SHOULD I USE INTEREST TARGETING OR A LOOK-A-LIKE AUDIENCE TARGETING FOR MY FACEBOOK ADS?
To keep all things equal, I’m going to assume we’re talking about top funnel, cold traffic ads targeted to a new audience who is not familiar with your brand (because this is the Facebook targeting strategy I would recommend for this segment of your audience).
Look-a-like audiences are audiences that you create that look similar to the original source of the data. You can upload things like your email list, or use your Instagram fans, website visitors, website purchasers or any other number of data points to create these look-a-like audiences.
Interest audiences, are chosen by the person placing the ads, and based off of Facebook’s data that they’ve received about users. For example, if you are selling a camping tent, you could choose interests like “camping” “backpacking” “outdoors” “Outside Magazine” and “REI” as interests to target.
Both seem like pretty good options, right? And so many answer as to which audience you should use is, IT DEPENDS!
Look-A-Like audiences perform really well when the original data source is significant. So for example, if you run a Look-A-Like audience as and use purchasers as your data source you have a good chance of giving Facebook the data is needs to find people similar to your purchasers – thus reaching your ideal target audience – pretty cool, right?! When Look-A-Like audiences don’t work well, is when your original source is using a small or irreverent sample size. For example, if you have only had 50 sales ever on your website and you run a look-a-like audience based on these 50 people to the entire country, this is probably not enough significant data to make the look-a-like algorthin work. Similarly, if you don’t have a lot of purchasers but do have a lot of web traffic, and you run a look-a-like based of web traffic, you might not get conversion results because Facebook is finding people who look like they’ll click on your website, not necessarily people who will purchase from you.
If you are a new e-commerce start up without many purchasers or web traffic using interest targeting is a good way to gather high-quality relevant people, while you build up your data bank to the point where you can run look-a-like ads. As always, I recommend doing a split test to see what works best – it might not always be what you think it is. For both LLA audiences and interest based audiences, you want to make sure your audience size is at least 2 Million people.
I recently performed a split test, and my CPM (cost / 1000 impressions) for the interest targeted was $2-3 cheaper than my LLA audience. Both got the same amount of purchasers, but ultimately the CPC (cost/click), view contents and add to carts performed better with my LLA audience and I concluded the LLA audience was better for my objective, even though it was more expensive.
If you’re just starting out in the world of advertising, don’t be afraid to give interest targeting a go to build up your website traffic. From there you should use custom audiences to retarget your cold traffic aiding them towards purchase.