Lookalike Audiences Complete Guide, Benefits, And Tips

Lookalike Audiences
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Targeting plays a major role in the success and performance of digital marketing campaigns today.

Lookalike audience targeting is often leveraged when you identify a high-value audience and would like to find more people like them for your online marketing.

A lookalike audience takes an existing audience and uses machine learning methods to find new people who have similar characteristics and activities.

This new audience may have a higher likelihood of also being high-value, and it can be used like any other audience for ad set targeting.

This audience targeting strategy is an excellent way to reach people who are similar to your existing customers, meaning that if they love the product or service you sell, chances are users like them will too.

This guide will put you through everything you need to know about lookalike audience

What Are Lookalike Audiences?

what are Lookalike Audiences?
Image credit: Pixabay

Lookalike Audiences are pretty much what they sound like, no other mean than an audience that looks like another audience.

Lookalike audiences anatomize existing consumers and their user profiles to find the commonalities between the existing consumers.

This helps to find highly-qualified customers who previously would have been difficult to identify and reach.

What is the Difference Between Lookalike Audiences and Retargeting Audiences?

Retargeting is targeting an audience that has already interacted with an ad or website. You can select those who saw the ad and clicked on the ad.

Lookalike audience targeting shoots at strangers, people who have never interacted or shown interest in your brand or product.

It includes users who may not even know the business, but they necessarily have similar characteristics to the existing group of the target audience.

Why You Should Leverage Lookalike Audience?

A lookalike audience expands the net to capture a broad potential audience in different places and applies to new differentiated audience segments.

This approach saves time and lowers advertising costs for the acquisition of new customers for your advertising campaigns.

With lookalike audiences, you can expand to new customers who are likely to have an interest in your brand, even if they are not already familiar with you.

Using lookalike audiences allows you to build your brand and engage potential customers who have the prospect to become customers or leads for your brand.

As a targeting strategy, lookalike audiences help deliver more impressions to a relevant user that is likely to click and convert.

Since the lookalike audience has defined characteristics to make them ideal for your business, you know your marketing budget isn’t going to waste on the wrong prospects.

Lookalike audiences also tackle one of the drawbacks of retargeting—volume. Since retargeting requires that the audience must have interacted or engaged with a website, the volume of interaction may not always be large.

Lookalike targeting tackles that problem by leveraging lookalike models to build larger audiences from smaller audience segments to create more reach for advertisers.

How Effective is lookalike Audience Targeting?

If you are looking to create an online ad campaign, using lookalike audiences is one of the best ways to target cold audiences.

A cold audience has never been interacted with by your business before, they are strangers to you and you to them.

By targeting them with  Ads, you can introduce them to your business and convince them to become customers.

 These audiences will more likely engage with your ad based on their similarities to your existing audiences.

The great thing about this targeting tactic is that even though the audience here is cold, they are highly likely to be interested in your business, so it wouldn’t be that hard to warm them up to convert.

Lookalike Audience
Image credit: Pixabay

Lookalike Audiences That Are Worth Trying Out With

#1. Past Purchasers

A widespread best practice for businesses, when deployed site-wide, this tactic is fantastic for brands that have a solid sales volume and feature a few products that cater to a specific user journey.

In situations where ‘conflicting products are sold under the same roof, it’s best practice to separate the audiences by product category at least so that each audience shares a specific purchase intent.

For instance, a pharmacy store that sells both diapers and bodybuilding supplements might find that these product categories are best split into separate lookalike audiences, one for each category, and presented with adverts for products that present a natural continuation of the user journey.

#2. Highest Cart Value

Another option for businesses with an extensive backlog is concentrating on customers who checked out with specifically large carts and using them as a seed for lookalikes.

This creates a lookalike that is likely to repeat this binge-shopping circle. This tactic is especially effective in seasonal or holiday contexts.

#3. Add to Cart Events

In remarketing, a user that’s added a product to a cart is signaling both clear purchase intent and a sense of immediacy, making add to Cart audiences some of the best quality audiences to work with.

In Lookalikes, these audiences are an acceptable option to audiences based on previously completed purchases, for brands operating on a smaller scale, or trying to come up with a new product.

#4. Product Page Views

Using visitors that viewed a page as a lookalike seed sounds like a great idea, right? but in reality, it takes skill to pull it off well.

The challenge is rooted in the fact that users may visit the page by accident, click on the wrong link, or otherwise arrive at the website without any purchase intent.

Your marketing budget will be completely wasted on these visitors and therefore it’s important to find ways to filter them out of your campaigns.

#5. Website Engagement

Though it is very difficult to measure, engagement is a great signal for purchase intent. Basic engagement metrics like time on site and scroll depth are fairly simple to set up with a go-to-market (GTM) strategy, with Facebook going so far as to provide metrics like top percentage of time on site within their ads platform, enabling marketers to build campaigns based on site-specific engagement patterns.

By creating a threshold that filters out unengaged visitors, a metric like Page views can become a viable visitor.

In some cases, engagement is the only metric available, for instance, a content-oriented page like a magazine or blog. For these sites, understanding engagement is key to successfully taking advantage of lookalike audiences and remarketing in general.


Targeting the audience according to specific parameters is a basic element of setting up a high-quality ad campaign.

This allows you to display ads to users who are potentially interested in the brand or product and thus eliminating the chances of placing your ads before people who would not develop an interest even if the ad stays in their face forever.

Facebook Lookalike audience targeting, for example, shoots your ad campaigns at users with similar characteristics to the existing target audience in your bag already.

With the right approach, targeting a lookalike audience offers high results in an advertising campaign: clicks, conversions, and other KPIs set within the ad campaign.

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

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