Bringing Campaigns to Life with Facebook Lookalike Audiences
Are you using lookalike audiences?I’ve already looked at how Facebook has mostly mastered identity-based targeting. Today we’ll look at how Facebook has developed technology for intent-based targeting. A quick recap: Facebook has always had an incredibly rich and dense wealth of identity data, and great tools to access that data for targeting purposes, all while protecting user privacy. In the past year and a half, consistent efforts have been made through partnerships and new tools to target users based on intent and interest. We are familiar with most of these tools: retargeting, conversion tracking, and old-fashioned interest targeting are all examples. Lookalike targeting, though, doesn’t really fit in either category. It is actually both types, and it’s really, really great. If you aren’t using lookalike audiences, let me suggest that you probably should.Lookalike audiences essentially use existing intent audience pools and build statistically similar audiences based on an enormous number of attributes. These intent audience pools can be based on pixel audiences (WCA, conversion pixel), fan groups, and mobile app users (even based on specific actions). Marketers can either narrow the audience by increasing sensitivity to similarity or scale to find larger, more homogenous audiences. Audiences can be layered with other Facebook targeting options, so if you are using the Kinetic Testing Suite, you can gain tremendous insight into your audience to build future Facebook marketing strategies.As with other intent targeting, the biggest advantage of using lookalikes is improved ROI. CPAs drop, attribute matching increases sales, and efficiencies improve. Unlike retargeting, though, you aren’t limited to the (usually small) audience built on pixel fires. Expanding that audience has two immediate benefits: you can reach a much larger audience, who is just as likely to convert as your retargeting pool, and you can avoid annoying your website visitors with too many impressions. Advertisers and users benefit.When to use lookalikes? We use lookalike audiences on most of our mid-funnel and DR campaigns, and lookalike audiences are by far the best performing segments. We often see 3 to 4x improvement on CPA over retargeting segments, and remember the larger audience increases scale and reduces the spammy experience of simple retargeting. It’s the first strategic recommendation I make to improve performance, so here goes: you should be using lookalike audiences.