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Have you been using Facebook ads to give a boost to your digital marketing performance? Is your CTR (Click through Rates) below average?

Let’s make it really simple here – if you have a product or service that you think will interest your target customers, and if you have the right ad content, the only reason why you might be having a poor CTR is that you are targeting the wrong audience.

That’s scary!

Thankfully, Facebook now has smarter ad targeting campaigns which enable you to be more precise and accurate in hitting the bull’s eye. Discovering the exact group of the audience has gotten much easier and that’s exactly where the custom audience and lookalike audience features of Facebook come in.

Facebook custom audiences help you to retarget people who have already interacted with your business (warm audience). Examples of custom audiences are the people who have their names on your email list, website visitors, and video engagement users on your Facebook business page. On the other hand, Facebook lookalike audience is a segmentation tool that helps you to target the audience based on the demographic data and similarity of your current list (cold audience). This increases the probability of a high conversion rate. 

In other words, lookalike audiences are based on custom audiences. Lookalike audience helps you to reach cold audiences, but these audiences are not super cold as Facebook’s algorithm is advanced enough to match attributes from your warm audience list or custom audience list to develop this new lookalike audience list. Lookalike audience helps you to find new people similar to your existing customers, and it tends to be less expensive than targeting audiences based on their behaviors or interest. 

Now let us understand the steps involved in the usage of the custom audience and lookalike audience features in Facebook ads:

1. Get the correct location of the lookalike audience

You must use lookalike audiences to target expansion in the global market. If you are aiming for a global dominance, go for app store countries or emerging and developed markets.

2. Creative ideas for creating a group of the custom audience

For your campaign goal, you must always drill down the best options to get a custom audience. The options include:

1.Video engagement users- If you have shared a video on Facebook, you can create a list of custom audiences based on how long they watch your video.

2.Website visitors- You can create a list of custom audiences based on the number of people who visited your website. But, your list will be too long if you are strictly aiming for conversions. Target the viewers who visited your website for the last 30 days.

3.Email subscribers- It is clear that those who have subscribed are interested in receiving updated news about your business. Thus, you can use this list to find more subscribers if you are planning a program with the same content.

3. Choose high-quality data

Facebook always performs better with good data. It recommends at least 1,000 to 50,000 audiences. But, if you have an audience with 500 loyal clients you will get better results than 5,000 good, bad or average customers. Figure out the best metrics which will help you to identify the perfect customer.

4. The audience list should be updated and prefer remarketing

You must always go for an updated list of current custom audiences based on your Facebook data. To do this, set data range parameters. For example, you might want to target viewers who visited your profile for the last 2 months. Another good practice is to engage your custom audiences for remarketing. 

5. Optimize your bids with lookalike audiences

Create a set of lookalike audiences who are non-overlapping. Thus, you don’t have to exclude other audiences who are more or less similar. To perform this, click on Advanced Options and select a size. You can create a list of 500 audiences from one source.

6. Consider the right size of lookalike audience

In the past years, the size of the lookalike audience was kept to 1%. But, Facebook has advanced algorithms that go well with a larger size because it gives more data to calculate the audiences who visit the page or go through your videos. The audience sizes can be between 2 to 5% or even larger depending upon your business and your customers. If you can get similar audiences by 1%, you should never go for more.

7. Enhance lookalike audience targeting

Lookalike audience is the most effective source for targeting the right customers. Thus the source for creating the lookalike audience list should be enhanced. The source of the list is based upon people who engage with your business video content, the email subscribers, users who are willing to convert into loyal customers, and the likes of your Facebook fans.

If you are into digital marketing (who isn’t!), you cannot afford to avoid Facebook – a powerful channel which has the potential to significantly increase your traffic and sales. But, looking at your disappointing ad performance, you might be wondering if you are doing it right.

Before going for any ads on Facebook, consider your budget. The cost of creating the list of lookalike audience is low. But before you decide on a budget, make sure that your customer list is profitable, as that is a key factor in deciding the success of your campaign.