use in your Facebook ad campaigns. They only take a few minutes to setup and will deliver the ROAS you are looking for!