During our last #SMTLive Twitter chat, Using Facebook and Instagram Audience Targeting, one question, in particular, sparked further discussion: “What types of Facebook and Instagram ad targeting options have you used and why?”
For #B2B marketing - I've used a lot of job title & company targeting to generate qualified leads. However, I've had to opt for more creative workarounds as #Facebook has removed a lot of the good targeting options we used to leverage :( #SMTLive— meg (@meganvgavin) June 25, 2019
With targeting options constantly changing, what types of "creative workarounds" can marketers use to improve their targeting on Facebook and Instagram?
Built from scratch look-a-like targeting sourced from high-value customers! Requires some scrappiness & rolling up your sleeves, but has paid off well when done right. #socialmediamarketing— meg (@meganvgavin) July 9, 2019
Lookalike targeting came up as an option many people loved to use, especially for B2B lead-gen. But some feel that lookalike targeting has gotten a bad reputation for a reason. It's not an easy system to crack, especially now that you can't always target by job title or company anymore. Often the lookalike targeting option doesn’t work the way you were hoping; but, when done right, it's a great option for expanding your reach and finding new customers that have similar profiles to your already existing client-base.
So how do you create a "from scratch look-a-like" audience that will give you the results you're looking for? Megan Gavin shares her best tips with us here.
Step 1: Create a custom audience from high-value customers
Megan explains to us that the best way to create a strong lookalike audience is to download a list of already existing clients and scrub the list to only show your "highest value customers."
Custom audiences can be built off of: Website traffic sources, a customer file (email list), app activity, and offline activity (such as in-store sales, consultations, etc.). Of these, you can scrub for high-value on a customer file or offline activity list.
Once you decide which list you want to use, go to your Facebook Business Manager page and direct yourself over to the "Audiences" section.
Let's say you decide to use an email list of newsletter subscribers. In that case, you would select "custom audience" and upload a "customer file." Keep in mind, when creating this, you have the opportunity to include data to match your customers with.
Here are data points you can match on is below. Note: this data can be from:
- Your own customers (aka first-party data)
- Data from partners (aka third-party data. agency, etc)
- From customers and partners (mix of both)
- Your initial customer file should include a minimum of 200 people. The larger the list, the better. Any less will leave Facebook guessing and most likely won't get you the results you're looking for.
- Make sure you have "advanced matching" enabled in your ad account for a higher customer match rate, and thus, larger sample.
- If you have information on LTV (customer lifetime value) of your list, it always helps to include that information. Hubspot defines customer lifetime value as "the metric that indicates the total revenue a business can reasonably expect from a single customer account. It considers a customer's revenue value, and compares that number to the company's predicted customer lifespan. Businesses use this metric to identify significant customer segments that are the most valuable to the company."
Keep in mind, high-value customers have different meanings depending on your campaign, but some examples are:
- High LTV
- Highest revenue per customer
- Lowest acquisition cost
- Fit a certain target audience criteria
- ABM (account based-marketing) - target accounts
Once the file is uploaded, you will be given the option to create a lookalike audience off of that group.
Step 2: Create your lookalike audience
Once your custom audience set up in Facebook Business Manager, Facebook will prompt you to create a lookalike audience. You will be given the option to create a lookalike audience using the custom audience as the source.
Select the geo-location of where you want the look-a-like audience to target (ie: United States), and select the audience size % range.
Pro tip: The smaller the percentage the better. Try to keep 1% for the most accurate match and to avoid diluting the audience segment, but you can go as high as 10% if there is a reason to broaden it.
Step 3: Use the lookalike audience you just created in your Facebook and/or Instagram ads
You can now start using your new lookalike audience.
Create a new ad or simply add this target to your existing prospecting campaigns to further extend your reach. You might want to test out something new in cases when you are trying to use ABM tactics and Facebook's platform-specific targeting does not support all of the companies, job titles, interests, or behavioral attributes that you are looking to target. Regardless, your new lookalike audience can help you achieve goals through a multitude of campaigns.
Final pro-tip: We suggest appending your different audiences in Facebook with current UTM strings (Google Analytics campaign URL builder found here) so you can tie these results back to your various Facebook audience segments. Note, this URL tracking might vary depending on what web analytics platform you use and how you track your campaigns.