Do You Understand Your Ads in 2019?

Let us talk about Facebook today. Once you’ve created a campaign and are delivering ads, the next step is to understand how your ads are performing:

 

  • What devices are people using when they view your ad? 
  • How many unique people did you reach across different platforms and what were their demographics?

 

With people-based measurement, we can help you answer those questions. Facebook can measure across Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network, and Messenger, and across different devices, to tell you the unique number of people who were reached or who engaged with your ad. 

 

 

We can also help you understand the demographics of your audience — age, gender, and location — to better inform your campaign strategy.

All of this data is available to you at any time through Ads Manager. You can easily create, export, and share custom ad reports to see your most important ad metrics and learn how you're reaching your business goals.

 

Thanks to Facebook Ads Reporting, you have access to the demographics that define your best customers. But, it can be difficult to find new audiences who may be interested in your products or services. Lead-generation is frequently time-consuming and expensive. 

Lookalike Audiences can help you find — and deliver ads too — people who share demographics and behaviors with your current customers.   Google uses retargeting to your audience and similar audiences.  It is the same outcomes with slightly different descriptors.

This may simplify prospecting for new business by helping you reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your business.

You can use Lookalike Audiences or Similar Audiences to reach people who are similar to:

 

  • Existing customers
  • People who like your Facebook Page
  • Visitors to your website
  • People who engage with your mobile app

 

 

Before you can target ads to Lookalike Audiences, you’ll need to determine what audience characteristics to match, and how closely the people in the Lookalike Audience should resemble those in the initial data source that it’s based on.

 

Planting the seed

The source — (or seed)— audience you select as the starting place for your Lookalike Audience tells Facebook what qualities to match. The audience size you choose tells Facebook how closely the Lookalike Audience should match the seed audience.

 

Lookalike Audience size

You can choose the size of a Lookalike Audience during the creation process. This size is expressed in a scale of 1-10, which is the percentage of the population of a particular country that you are asking Facebook's system to match with your seed audience.

 

We generally recommend a source audience with between 1,000 to 50,000 people. The quality of the source audience matters too. If a seed audience is made up of your best customers rather than all your customers, that could lead to better results.  We'll cover this more in detail in the next module.

 

To create a Lookalike Audience, you’ll need to be either the owner of a Facebook business page or have admin or advertiser permissions on a Facebook ad account.

 

Regardless of who is creating the Lookalike Audience, you'll need one very important thing before you begin: a seed audience. 

 

A seed audience is a group of people who are important to the success of your business, such as those who make high-value purchases or who are deeply engaged with your Facebook Page or mobile app.

 

Your Lookalike Audience will resemble the audience you seed it with, but only pixel-based Lookalikes contain all members of the seed audience.

 

If you have an existing Custom Audience that has proven to be a good source of customers, you can use it as the seed for a Lookalike Audience that resembles these existing customers and clients.

 

Pixel helps Facebook’s ad servers recognize website visitors across devices. Since you can specify page visits and actions that trigger the pixel, this can then be used to create a seed based on customer behavior.

 

For example, monitoring the action “complete a purchase” enables you to generate a Custom Audience based on people who’ve bought from your website. Seeding a Lookalike Audience with that Custom Audience may surface potential customers.

 

Seed a Lookalike Audience using a Custom Audience of people who engage with your mobile apps. Then, you can develop brand awareness campaigns targeted to new prospects who resemble people who’ve triggered in-app events such as “completed registration.” Game developers can track events such as “achieved level.”

 

To seed a Custom Audience with mobile event data, you have to be an Administrator or Developer on the app, and there must be active SDK event tracking in place.

 

People who Like your Page have already shown an interest in your business. Create a Lookalike Audience of Page fans to drive awareness of your business and find more people who are likely interested in your products or services.

 

It may take up to 24 hours for your Lookalike Audience to be created, but you can use it for ad targeting before it finishes processing.

 

Lookalike Audiences update dynamically: as long as ads are being targeted to a Lookalike Audience, it will refresh every 3-7 days. You can see when your Lookalike Audience was updated by visiting your Audience Manager Page and looking at the date under the Availability column.

 

If you are optimizing for similarity, choose a number closer to 1

  • Since this is around 1-5% of the total population of the country you are targeting, your Lookalike Audience is likely to be small, with a high resemblance to your seed.

 

If you are optimizing for reach, you'll want to choose a number near 10

  • This Lookalike Audience will be larger, but less similar to your seed since you're targeting up to 10% of the total population.

 

Best practices

Choose seed audiences that connect directly to the objective you want to achieve. For example, to increase online sales in a mobile app, use Facebook SDK to generate a Custom Audience of your highest-value mobile app users.

Test each seed audience to see whether they perform better similarity or for reach. Consider different optimizations for different campaign goals.

 

  • If you are optimizing for similarity, choose a number closer to 1
    • Since this is around 1-5% of the total population of the country you are targeting, your Lookalike Audience is likely to be small, with a high resemblance to your seed.
  • If you are optimizing for reach, you'll want to choose a number near 10
    • This Lookalike Audience will be larger, but less similar to your seed since you're targeting up to 10% of the total population.

 

Sources like “all app installers” or “all purchasers” are not ideal for conversion-optimized ad sets because they don't distinguish between great customers and average customers. Everyone is just grouped together.

Ask what metrics you rank your existing customers buy. Do any correlate with the difference between great and average customers?

Use any proprietary data you have to help you make the distinction. If you don't have much data of your own, try dividing customers by pixel fires. Create a Lookalike Audience from a source made up of the customers who've taken actions you care about.

 

Layer on targeting options like age, gender, and interests to better understand who your potential customers and clients are.

 

However, if your ad set is optimized for conversions, layering parameters may muddle—(rather than refine)— your targeting, since Lookalike Audiences already incorporate information like age, gender, and interests from your source.

 

Generally speaking, a Lookalike Audience source of between 1,000 and 50,000 people is ideal. However, having a high-quality source (meaning a source made up of your best customers) is more important than any specific number. For example, if the source is good, it doesn't matter if it's 20,000 people or 30,000. You may even be able to succeed with 100 people.

 

Lookalike audiences perform best when a seed audience is significantly smaller than the pool that the Lookalike Audience will be drawn from. If your seed audience is very large or diverse compared to the total number of people in the country or locations targeted, try segmenting it into smaller groups and then create Lookalikes from each.

 

The more up to date your data is, the better we can match your ads with the right audience with high accuracy. This is not a concern with using Facebook data, such as Page likes or your pixel, but a concern if you are providing a hashed customer information file for the seed.

 

Expand on a good source rather than using multiple similar ones.

 

For example, split a seed audience by purchase behavior — one containing people who’ve made online purchases in the last 30 days, another of people who have spent more than $500 in the last 7 days, and so on — and then create separate Lookalike Audiences based on each.

 

You can also create multiple Lookalike Audiences at once by clicking on Advanced Options when determining Audience size. Done this way, multiple audiences will not overlap.

 

This example would create 3 Lookalike Audiences:

  • 0%-1% of the population, which will be the most similar audience to your seed.
  • 1%-2% of the population, which is the second most similar, but a bit wider reach.
  • 2%-5% of the population, which is the least similar but the largest reach.

This “tiered lookalike” strategy can help you narrow down the most effective audience size for your messaging.

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