Social Media

Improve Your Facebook Ad Targeting With Lookalike Audiences

Social Media

Lookalike audiences are one of the most powerful features available for Facebook advertising.  Basically, instead of relying on your own marketing smarts to determine and target your ideal demographic, you leave the work to a fancy computer algorithm.  You give Facebook a list of your customers (or access to your website customers), and Facebook generates a group of people who “look like” your customers.  Because Facebook has access to huge amounts of information for each user, the audiences it generates can be rather sophisticated.

At Ideas Money Art, we have had great results with lookalike audiences.  Compared to other methods of targeting, ads using lookalike audiences gain the best click-through rates and the most conversions.

How to Create a Lookalike Audience on Facebook (from a mailing list)

This tutorial will focus on making lookalike audiences based on mailing lists that you already have.  You can also make lookalike audiences based on the group of people who visit your website.  In order to do so, you’ll need to grab a conversion pixel from Facebook (Tools > Pixels > (Make sure you’re in the “Custom Audience Pixel” tab) > Create a Pixel) and place it in the <head> section of a webpage on your website.

One other way to make a lookalike audience is to make it based on your Page followers.  I wouldn’t recommend this, since they’re likely not as good a representation of your real customers as a website audience or a mailing list.

Step 1: Go to Audiences in Facebook Ads Manager.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook


Step 2: If you haven’t already created a custom audience, create a custom audience.  Facebook bases lookalike audiences on pre-existing audiences.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

Step 3: Create a custom audience based on your customer list.

This means you have a list of emails, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, or mobile advertiser IDs that you can give to Facebook. Facebook will then try to match the information you give it to Facebook accounts.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

Step 4: Give Facebook your list.  You can either upload a data file (like a spreadsheet) or just copy and paste your list.

If you do have a spreadsheet, you may need to get rid of extra data in that spreadsheet so that Facebook can read it.  My suggestion?  Go into your spreadsheet and select the column that has the info you need (like emails, for example).  Then copy and paste that column of data into a new file to upload to Facebook.  Make sure that you “Save As” a .csv or a .txt file.  These are the only file types that Facebook accepts.

If you happen to have a MailChimp customer list, you can easily import that list directly from MailChimp.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook



How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

Although it will upload immediately, your list may not be ready to advertise with for several hours.  BUT, you can go ahead and make a lookalike audience with it.

Step 5: Now that your custom audience is uploaded, make a lookalike audience.

After you upload a custom audience, Facebook will ask you about “next steps” (see image below).  This is where you can go ahead and create a lookalike audience.  Click “Expand your Audience.”

If you decide later that you want to go back and create a lookalike audience, just click “Create Lookalike Audience” from the drop-down bar on the Audiences tab and proceed from there.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook

Step 6: Choose a country and size for your lookalike audience.

If you want to target people in multiple countries, you’ll need to make more than one lookalike audience.

The “size” of the audience tells you how strict Facebook will be when it goes about trying to find people who are “similar” to your list.  To find people who are more similar, choose a smaller audience.  If you care more about quantity, choose a larger audience.

Some experimentation is good here.  I test audiences of various sizes against each other to see how they perform. If you’re really unsure, I suggest start with a smaller audience.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook


Step 7: You’ve created a lookalike audience!  Take a break while it populates.

It may take several hours before your lookalike audience is ready to use.  You can check the status of your audience in the Audiences tab.  You can now use those audiences either by…

  • selecting that audience under the “Audiences” tab and clicking “Create Ad”, or
  • clicking “Create Ad” in the top right hand corner of any page in the business manager, and then, in the targeting section, click the text bar next to “Custom Audiences.”  This will give you a drop-down menu of all your custom audiences, including lookalike audiences.

Remember that your lookalike audience is based on the entire national population for the country you selected.  So if you want to make sure you’re only targeting local customers or customers over a particular age, you’ll need to specify those measures on top of using the lookalike audience.

That being said, I find that lookalike audiences tend to work better when left to their own devices.  You can run an A/B test to verify this for your own company, of course, but I find that when I try to add target demographics to the lookalike audiences, they do not perform as well as when I let the lookalike audience run without additional parameters.

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How We Create a Content Strategy For Our Clients

Digital Marketing Social Media

1. We work with clients to choose an overall goal.

Content strategy for lead gen looks a little different than a content strategy devised solely to boost search engine rankings.  First, we sit down with clients to figure out what their goals are.  At this point, we typically already have a budget, and we discuss how that budget can be put to best use.  Lead gen is the most common goal, but clients may want to combine a lead gen campaign with some components of, say, a branding campaign to build their reputation.  At this point, our SEO Manager, Taysir, might even point out that a blog would be a great way to boost search engine rankings.  (Of course, Taysir can be found on any given day beating his chest and yelling, “MORE CONTENT!” at the skies.)

Here are some of the most common overall goals for content:

  • Lead Gen (Focusing on the entire funnel, but ultimately, leads.)
  • Demand Gen (Building interest and awareness. Top-of-the-funnel lead gen.)
  • Branding (Building a brand and positive brand associations. Typically involves demand gen.)
  • Thought Leadership (Establishing oneself as a trustworthy expert in the field. Done well, this is a kind of branding.)
  • Search Engine Ranking (Creating content that people are likely to search for, and which supports your ranking for certain keywords.)

2. Then, we identify supporting goals that will lead to the overall goal.

In other words, we break down that big goal into its components.  If we’re going to do lead generation, for instance, we might want to use email marketing to generate calls or orders.  Don’t have a large mailing list, yet?  Well then, we might want a campaign to build up the mailing list.  And so on, and so forth.

Here are some common supporting goals:

  • Generate leads from emailing marketing.
  • Build up a mailing list. (I.e. Get people into the funnel.)
  • Generate web traffic from blog posts.
  • Generate web traffic from social media posts.
  • Build up followers on social media. (I.e. Get people into the funnel.)
  • Generate traffic to the website that is interested in

Have you noticed a theme?  The goal comes first; everything else comes as a result of that particular goal.

3. We pave a network of content—a series of interconnected pathways for people to follow—that will achieve supporting goals.

It’s not only that we make a list of platforms or genres in which we want to create content.  It’s not enough to say, “Okay, we’re going to have a newsletter, a blog, a Facebook account, and an Instagram account.”  We have to map out how those diverse locations will be connected to one other in ways that drive traffic and move users through the funnel.  For that, we’ll need clear CTAs (calls to action), and inviting, well-described links to other pieces of content.  Every piece of content should be a doorway to a wide world of more content,

An example:

A promoted post on Facebook can lead to a blog post on the website can lead to an email list sign-up can lead to email marketing can lead to more blog posts can lead to a price sheet can lead to an order form.

And that’s just one path.  A user might decide that she doesn’t want emails, but she does want to read 5 more blog posts, and you have to have clear pathways ready for her to do just that.  All the while, she grows more interested in the company and invests more trust in its business practices.  She builds positive brand associations.  A month later when she has a sudden need for your product, she thinks of your company.

4. Then, yes, we brainstorm content ideas.

This is usually the first step in a lot of the “guides to content marketing” that you find on the web, but it should really only be done after you have goals in mind and pathways to support them.  Pieces of content are like inns or way stations along a road.  Each should be enjoyable and well-built in its own right; otherwise visitors won’t hang out long. But ultimately, they should lead users on down the road, closer to purchases.

Brainstorming content is a lot of fun, though. We’ll have brainstorming sessions—sometimes even inviting the kids from the SEO or CRO departments, because sometimes they have good ideas, too—where we generate as many ideas as possible based on the kinds of questions, problems, and interests that your customers might have.  We cull the best ideas, and note which ideas are best suited for blog posts, emails, Tweets, videos, landing page copy, etc.

5. And then we get approval and get to work.

We send the content strategy to the client for their approval.  Some clients just like to know the overall shape of the campaign and don’t care about the details.  Some clients prefer to check every comma.  We’re happy with either approach (or anything in-between), so long as the client’s happy and their goals are being met.

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How to Add Review Sites to your CustomerLobby Profile

Digital Marketing Social Media Tech Tools

CustomerLobby is a review solicitation tool that is an excellent source for feedback and customer appreciation. One of the best features of CustomerLobby is that you can send your customers to review sites like Google+, Yelp, AngiesList, and Facebook. Great reviews on heavily trafficked sites will mean plenty of referrals, so let’s get started!

If you are a CustomerLobby customer, there are a few easy steps to ensure your account is setup properly.

  1. Login to your CustomerLobby Account
  2. Click “Reviews” and then “Settings”
  3. Select “Invitation Settings” from the Invites area
  4. Turn your Status to “ON”
  5. Paste your business’ Google+ URL
  6. Paste your business’ Yelp URL
  7. Hit “Save”
  8. Select “Auto Send Email Invitations”

Here is a short video of the whole process:

When you have finished the setup, your customers will see the following options at the welcome screen.

CustomerLobby Write A Review


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How To Add Facebook Comments to any WordPress Blog

IMA Life Social Media Tech Tools

Facebook is without a doubt the single most popular site that requires a login, allowing nearly 1.3 billion people to potentially be a part of your treasured blog. The benefit of Facebook is that you tend to share your real name and real photo, instead of hiding behind some pseudonym (I’m looking at you MySpace), which allows you to get a sense of just who your customer is, as well as giving voice to those who might be unhappy and need a customer rep to reach out to them.

The beauty of Facebook Comments built directly into your website is that most visitors will not need one more annoying login to leave a comment. If they are logged into Facebook anywhere else on their computer, their profile will automatically be ready to go, hopefully creating one less obstacle to engaging with your customer.

Let’s get started, first things first, you’ll need to login to Facebook!

1. Create a Facebook App by visiting, click Apps in the menu and then Add a New App.

Add a New App menu

2. You’ll get several choices on what App to create, in this example, we will be creating it for a WordPress blog, so choose WWW.

Select WWW for Website

3. Enter a name for your website and the website domain where you will be using the Comments tool.

Type Your Company Name

4. You have completed your Facebook Developer registration, now you are ready to move on to embedding the Facebook Comments code into your blog post.

5. Visit URL,

Here you will get the option of customizing your comments style and URL.

  • URL to comment on: Insert your desired blog post URL
  • Width: Leave it blank to use the default, but 600px is standard as well.
  • Number of Posts: represents the number of comments you will see before a “View more” link appears.
  • Color Scheme: Light or Dark, Good or Evil?
Facebook Style Choice

Paste your blogpost URL

2. Click that “Get Code” button just under the settings. You should be presented with a small screen similar to this.
3. Copy the first section of code. 
4. Go back to WordPress, click the TEXT editor of the post, then paste the code at the top of the page before any text.

Copy the Code

Copy the Code & Embed in your HTML above all text

5. Copy the second piece of code and place the code for your plugin wherever you want the Facebook comments to appear, most likely the very bottom of the post.

Paste Comment Block At Bottom of HTML editor.

Paste Comment Block At Bottom of HTML editor.

6.  Publish your post and check out your changes.

7. That’s it! Love/hate this article? Leave me some feedback in the oh-so-easy Facebook Comments below.
PS: If coding isn’t your thing, there are a ton of amazing plug-ins that automate this process for you. In order of simplicity to complexity, check out, Facebook Comments, Facebook Comments Master, and Ultimate Facebook.

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Free Images for Blogs and Social Media

IMA Life Social Media

Three hikers trekking up a snowy mountain

Mountain hiking photo from iStock

Images are not optional for any serious blog or social media account, but it can be hard to find free quality images on a regular basis.  These are the resources I use to populate our clients’ blogs and social media accounts when we don’t have our own photos.

Sites That Provide a Few Free Images on a Recurring Basis

Several stock photo sites put up 1 to 3 free images for blogs per week. I’ve made it part of my Monday morning routine to bounce through these websites and download all of the free images.  Over the course of months, I’ve accrued quite the stockpile of free, legal images!  Here’s the one catch: you must sign up for a free account to download the free images.  That said, you won’t be spending any money, so it’s worth it.  Unless otherwise noted, all sites allow you to use images freely for web-based purposes without attribution.

FYI: These are sorted very sorted in order of image quality, from best to worst.  Of course, quality varies over the weeks.


Quantity: 10 photos/month

Archive: Not available online, delivered by email

Subject: People, indoor scenes, cities, beaches

Account: Required, delivered by email


Quantity: 10 photos/10 days

Archive: Photos stay available forever

Typical subjects: Nature, cities, Apple products

Account: Not required

Little Visuals

Quantity: 7 photos/week

Archive: Photos stay available forever

Typical subjects: Nature, close-up/detail shots

Account: Not required, but you can have them delivered by email


Quantity: New photos added weekly

Archive: Photos stay available forever.

Typical Subjects: People, quirky details, building exteriors

Account: Not required.


Quantity: 1 free photo/week, 1 free illustration/month, 1 free video/month, 1 free audio/month

Archive: Photos stay available for about 2 months.

Typical Subjects: People

Account: Required


Quantity: 1 free photo/week, 1 free illustration/week

Archive: Photos stay available for only 1 week.

Typical Subjects: Nature, food, art, inanimate objects

Account: Required


Quantity: 1 free photo or illustration/week

Archive: Photos stay available for only 1 week

Typical Subjects: People, icons and graphics

Account: Required


Quantity: 1 free photo/week (occasionally an illustration)

Archive: Photos stay available for 1 year.

Typical Subjects: Nature, inanimate objects

Account: Required


Quantity: 1 free photo or illustration/week

Archive: Photos stay available for only 1 week

Typical Subjects: Icons and graphics

Account: Required


Quantity: 3 photos or illustrations/week

Archive: Photos stay available for only 1 week

Typical subjects: Children, nature, objects

Account: Required

Rights: Attribution required

Archives of Free Images

Skyline Boulevard at the top of a green hill with panoramic views

Skyline Boulevard photo from Wikipedia

I don’t tend to use searchable free image sites very often, because they tend to have terrible search engines and very few images.  You can try your luck, though, with places like Free Media Goo or Free Range Stock. These are my favorite archives for Creative Commons and public domain images:

morgueFile – Fairly large archive, searchable by keyword, freely usable

Flickr’s Advanced Search – Search Flickr by license, and you can find Creative Commons-licensed images that you can use with attribution.  An excellent way to get higher quality images for blog posts, where you can easily attribute them to the photographer.

Flickr Commons – An archive of public domain photos, largely historical ones from the The Library of Congress.  The upside?  No copyright restrictions at all.

Wikipedia Commons – Wikipedia’s meticulously categorized archive of images.


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