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Facebook launches Lookalike Ad Targeting

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 20 Mar, 2013
Essential Essential topic

New feature offers to find similar audiences based on existing customer profiles

Value/Importance: [rating=3]

Recommended link: Facebook Announcement

This new feature from Facebook for advertisers promises more relevant ads through extending the custom or Similar Audience targeting feature to now include what it calls “lookalike audiences.”

Advertisers will be able to upload their customer profiles, referenced by emails or phone numbers, and then Facebook will automagically target a similar profile of Facebook users based on similar interests, demographic data or location. Inside Facebook has a few examples of companies using Lookalike Audiences who have seen sizeable improvements in cost-per-acquisition through this approach.

We had a discussion on this new Facebook Ad targeting feature in our Answers forum recently when this was first announced. There seemed some enthusiasm for it.

Marie Page said:

“I’ve been looking at custom audiences recently and am planning on using the feature. The Lookalike option looks really promising. The more targeted our advertising efforts the better, particularly to a proven segment.
Personally I’m really fed up with seeing irrelevant ads in my newsfeed. Very happy to see ads of relevance and find it strange that there is so much public resistance to what they perceive is a Big Brother approach. I found the freelance site People Per Hour recently as a result of a Sponsored Story (a friend is a fan of theirs) and ended up recruiting a freelancer as a result”.

Rhian Simms added:

"Facebook targeting is built on characteristics they think (or would like to think) reflect their ideal customer, but where they don’t have 100% data derived the profile, ad spend may be burned on either weak segments, or those that are just not quite relevant to the audience (but perhaps how the board would like to perceive them to ‘look’!).

In my opinion, providing it is clean and of good quality, recommending the data on which to make these decisions can only be a positive!"

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By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. My personal site,, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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