Facebook Lookalike Audiences: What Marketers Need To Know

If you’ve ever been responsible for running ads for a company, you’ve probably wondered how to get a cold audience to interact with your ads. It’s the age old problem with online advertising.

Facebook ads are the best way to target a cold audience that is likely to interact with you by using similar audiences.

If you heard about this concept but were a little worried about starting the process, don’t worry. I know I thought the process would be more complex if I worked in an agency. Fortunately, it’s actually pretty easy.

Here’s everything you need to know to get started with a Facebook-like audience.

What are Facebook-like audiences?

A Facebook-like audience is a way to target a group of new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they are similar to people who previously converted for you. With a similar audience, you can target people similar to your email list, website visitors, customers, video viewers, Facebook followers, and more.

How does it work?

How does Facebook create a similar audience?

Well, Facebook will display your custom list of people (called its source audience), then match emails against those Facebook profiles, and then find users who have similar interests or are in a similar demographic.

With a similar audience, you can reach a cold audience that is very targeted (only reaching the top 1% of people who are closest to your custom list) and more likely to convert than other audiences because they are similar to your warm audience.

Creating a similar audience can maximize your reach and improve your cost-per-acquisition for new leads by targeting a warmer audience.

Also, when Facebook creates the similar audiences that your ad will serve, it will ensure that everyone is excluded from the audience (the list you uploaded).

You can also use multiple lookalike audiences for an ad set. That way, your ad can serve up to people who are similar to your web visitors and your email list.

So how do you create an audience of the same kind?

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

  1. Go to Audiences.
  2. Choose Create Audience, then choose Lookalike Audience.
  3. Upload your source audience.
  4. Select the country where you want to find a similar group of people.
  5. Decide your audience size.
  6. Click Create Audience.

1. Go to Audiences.

The first step is to sign up for Facebook Ads. Then click on the nine dots in the left corner and then click on “Audiences”.

Facebook Ads Manager Dashboard.

2. Select Create Audience, then select Lookalike Audience.

Now click on the blue “Create Audience” button and scroll down to “Audience”.

Facebook ad audience.

3. Upload your source audience.

In this step the magic happens. Now is the time to upload your custom audience source. You can upload a TXT or CSV file, or choose a Facebook source. This audience source can be from:

  • An email list
  • Website visitors (based on a Facebook pixel that you need to install on your website)
  • App activity
  • A customer list
  • Facebook sources (people who viewed your videos, filled out a form, Instagram followers)

Think about your goals to determine which source to use. Are you trying to get new email subscribers? Then maybe your email list would be best. If you are trying to increase sales, you might want to use your website’s visitor list.

Either way, it is important to think about the purpose of your ad before choosing your source group.

Facebook audience looks like source audience.

Custom audience source for Facebook ads.

4. Select the country where you want to find a similar group of people.

After you’ve uploaded a list, select the country you want to target. This doesn’t mean the people in your source audience have to be from that country. This is just the country or countries you want to target for the ad.

Facebook ad audience location.

5. Determine your audience size.

Now you can choose your audience size. For example, if you select 1%, the people you target will include people who are most similar to your lookalike source. As you increase the percentage, you increase your audience size. The larger the audience, the less accurate the matching details.

Audience size for Facebook ads.

6. Click Create Audience.

Finally, click the blue “Create Audience” button. It can take up to a day to create the audience. Once your like audience is used, it will be updated every 3-7 days as long as you have ads that are currently targeting it.

Once you’ve created your lookalike audience, there are even more parameters you can set by selecting a specific age, gender, location, etc. in the Power Editor tool.

Before I get you up to the races though, let’s first discuss some of the requirements for creating a Facebook-like audience.

Minimum size for Facebook lookalike audiences

To create a Facebook-like audience, your source audience must be at least 100 people from a single country. It is also recommended that your source group be 1,000 to 50,000 people. You can also create up to 500 similar audiences from a single source.

If you’re looking to create a Facebook ad, using lookalike audiences is one of the best ways to target cold audiences. These audiences are more likely to interact with your ad because of their similarity to your other audiences.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can use HubSpot’s Ads Tool to manage your digital ads, including those that appear on Facebook.

Facebook Strategy Guide

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