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#95 Today's Best Lookalike Audiences

#95 Today's Best Lookalike Audiences

Most think that Facebook lookalike audiences are dead – I did too. However, they can still be a gem if you think about them outside of traditional ways.

In this episode, I'll explain the best lookalike audiences to try for your Facebook ad campaigns at this time.

Most think that Facebook lookalike audiences are dead – I did too. However, they can still be a gem if you think about them outside of traditional ways.

In this episode, I'll explain the best lookalike audiences to try for your Facebook ad campaigns at this time.

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Alright, on today's episode of The Ultimate Marketer Podcast, we're going to revisit lookalike audiences. A few episodes back, I did an episode where I said and asked the question, are lookalike audiences dead? Thanks to Apple, a lot of the audiences that we would use to make lookalikes off of, now don't have a big enough audience, because of the lack of tracking, thanks to Apple. So, you asked me several months ago, after I did that podcast, I would probably tell you yes, for most people still, lookalike audiences are dead. 


But I wanted to revisit this, because there are a couple of different ways we can use look alike audiences out of the tradition, traditional way that most of us may have been using them in the past, and there might be value there. And it goes based on a couple of different variables, but I wanted to share with you these different types of lookalike audiences. So that maybe it may be worth you actually trying them in your account or your client's account. If you're looking for some targeting help, maybe interest targeting is doing okay for you are not doing that good for you. But you have a lot of data that you could work with in various forms, lookalike, audiences could possibly still be a benefit. And there's some other stuff behind this as well, which we'll get into. 


So first, the thing that I want to talk about is the data sources. In the past, we would solely use the pixel. Pixel events, when we were getting all the tracking that we needed from Facebook before Apple went in and tried to become a privacy hero. We could get an understanding of a customer's interests, the way they purchased, the kind of products, they purchase, all that kind of stuff. And we were able to easily build lookalike audiences that were very effective, just from pixel data alone, that's no longer the case.


And so that is kind of considered a source that you own. That is stuff that is happening from your website. On the opposite end of things, now, there are meta sources, Facebook sources, and things that happen on their platform, not on your website after they click the ad. So I'm talking about things like video viewing, engagement on Facebook, and Instagram, those kinds of things where they comment on, on, on, on posts on your Facebook account, or if they watch videos, those kinds of things, things that happen within the platform where the person never leaves. Those are still very well tracked by Facebook. And so those are a meta source of on-app activity that is a little bit better tracked as opposed to now just Facebook, just Facebook pixel activity on your website, that's not tracked as well.


So those are two different sources. You should really kind of look at and see if where you should kind of be based on, on what volume you're doing. And so when we talk volume, you need a certain amount of events. If you're still wanting to make a traditional lookalike off an audience, based on your pixel activity off of the Facebook platform, now that numbers-wise is about 100, you need about 100 events within a 30-day period of time to even be able to have a chance to make a look-alike off pixel event. But I think that actually is going to be higher now, you need to have over 200. So if you want to make a look-alike off your purchases on your website based on the pixel, you better hope that you're at least getting 200 of those events tracked, per 30-day period. And not all events are tracked. So you could have 600 purchase events orders on your website in a 30-day period of time. But if you go to try to make that look alike audience off that purchase event within the past 30 days, it may tell you that you have less than 100 events and that it's not able to make a look-alike for you for that. That's because of Apple's tracking. 


So if you do super high volume, you're going to be able to make those look-alike audiences still, and in some cases, they can still be very effective. If you're not in that case, I'm going to recommend to look at other look-alike options. So, outside of the metal sources, things like video views and engagement, which we'll get to in a second. You can go up the funnel but also use your customer data. So if you have an email list that's in the 1000s, you can upload a CSV of that email list. If you have the emails, if you have phone numbers even better, if your address is even better, you can upload those to Facebook's audience, Facebook's audience manager. And if you have enough, you can make a look-alike off of those. 


So things that I do is with Klaviyo. I have an automatic audience created in Klaviyo, that email program. And I have a specific segment of people that have purchased before. So I have 1000s of people on that list. So I'm able to actually sync that list with Facebook audiences, if you're on Clavia, you can integrate and sync your, your list or segments to Facebook audiences and they automatically get updated. Or if you have another mail program, you can download that CSV for those things. But if you make a segment for people that have purchased and you have 1000s of purchasers, you can upload that and make a look-alike off it. I have found that to be particularly effective, for me in the campaigns that I run. If you haven't tried that yet, you have 1000s of people that have purchased your product, or service. And this works for leads to you have that data, upload the, upload that list and make a look-alike off it, it can be and do a test because it can be very effective.

If you want a bigger audience, and you have people on your email list that you got on that list legitimately because they signed up for a percentage off, or an ebook, whatever it is, they just wanted your newsletter, that may be another audience. it's not going to be as hot as a lookalike of a segment, of an email audience that has already purchased or that has become a confirmed and purchasing lead for you, however, it is going to give Facebook a head start as opposed to just going broad. 


So you already know that these types of people are, are already kind of interested. So when you upload that list, and you make a look-alike off that list, you're going to be Facebook's going to look at those people, it's gonna match the profiles and Facebook, kind of see what they're they've been interested in the pages they liked the content they engage with, and see if they can match to that and give you that audience to advertise to. So you can see, while it's not a super hot lookalike based on other purchasers and that detail, they are better than if you would just start broad. It's a little bit more defined. And that could also be an audience that you may want to try. 


So those are the main things outside of the pixel. And outside of the email list, and segment and, uploaded audience list, for people that have taken actions on your website that are on your newsletter or your email list. Those are kind of the core, off-Facebook lookalike audiences you can make. And you're gonna go Max 180 days on those don't do 30, don't do 60, do Max 180, if you're going to do it. Because like I said, because of Apple, and their hindrance on tracking, you're going to want those audiences to be as big as possible. So, take that into consideration. 


Another thing you're going to have to consider when you make lookalike audiences is the percentage, maybe five years ago, you could do a 1% lookalike on purchases in the United States, if you're getting enough data, I don't know if that's going to be as effective anymore, that's less probably going to be less than 3 million of an audience. And if you look at the population size of the United States, you know, you're you're gonna have a very, very small percentage, probably like 1%, of the entire audience, so of, of the country. So you might want to think of bumping that up a little bit to like a two or three or even a four, in that case. 


If you're outside of the United States, that's where things get a little bit more complicated. The US has a huge population of people on Facebook. If you go to somewhere like the UK, and try to do a 1% look alike audience, you're probably going to end up with around a 500,000 audience size at the most. And that's just not enough. So you might want to consider going to the 5%, or even 10%, if you're in another country outside of the US, just because those audience sizes are smaller, you need to have a good audience size to work with. So that is something, something to think about. 


Now, in terms, in terms of not an email list, either audiences, you can do is you can go up the funnel. So maybe if you don't have enough purchasers yet, or because of post-Apple, they're just not getting tracked as much, consider making audience lists for those upper funnel audiences. So things like add to cart or initiate checkout. And one thing that I've learned here, in terms of optimizing for different events that are not purchased, because of the complex issues that we have going on with, with targeting and tracking, is a lot of people on Shopify, they will have the Add to Cart button on a product page, but then they'll also have a Buy Now button, or a dynamic purchase button, that knows that user, and whether they like to check out using Google Payments, maybe it's Apple Pay, maybe it's Shopay, Paypal, whatever it is, you'll have two buttons on your product page for add to cart and then when to Buy Now. 


If they click the buy now or click one of those dynamic purchase buttons, they're never going to go to the cart. So that's never going to trigger the add-to-cart event. So make sure to look at your, events manager on Facebook, and take a look at the data. How many purchases are you getting, in a 30-day period of time there? What does it say? And look at the add to cart versus initiate checkout numbers. You might see one really much much higher than the other. If initiate checkout is higher, that means that people that visit your website and end up purchasing or at least get into the process of it, are more likely to use the dynamic Buy Now button rather than the Add to Cart button. And so you need to think about those things. So if that's the case, it might be better for you to make the look-alike initiate checkout instead of adding to the cart, because there are more people taking that action rather than just adding to the cart. And in my opinion that's a more valuable event anyway, if you have that ability, do that.


So with that said, think about making those look-alike audiences off initiate checkout, Add to Cart if you're getting a lot of those things. You could also do view content as well, but in my opinion, you know add to cart initiate checkout or still valued events. It's not quite a purchase, but it's almost there, and in my opinion that is a great head start and this is what this is all about. Facebook's going to try to find you more purchases or more leads on its own. The purpose of targeting and doing this and not just going broad, which you can try broad, it works for some people depending on the product, but you're giving it a head start. And when you have a head start and you don't have a ton of money ad budget to blow, you're not VC backed and all this kind of stuff. 


Those are the things you have to do, you have to give Facebook a head start, and these are good ways to do that. So outside of those, the value events, it's also worth a try. If you get a lot of traffic, do a lookalike off visitors. Before, maybe in the past, you can just straight up off the Facebook pixel, make a lookalike off visitors these days, I say take it a little step further, when you create a look-alike audience on visitors for the past 180 days, you can select the percentile now. And I recommend using at least the 20 to 25% percentile for that visitors audience. What that'll do is that'll cut down that visitor audience a little bit to people that spend more time on your site, they don't just visit and leave. 


During the top 25 percentile visitors will actually look around load the loading, load the landing page, scroll around, and are genuinely interested. So again, it's not quite a purchase. It's not a value event like an Add to cart or initiate checkout, but, it is a little bit better than just every single visitor. It's the best visitors that are showing interest in what you have to offer. So again, what's this all about giving Facebook a head start, so you can make a lookalike off that, and Facebook will do its work to find more people like that to show your ads to, outside of that we enter Meta's sources. 


And those are things like video viewers, page engagers, Instagram engagers, and you can make those audiences, you can go up to 300 and, and some odd days for those particular audiences. And what's interesting about those particular audiences, is that that's all tracked on the Facebook app that's inside their little universe there the metaverse, and is not messed with as much as the other tracking abilities from the other audiences because those are off-site. So they're still very valuable audiences.


So you should if you're running video ads, or you're running video content, make audiences on certain videos make lookalikes based on that. Usually, I like to say, you know, do the percentage of at least 20% or so video viewers where they finished at least 20% of the video. If you're doing a longer video, if you're doing a short video, under 15 seconds, you're gonna want to go higher, like 90% or 100%, on those audiences. But you can like I said, you can also do audiences on Facebook page engagers, Instagram profile engagers, you can get into that too. And I suggest you at least remarket to those audiences. but also thinking about making a lookalike off those on the maximum days and using those as targets in an ad. 


So whenever you set these up, in Facebook ads manager, if you don't have any past data dealing with these types of lookalike audiences, I recommend creating a CBO campaign, with each ad set having only one of the look-alike audiences don't stack the look-alike audiences inside the one ad set, make one ad set for each look alike audience so maybe you have, maybe you're doing you know, 4% look-alikes across the board. Have an ad set 4%, look-alike on purchases 4% look alike on email purchasers, 4% look alike on initiate checkout, add to cart, Facebooking, and then Facebook engages Instagram engages, etc. And see which look-alike audiences get the best return for you based on what you're trying to get done. What event you're trying to trigger. That way you can know and then once you know that, then consider stacking.



All right, really quick episode on lookalike audiences, I hope this gives you some guidance and maybe some new ideas to play with in terms of your targeting. I always like to try to keep these episodes short, concise, educational, and just a big punch in the face. No filler here, and I hope that this will be good for you.


If you need help with your social media ads, maybe you want me, to go into your account for you and set up ads, go to Use promo code ULTIMATE, save 10% for a pro setup, or maybe you just need some creative help to try in these new lookalike audiences, we can do that for you too, turn it around in as little as 24 hours. That's it for today. Thanks for listening to the Ultimate Marketer Podcast. We will see you next week.

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