How to Create a Lookalike Audience & Campaign? [in 2021]

Are your cold Facebook audiences starting to get ad fatigue? Is your CPM getting higher and you can’t find new interests or behaviors that would provide you with profitable ad sets? Then you have to start to create Lookalike Audiences which is a very effective way to find new untapped audiences who are open and responsive to your offers.

In this short tutorial, we will show you the step by step process of creating a Facebook Lookalike Audience and also how to make a Lookalike Audience campaign from these audiences.

If you want to learn more about Facebook Lookalike Audiences in general, we have a full beginner guide where we go over the details of:

  • What is a Facebook LAA,
  • How does Facebook Lookalike Audience work
  • Most effective Facebook Lookalike Audiences, and other LAAs you have not used yet but could test them.
  • Other concepts and techniques related to Facebook LAA.

You can also check out this great tutorial, if you want a detailed overview of Facebook Lookalike Audiences:

How to create a Facebook Lookalike Audience?

Creating a Facebook Lookalike Audience (LAA or LLA) is actually a very easy process once you have set up your Custom Audience from which you want to create the Lookalike Audiences.

We have a separate guide on the type of Custom Audiences you can create and how you should set them up, so make sure to create the right custom audience before starting the following process:

  1. Go to the Audiences page of the Ad Account where you want to create the Lookalike Campaign

Facebook Business Manager Audiences2. Click on Custom Audience then on Lookalike Audiences

Create Audience - Lookalike Audience

3. In the first field, you have to choose the source audience for the Lookalike Audience.

4. In the second step, you have to choose the country you would like to use for the Lookalike Audience.

Select Audience Location - Facebook Lookalike Audience

5. In the last step, you can specify the size of your Lookalike Audience and how many lookalike audiences you would like to create

Select Audience Size - Facebook Lookalike Audience

As further explanation is necessary for steps 3, 4 and 5, we will explain these in more detail so that you know what options you have at these steps.

Choose the source audience for making Facebook Lookalike Audience

As the first step of defining the Lookalike Audience, you have to choose the source audience from which Facebook will create the Lookalike Audience(s).

You basically have two options here. You can choose Value-Based Sources (when it makes sense) that is the preferred option by Facebook as then they can also use the lifetime value (LTV) of the customers to find lookalike customers.

The other option is to choose Custom Audiences that don’t contain any information regarding the value of the users.

If you haven’t created your Custom Audience yet which you would like to use as a source audience, you can also click on Create New Source and choose between Custom Audience and Custom Audience with LTV. 

Create new Source for Lookalike Audience

Once you click on any of it, you will be taken to the window where you can create a new Custom Audience with LTV or without it.

Audience Location for creating Lookalike Audiences

As for the location of the Lookalike Audiences you can only choose countries, so neither any regions nor cities can be chosen. 

Although if you want to only target a city with a Lookalike Audience, you can also do that easily. Just simply choose the country where the city is located, and in the ad set creating process, limit the targeting to that city only.

However, you have the option to add multiple countries for a Lookalike Audience. This is especially useful if you are targeting multiple smaller countries and the source audience size would not be big enough to be very useful for Facebook. (less than 500 users).

Select Audience Size for Facebook Lookalike

The last thing you have to do is to define the size of your Facebook Lookalike Audience.

First, you have to define how many Lookalike Audiences you would like to create from the audience source you have defined above. You can save time if you create all of the LLAs at once or you can create them separately. (then the whole process has to be repeated).

Then you can use the slider to create the size of the LLAs. The best practice is to create audiences with similar size as when you are creating separate ad sets from these a more consistent performance can be expected if the audiences have similar a similar size.

Select Audience Size - Facebook Lookalike Audience

Facebook will also share with you the estimated size of the Lookalike Audiences you would create. As you can see, in this case the size of the 5 Lookalike audience we have created from American and British users is estimated to be 5.68 million people per Lookalike Audience.

These are very large audiences, so additional gender or age targeting could be added at the ad set level when you would set up the FB campaigns with these LAAs.

How to make a Facebook Lookalike Audience campaign?

Once your Lookalike audience is set up, it is very easy to start a campaign that is targeting Lookalike Audiences. The process is actually almost the same as with a campaign that is targeting an interest or behavior-based audience or uses broad targeting. Although keep in mind that Facebook might need to 6-24 hours to create the Lookalike audience, so you might have to wait a little before the actual campaign setup.

As Lookalike Audiences are generally different from other kinds of targeting options, it is a best practice not to mix Lookalike Audiences with interest or behavior based audiences.

As an example, let’s say we want to run a Purchase Lookalike Campaign with a Conversion objective where we want to target 1 to 5% LAA of our Purchasers.

So the only part of the Facebook ad campaign creation process we have to pay attention to is the ad set setup process. Here we have to add the 1% Lookalike Audience in the Custom Audience section.

To create a nested Lookalike campaign, just duplicate the ad set four times and change the ad sets Lookalike Audiences to 2, 3, 4 and 5%. This way, you can make sure that the ad sets do not overlap each other which won’t result in auction overlap that could cause your ads to have way higher CPM.

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