Why you Should be Using Lookalike Audiences in your Lead-Gen Strategy

Time to gird up them loins, and strap on your marketing saddles, because we’re about to get in our paid marketing bag right now.

If there’s one conversation we’ve had many times, it’s CMOs talking to us about generating more leads. With the current limitations on ad targeting, it’s harder and harder to find quality leads that pass the sales team’s sniff test. Basically, if your sales team complains about the quality (and quantity) of the leads your marketing department brings in, you’ll want to pay attention.

How can your marketing team make your sales team happy? Lookalike audiences.

What are lookalike audiences?

A lookalike audience shares similar characteristics to your existing customers. This makes them an ideal way to help your ads reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business.

They’re also pretty easy to set up.

If you create a lookalike audience based on a list of qualified leads, Facebook (and other social media platforms) can find people with similar demographics and interests to those of your existing customers. Then your ads get shown to those people (and not your existing customers, so you won’t be bothering them, or burning ad budget). Lookalike audience targeting works extremely well for both B2C and lead-based businesses. But, if your business model is focused on lead generation, lookalike audiences can be a gamechanger.

When should I use lookalike audiences?

You should utilize lookalike audiences if you know what you’re selling and have a detailed list of past customers who have purchased that thing. For example – let’s say you’re selling personal loans, and you want to make sure the leads you bring to your sales team are high quality. If you have a list of customers who are “Sales Qualified Leads” (meaning the sales team loves these potential customers/clients, and they’re easy to close), dump that list into a lookalike audience, and watch the magic happen.

This strategy works well for businesses that have a hard time getting past online advertising regulations. Think:

  • Loan originators
  • Financial institutions
  • Credit card companies
  • Refinancing or HELOCs

This strategy also works super well for those who have a very niche audience that is hard to get in front of. Think:

  • Medical device companies
  • Medical technology companies
  • Cyber security companies
  • B2B SaaS companies
  • Early-to-market startups creating a new industry

What are Facebook lookalike audiences?

Basically, Facebook is what made lookalike audiences famous. They’re the main platform people think of when they think “lookalike audience.” Here’s the cool thing about Facebook: You can leverage users from different sources as a basis, finding them by phone numbers, email, or other sources, so it makes the tool as flexible as possible.

PRO TIP: To create a lookalike audience, your custom audience needs to have at least 100 people. So if you don’t have enough people for a custom audience based on a product page, you could always create a custom audience that includes visits to all product pages or all pages on your website.

Can I use lookalike audiences on other platforms?

Yup! You can do the same thing with Google Ads. They just call it “similar audiences.”  You can add a list of customer emails very similar to Facebook. To find similar audiences, Google Ads looks at the millions of people searching on Google. The only difference is you need to have remarketing enabled in Google Ads. The system will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences. Then, once that’s taken care of, you can start running.

Success with Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences can be wildly successful. Because the audience you’re showing ads to are just like those that became quality leads for you, the odds are engagement and sales will vastly outperform static ads. In fact, you can see up to 170% growth in sales when using lookalike audiences (coupled with some other wand-waving magical PPC strategies). One customer had to hire new sales reps just to keep up with the quality lead growth that stemmed from strategies that leveraged lookalike audiences.

Make sure you hit us up to see how we can leverage lookalike audiences to scale your leads and help you hit your lead gen goals.