Are Lookalikes Still Relevant?

This is something I’ve been wondering for a while…

I know that some advertisers still swear by lookalikes, but I wonder if this is mostly out of habit and routine. We’ve been using them for years, and they’re something we’ve kept in our advertising toolbox. But maybe we don’t need it anymore.

In most cases, the reasons we’d use lookalike audiences are satisfied by different methods. For years, they’ve been a priority option for targeting cold audiences who are likely to perform the action we want.

Lookalikes Defined

Lookalike audiences, by definition, allow you to reach people similar to those who are closest to you (website visitors, email list, customers, engagement with social accounts) while expanding the audience into the millions.

Lookalike Audiences

They served an important purpose. Before they were available, we were left guessing with interests and behaviors. The creation of a lookalike audience helped automate that process.

Advantage+ Audience

But Advantage+ Audience kinda does this by default. Even if you don’t provide audience suggestions, Meta will prioritize conversion history, pixel data, and engagement with your ads. Aren’t these the things we’d build a lookalike audience around?

Advantage+ Audience

Even if you don’t trust Advantage+ Audience to work without suggestions, you could provide a custom audience of those closest to you as a starting point before going broader. Isn’t that essentially what a lookalike audience does?

Advantage Custom Audience

Even if you don’t buy into Advantage+ Audience, you could do something similar with original audiences. Select one or multiple important custom audiences and turn on Advantage Custom Audience to expand beyond that group.

Advantage Custom Audience

Time to Reassess?

I get that lookalikes are technically a bit more specific, in theory. You could find people similar to your paying customers, for example. I wonder if advertisers simply don’t trust the newer options as much as the tried and true lookalikes.

I’m just not convinced that lookalikes are any better than these other methods. I’ve mostly abandoned them completely as a result.

Are lookalike audiences outdated? What do you think?