Increase Your Market Share With Lookalike Audiences

How many customers don’t you have? – find out with lookalike audiences

That’s right, I know it sounds like a nonsensical question at first but think about it. You know, near enough, how many customers or clients you have but do you really know what percentage of the total available business that is? How many people out there could be your customer, because you provide the product or service they require, but are not?

The problem isn’t unusual – most businesses are actually only selling to a fraction of their potential market. Now, thanks to services provided by Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, including LinkedIn, it is possible to get a much more accurate idea of how big your total market is and how you can target those potential customers who, at the moment, are not aware of you and what you do.

Google “Similar To” or Lookalike Audiences.

One of the benefits of setting up Google’s Remarketing option in your AdWords account is that it enables you to build rule-based “audiences.” So, you could, for example, build an audience comprising of people who had visited a particular page, or group of pages, on your website. We would then know that these people were interested in the product shown on those pages. This becomes a “remarketing audience” and you can target those people as they move around the web, visiting other websites that are part of Google’s Display Network. When this happens you can then show them an ad that will remind them of your offer or proposition and encourage them to return to your website. This process is called remarketing, (by Google) and “retargeting” by everyone else.

Once you create an audience Google works a little bit of magic and creates another audience for you – its called “similar to (whatever you called your original audience)” You will almost always find that the number of people in these audiences is higher than that of your original group. That’s because a similar to audience includes people who have made similar searches to the ones who visited your website and those pages that were specified for the particular audience in question but did not visit your site – instead they probably went to one of your competitors.

This is where you can get an idea of the proportion of the total market that you are getting. If your audience for people who visited your pages where you sell, say, ballet shoes, is 1000 people and the “similar to” audience for the same criteria is 20,000 then you know that you are missing out on more than 95% of the total available market at that time. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have similar facilities.

How Can You Use Lookalike Audiences To Grow Your Customer Base?

You could just remarket to those audiences and hope that some of them are ready to buy. Statistically, some of them will be. But many more of them will not! So how can you position yourself to be number one in their mind when they finally are ready to make a purchase?

One way, favoured by Internet marketers the world over, is called “automated marketing” and makes use of an automated marketing funnel. You show an ad to the people on the lookalike audience but give them an option if they are not ready to buy. It could be anything, a free catalogue, a free discount voucher, free delivery, the list is endless. In order to get the offer however, the user has to give you their email address. Once you have them on your system, all tagged up with details of which audience they are in and what their browsing pattern has been, you can send them regular emails to keep them interested and to keep your name in their mind. Subsequent conversions happen at a much higher rate using this method.

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