How Lookalike Audiences Can Lower Your Facebook Ads Costs

How Lookalike Audiences Can Lower Your Facebook Ads Costs

If you’re anything like me, you constantly, almost obsessively refresh the Facebook ads manager to see if your average ad costs have gone up at any given moment of your campaign. We’re all looking for ways to get the most out of Facebook advertising at the lowest possible cost. Here’s why you should leverage Lookalike audiences to boost your ad results and generally win at life.


What is a lookalike audience?

First, what is a lookalike audience? A lookalike audience is a type of audience you can create to target your ads to on Facebook or Instagram.

You create lookalike audiences based on custom audiences you upload in the Facebook Business Manager, and they help you target users who are similar to those who have already engaged with your business or organization in whatever way you choose.

You can create lookalike audiences based on almost anything. For example, you can create a lookalike audience based on people who have engaged with your Facebook posts or users who have “liked” your page. You can create a lookalike audience based on users who subscribe to your email list or those who have already taken a valuable action for your organization, like an app install or a petition signature.

Lookalike Audiences

Why use lookalike audiences?

Lookalike audiences are so powerful because you can use them to target your ads to users who are more likely to engage and convert with your ads because they are statistically similar to those users who have already taken meaningful actions for your organization. You can make the audience size as big or small as you’d like, and this typically means more ad results at a lower cost. Pretty amazing, right?


Lookalike Targeting Example

Here’s how we used lookalike audiences to dramatically reduce the average cost-per-app-install for a recent ad campaign we executed for Media Cause client, That’s Not Cool.

That’s Not Cool launched a brand new app, Respect Effect, which helps teens build skills to promote respect online and maintain healthy relationships with friends and romantic partners. We needed to put the app in front of teens via targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram.

Along with testing ads by gender, platform, device, messaging theme, and even sexual orientation, we wanted to know how ads served to users based on their interests and page likes would perform against ads served to users who were similar to those who had already downloaded the app.

Ads served to lookalike audiences ended up being almost three dollars cheaper than ads served to our interest-based audiences. What’s more, app installs that we acquired through lookalike ads made up 73% of the total app installs we acquired as part of the campaign.

Along with other optimizations that we were able to make because of our extensive audience segmentations listed above, we brought down the average cost-per-install by 42% over the course of the campaign. Wowza.


Ready to get started?

So, by now you’re probably dying to test out lookalike audiences for your next ad campaign on Facebook. This guide should tell you everything you need to know to get started, but keep two crucial pieces of information in mind:

1. You must first create a custom audience in order to set up a lookalike audience. Learn how to create a custom audience here.

2. In order to create a lookalike audience based on any type of website action, you must implement the Facebook pixel and have access to it within the Ads Manager. If it’s app activity you want to track, you must install the SDK. Learn about the Facebook pixel here. Learn about installing the Facebook SDK on your mobile application here.

Want more support in launching a targeted, cost-effective ad campaign on Facebook? Get in touch!