Facebook Lookalike Audience: A Free How To Guide [2022]

 

With digital marketing, the goal is to find customers, sell them a product/service, and then repeat the cycle. However, what if you want to find new customers? Ideally, the best way to go about this is to find your ideal audience and then search for others who share similar traits. 

 

This is where the power of Facebook Ads with Facebook Lookalike Audience comes in. Facebook is a powerful and cost-effective tool that allows you to promote your product or brand without a huge advertising budget! However, the most defining features are the available targeting options and the ability to build new ads based on your existing audience. Enter Facebook Lookalike Audience. 

 

Rather than starting each campaign from the beginning, Lookalike Audience allows you to skip all of the grunt work, such as tweaking targeting factors. You can create a new target audience, based on a previously established source audience, such as people who have viewed your videos or followed your page. It can even be based on conversion pixels you’ve created for your website! 

 

In this article, we will discuss the basics and steps of setting up a Lookalike Audience, where you will be introduced to various targeting methods. By the end, you should have a general understanding of the topics and knowledge to successfully scale your ad targeting using Lookalike Audience, thus boosting your bottom line.  

 

Without further ado, let’s get started!

 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience: What Is It?

 

In Facebook’s own words, a lookalike audience is a way your ads can reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business because they share similar characteristics to your existing customers. At its core, all Lookalike Audiences are based on data points taken from your Custom Audience, which Facebook uses to search for newer, similar people based on your audience size and country. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience: A Free How To Guide [2022]

 

Before we get into the benefits, let us discuss how to choose your audience size. Deciding on your audience size is crucial to finding new leads that are similar to your existing customer base. As you can see down below, sizes can range between 1-10% of a population. Keep in mind that the larger your audience size, the less targeted and broader your new audience becomes. Smaller audience sizes will result in an audience more aligned with your desired persona. In other words, the smaller your audience size, the more closely it’ll match your source audience. We recommend starting small, then scaling up.

 

Facebook recommends a source audience of 1,000 – 50,000 people. Make sure to take into consideration the audience’s quality and size; both factors can have a huge impact on your results. You can read more about this by clicking here

 

 Facebook Lookalike Audience: What Is It? 

 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience: Why Use It?

 

If you’ve used Facebook Ads before, you might notice that there are plenty of other ad formats you can run. So, why choose Lookalike Audience? Well, it turns out that there are plenty of reasons! We’ll highlight the top 5 reasons why you SHOULD use Lookalike Audience.

 

  • Time Saver

If you have already done the work of fine-tuning a Custom Audience, congratulations! You have already done the most difficult and time-consuming part! Now, all you have to do is select your desired Custom Audience, country, and audience size; Facebook will take care of the rest! 

 

  • Money Saver

The Lookalike Audience feature is not only a time-saver but also a money saver! Since you already know the characteristics of your desired audience, you can avoid unnecessary spending on the wrong audiences. In other words, this allows you to optimize your ad spend while generating bigger returns and increasing your customer base! 

 

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  • Ability To Reach Outside Of Your Customer Base

This is arguably the main reason why many digital marketers use Facebook Lookalike Audience: the ability to reach outside of your customer base or usual scope. You can easily see how you can utilize Lookalike Audience to supplement your existing campaign(s), meaning you can experiment and target multiple audiences at once. With this, you can reach similar consumers you haven’t appealed to yet and increase your customer base!  

 

  • Improve Your ROI

Theoretically, Lookalike Audience has “proven” success as opposed to “cold” marketing.  This is due to its feature which allows you to target an audience based on certain parameters that show user interest and share traits with existing customers. As a result, it’s easy to see why you can expect a higher conversion rate. With enhanced targeting, provided by the Lookalike audience feature, you can improve your success! 

 

For example, let us take a look at a Turkish eCommerce company named Modanisa. The company has recently been expanding very rapidly into the German market by utilizing Lookalike Audience. All they had to do was select their Custom Audience and the country where they wanted to run their ads. As a result, Modanisa has increased its ROI by 4X and acquisition rate by 30%!

 

 

Setting Up Lookalike Audience In Facebook Business Manager

 

Setting up a lookalike audience is relatively easy, compared to creating a Custom Audience. As a matter of fact, lookalike audiences are described as an extension of custom audiences because the former’s source comes from the latter. That means the grunt work has been done while you were creating your custom audience!  Once set up, you can monitor your results and growth from one of the most powerful tools Facebook has to offer! Before we get started, make sure that you’re the admin. 

 

Now, let us get started!

    • Step 1: Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab to begin.
    • Step 2: Click the Create Audience drop-down and choose Lookalike Audience.
    • Step 3: Select your Lookalike source.
    • Step 4: Select the country or countries.
    • Step 5: Select audience size.

 

It may take 6-24 hours for your lookalike audience to be created. After that, you are good to go! You can create a new ad set and market to more qualified prospects! As long as your ad is active, your audience will refresh every 3-7 days. Wasn’t that easy? 🙂 

 

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You can check when your audience was last updated by visiting your Audience Manager page and clicking on the ‘Availability’ column

 

We recommend you quickly familiarize yourself with these steps. From this point on, in this article, we’ll look into several methods of creating lookalike audiences. By methods, we mean different audience sources. 

 

Facebook Pixel

 

A quick reminder before we move on. If you are interested in targeting audiences based on your own website data, make sure that your Facebook Pixel has been set up ahead of time. We recommend you do so since it has proven to be beneficial! Check out some of the benefits and functionalities

 

 Facebook Lookalike Audience: What Is It?

How to Set Up and Install a Facebook Pixel

 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience: 5 Methods 

 

Method 1: Create An Email Lookalike Audience

 

Before you begin, you must first have a segmented list of the emails you want to base your lookalike audience on. Make sure they align with your goals! Download the list as a CSV file. Afterward, head over to your Facebook Ad Manager. 

 

Once there, follow these steps:

  • Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab to begin.
  • Click the Create Audience drop-down and choose Custom Audience.

 

In order to have a lookalike audience, you must have a source to choose from. So, click on ‘Customer File’ since you are going to be using your own email list. At this point, you have two options. You can choose a file or copy and paste the data or import your data from MailChimp. Since we have a CSV file, we will just choose to upload it, so click on ‘Choose a File or Copy and Paste the Data’ and upload it in the next window. 

Now that your data has been uploaded to Facebook, you can map the identifiers that will help the Facebook algorithm create a lookalike audience. The more identifiers you have, the better the match rate will be. 

 

How to Set Up and Install a Facebook Pixel

 

After you’re done, go ahead and click ‘Upload and Create’. You should see a progress bar along with the number of rows successfully uploaded. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

Down at the bottom of the window, you’ll see ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ which is what we want. So, click on that. A new ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ box will pop up. You can now select your email list in the ‘Source’ box! Finish it up by selecting your targeted country and audience size and clicking ‘Create Audience’. 

 

Congratulations! You have created an email lookalike audience! 

 

 

Method 2: Create A Facebook Engagement Lookalike Audience

 

This method involves people who have engaged with your content across the Facebook family of apps and services. According to Facebook, engagement refers to the actions people have taken while on Facebook, such as viewing videos, following a Facebook page, or opening a form in a lead generation ad. Remember, this means that actions recorded by your pixel will not be included. 

 

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Facebook has provided a long list of engagement options you can choose from, which we recommend experimenting with. There are seven Engagement Custom Audience types available:

  • Video
  • Lead Form
  • Shopping
  • Events
  • Instant Experience
  • Instagram Account
  • Facebook page

 

For now, we will be creating a lookalike audience using the ‘Video’ engagement option. Here’s a fun fact, did you know that more than 4 billion video views are generated daily in 2021?! It comes as no surprise that video is Facebook’s top-performing content. However, like all lookalike audiences, you can’t create one unless you have a source audience. Let’s begin by creating our custom video audience! So, head over to your Facebook Ad Manager. 

 

Once there, follow these steps:

  • Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab to begin.
  • Click the Create Audience drop-down and choose Custom Audience.

 

This time, select ‘Video’ in the next window. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

In the next box, you’ll be able to establish your parameters. Start off by selecting your desired criteria in the ‘Engagement’ drop-down menu. You will notice that you have a number of options from 3 seconds to 95% of your video. This is also where you choose the videos from which you want to build your audience. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

Afterward, name your audience, then click ‘Create Audience’. Now that you have your custom video audience, it’s time to start creating your lookalike audience. So, head back to your Ads Manager and click ‘Create Audience’. 

 

This time select ‘Lookalike Audience’ from the drop-down menu. Similar to the last example, a new ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ box will pop up. You can go ahead and select your custom video audience in the ‘Source’ box. 

 

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Finish it up by selecting your targeted country and audience size and clicking ‘Create Audience’. 

 

Congratulations! You have created a video/engagement lookalike audience! 

 

 

Method 3: Create A Facebook Page Lookalike Audiences

 

In this method, your source comes from your fans on your Facebook page. So, if you have a large following consistently interacting with and following your Facebook page, this is a great way to find new customers similar to your existing ones. Not to mention, that a Facebook Page lookalike audience is easier to set up because you don’t have to create a custom audience for your source! 

 

Let’s begin by heading over to your Facebook Ad Manager. Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab. This time, after you’ve clicked ‘Create Audience’, select ‘Lookalike Audience’.  

 

In the ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ window, select your page name as the source in the drop-down menu.

 

Finish it up by selecting your targeted country and audience size and clicking ‘Create Audience’. 

 

Congratulations! You have created a Facebook Page lookalike audience! 

 

 

Method 4: Create A Conversion Lookalike Audiences

 

Conversion Lookalike Audiences allow you to find new customers based on your own website’s custom audience of individuals who’ve completed a specific task. Conversions are described as specific actions with high-intent, such as signing-up or purchasing a product. 

 

For example, let’s say you’re an eCommerce business looking for people to sign up to your email newsletter and you choose to run a lead ad campaign. You would want to create a custom website audience of those who have triggered a lead event, then use that audience to create your lookalike. 

 

Before you can do this, you must make sure that your Facebook pixel has been set up. 

 

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Similar to the video and email lookalike audiences, you will need to create a source audience first. So, head over to your Facebook Ad Manager and follow these steps:

 

  • Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab to begin.
  • Click the Create Audience drop-down and choose Custom Audience.

 

In the ‘Create a Custom Audience’ window, select ‘Website traffic’. 

 

In the next window, select ‘Custom combination’ in the ‘Website traffic’ box. 

 

 

Since we are focused on a specific action, select ‘Event’ in the ‘URL’ drop-down menu. Under it, you will see a blank box where you will select from a list of event actions that are currently being tracked by your Facebook pixel. 

 

Next, in the ‘In the Last’ box, enter the time parameter for how long people will stay in your audience once they’ve completed the specific action. 

 

Then, make sure the ‘Include Past Website Traffic’ box is checked, give your audience a name, and click ‘Create Audience’.

 

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So, head back to your Ads Manager and click ‘Create Audience’. This time select ‘Lookalike Audience’ from the drop-down menu.

 

Now, in the ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ box, select your website custom audience from the ‘Source’ drop-down menu. Finish it up by selecting your targeted country and audience size and clicking ‘Create Audience’.

 

 

Method 5: Create A Website/URL Lookalike Audiences

 

This method works similar to the last method (Conversion Lookalike), except, now, we are interested in those who have visited our website which can be described as having lower-intent than a conversion. 

 

The steps are the same as the previous method, except for one step. Let’s go through it together one last time!

 

Head over to your Facebook Ad Manager and follow these steps:

 

  • Click ‘Ads Manager’ and select ‘Audiences’  in the ‘Assets’ tab to begin.
  • Click the Create Audience drop-down and choose Custom Audience.

 

In the ‘Create a Custom Audience’ window, select ‘Website’. 

 

This time, in your next ‘Create a Custom Audience’ window, select any of the following to target: all website visitors, people who visited specific webpages or visitors by time spent. Depending on which one you choose, you will need to provide some additional information. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

However, before you do that, you’ll need to set up your conditions, near the top. You can include people who meet ‘ANY’ or ‘ALL’ of the conditions you set. For now, keep it on the default, ‘ANY’. 

Now, make sure that you have the correct pixel selected. 

 

Afterward, you can finally get started on creating your custom audience. Go ahead and select your website criteria and the number of days you would like someone to remain in your audience. The default number of days is set to 30 days, while the maximum is 180 days. 

 

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For now, let’s just set our desired target to ‘All Website Visitors’ and leave the number of days as the default. Congratulations, you’ve technically created your website custom audience! 

 

You can go ahead, name your audience and click ‘Create Audience’, but we have one more feature we would love to show you!

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

You may have also noticed the picture down below in your ‘Create a Custom Audience’ window.

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

Although we personally don’t use this much, this feature allows you to create more conditions and refine your audience.

 

To continue from the last example, let’s say we would like to add an ‘Or’ condition, so click on ‘Include More People’. 

 

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This time, we are interested in those who have visited a specific webpage, so set your target to ‘People who visited specific webpages’. 

 

Next, you will be required to provide additional conditions. In the drop-down menu, next to the ‘URL’ box, you have three options: ‘Contains’, ‘Doesn’t Contain’, and ‘Equals’. We will leave it as the default, ‘Contains’. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

Note: ‘Contains’ and ‘Equals’ are not the same. ‘Contains’ can include other characters and contains the given input, while ‘Equal’ means it must be identical. 

 

Recall from earlier that you may need a URL, depending on which target you choose. Let’s say you’re interested in targeting those who have visited a specific blog of yours. Place this URL into the blank box as demonstrated below. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

If, for some reason, you choose not to include a URL, don’t worry! You can just include the keywords in the URL that you would like to target. This has the potential to pick up multiple pages, thus increasing the volume. 

 

Facebook Lookalike Audience Guide - Stiddle

 

Once you are done, name your audience and click ‘Create Audience’. Now, it’s time to create a lookalike audience! 

 

So, head back to your Ads Manager and click ‘Create Audience’. This time select ‘Lookalike Audience’ from the drop-down menu.

 

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Now, in the ‘Create a Lookalike Audience’ box, select your website custom audience from the ‘Source’ drop-down menu. Finish it up by selecting your targeted country and audience size and clicking ‘Create Audience’.

 

Yay! You have completed your final lookalike example! Congratulations on making it this far! 

 

Conclusion

Whew! That was a lot of information to take in, but, we hope that we have convinced you how invaluable a tool Facebook Lookalike Audience can be! However, like other ad types and skills, it will take some time to master and see results.

 

Regardless, they are worth pursuing for the sake of experimenting and reaching new audiences. You’ll never know what you might get! After all, the Lookalike Audience tool is one of the most effective ways to derive immediate value from Facebook and can provide you with an immediate leg up against your competitors!

 

We hope you find this article informative! We wish you much luck!

 

If you’re interested in reading more blogs about digital marketing, please visit our blog

 

Wanna know more about Facebook Ads?

Stiddle’s Blog: Ultimate Guide On Facebook Ads