Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences Helps Advertisers Find Similar Customers

Lookalike AudiencesFacebook is testing a new ‘Lookalike Audiences’ feature that helps advertisers to search out an audience similar to their Custom Audience in order to aim ads at them.

Lookalike Audiences can be made once an advertiser has uploaded a list of data from which the other audiences can be gathered. This data could be in the form of customer email addresses, phone numbers or user IDs to create their Custom Audience.

Algorithms of Facebook are able to analyse the Custom Audience data that has been created and then create another audience that will have similar characteristics. A Facebook ad can then be created and targeted towards this Lookalike Audience.

Information that can lead to the person being identified is not shared back to the advertisers and the information used to create a Lookalike Audience is only used by Facebook, not to be used for email marketing or other ad targeting. Advertisers in the beta testing stage have seen lower costs per action than when using traditional targeting schemes.

Facebook have said that while using Lookalike Audiences, an online travel site saw 70% lower costs per action and an online shopping site saw a 56% lower costs per action.

This feature is only in limited beta in the U.S. currently and Lookalike Audiences cannot be created yet through the ad dashboard or the Ads API.

Advertisers will be able to optimise the reach of their Lookalike Audience, meaning they could access larger amounts of people but be less precise in terms of their similarity to the Custom Audience. On the other hand, they could be optimised for similarity which will be more precise but on a smaller scale.
This feature could prove to be an influential opportunity for advertisers to achieve their goals and make advertisements even more relevant to all users.

CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said that: “There’s a big opportunity in front of us to make every ad that we’re showing a lot better . . . The biggest ways we’re going to do this are by improving targeting and relevance so we can show everyone content that they care more about and by designing better ad products that aren’t just about links and text and images. For targeting, I’m most excited about the work that we’re doing on Custom Audiences.”

Businesses will be more able to reach out and find users who aren’t in their database with the help of Lookalike Audiences. This feature would be more effective for advertisers rather than having them select their own demographic and target interest-based users.

What do you think about Lookalike Audiences? Do you think it is a good idea?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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