Facebook is an amazing platform to advertise your product or business, but things can get a bit confusing and complicated at times.

If you know what you’re doing, Facebook is amazing.

But if you get lost in all the terminology like CPC, pixels, click-through rates custom audience and lookalike audiences, things get messy. So in this post I want to talk about custom and lookalike audiences.

Let’s start with custom audiences.

A custom audience is a list of people who have somehow interacted with your content, product or business in one way or another.

For example:

With the help of the Facebook pixel you can create a lookalike audience of people who have visited certain pages of your website.

Or you can upload a list of email addresses or telephone numbers of your customers and then create a custom audience. Facebook will then automatically check for matching user accounts with those email addresses or telephone numbers and create a custom audience.

Can you guess how this can benefit your business?

One of the best ways to use custom audiences is for retargeting. You can show Facebook ads specifically to a list of existing customers or prospects, or to people who have abandoned the cart or bounced.

But another great feature of custom audiences is that you can create lookalike audiences based on them. This is where things get really interesting, since you can get massive windfalls with lookalikes.

Here’s how lookalike audiences work:

You can choose a custom audience that you’ve created within Facebook and then create a lookalike audience based on it.

Facebook will then automatically analyse all the data points of the people in your custom audience, including their interests, age, gender and behaviour, and look for all the commonalities between people. In a second step Facebook will scan it’s entire database and look for similar people who match the criteria of your custom audience.

So let’s say you have a customer list of 1,000 people. And you want to find more of those perfect customers to scale up your business.

You could then upload that list of email addresses to Facebook and create a custom audience. Then you could create a lookalike audience based on that, and Facebook will create an audience of millions people who are the most likely to become your customers.

And finally, you’d run ads and target that lookalike audience and hopefully get a whole lot of new customers to buy from you.

Custom audiences are great for retargeting.

And lookalike audiences are awesome to scale up your business.

Both types of audiences serve an important role in your business, you just have to use them the right time and the right way to achieve the result you want. I use both custom audiences and also lookalike audiences in my businesses and my clients businesses all the time. And I highly recommend you start using them in your business, too.

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Posted by Till Boadella

My marketing agency Nexilitas™ and I have helped bootstrap startups from zero to six figures a year, doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the revenue of established businesses and broke two industry records with product launches. I have a track record of successful marketing campaigns for clients in the fitness industry, health industry, permaculture industry, motorsport industry, music industry and many other retail branches. I've built campaigns for celebrities, large corporations and many experts and "gurus". Think of me as the mastermind pulling the strings behind the scenes. I've seen what works and what doesn't work in marketing and business. And now I'm drawing the curtains and revealing everything I learned, without sugar-coating or hiding the truth. Subscribe to the Till Boadella Show on YouTube and iTunes.

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