In this blog, I will share some great LinkedIn targeting tips, which will help you to:

  • create better-performing LinkedIn ads
  • narrow down your audience
  • save some money on LinkedIn ads (which might get super expensive)

Why LinkedIn ads?

LinkedIn is one of the leaders for “digital trust” among other social networks.

Linkedin digital trust

Recently, LinkedIn suddenly became a “hot thing” in online advertising.

This social site, acquired by Microsoft, added a lot of new features. The LinkedIn audience increased and became super valuable, especially for B2B or enterprise companies and startups.

Only in LinkedIn, you can narrow down your targeting to specific work-related details. Even Facebook ads lag behind – as people usually don’t tell a lot about their work on Facebook – it’s much more B2C network.

Targeting tips for LinkedIn

Here are some fundamentals of LinkedIn targeting.

Basically, based on members profile on LinkedIn, you can target by:

  • Title
  • Company
  • Location
  • School
  • Field of Study
  • Graduation Year
  • Group membership
  • Company following

Linkedin targeting fundamentals

 

You can really narrow down targeting by Job Title and Function.

 

Also, target by Company Name, Industry, Size.

 

And here are all targeting opportunities on LinkedIn.

 

But, below I will focus on new, more advanced targeting possibilities on LinkedIn.

Basically, it is a paraphrase from this great Slideshare deck (but IMHO this deck was so good, that I just wanted to share it with you here 😊).

1. Matched audiences

Here is how you can create matched audiences on LinkedIn:

  • Website Targeting – Define target audiences and deliver relevant ad content based on the pages they visited on your site.
  • Contact Targeting – Build a customized audience by securely uploading your email address lists or connecting your contact management platform.
  • Account Targeting – Run account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, powered by LinkedIn data. Securely upload a list of target companies to match against the 8+ million Company Pages on LinkedIn.

2. Lookalike audiences

Similar to Facebook, Linkedin can create lookalike audiences.

When to use Lookalike audiences on LinkedIn?

  • With a high performing matched audience.
  • To find people who are likely a good fit for your company.

3. Interest targeting

With interest targeting on LinkedIn you can reach an audience interested in specific topics.

With interest targeting, you can promote some top of the funnel content and try to gain thought leadership on a specific topic.

4. Linkedin audience templates

There are plenty of pre-built audience combinations from LinkedIn.

When to use it?

To discover new targeting opportunities

5. Skills targeting

Reach people with certain expertise. E.g. you if you sell social media scheduling tool Buffer, you can easily target users with skills in a competing software – e.g. Hootsuite.

When to use?

  • When looking for people with specific expertise. E.g. users with skills in “Genesis Framework”,
  • When an area of expertise can span a variety of job titles
  • As an alternative to job site targeting

Examples

So, for example, let’s take communication & project management software for enterprises (e.g. monday.com). These are some LinkedIn targeting steps you can try:

  1. Use the Linkedin template to target IT decision-makers 640K members;
  2. Retarget website visitors with Matched audience;
  3. Create a lookalike audience based on well-performing matched audience.

Do’s & dont’s of Linkedin targeting

Don’t combine all your personas in one campaign

Do make sure you have well-defined buyer personas

Don’t hyper-target your Linkedin campaigns

Do add two or fewer additional assets in addition to Location facet

The optimal size of the LinkedIn audience

A LinkedIn audience should be at least 100K for optimal scale.

Start broad and then narrow down.

Use LinkedIn aggregated demographic reporting to learn who’s clicking ads and converting based on title, function, seniority and adjust your audience.

Of course, you can save your audience as a template for future use.

Analyze

Use website & demographic reporting to access account dashboard.

You can get data about professionals who clicked on your Linkedin ads broken down by job title, job seniority, company industry, job function, company size & location

A/B test your targeting.

By testing two similar campaigns with one small variation in your targeting criteria , you can see which combination is more effective.

Also, seniority might not always be what you think.

Very often, you should “influence the influencer” – person who will test products and influencer the purchase vs. person who just signs the contract.

Test various targeting criteria to see what works.

 

To sum it up

There you have it.

These new LinkedIn targeting capabilities look legit and you should definitely try them out.

However, in my experience, LinkedIn ads only work with kind of big budgets. In B2B expect to spend at least $100-$300 for one good lead (if you send users to a website). 😱

Based on my experience, LinkedIn lead gen forms (users convert on LinkedIn forms, not visiting your website) perform much better and are cheaper.