What Is a Facebook Look-a-Like Audience & Why You Should Be Using It For Your Business

By Mervyn Kinuthia on December 29, 2017

Online marketing is ever evolving. What’s in today might not be in tomorrow and Facebook ads are no different. With more companies shifting from Google Ads to advertising on Facebook, the increased competition means that a change in tact is needed if you expect to continue receiving the same quantity and quality of leads as before. This explains why Facebook has introduced Facebook lookalike audience.

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Enter Facebook Lookalike Audiences

This is an advanced targeting option within Facebook that allows you to target in a more granular way that goes beyond demographic targeting and basic interest.

Many have touted Facebook lookalike audiences as the most efficient Facebook marketing tool.

Lookalike audiences are built on a main audience source. Facebook targeting functionality extracts data points from this main audience source and locates a new demographic that uses a set percentage sample to find a new demographic in a country of your choosing.

The major difference between interest targeting and lookalike audiences is the fact that with the latter you’re able to create your main audience whereas with interest targeting you can’t. This gives you more control in your targeting.

Due to the expansive control you have over your targeting options, you end up with a high-quality audience since they are similar to your existing ones.

How To Best Use Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences are most effective when used to market to cold audiences. One way of using lookalike audiences is at the top of your sales funnel to execute content campaigns. This would help warm up your target demographic as you take them through the various sales funnel stages.

There are different types of lookalike audiences depending on the content type and objective of the campaign. We’ll now cover different ways of creating the different types of lookalike audiences.

Create A Video Lookalike Audience

Video is the best performing content-type on Facebook. In fact, figures show that 100 million of hours are watched on Facebook every single day.

If you want to build trust with your audience as well as brand recognition quickly, video is a no-brainer. Facebook lookalike audiences allow you to scale your campaigns by using the people who’ve already watched your videos as “source audience”.

The first step involves creating a custom video audience. This will act as your lookalikes audience “source audience”.

By creating a custom video audience you’ll be able to segment viewers contingent upon content they’ve watched and level of engagement.

How To Create A Custom Video Audience

  1. Navigate to the Audiences dashboard from your Facebook Ads Manager.
  2. Click on Audiences under Assets
  3. Click on Create Audience and choose Custom Audience
  4. Pick Engagement on Facebook when the pop-up box appears.
  5. Choose Video

A box will appear where you’ll create your custom video audience. On Engagement’s drop-down list pick how you’ll be engaging.

  1. Finally, you’ll be required to name your audience, define a time period, then click on Create Audience.

Creation of custom video audiences offers you plenty of flexibility and you’re able to create audience types at various levels of engagement. This means you can create lookalike audiences that engage with your video for 3 seconds or more. You can also use percentages with 25% being the lowest and 95% being the highest.

All that’s required of you is to repeat the steps above for each custom video audience.

Creating A Video Lookalike Audience

  1. Go to Audiences on your Facebook Ads Manager
  2. Click on Create Audience
  3. Choose Lookalike Audience
  4. On the box that appears use the custom video audience you already created as the source.
  5. Select a country. NB: This should be the country where your source audience is located.
  6. Finally, you’ll need to choose your audience size. Sizes range from 1- 10%. 1% represents an audience that is most similar to your audience size. You can go all the way up to 10% of the total population if you’d like to scale your campaign.

Create Email Lookalike Audiences

There are many who’d swear by email lookalike audiences. This is because you’re basically cloning your customer list by using it as a source of your lookalike audience.

The process of creating email list lookalike audiences is not that much different from creating video ones.

  1. Click on Audiences from the Ads Manager
  2. Choose Custom Audience
  3. Pick Customer File

You can choose which of three options to use when uploading email data.

  • Upload data as a file
  • Copy and pasting data
  • Import email addresses from MailChimp
  1. Map your identifiers. You’re encouraged to use as many identifiers as possible.
  2. Choose click upload and create
  3. Select Create a Lookalike Audience

A box appears with required fields. The source field will already be pre-filled with your email list.

  1. Choose your target country. In this case your target country should be the one that constitutes the most email addresses on your list.
  2. Just like before start off your Audience Size at 1%. You can always scale later.
  3. Finally, hit the Create Audience button.

Creating Conversion Lookalike Audiences

With this type of lookalike audience you use a website’s custom audience. The source of the custom audience is a group of people who have been converted in some way on your site.

For instance, you might be an e-commerce business that’s giving away a coupon lead magnet. Use the leads that convert as the source audience for your conversion lookalike audience.

You will need to set up conversion tracking before creating the audience first. Just like the first two types of lookalike audiences you will need to create a source audience first.

Here are the steps for creating a custom audience for conversions:

  1. Click on Create Audience
  2. Choose Custom Audience
  3. Once the pop-up box appears click on Website Traffic
  4. Use the drop-down menu on Website Traffic to pick Custom Combination
  5. Click on Event in the URL drop-down menu

You’ll then need to choose an event from which to create your source audience from.

  1. There’s a field called “In The Last” enter a duration of time people should stay in your audience after completing a specific action.
  2. Finally, select the “Include Past Website Traffic” box and name your audience.
  3. Click Create Audience

Once you’re through with the steps above you’ll want to create a Conversion Lookalike Audience.


  1. From the Audiences Dashboard select Create Audience
  2. From the drop-down menu click on Lookalike Audience
  3. Once the Create a Lookalike Audience modal window opens select your website’s custom audience from the drop-down list.
  4. Pick a country and an audience size. As always 1% is the recommended start point.
  5. Conclude by pressing the “Create Audience” button.

Creating Lookalike Audiences Based on Page Likes

Of the three types of lookalike audiences this is the easiest to set up us your source audience originates from your list of Facebook Page fans. Page Likes lookalike audiences are recommended if your page has a huge number of fans who engage actively with your organic posts.

Unlike with the other lookalike audiences you don’t need to build a custom audience to act as your source audience.

Steps To Create a Page Likes Lookalike Audience

  1. From your Facebook Ads Manager select Create Audience
  2. Click on Lookalike Audience
  3. Choose your page name from the Lookalike audience modal window.
  4. Select the target audience as well as the audience size.

That’s it!

One tip that you should keep in mind when building lookalike audiences if you have a large source audience to start with your lookalike audiences are going to be of a higher quality. Ensure that your source audiences are composed of at least 1000 people.














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