Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - Facebook “Lookalike” Audiences

When I get asked the same question in one week...I have to do some reflection. ; ) This past week the question was simply, “What do you think of Facebook lookalike audiences?”

Facebook has a robust toolset for advertising. While there is a lot of FB in the news with regard to ads and changing algorithms, this platform is still very effective at building sales.

As a marketer, the metrics and reporting tools are a great way to understand what’s working and what’s not. A/B Testing different messages, visuals, offers - there are many ways to gauge what can have an impact and increase your ROI or ROAS (return on ad sales).

One of the key features you can use is called a “lookalike” audience. Essentially, you can populate their tool with your existing customer information (emails or website visitors) and Facebook will compare your customer or visitor data to their user data and suggest a “lookalike audience”. Facebook’s algorithms will suggest people they believe are similar to the people you have shared - hence “lookalike”. Once you have their suggested “lookalike audience” - you can have your ad(s) served to them.

So, to answer the question, “What do you think of Facebook lookalike ads?” My short answer is - you should try them and keep optimizing!

My longer response is usually one or a combination of the following -

  1. What else are you including in your marketing mix?

I am a big fan of an integrated marketing plan i.e. A marketing strategy that unifies all the parts and makes the customer experience seamless from the first ad to the end use of the product or service. All of your marketing should look and SOUND like it’s coming from the same company. Along with this, you should not put your eggs in one basket as far as ad spend. Make sure all platforms are “on brand” and “on message” so your website, FB page; Instagram feed; YT videos; customer support voice and tone; emails from employees.

2. Are you testing different ads within your positioning?

Let’s say you are selling dog food. And what makes you stand out is the fact that you are the highest protein dog food on the market. Clinically tested and proven. That’s all you have to say, right? Not exactly. You should A/B test different angles of this message such as “Want the best for your pup?” and maybe test out “The best dog food for a shiny coat and healthy pup” and/or try “Are you giving your dog the best money can buy?”  And maybe you test different breeds within your images - some dogs are more high maintenance than others.

3. Is your brand strategy or positioning clear?

You may read this and say - “Yes, we know what business we’re in. Thank you.”  

Let’s stay with my imaginary canine client, who says, “Yes our brand is crystal clear! We use language that sells dog food. That’s been working really well!” So yes, that will 100% work for an undetermined period of time, but not in the long haul.

Let’s agree here - every $1 needs to work like $3 regardless of your budget - for YOUR brand - big to small. So would you want to spend your precious budget building the dog food category e.g. Dog Food for everyone? Or building your business specifically “XYZ Special Protein Brand”?

Lemme guess… Please make sure your brand is standing out and has unique messaging that can only build YOUR brand vs the entire category that you exist within.

Not sure on this? Want to learn more? Let’s discuss clarity with an Organized Brand® approach to your messaging.

And if you want more information on FB ads, here are a few of resources I recommend you spend time visiting.