There are countless people on the internet right now in markets around the globe who have never heard of your brand. Tell you something you don’t know, right? But here’s the thing: Many of those people would be inclined to buy from you if you targeted them with relevant marketing messages. So, how do you reach these potential high-intent customers? One strategy is to build lookalike audiences for your campaigns.
In this blog, I share how creating lookalike audiences in Facebook and Google ads with call tracking data can help you increase your reach and drive more conversions.
What Are Lookalike Audiences?
Lookalike audiences are a segmentation tool that finds users whose demographics and interests are similar to those of your most valuable customers. They can help you scale your marketing campaigns, expand your reach, and find new high-converting users.
Types of lookalike audiences
Below are some of the most common types of lookalike audiences marketers use today:
- Website engagement lookalike: A lookalike audience based on people who converted to customers on your website
- Key web content lookalike: A lookalike audience based on people who engaged with specific pages on your website, for instance, the page for a your top-selling product
- App activity lookalike: A lookalike audience based on users who have taken a specific action on your app
- Facebook page engagement lookalike: A lookalike audience based on users who have engaged with your Facebook page
- Video engagement lookalike: A lookalike audience based on people who engaged with your video content
- CRM lookalike: A lookalike audience based on the most valuable customers in your customer relationship management system
- Phone call conversion lookalike: A lookalike audience based on callers who purchased from you over the phone
How Can I Create Lookalike Audiences?
Lookalike audiences can be created using data from your existing customers, or a “seed audience.” This seed audience can be comprised of anyone who has made a purchase from or contacted your company in the past. Attributes of the seed audience like location, demographics, and purchase history are used to create lookalike audiences that are also likely to be interested in your products and services and become high-value customers.
You probably already have a lot of data about your most valued customers, and you’re collecting more and more every day. That information can help you expand the audiences for your marketing efforts, discover your new best customers, and use your ad dollars effectively.
How Long Does It Take to Create a Lookalike Audience?
Facebook: Once you’ve submitted your criteria, it can take Facebook anywhere from 6-24 hours to create your lookalike audience. Going forward, your audience will refresh every 3-7 days (as long as you're still actively targeting ads to it). However, you don't need to wait for your lookalike audience to update to use it.
Google: After you’ve built your Similar Audience in Google, it may take up to 72 hours for your list to be created. Once it’s complete, you can start serving ads to your new audience.
Call Tracking Solutions Are a Rich Source of Audience Targeting Data
If your company makes a lot of sales over the phone, you’ll notice that the customers who purchase online may look very different from customers that convert on the phone. Higher-value, more complicated purchases tend to happen over the phone where the buyer can get specific questions answered. Point being, if you're only building lookalikes based on digital seed audiences, you may be missing your highest-value customers. Including data from your call tracking platform will help you build audiences that will drive the maximum value.
Here are a few details for getting started with building lookalike audiences using call tracking data on two key platforms for managing digital marketing campaigns: Facebook and Google.
Creating Lookalike Audiences on Facebook
- In the “Audiences” section of Facebook Ads Manager, go to the “Create Audience” feature and select “Lookalike Audiences” from the drop-down menu.
- Create a “source audience” and select the countries or regions you want to target. You’ll also choose your sources, such as website traffic, for generating your lookalike audience.
- Define the size of your source audience. It should include at least 100 people, although Facebook recommends a source audience with “1,000 to 50,000 of your best customers based on lifetime value.”
- Once you have your parameters set, Facebook will analyze the selected source audience to identify common traits among the people in that audience (for example, shared interests). After that, Facebook will find people similar to the individuals in your source audience who you’ll want to consider targeting.
You can create up to 500 lookalike audiences from a single source audience that you define with Facebook Ads Manager. You can also combine multiple lookalike and/or customer audiences to better refine your targeting. So, there’s lots of opportunity for experimentation.
For more information on creating lookalike audiences, including tips for preparing your customer data, visit this page in the Facebook Ads Help Center.
How to Use Invoca Call Analytics Data to Build Facebook Lookalike Audiences
If you are using a call tracking and analytics platform like Invoca, you have access to a wealth of first-party information available about them that can be used to create lookalike audiences on Facebook. With Invoca’s Facebook integration, you can easily create and continually build upon lookalike audiences based on your call and conversation data.
Here’s how it works:
- Invoca tracks calls, segments callers, and classifies call outcomes.
- Invoca’s data is then sent to Facebook using the Offline Conversions API.
- If Facebook is able to match a consumer’s caller ID to a Facebook profile, the profile will be added to the custom audience.
- The same custom audience that is built with Invoca data is then used to create a Lookalike Audience to find similar high-value consumers.
- Invoca will also automatically add profiles to a seed audience you’ve specified in Facebook so you can easily target lookalikes.
Our customers are having great success with this tactic. For example, BoomTown used the Facebook integration to boost their revenue by 20% and reduce their average cost per lead by 82%. Not only that, Invoca customers in industries spanning insurance and healthcare to telecommunications and travel have successfully deployed Invoca with Facebook to maximize the value of their Facebook advertising investments. Everything you can do in Facebook with Invoca also applies to Instagram and both are managed with the Facebook Ad Manager.
Building Similar Audiences with Google Ads
Google Ad’s Similar Audiences targeting feature, like the lookalike audiences in Facebook, helps marketers expand the reach of their campaigns by showing ads to users who have similar characteristics as their best-performing customers. According to Google, marketers can see 41% more conversions by combining similar audiences with Display Network remarketing.
Remarketing lists are key to creating and implementing similar audiences, which is why Google recommends having a remarketing strategy in place before you run similar audiences. You’ll need to set up a seed list (remarketing list) for Google Ads to create a similar audience list for your campaign. Various types of remarketing lists can be used to generate similar audiences, including website visitors, app users, video remarketing, customer relationship management (CRM) data, Google Analytics, and more. (“More” includes your call conversion data, as explained later in this post).
How to build Similar Audiences in Google Ads
Similar audience targeting is available for the Display Network, the Search Network, YouTube, Gmail, Customer Match, and apps. Here are instructions for building similar audiences in Google Ads for your display campaigns:
- In your Google Ads account, click on “Display campaigns” in the navigation bar (or click on the name of the specific campaign that you want to add targeting to).
- Click on “Audiences” in the page menu.
- Click on the pencil icon to get to the “Edit audiences” section and then click “Select an ad group” (or the pencil icon that’s next to it).
- You’ll see the “All audiences” box; click on “Remarketing” and then, your list type.
- Click the box next to the name of each list to select it.
- Beneath those list names, click “Save.”
You can find these instructions, along with those for Search campaigns, on this page in Google Ads Help.
Google Ads will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for creating similar audiences based on factors such as whether the seed list has a minimum of 100 visitors and which types of sites the visitors have browsed over the last 30 days. Google Ads finds similar audiences by scanning millions of apps and sites on the Display Network. It will update similar audience lists in real time using machine learning capabilities; the lists can adapt dynamically to changing markets and trends.
Google also combines customer affinity and customer intent so that marketers can build Custom Segments for display campaigns as well, and target prospects based on their interests and behaviors. This audience expansion tool allows marketers to create very specific or broad parameters when building custom intent audiences.
How to Use Invoca Call Analytics Data to Build Google Customer Match Audiences
Just like with Facebook, you should be using your call analytics data to build lookalike audiences with Google. Using call and conversation data from Invoca, you can enhance your digital marketing programs by targeting, suppressing, or creating lookalike audiences based on call converters or non-converters using Google Customer Match. Customer Match lets you use your online and offline data (e.g. call data from Invoca) to reach and re-engage with your customers across search, shopping, Gmail, and YouTube. Using the information that your customers have shared with you, Customer Match will target ads to those customers and other customers like them.
Audience expansion with lookalike audiences is one more tool to expand your campaign’s audience to reach just the right people — those who look like your best customers — while also optimizing your conversion rates and marketing spend.
Case Study: How Rogers Communications Builds High-Converting Lookalike Audiences With Call Tracking Data
Founded in 1960, Rogers is Canada’s largest telecom company, serving over 10.8 million subscribers. Rogers’ mission is to provide the very best in wireless, residential, and media to Canadians and Canadian businesses. Since telecommunications plans are complex purchases, the phone call is an integral part of the journey for Rogers’ customers.
Their digital strategy
Google paid search ads account for the majority of Rogers’ conversions, but they also use a variety of other ad types throughout the sales funnel. They serve Facebook ads, Bing paid search ads, and display ads to educate prospects and create brand awareness for those who are not yet ready to make a purchase. With Invoca, they can see each ad placement that ultimately contributes to a phone call conversion. This has helped them to optimize their media spend to drive more customers at a lower cost.
Building lookalike audiences with Invoca call tracking data
To replicate and scale their results, Rogers uses Invoca to build lookalike audiences. Invoca’s AI automatically identifies the most valuable callers who made a purchase — Rogers then feeds these users back into their martech stack to find similar audiences who have a high probability of purchasing.
As a result of building lookalike audiences with Invoca’s call tracking data, Rogers drove an 82% two-year decrease in cost-per-acquisition from Google paid search. They also achieved an 18% lift in net revenue from paid search campaigns.
Want to learn more about how call tracking data can help you build high-performing audiences? Check out our Facebook and Google Ads integration pages or request a personal walkthrough of the Invoca platform.