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Lookalikes: What is it? Why is it important in marketing?

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Lookalikes: What is it? Why is it important in marketing?

People with similar characteristics are more likely to adopt the same behaviour. Based on this principle, organisations define similar audiences to better target their prospects. This is known as lookalike audiences. In focus.

What does Lookalike mean?

“Lookalike” refers to an exact resemblance between two people, whether in terms of physical appearance, history or personality.

It can be a person, but it can also be an object, a feature, a computer file, a web page, etc.

This expression is particularly used in the field of marketing. The idea is to target prospects whose behaviour is similar to that of a company’s current customers. These are lookalike audiences.

Good to know: be careful not to confuse lookalike with retargeting. Retargeting consists of detecting a visitor who has consulted a website or a product sheet, and then offering them targeted advertising when they visit another site.

How do you create lookalike audiences?

The first step in creating similar audiences is to identify loyal and committed customers. In other words, those who interact regularly with the brand (through purchases, comments on social networks, recommendations to third parties, etc.).

There is no point in analysing the behaviour of all customers, only those who remain over the long term. The lookalike audience should therefore enable you to find your ideal customer (not just the one who is just passing through).

Next, we need to collect data on their characteristics:

  • socio-demographic data (age, gender, place of residence, family situation, etc.);
  • cultural data (interests, level of education, profession, etc.);
  • consumer behaviour and habits.

Several sources can be used to collect this data, including information from the website, social networks, CRM, customer feedback, etc.

Once all the data has been collected, the next step is to find out what customers have in common. Are they young women, ambitious executives, committed students, ….? By combining all these commonalities, it is possible to create a typical profile: that of the ideal customer.

By doing this, the company ensures that the new prospects match its brand image and objectives.

What are similar audiences used for?

The lookalike audience technique is particularly useful for optimising your marketing strategy, such as advertising (on Google Ads, Facebook ADs, Twitter, etc.), SMS campaigns, email campaigns, etc.

Although most of the time, lookalike audiences are used for online advertising. The idea is to send sponsored links to Internet users with the same profile as the audience defined beforehand. There are many advantages to this strategy.

Acquiring new customers

Thanks to lookalike audiences, you can broaden your customer base by broadcasting your message to a new, qualified target audience.

Despite sharing common characteristics, consumers do not necessarily access the same type of content. Thanks to the lookalike strategy, the company can make itself visible to prospects who didn’t know it before.

Generate qualified traffic

By advertising to a target that is potentially interested in what they have to offer, brands can generate more qualified traffic to their website.

And with good reason: the lookalike audience has the same characteristics as existing customers.

They are therefore more likely to click on sponsored links, or even to buy the brand’s products and/or services.

Expanding into a new market

The idea of the lookalike technique is to make yourself visible to an audience that does not yet know the brand, but which may be interested in what it has to offer. For companies that are already well established in a given market, visibility is not necessarily a problem.

On the other hand, if they wish to expand into a new market (particularly abroad), it is entirely possible to use this strategy.


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Things to remember

  • The lookalike strategy involves identifying an audience with similar characteristics to existing customers.
  • By doing so, the company improves its visibility and conversion rate.
  • But to take advantage of this, they need to know their existing customers inside out.

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