Lookalike audiences can be a highly-effective way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business – because they’re similar to your best existing customers.
Ever look around at your friends and realise there’s a lot of things that you have in common? We’re not clones of the people we hang out with, but chances are that if we took a big-picture view of most of our friends, or even people in our neighbourhoods, we’d find that we share a great deal of similar interests.
Many of our tastes in entertainment, holiday destinations, lifestyle choices, opinions and other things we like, plus demographics like age, family situation, average income and more are naturally shared by others.
As we’ve shared our interests, locations and more on our online networks and social media profiles, these platforms have learned more about us. Using our interests and likes to create a snapshot of who we are, what we like, where we live, and what ads and content we’re more likely to respond to online.
Of course, it’s the same with your customers. As customers have engaged with social networks and shared their likes and interests, these networks have built a picture of them and their lifestyles. For businesses using Facebook as a marketing channel, this means you get to use this information to reach people with a similar set of interests and patterns who aren’t yet customers, by using something called Lookalike Audiences in Facebook, and Similar Audiences in Google.
How Is It Done?
For Facebook Lookalike Audiences, a business can use a customer database, such as its email newsletter list or customer list, or even its current Facebook Page followers, to create a new audience with similar attributes to the source audience. As long as the list includes email addresses, Facebook can use this list as a base to find a wider set of new people who aren’t yet customers, but who share similar traits and interests to the people in your source list who are already connected to your business.
A tip on this: the better quality source audience a business uses to create a Lookalike audience, the more likely that the Lookalike audience will prove to be effective. For example, it’s more effective to use a list of your best value customers as a source audience, rather than your full customer or email database list.
Google Similar Audiences
Google Ads offer a, errr…. similar tool, simply called “Similar Audiences”. These are even more straightforward to use than Facebook’s Lookalike audiences, mainly because Google does most of the hard work for you, automatically creating Similar Audiences based on your website users behaviours.
Once your Google Analytics audiences are linked to your Google Ads account, Google automatically begins creating Similar Audiences based on how your current website visitors have interacted with your business.
For example: if you have used Google Analytics to create an audience list of people who have converted (made a contact query or purchased) on your website in the last 60 days, then Google can create a Similar audience of new potential customers with similar online behaviours (like websites they’ve browsed, videos watched on YouTube, Apps they’ve engaged with) based on that original audience. This new Similar Audience can then be applied to a Google Search or Display campaign to either target only people in that list, or used to help ensure Google’s Ad Network shows your ads to the right people who are more likely to respond to your ads.
How These Audiences Can Benefit Your Business
- As the online space becomes increasingly crowded, the challenge of cutting through has become greater. Lookalike and Similar audiences allow businesses to communicate with a new audience that is already oriented towards interest in their products – helping your online marketing to be more about “speaking with friends, rather than shouting at strangers.”
- They bring in improved results Google’s own data suggests using Similar Audiences in conjunction with Remarketing has resulted in 60% More Impressions, 48% More Clicks, and 41% More Conversions.
- You get to target people with similar interests and behaviours, making your ad spend more efficient as the Lookalike Audience you’re now targeting are similar in likes and tastes to your current customers and fans, meaning they are more likely to respond.
Getting Started With Lookalike Audience Targeting
The good news is if you’re already a client of ours Google Similar Audiences are already created in Google Ads, with your Analytics account already linked to your Google Ads account and ready to go.
Lookalike audiences are easy to set up, with only some basic code (the Facebook Pixel) needing to be added to your website and the appropriate custom audience set up in Facebook Ads Manager.
Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about applying Lookalike Audiences to your social media and display marketing.
*source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/products/similar-audiences/ 2018.