Get a Better Grade with LinkedIn Targeting Cheat Sheets

June 15, 2017

LinkedIn Targeting Cheat Sheets

Most digital marketers can recall a time when their targeting strategy was about as good as throwing darts in the dark. Even when you hit the bullseye, you knew it wasn’t a reliable way to get results.

When marketers aren’t sure how to target their campaigns, the confusion often boils down to a lack of understanding about the audience, a lack of targeting options to refine the focus, or unfamiliarity with the platform.

That's why we introduced our new multimedia content hub: Sophisticated Marketer's Sessions. And to speed up your learning curve, we’ve put together some cheat sheets with essential information to jump-start your success.

Selecting a Target Audience on LinkedIn

Here are some highlights to get you started:

Establish Your Campaign Goals

Your campaign goals and the audience you’re trying to reach will determine your targeting strategy. This is the time to look at your buyer personas and establish your objectives for the campaign. Do you want a campaign that features broad reach to a relevant audience, or does it make more sense to pursue a highly targeted campaign that won’t reach many people, but will be laser-focused on a specific audience segment?

Your goals and target audience will dictate many of the targeting decisions for your campaign, so make these decisions before you tackle targeting. If you’re unclear on the audience, put your campaign on hold and huddle with your team to define it more clearly.

Understanding Your Targeting Options

LinkedIn offers a variety of targeting options that are unique to the platform. Newcomers may be unfamiliar to these data points, but using them is key to optimizing the returns for your campaign. Job title, job function, professional skills, industry, educational background, and company of employment are just some of the targeting filters you can use for your campaign.

Familiarize yourself with all available filters and use your buyer personas to dictate these targeting decisions.

Don’t Get Too Specific

It’s a fine line to walk: You want your audience to be relevant, but if you filter too precisely, that audience will be too small to generate meaningful ROI. In general, campaigns focused on brand awareness and upper-funnel objectives can afford to be broader in scope, while action- and conversion-based campaigns will focus more closely on a select group. Just make sure your filtering doesn’t get so narrow that it chokes the potential of your campaign before you begin.

Always A/B Test

With so many targeting options and filters, it’s hard to know the ideal combination. That’s why A/B testing is so important: By running similar campaigns with just a single variable changed, you can analyze how these changes affect your campaign performance.

Over time, the insights gathered from A/B testing have a cumulative effect, teaching you what works and what doesn’t, and helping you better connect with your target audience. The more campaigns you run, the smarter your LinkedIn marketing becomes.

These are just a few of the tips for engaging your ideal audience on LinkedIn. For more advice on optimizing your LinkedIn marketing strategy, check out Sophisticated Marketer’s Sessions.