New marketing options from the main digital marketing services like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are all too frequent. Often they are simply “tweaks” to an existing service, but the method of targeting and payment remains similar.

However, I was struck by Facebook’s recent announcement of Lookalike audience targeting. If you missed the original announcement I think it’s worth “flagging up” that this is now an advertising option. It’s a new feature that promises advertisers more relevant ads through extending the Custom or Similar Audience targeting feature:

Facebook Similar audience

What is innovative here is that advertisers will be able to upload their customer profiles, referenced by emails or phone numbers, and then Facebook will target a similar profile of Facebook users based on similar interests, demographic data or location. This is potentially much more targeted than targeting by age or demographics alone, so I would expect that improved ROI from Facebook advertising would be possible using this approach. Indeed, Inside Facebook has examples of companies which have used Lookalike Audiences to improve cost-per-acquisition through this approach. So, it suggests that Lookalike targeting could be worth a look.

The other recent marketing innovation from Facebook is Graph Search which I described in a post on the ClickThrough blog in January. Unfortunately this is still only live within the US, but we will update you when it becomes available in other countries. It seems that now Facebook is now passing keyword information about visits to a site from Facebook that are prompted by a Graph Search, so insight we can expect to start seeing in our analytics. I’m still holding out for a keyword tool similar to the Google Keyword Tool or Webmaster Tools Search Queries reports that shows the volume of searches on different topics in Facebook. Until we see this it will be difficult to assess the impact that Facebook Graph search will have.

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About the author:

An acknowledged expert on digital marketing, Dave was recognised in 2004 by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of “50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have shaped the future of Marketing“. Dave is also author of five best-selling books including Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice; and eMarketing eXcellence.