Discover Newer Audiences and Scale More Campaigns with Audience Expansion

August 15, 2016

There are many challenges associated with finding just the right target audience for your ad campaigns. You may have trouble delivering ads on a consistent basis, engaging new prospects, or you may have hit a “reach ceiling” and maxed out impressions that you’re eligible to serve to your target audience.

If you’ve ever experienced any of these challenges, then Audience Expansion can help.

What is Audience Expansion? With a single click in Campaign Manager, Audience Expansion lets you expand your LinkedIn campaign targeting to include even more qualified prospects who might not be on your radar -- but who might still be the kinds of professionals who can drive meaningful engagement with your brand and business on LinkedIn.

Specifically, Audience Expansion allows advertisers on LinkedIn to:

  1. Extend the reach of their Sponsored Content, Sponsored inMail, and Text Ads campaigns to more relevant audiences by showing ads to professionals similar to their original target group.

  2. Help you discover new audiences and take the guesswork out of finding new targets for your campaigns.

  3. Improve delivery of your ad budget by expanding your unique reach to even more qualified members in LinkedIn’s global audience of 450 million professionals.

While we released Audience Expansion last year, over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work to make the modeling and algorithm behind Audience Expansion even better. For example, Audience Expansion now identifies similar members based on whole profile information provided by our members, from their seniority to their job function, industry, company size, and more. (Previously, Audience Expansion had included only some profile facets when developing an expanded audience for your ads.)  

Next, our new Audience Expansion model also builds the lookalike audience based on members’ engagement history on the LinkedIn platform, such as which company content they interact with on LinkedIn. This means that when you leverage Audience Expansion on a campaign, our algorithm will expand your reach to more similar professionals who are most likely to take action with your content.  

Here’s how you can use the new Audience Expansion model to improve your campaign performance and delivery:

  • If you want to use Audience Expansion to accelerate delivery, avoid setting a narrow daily budget. If your budget is low (say, only enough to buy several clicks a day), LinkedIn will prioritize impression delivery to your exact, originally-specified target audience -- instead of an expanded audience. If you are having trouble expanding your reach even after using Audience Expansion, try experimenting with higher daily caps.

  • Don’t start with an overly broad target audience. The benefit of Audience Expansion will be marginal if your original audience is too large and undefined. We recommend that you limit your original audience to no more than 5 million members in order for Audience Expansion to work effectively.

  • Use negative targeting options to exclude undesired audiences. Audience Expansion makes sure that members with attributes that you explicitly exclude won’t be included in the expanded target group. Audience Expansion also respects your geo, gender and language constraints, meaning it won’t include members outside your explicitly specified geo, gender or language target groups.

  • Be a little patient and let the algorithm gradually learn about your campaign. As more information is gathered about the audience who interacts with your campaign content, Audience Expansion will do a better job at identifying like-minded users to include in your expanded target group.

In summary, Audience Expansion can help advertisers discover new quality prospects and automatically drive more of them into your marketing funnel.  We’ve seen strong results from Audience Expansion so far: opt-in campaigns on average are receiving a lift in reach in the high double digits, as measured by unique members and impressions. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend that you give it a try to help you scale your campaigns and discover new audiences. To add it to a new or existing campaign, be sure to enable Audience Expansion when selecting or editing your targeting screen:

Ready to try out Audience Expansion for your campaigns? You can start managing your campaigns in Campaign Manager today!

You can also “Laser Focus: 10 Ways to Optimize Your LinkedIn Sponsored Content” now to see how top-performing brands are finding new audiences and driving better-than-ever results.