Imagine throwing $3 million into Facebook advertisements. Not into a house, or a yacht, or a really nice car.
Noah Kagan, SaaS founder of AppSumo, has spent over $3 million dollars on Facebook ads—and he’s not the only one. As companies look to grow aggressively, it’s not uncommon for them to pour a pretty penny into paid social ads.
But before you’re ready to make huge investments, you need to know how to use your ad spend in the best way possible. This means creating the most targeted audiences you can and know you’re connecting with the best quality leads.
So where do you start?
Why use Lookalike Audiences?
Quality matters when you’re looking for new customers.
Patrick Campbell, CEO of Price Intelligently, says that careless customers acquisition leads to “garbage in, garbage out.” Getting high-quality leads can be hard if you don’t know where to look. But Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences save you the trouble of looking and put them right in front of your face.
A Lookalike Audience is an audience that Facebook creates to be similar to a source audience of your choice.
That helps you get better leads, because the Facebook users in the Lookalike Audience share interests and demographic similarities with your source audience. For example, if a source audience is made up of users who are female, age 18-32, and interested in technology, games, apps, and business, the Lookalike Audience will be an entirely new set of users with the same traits.
For example, if a source audience is made up of users who are female, age 18-32, and interested in technology, games, apps, and business, the Lookalike Audience will be an entirely new set of users with the same traits.
Align your audiences to your big-picture goals
You can create Lookalike audiences that help you reach the specific big-picture goals you’re targeting. These might be things like:
- Lifetime value
- Transaction value
- Total order size
- Customer engagement/brand loyalty
Choose a source group that gives you a base to expand the KPI you’re most interested in. If you want to increase site click and build brand awareness, you might create a Lookalike from a more general group of users who’ve engaged with your Facebook page. On the other hand, if you’re specifically looking to drive paid conversions, consider creating an audience from those top buyers who have repeatedly made purchases.
If you want to increase site click and build brand awareness, you might create a Lookalike from a more general group of users who’ve engaged with your Facebook page. On the other hand, if you’re specifically looking to drive paid conversions, consider creating an audience from those top buyers who have repeatedly made purchases.
Whatever your KPI, Facebook recommends that your source audience is between 1,000 and 50,000 users for the best results.
You can make further adjustments depending on the focus and reach you want for your Lookalike Audience:
- The number of data points in your source audience will affect the results of your Lookalike Audience.
For example, a Lookalike Audience based on all of the customers who have made purchases is likely has fewer data points than an audience based on all of the customers who have ever clicked on your website. But those fewer data points have something important in common, while the larger audience may only share general similarities.
- The size of your Lookalike Audience will affect the scope and quality of your outreach.
If you create a larger Lookalike Audience, you’ll have the potential to reach more people, but the new audience won’t match your source audience very closely. Creating a smaller Lookalike Audience limits the number of people you target but ensures that the new audience will be very similar to the source.
To keep track of your source audiences and the incoming data from Lookalike audiences, you need a strong ad management system, like AdEspresso, that can help you customize, measure, compare, and optimize several different campaigns.
You also need a strong email marketing system that allows you to communicate personally with potential customers, collect behavioral data to feed into ad campaigns, and learn about the new leads your ads bring in.
With these tools, you’re poised to generate great quality leads that align with your advertising goals on a large scale.
Here are three ways that you can build Lookalike audiences when your business is just beginning to advertise on Facebook.
Idea #1. Create an audience from engaged users
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If your company already has a page on Facebook that gets a lot of attention, there’s a source audience with huge potential right in front of you.
People who have engaged with your company’s page by liking, posting, or commenting have already said it—they’re interested in your product! This group is a great choice for a Lookalike Audience, since the quality of the source audience really matters. The more confident you are that the source group is interested, the more confident you can be that that people in the Lookalike group are likely to be great customers.
Here’s how you’ll create this audience:
- Create a custom audience based on the Facebook users who have already engaged with your Facebook page. It might be called “Call to action,” because these users have already followed a call to action.
- Create a Lookalike Audience, and choose the group of people who have engaged as the source audience.
- Choose the countries or regions where you want to find people for your Lookalike audience.
- Select the size of your Lookalike audience on the slider as a percentage of chosen regions’ populations.
There are also other and more specific engagement metrics you can use both as a source audience and to create a Lookalike audience:
- Page fans
- Users who take certain in-app actions
Now you’ll have created an audience that looks like an audience that you know for sure is engaged. This gives you the power to reach an entire group of new Facebook users who haven’t been targeted yet but are likely to be good quality leads.
Idea #2. Create an audience from your mailing list
Even if you’re already familiar with marketing on Facebook, you’re probably not taking full advantage of how your email marketing strategy and Lookalike audiences can work together.
Your email mailing list can be a trove of customer data by using a system like Campaign Monitor to build up and manage personal profiles for your contacts. It creates a resource for promising leads who have already moved through the initial steps in your conversion funnel.
They’re already aware of your company, and they’re probably already taken the initial steps to show interest. Signing up for your mailing list indicates a definite desire to know more and stay in touch. This is why your email marketing system is such a powerful asset in generating high-quality audiences.
Creating this Lookalike audience based on your mailing list is a lot like creating a Lookalike from your source group of Facebook users:
- Organize your custom contact information within your email marketing system. Create a custom audience from this list of contacts. This type of audience that comes from a list of customer contacts is called a standard custom audience. Facebook will match the user accounts based on the contact information.
- Create the Lookalike audience, and choose your custom audience of mailing list contacts as the source group.
- Choose the geographic regions to target.
- Choose the size of the Lookalike group.
The process of creating the Lookalike audience is straightforward. But you need to put a lot of consideration into your source group. Without a large Facebook audience to draw from, your mailing list is a reliable and high-quality source of leads. If you target a new audience that looks like them, you have a great chance of getting good returns on your ads.
Idea #3. Create hyper-targeted ads for smaller audiences
One of the best things about Lookalike audiences is that there are so many different ways to approach them. You don’t know what will work best for your company and your target audience if you try it out, so there’s huge potential to test several different audiences and then double down on the strategy that gives you the most conversions with the lowest cost per click.
When you’re testing different audiences, it’s important to include smaller and hyper-targeted audiences. By using fewer data points, you pull a much more specific group for your Lookalike audience. It’s not inherently better or worse to use more or fewer data points—there are pros and cons to both.
When your Lookalike audience is united by more general commonalities, you’ll have to use more general messaging. When you target a smaller audience with more focused interests and strong similarities, you can tailor your ad copy, images, and messaging to speak directly to that particular audience.
Creating different ad campaigns around different buyer personas is one of the best ways to make your ads compelling and effective.
Test out smaller, more targeted audiences by creating Lookalike audiences from segmented groups within your mailing list. The data that you collect on leads through your mailing list can give you powerful information to separate these potential customers into buyer personas that you can target with highly personalized ads.
Here’s how you’ll do it:
- An email marketing system like Campaign Monitor has specific segmentation tools that will let you group leads into smaller, more specific groups based on the information that they share with you. You can also create grouping based on how customers interact with your email content.
- Once you’ve created your smaller and more focused groups of leads from your email list, create custom audiences from each of these groups.
- Create separate Lookalike audiences with each of these smaller groups as a source group. Choose the geographic regions to target and the size for each Lookalike audience.
This allows you to create several different audiences. Once you’re done, AdEspresso can help you manage different audiences and adjust the copy, image, message, CTA, etc. that you use for each audience.
Iterating on these tests will help you figure out what works best for different types of leads to create an ad strategy that excites and inspires all of your best potential customers.
Use Lead Ads to connect with your new prospects
Your new arsenal of Lookalike Audiences will bring a lot of new eyes to your company. The most important last step is to close the loop and make sure you feed these new leads into your mailing system so you can stay in touch with them.
Facebook’s Lead Ads make this incredibly easy. If you target your new Lookalike audiences with lead ads, they will be prompted to fill in their contact information without a redirect to a different site. They stay right where they are on Facebook, and Facebook can even help autofill the information for the user.
This makes it quick and painless for a user to share their contact information.
Managing all of this new contact information in your email marketing system means you can not only keep in touch with and nurture your hard-earned leads, you can learn even more about them.
Wrapping it up
The ability to collect behavioral data and build in-depth customer profiles allows you to create more specific buyer personas and create better Lookalike audiences.
Keep striving for the best quality leads and look to connect with the people who have a real need for your product.
This is how you’ll continue to reach enthusiastic and valuable customers.