Are you using Lookalike Audiences properly?

If you want to make it work, your Facebook Advertising knowledge needs constant updating.

It’s not like learning how to make damn good coffee. You can learn it once, practice it for a little while, and then stick to that. Maybe you’ll make minimal improvements over the course of several years, but the general principle of making good coffee will never change.

But with Facebook, it’s different.

It changes all the time.

A specific strategy might bring you tons of leads the first month, and then absolutely zero leads the next month.

This is what happened.

Should you narrow down your Lookalike Audience?

Lookalike Audiences are the next best thing that happened to Facebook besides remarketing.

Lookalike Audiences take the guesswork away from your targeting and connect you with a cold audience that’s interested in the same exact things and has the same demographic as the audience you already know.

But there’s one thing to know about creating Lookalike Audiences.

Anytime you create it, you’re going to end up with a Potential Reach of about 2 million people. Sometimes even more.


And that’s a lot of people.

Whenever I was working on a client project and implemented a Lookalike Audience to our campaign, I also narrowed the audience down by using specific interests.

If a client’s target audience were Small Business Owners with interest in Email Marketing, I narrowed the Lookalike Audience using that exact Behavioural Targeting and Interest Targeting.

And it worked.

I ended up with a smaller audience, but those people were highly engaged in the content we provided via ads.

But after months of using this approach, everything then changed overnight.

Those narrowed-down Lookalike Audiences just stopped performing. Cost per click or Cost per lead increased dramatically, and we were on the verge of losing money.

What to do?

A different approach

“Let’s do an experiment,” I said, excited to solve this problem at hand. And we took a step back and observed.

The ads worked just a while ago, so there isn’t a problem with visuals or ad copy.

Checking the stats also made me realize the frequency is normal, and there’s nothing wrong with feedback. We’re not exhausting the audience; it must be something else.

It has to be TARGETING.

We reevaluated the situation and decided to take a different approach:

Since Lookalike Audiences are such a powerful feature, we’re going to keep using it. But with a small difference.

We’re not going to narrow down the audience by interests, demographic data or behaviors.

Instead, we’re going to let Facebook do its job.

Facebook already automatically optimizes your ads. If your objective is Website Traffic, Facebook will analyze the first people that click on your link and then target people similar to them.

That way they continuously make sure you’re getting the best out of Facebook Ads.

Now that we decided not to narrow down our target audience, we’re letting Facebook target a broader group but then optimize for us based on the results we’re getting in.

And boy, what results they were.

Splitting the CPC and CPA in half

I implemented this approach to a few experimental campaigns first. And soon started noticing that our Cost per Click is decreasing. It decreased by 50%!

I implemented some other Lookalike Audiences to other campaigns, and the same thing happened.

With one client I even implemented Lookalike Audiences of specific Lead Magnet Downloads to Lead Magnet Campaigns, and it worked again! We split the Cost per Lead in half and started getting 2 leads for the price of 1.

And the trend is still going strong.

My recommendation and action plan

Are you running any Traffic Campaigns or Lead Promotion campaigns right this moment?

Do the following:

Create a Lookalike Audience for the Campaign you’re promoting.

If you’re running a Traffic Campaign to a specific blog post, create a Lookalike Audience based on your previous blog post readers. That is: Readers of that specific blog post.

If you’re running Lead Promotion Campaign, create a Lookalike Audience based on the people that already downloaded that specific Lead Magnet.

Then implement those audiences to the Campaigns you’re running. Create a different Ad Set for them and observe.

Start with a smaller investment, just to make sure everything will run smoothly, but as you start generating effective and profitable results, increase your investment.

Final Thoughts

Learning about Facebook Ads is a never-ending process. Make sure to keep experimenting with new approaches, so you can open up your doors to some new possibilities you never know existed.

P.S. The Facebook Ads Academy sold out immediately. Enrolment opens up again in August. The waiting list is almost full, but you can still get on it here.

Mojca Zove