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June 27, 2018

Building Audiences Best Practices, Part 3: Lookalike Audiences

How to find people who are similar to your best customers.

Lookalike Audiences

So far in this series, we’ve covered best practices for creating Target Audiences and Custom Audiences. Today, we’ll cover Lookalike Audiences.

Part 3: Lookalike Audiences

It can be difficult to find new people who may be interested in your products or services; lead-generation is frequently time-consuming and expensive. Lookalike Audiences can help marketers find — and deliver ads to — people who have demographic and behavioral traits similar to their best customers.

Creating a Lookalike Audience

Before you can create a Lookalike Audience, you’ll need to start with a seed Custom Audience to indicate the types of people you want to match. Seed audiences must contain at least 100 people from a single country, and ideally between 1,000 and 50,000. The more people in your seed audience, the easier it is to find people who look like them.

Once you select your seed audience, you must also choose an audience size (on a scale of 1 to 10):

  • Choose an audience size close to 1 to optimize for similarity. Your Lookalike Audience will likely be small, with a high resemblance to your seed audience.
  • Choose an audience size close to 10 to optimize for reach. Your Lookalike Audience will be larger, but less similar to your seed audience.

Lookalike Audience Tips

To achieve the best results with your Lookalike Audiences, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use highly relevant seed audiences. Choose seed audiences that connect directly to the objective you want to achieve.
  • Experiment with audience size. Test Lookalike Audiences to see whether they perform better for similarity or for reach. Consider different sizes for different campaign goals.
  • Avoid broad Lookalike Audience sources. Seed audiences like “all customers” are not ideal for conversion-optimized ad sets because they don’t distinguish between great customers and average customers.
  • Audience quality is more important than audience size. Generally speaking, a seed audience between 1,000 and 50,000 people is best. However, having a high-quality source (meaning a seed audience made up of your best customers) is more important than any specific number. If the source is good, you may even be able to succeed with 100 people. Lookalike audiences perform best when a seed audience is significantly smaller than the pool that the Lookalike Audience will be drawn from. If your seed audience is very large or diverse compared to the total number of people in the geolocations you’re targeting, try segmenting the seed audience into smaller groups and then create Lookalike Audiences from each.
  • Use high-quality data. The more up-to-date your data is, the better your ads will be matched with the right audience.
  • Expand on a good source before adding new sources. If, for example, you have a good seed audience and have created a Lookalike Audience of the people who are most similar to it (say, the top 1%), consider expanding on that source (say, by incorporating the top 2% and 3%).

Modify and Manage Audiences

You can save audiences for future use, and you can modify saved audiences to test and optimize your targeting. Access to all saved audiences is available in the Audiences area of the Denim platform. There, you’ll see a list of all your audiences, the date they were created, the date they were last used, and their status at-a-glance. You can also click into an audience to view its history, edit or archive it, or create new audiences based on it.

If you’d like to see how easy it is to build, modify, and manage Target, Custom, and Lookalike audiences in the Denim platform, schedule a demo today.

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