If you are going Facebook ads alone, more power to you! I would highly recommend downloading this guide put together by my colleague Jeff Sauer over at www.jeffalytics.com. It is a great way to jump-start your education on Facebook ads in general. However, for this post, I’d like to touch on a point not directly covered in the guide.

So if you’ve been paying attention, you have heard the hype about Facebook’s lookalike audiences. Lookalikes are by far the best and cheapest way to reach the right people on Facebook who are ready to buy your product or use your service. 

What is a Lookalike audience?

If you aren’t up to speed, I’ll sum it up in a nutshell here. A lookalike audience is where you tell Facebook, “show my ads to people who are similar to these people” (i.e. similar to people who have already bought on my website, liked my page etc.). If your page has 100 likes, that is a small audience and you may not get amazing results if you show your ads only to them. But with a Facebook Lookalike Audience, you can show your ad to 10,000 people who are the most similar to those who liked your page.

Why is this so powerful?

Because Facebook knows so much about its users, their algorithm can locate the people most similar to your seed audience faster and more accurately than you ever could using interest targeting. Just as an example, one client who recently switched from highly targeted interest targeting to Lookalikes saw their Cost Per Lead drop in half overnight. Literally.

But what if I don’t have a seed audience to use for my Lookalike campaign?

This is the powerful tip I wanted to share with you today. I shared it with the owner of a successful digital marketing firm and she found it useful. I think you will too.

As we know, there is nothing more powerful than targeting already engaged users, and their lookalikes. What about for someone just starting out? It is more of a challenge to identify your target audience, and when you do, it will cost more in ad spend to reach them vs a targeted lookalike. For a completely fresh business, this is unavoidable. 

But I find that by the time business owners start looking into FB ads, they have oftentimes already been around a while. This means that you have communicated via email and phone with your customers. All you need to do is save the contact details of people who you have communicated with about your business and export it to use as a seed list. You can then use the sed list as a custom audience in FB ads, and then create a Lookalike Audience of your seed list. An easy way to do this is as follows:

  1. Open your phone and scroll through your calls list (use True Caller so you can see names/caller id). 
  2. Any contact that either showed interest in your product or service or actually made a purchase, add them as a contact (make sure they are saved in your Google contacts)
  3. Either add these contacts to a new Google account created expressly for this, or add them to your general contacts but add the word “seed” to the contact notes so you can pull out these contacts later. For further segmentation, you can add other keywords to the notes like “customer” if they purchased, or “interested” if they have shown interest.
  4. Next, go through your email contacts and do the same thing. For every one you interacted with who is a customer or potential customer, add them as a contact with the relevant keywords in your contact notes.
  5. Now, you are ready to export. Go to Google Contacts, click on More in the left side menu, and click on export. Your contacts will download as a CSV which you can open in excel.
  6. Open the file in Excel and navigate to the “Notes” column. Click on Data on the top, then select Filter & Sort. Search the word “seed” to pull up all the contacts you just saved. Select all and paste them into a new sheet. 

Now, you have your seed list!

To get started right now, you can create your custom lookalike audience right in the ad manager when creating a new campaign.