Lookalike Audiences: Increase Your Business Reach


In an earlier article, we discussed finding your target market through their interests by using Facebook Audience Insights.

One way to use this tool is to input your custom audiences and let it tell you the demographic breakdown and interests shared by your audience. You can then reach out to more people by creating new ads targeting the results of your research.

Website Custom Audiences

This strategy for growth has been an effective one for us in the past. But in this article, we’ll share with you one other way you can reach more people and that is through what we call Lookalike Audiences.


What are Lookalike Audiences?

Lookalike Audiences are groups of users whom Facebook sees are most like a selected custom audience.

Let’s use an example.

Say you have a van rental business and you have 10 customers who are all 30-year old males who are married with 2 kids and are interested in beaches and resorts near Manila. That is your custom audience of existing customers. You then go to Facebook and ask it to help you find 100 more people like these 10 people. Facebook will then create a group of people who are also 30-year old males who are married with 2 kids and are interested in beaches and resorts near Manila. This new group is now your lookalike audience and you can now reach out to them and offer them your products or services.

That example was a small scale version of what actually happens but it illustrates the basic concept.

Lookalike audiences are used by businesses to reach out to people who are most like their current set of customers since these people may be more likely to take action on your offers. This is a powerful tool you can use to continuously find people to bring into your business and gain their interest.


How to Set Up Lookalike Audiences

It’s actually quite easy.

First, you have to make sure that you already have your custom audiences ready. You can either upload an e-mail list of your existing customers or you can use website custom audiences if you have them in place already.

Once you have that set up, proceed to the Audiences tab on Ads Manager, select ‘Create Audience’ and choose ‘Lookalike Audience’ from the drop-down.

Lookalike Audiences

A pop-up will appear asking you for 3 things.

Lookalike Audiences

The first thing you need to provide is the custom audience you want to target. For most cases, the custom audience here would be your existing customers but feel free to pick any custom audience.

Next, you will be asked for the country you would want to create the lookalike audience for. For me for example, I operate mainly in the Philippines so I’ll select the Philippines as my location. If you’re looking to expand to a different country, you can select a different country here.

Previously, you can only select one location and it had to be a country. Facebook now is slowly rolling out the ability to target multiple countries and even specific regions.

The last thing that will be asked is the audience size and this will differ depending on the total population of the selected location(s). You get to choose between creating 1-10% of the total population. For example, for the Philippines with a little over 60 Million active Facebook users, I can create a lookalike audience of about 600,000 People – 6 Million People.

My personal recommendation is that you go for the 1% because these are the people who are the most like the people in your custom audiences. By increasing the audience size, the group gets broader and less similar to your custom audience.

Lookalike Audiences

Once you’ve selected, click on ‘Create Audience’ and it will start to populate. Give it about 30 minutes and it will be ready for use.


How To Use Lookalike Audiences

The main use of Lookalike audiences is for businesses to be able to expand their reach to more people who are likely to take action on your offers.

This makes the process of audience researching so much easier because you’re asking Facebook to find the people for you.

One of the great things about it is that it updates itself. As your custom audiences grow, Facebook gets more data on them and it continuously searches for people who are more similar to your target custom audience.

Here are the 4 lookalike audiences I personally have found much success with:

  • Lookalike audience of people who have purchased before
  • Lookalike audience of people who engage with my business and my posts
  • Lookalike audience of the top 5% most active users on my site
  • Lookalike audience of the fans of my business page

If you want to get very specific, you can even choose to add in additional targeting such as targeting people in your lookalike audience who are interested in your competitors. Don’t limit yourself to just targeting your lookalike audience. Feel free to narrow them down by their demographics, interests and behaviors.


Lookalike audiences help take out the guesswork in audience research if you already have a reliable custom audience which is rich in data. If you are just starting out and you don’t have well-defined custom audiences yet, you may want to hold off on lookalike audiences first.

If there is any confusion on the concept of lookalike audiences and how they work, fee free to reach me by commenting, e-mailing or sending me a message on my Facebook Business Page and I’ll be happy to help out.


Facebook Ads Targeting Research | How To Use Facebook Audience Insights

How To Use Facebook Audience Insights

One of the reasons why I personally find Facebook to be a really good advertising platform is because of its ability to target specific groups of people depending on their interests and behavior.

You can choose to target specific genders and ages of people from a particular country or city you choose.

You can choose to target people who are interested in the space or niche your business is in. Sometimes, you can even choose to target people who are interested in your competitors.

Related: Finding Your Customers on Facebook | 5 Ways to Find Your Target Market on Facebook

Facebook has a lot of different targeting options for you, as an advertiser, to choose from. The key is the find the specific characteristics of your particular audience so you can get your message in front of them.

The question is, how do we find these particular characteristics and interests to target?

A big part of it would rely on how well you know your audience. How old are they? What do they like? Who do they follow? It’s difficult to just make assumptions about your audience so it’s really good to do your research as you set up your ad campaigns.

Luckily, Facebook has a tool to help business like you find how to target your customers. This tool is called Facebook Audience Insights.

In this article, we’ll discuss what Facebook Audience Insights is and how you can use it to help your ad campaigns.


What is Facebook Audience Insights?

Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool within Facebook Ads Manager which helps advertisers analyze their audiences. You can easily access Audience Insight from your Ads Manager menu.

How it works is that advertisers get to select audience characteristics and Audience Insights will deliver you more information about the group of people in that audience.

Facebook Audience Insights

You may either input an existing audience from among your created Facebook Audiences or define a new audience with demographics and interests.

Once you input an audience and/or targeting details, Audience Insights will present you with additional information about them. They will be organized in different tabs. Let’s discuss each one briefly.

The first is the demographic targeting. The first and most basic chart you will see would indicate the gender and ages of the people in the audience you have set. Other information which you will find here would be relationship status, education level & the industry they work in. For US-based audiences, Facebook Audience Insights also share lifestyle information.

The second set of data would probably be the one you would be most interested in. The second tab, labeled ‘Page Likes’, shows the general interests of your audiences. This is where you can find possible interests to target to define your audience. The first table on the page represents the Facebook pages most liked by the audience you defined sorted out by their category. On the lower half of the page, you will find these same pages ranked out individually regardless of category.

Facebook Audience Insights

The third set of data shows the location information of your defined audience. If you target multiple countries, this tab will show you the percentage breakdown of those countries. But if you targeting one country, you’ll see broken down data by city. If it helps, you can also see language breakdown.

Facebook Audience Insights

The fourth set of data you can see in Audience Insights is the Activity tab. This shows how your audience engages with Facebook and the posts on their news feed on average. These engagement metrics include comments, likes and shares. It also shows the breakdown of devices used to access Facebook.

The final 2 tabs show Household and Purchase behavior but this data is limited to audiences in the US. Maybe in the future, Facebook will be able to gather more data from the rest of the world. This way, advertisers everywhere will have access to this information for the country they are from.


How to Use Facebook Audience Insights

There are 2 main ways to use Facebook Audience Insights.

The first is to help businesses analyze their custom audiences.

Custom audiences are groups of people defined by how they have interacted with your business. This interaction can be through your website, your Facebook page or your posts. It can even be data from your actual operations like your customer database.

Related: Facebook Audiences: Understanding How They Work

If you’ve collected data from all your past customers saved up in an excel file, you can upload them all to Facebook and put them all in a custom audience.

Another way is to create Website Custom Audiences of the people who have taken action on your website.

Once you have your custom audiences, you can input them on the ‘Custom Audience’ Field on the left side of Audience Insights.

Facebook Audience Insights

If Facebook has enough data, it will show you the information about your custom audiences and will give you insight about your audiences. Facebook will let you know if it doesn’t have enough data.

Facebook Audience Insights

You can then use this information to find more people who are like your current customers or you can use it to craft a specific offer or message to your audience based on their interests.

The second way to use Facebook Audience Insights is to find interests to target your audience with when setting up your campaigns.

For illustration purposes, let’s say we’re selling basketball gear and we want to find interests to run our ads with.

The first thing we’ll do is to determine basic information about our target audience. For this example, let’s target men ages 18-50 who are interested in the NBA. Let’s put those in the applicable fields on the left side of Audience Insights.

Facebook Audience Insights

We will be looking for particular interests to target for our campaigns so we’ll go straight to the ‘Page Likes’ tab for the information we need.

Facebook Audience Insights

The information we’ll see on this page will show us the most common interests of our set audience (Men ages 18-50 in the Philippines who are interested in the NBA). What I’ll do now is to take down all of the relevant interests shown in the tables. These are the more specific interests I can target for my ads.

Facebook Audience Insights

Next, I’ll want to scroll down and look at the top interests. I see that the top 2 and 3 interests are the top teams in the NBA as of this writing. I can use this information by creating ads which appeal to the audience’s fondness of the Warriors and the Cavaliers.

Another thing you can do at this point is to analyze a new interest you just found. In this example, I find that the defined audience is also interested in Spin.ph. I can then dig deeper on this idea by replacing NBA as the targeted interest with Spin.ph in the left side of the screen. This gives me a new set of results I can work with.

Facebook Audience Insights


The information provided by Facebook Audience Insights is very valuable and can help grow businesses by analyzing your current set of audiences. It has helped a number of clients in the ad campaign set-up phase and in the expansion of those campaigns.

Try it for yourself. The only way you’ll get the hang of it is when you actually use it. Also, don’t forget to implement your findings.

Good luck and as always, feel free to reach out for any questions or comments.


Website Custom Audiences: Grouping Your Customers Together

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Before reading about Website Custom Audiences, you may want to check out this post which introduces the concept of Facebook Audiences.


When dealing with people, whether in business or in our personal lives, we communicate differently depending on our relationship with them.

A certain action or phrase may be offensive to a group of people while it is normal and acceptable when said or done to another group of people.

Think of this scenario.

Would you be more likely to give a random stranger behind you in line at Jollibee for P100 or loan your best friend P10,000?

Though you would probably do the same, I’m assuming that you would be more likely to do the latter. A lot of it would be because of the relationship and trust you’ve established with your best friend.

It’s the same with business and sales.

Would you be more likely to buy a product being sold to you by a random stranger or a product recommended by a friend or someone you trust?

In the grocery store, would you be more likely to purchase a food product with an available sample which tastes delicious or one that you have no idea what it would taste like?

When selling products and services, it’s been seen to be much more effective for businesses to sell their offers to people who already have some level of trust and relationship with them.

With the businesses I’ve worked with, we’ve seen that most purchases don’t come during the customers’ first visit to the website.

Facebook advertising helps businesses not only sell to their customers but develop a relationship with them. This is done with the help of Custom Audiences.


What are Custom Audiences?

Custom audiences are groups of people who have interacted with your business, your website and your Facebook page in the past.

This is done with the help of the Facebook Pixel.

To learn more about the Pixel, start here.

Custom audiences help advertisers segment their customers into separate groups depending on how they have interacted with your business.

There are multiple types of custom audiences. In this article, we’ll guide you through Website Custom Audiences and how you can use them for your business.


What are Website Custom Audiences?

Website Custom Audiences are groups of people who have already visited your website. You can further classify these audiences based on what pages they visit, what action they have (or have not) taken, how much time they have spent and how often they visit.

The creation of website custom audiences allows advertisers to communicate with their customers depending on what they have done on the website.

For example, you can create a website custom audience of the users who frequently visit your site but has never purchased. For online stores, you can create custom audiences to identify how many people check out but do not proceed to purchase. You can then set up an ad campaign to talk to these people to remind them to purchase.

A favorite use of mine is to create custom audiences of people who visited specific blog posts which talk about a specific problem. We run ads to these audiences to promote other content or offers related to those blog posts which may be relevant to them.

Website custom audiences are best used for remarketing to strengthen relationships, build trust and to get your customers to do your desired action.


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How Do You Set Up Website Custom Audiences?

Setting up website custom audiences is quite easy and we’ll guide you on how to do it.

First, make sure you have your Pixel set up all over your website.

Once that’s set up, proceed to the ‘Audiences’ Section from your Ads Manager.

If this is your first time accessing this page, you can go ahead and select ‘Create Custom Audience’.

If this is not your first time, just click on the ‘Create Audience’ button and select Custom Audience from the drop-down menu.

You will see 4 different options from the pop-up menu. To proceed with creating website custom audiences, select ‘Website Traffic’

Website Custom Audiences

You will now be shown a pop-up where you will now have the opportunity to define your website custom audience.

Under the ‘Website Traffic’ Option, there is a drop-down menu which will allow you to choose from the different options you have. We’ll discuss them one by one.


Anyone Who Visits Your Website

This is the option you want to select if you just want to create an audience of people who have already visited your website regardless of how they got to your website. This includes even those who accidentally land on your page.

Website Custom Audiences

This is probably the largest website custom audience you will have.

All you’ll have to do is select your domain and indicate the time period of the custom audience. I personally create audiences for 180 days, 60 days and 30 days.


People Who Visit Specific Web Pages

Since the previous website custom audience option is too broad, you can choose to target people based on the specific pages they visit.

Website Custom Audiences

A good use of this would be to target only those who have visited your product pages and offer pages.

You can also choose to target people who have seen your pricing page since these people have already shown interest in purchasing your products and services by checking out how much they cost.


People Who Visit Specific Web Pages but Not Others

This is my own personal favorite because this allows me to reach out to people who have seen offers we make but have not taken the action requested for on the offer page.

Website Custom Audiences

I believe that when a person visits an offer page and does not take any action like to register or to buy, it doesn’t mean they are not interested. It may be that it’s just not a good time yet.

So identifying these people through Website Custom Audiences can help me run campaigns to remind them of the offer or to share content to help them make the decision to take the offer.

This is the function which also allows online stores to follow up with people who have abandoned their shopping carts even after checking out on the store.


People Who Haven’t Visited in a Certain Amount of Time

This function is more for businesses who want to reach out to previous buyers and customers.

Website Custom Audiences

You can create audiences to see how many people stop visiting your site.

Upon identifying and segmenting this group of people, businesses can craft specific messaging or offers to previous customers to get them to purchase again.


People Who Have Spent the Most Time on Your Website

Website Custom Audiences

You can also segment your top customers by identifying them based on the amount of time they spent on your website.

You can select from picking between the top 25%, top 10% and top 5% of your most active users.

I personally prefer reaching out to the top 5% as these are the people whom you can assume trusts you very much.


Custom Combination

Apart from these preset selections, you can create your own audiences based on your own definitions.

Website Custom Audiences

Part of choosing a custom combination is the ability to segment users by the number of times they have visited your website or specific pages.

Another function you can only do with the help of the custom combination option is to create audiences based on events instead of just URLs.

For my clients who run online stores, we have event tracking in place. This allows us to create website custom audiences of people who have added items to their cart, checked out and purchased.

Once you’ve set your parameters including the time window, all you have to do is label your audience and create it.

It will take a few hours to populate and be ready for use.

Once it has been set up, you can view its growth in the same Audience tab.


Other Uses

Apart from just remarketing, website custom audiences have multiple other uses for your business.


Exclude Them

Instead of targeting your website custom audiences, you can choose to exclude them too!

If you want to get people to make at least one purchase with your business, you can choose to exclude your custom audiences of people who have already made a purchase before. This way, you avoid annoying them by advertising to them aggressively even though they have already bought.

To increase your awareness and reach, you can even choose to exclude everyone who has visited your website from your ads so you’re sure to just reach people who have never heard of you before.


Create Lookalike Audiences

Another great use for website custom audiences is for advertisers to be able to find more Facebook users similar to them.

This is where lookalike audiences come in.

Lookalike audiences allow you to create a new set of people whom Facebook finds similar to the people in a custom audience of your choosing.

The most popular use of this is to create a lookalike audience based on your existing customers. This will make Facebook search for people who are most like your current customers.


Analyze Them

If you’re website custom audience is large enough, you can have the opportunity of analyzing them with the help of Facebook Audience Insights.

On the Audience Insights platform, simply select your website custom audiences and Facebook will tell you the details of the people in that audience.

Website Custom Audiences

You can get to identify their demographic information like age and gender.

What’s more, you can find what general similar interests your audience has. This will help you expand your campaign by targeting these interests in your other ad sets.

Website custom audiences are a great way to help you build up your relationship with your existing customers and users with the help of remarketing.

It also helps you get to know them better and reach out to more people just like them.

Having this function allows businesses to craft different messages and offers to people based on their relationship level with each group. And that is a powerful thing.

Is the concept of website custom audience clear or confusing? If you have any questions, feel free to reach out or comment on this post.

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Learn about the 4-step process we use to help businesses generate more interest, get more customers and bring in more sales. Download our free quick-read pdf guide and apply it immediately.

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Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Remarketing

Beginner's Guide to Facebook Remarketing

I’m an introvert so shopping in the mall is sometimes difficult for me.

Most of the time, I go into shops just wanting to look around. But then within 5 seconds, I see salespeople in the store look at me and walk towards me. I start to feel pressured and a lot of times I just end up leaving the store.

But that’s just me.

With online shopping, people like me don’t have to deal with people following me around as I browse the store. But once you leave the online store, that’s when they follow you around.

You may have experienced this if you’ve ever browsed hotel rates online or shopped on sites like Lazada or Zalora.

This is what is called remarketing or retargeting. I prefer the word remarketing.

In this article, we’ll share with you what remarketing is and more importantly, how you can use it for your business.


What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is the process of reaching out to people who have interacted with your business in any way. Whether it’s to purchase from you, visited your website, interacted with your Facebook Page, etc.

Here’s a parody video which shows remarketing at work:

In my eyes, there are 3 main classifications of people in relationship with your business.

The first group contains the people who don’t know about you or your business at all. In essence, they don’t know your business exists yet.

The second group contains the people who know about your business in any way, whether just off name recognition or the people who follow and support you on social media religiously, but have not made any purchase of your product or service. These are the people who are just either not yet ready to buy or who follow your brand because of the value you bring through advice and or entertainment.

The third group contains people who already purchased from your business.

If you take a look at these three groups and relate it to your business, you can see that usually, we tend to talk to these three groups differently.

For the first group, our intention is to get them to know our business and our services. For the second group, we talk to them about our product to convince them to buy again. And for the third group, our intention is to get them to buy again and advocate our products and services.

Remarketing makes it possible for businesses to reach out to the second and third groups and craft specific messages and offers to these groups depending on their level of interaction with your business.

This is very powerful for your business because the second group holds people who have already shown some level of interest on your product or service and it is much easier to sell to them rather than trying to sell directly to someone who doesn’t even know you.


How is Remarketing Set Up?

In Facebook advertising, remarketing is set up with the help of Custom Audiences.

Custom audiences are groups of people defined by how they interact with your website, Facebook page or app if you have one. You, as the advertiser, have the ability to set up the definitions yourself.

We’ll go in depth with custom audiences in a separate post but here are examples of simple custom audiences you can create for your remarketing campaigns:

  • People who visited your website
  • People who visited your product page
  • People who checked out but did not purchase
  • People who purchased
  • People who engaged with your posts
  • People who messaged your Facebook Page
  • People who viewed your videos

To set up these campaigns, all you have to do is target the specific custom audiences you want to speak to in the ad set level.

Remarketing Example

In this example, we are running remarketing ads to people who have visited our website and engaged with our page but have not purchased.

Actual Uses of Remarketing

The most common use of remarketing campaigns is to get users to complete an action such as to purchase. This includes what we usually see with online travel agencies like Agoda and Booking.com. You’re basically following the people who viewed your products and saying “Hey, I noticed that you were checking out this hotel but you didn’t end up booking it. It’s still here if you are interested.”

This is helpful and effective because oftentimes, we just browse for products but we’re not completely ready to buy. It’s not that we aren’t interested. It’s just not the right time. I might be at work or I might not have my credit card information with me at the moment.

It’s also becoming a trend where users browse on their mobile device but are much more comfortable making purchase decisions using desktop computers or laptops.

People’s attention spans are short especially with the plethora of information and content online. So if you do not run remarketing campaigns, you risk losing the attention of your potential customers.

A related use of remarketing campaigns is for cross-selling. Cross-selling is when you promote other products which you feel are relevant to your customer based on what he or she previously bought.

The message here is more of “Hey, you bought these yesterday. If you like those, you might be interested in these too.”

This is a good strategy to employ especially if you have a wide range of products. These types of campaigns cater to the third group of audience we talked about earlier.

If you have a blog, you can also use remarketing to craft offers to people who read your blog or even just one specific blog post.

Let’s say you have a popular blog post on how to pace yourself when running a marathon. If you have a product related to this blog post, you can run remarketing ads specifically to people who have read this post.

There are numerous ways to use remarketing for your business. It all depends on how users interact with you. Use remarketing to craft specific messages for people depending on where they are in the customer journey.


Not sure of how remarketing can work for your business? Reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help!