Think about your closest friends group.

What is it that brings you all together? Is it shared interests, geographic location or even your current career paths?

Regardless of the reason, what’s important is that there are one or more reasons that bring you all together.

Now, what does all this have to do with your marketing? Well, it’s actually relevant when it comes to your paid advertising campaigns. Specifically, the ability to reach prospects who emulate your most profitable customers.

So how is it possible to reach a completely new and relevant audience through Facebook advertising?

The answer is lookalike audiences. Facebook essentially creates new audiences containing members that have not had previous contact with your brand, however, are likely to engage with advertising due to similarities with your existing audiences and customers.

Introducing Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are a group of users across digital platforms (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn or Google) who share characteristics with another group of users (e.g. your existing contacts).

One of the best parts about using lookalike audiences is that due to these digital platforms boasting such a high volume of engaged users, all you need to do is select the parameters of the audience you want to create a lookalike audience for (as well as the size of it), and the channel will do the rest for you.

Now I know what you might be thinking already, “this sounds so simple, so why doesn’t everyone do this?”

Choosing the parameters is the easy part, it’s the context and ad itself (including the call to action) which is where most fall short.

Try to find some core differences between each audience you create, otherwise, every audience will contain the same users!

Examples of Lookalike Audience Segments

As with anything when it comes to your marketing, you need to ensure you deliver the right message across the right platform at the right time. This can be achieved through utilising your customer journey map and the unique engagements quantifying each stage.

So, let’s go through a couple of use cases that you can apply immediately;

Facebook

Let’s focus on Facebook to start with. One unique way in which this platform provides value is through the ability to create lookalike audiences based on platform-specific engagement data, as well as your CRM contact data.

Say you own an online store, and you are looking to find more customers for a product you want to increase sales on. What you can do is create a segment of users within your CRM who have purchased products within that category, and either sync the list with Facebook or import it as a CSV file into Facebook Business Manager.

From here, you can create a lookalike audience using this data, at a size that you desire (from 100,000+, depending on how targeted you want the audience to be).

The best practice is to try and have at least over 500 people for each audience from one country, otherwise, you can still create one with at least 100 people.

Google Ads

Let’s now move to Google Ads. Say you are a professional services company that is looking to add prospects to its sales pipeline. What you can do is create an audience of website visitors who visited specific blogs on your website and create a “similar audience” using this data.

Google will use their machine-learning algorithm to find active users on their platform, who display common traits and interests to those who have already viewed the pages you specified.

From here, you can serve contextually relevant display ads (perhaps advertising an ebook that requires an email address to access) which will add prospects to your database.

Conclusion

As you can see from these two examples, the sky is the limit when it comes to lookalike audiences and the power starts and ends with you.

Depending on the volume of data you own, the parameters of these audiences can be as broad and narrow as you desire.

The key considerations when looking to launch an ad to a lookalike audience are; make the messaging contextually relevant to the parameters you set and ensure that the call to action is aligned with the stage of the journey these prospects are entering.