How to Create Profitable Facebook Targeting Audiences

Want to reach more customers on Facebook? Wondering which custom and lookalike audiences will work best?. In this article, you’ll discover a step-by-step plan to combine custom and lookalike audiences for effective Facebook campaigns.

Why Combine Custom and Lookalike Audiences for Facebook Targeting?

When you advertise on Facebook, you can target your ads to three types of audiences: saved audiences, custom audiences, and lookalike audiences.

Saved audiences let you target specific interests, behaviors, income levels, locations, and other criteria. With custom audiences, you can target people who are already familiar with your business such as people who are on your customer list, have visited your website, or have engaged with your content.

Lookalike audiences are another type of audience, but building them involves creating custom audiences, which act as your source audience. A lookalike audience can be defined as a cold audience because it contains a target market that hasn’t previously interacted with your business.

When you create a lookalike, Facebook takes your source custom audience and maps hundreds of thousands of people and millions of data points using an algorithm to find new people who share the same characteristics as your source audience. It uses a set percentage sample (which you specify) of the population in your target country.

Why Lookalike Audiences Are Important

Taking a step back for a second, the main reason why Facebook has such an effective ad platform is due to the volume of data users have submitted to Facebook and the ability for advertisers to target those data points.

Within that Facebook, targeting ability are lookalike audiences, and when created correctly, 9 out of 10 times they’re the most effective cold audiences on Facebook. When compared to the other type of cold audiences—saved interest-based audiences—lookalikes outperform them because of how much data goes into building them and your ability as the advertiser to control the source audience.

When to Use Lookalikes

When you should use lookalikes depends on your Facebook advertising strategy and how you balance your demand for short- and long-term results from Facebook. If you want quick results, which are often short-lived, you can target sales-based product or service ads to your lookalike audience right away.

In doing so, you’re triggering what’s known as the hyper-responsive people in your lookalike who are more adventurous buyers and don’t need a lot of convincing to buy from you. The issue with just running sales-based ads to your cold lookalikes is that you’ll eventually saturate the hyper-responsive segment of your audience and your return on ad spend (ROAS) will decrease to the point where targeting those lookalikes is no longer profitable.

The workaround is to take a different Facebook advertising approach that will warm up the rest of your lookalike audiences by focusing on pushing content in your ads instead. Ideally, deliver video content because you can easily remarket to the people who have watched your videos with video custom audiences.

With this approach, you can effectively build awareness for your business and recognition in the Facebook news feed. You get your target audience to start thinking about you because no one comes to Facebook already thinking about your business; it isn’t Google.

The key to long-term sustainable results using Facebook lookalikes is to position content first and then remarket to the most engaged content consumers.
#1: Determine Which Types of Facebook Custom Audiences Meet Your Business Needs

Now that you know what lookalikes are and why you should be using them, the next step is to decide what lookalike to test first.

Because the source audience for a lookalike is a custom audience, you have lots of different options for building your lookalikes. There are five different custom audience categories: Customer File, Website Traffic, App Activity, Offline Activity, and Engagement.