Ad Targeting on LinkedIn Made Easy With 5 Helpful Tips

April 6, 2021

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Picture it: you’ve crafted the greatest ad campaign of your career. It’s well thought out, interesting, engaging, direct, and to the point. You just know that the content will be valuable and impactful. But there’s only one problem: you need to get it in front of the right people. If you don’t, it’ll be like the proverbial tree falling in the forest, unheard. So, what do you do?

Often, the most critical component of a successful ad campaign is effective targeting. No matter how strong your message is, it won’t do any good if it’s not seen by your target audience. Through targeting on LinkedIn, you can tailor your ad targeting strategy to reach an ideal audience.

Like any other tool, learning how to properly use LinkedIn targeting can feel daunting at first, but we’ve got you covered. “Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting” is an offering in the LinkedIn Marketing Labs suite of educational courses designed to help you understand the platform and make your ad campaigns more effective.

You can take a deep dive by experiencing the full course in the Marketing Labs, but here are five key targeting tips to take with you today.

5 Tips for Hitting the Mark with LinkedIn Ad Targeting

Targeting prospective customers on LinkedIn can be uniquely valuable because of two key strengths offered by this advertising environment:

  • Quality audience: When advertising on LinkedIn, you can reach millions of people, and with the right targeting techniques you can zero in on decision makers and senior-level influencers.
  • Professional context: Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn caters to professionals who come to the site to further their career goals. This is an audience that will be receptive to a relevant business-related message.

These five best practices help drive success on the platform, and are worth incorporating into almost any LinkedIn ad targeting strategy.

#1: Start Broad, then Go Narrow

The risk of starting too narrow is that you won’t gain enough audience data to inform and optimize your campaign going forward. We recommend starting with a scope of at least 50,000 members, and then gradually starting to filter down with more specific and exclusions, based on which segments are responding to your content. 

By targeting a broader audience, you might confirm your assumptions, or uncover some surprises.

#2: Test Small Variances in Your Targeting 

Running multiple campaigns simultaneously with small variations can unlock key insights. For example, you might run a campaign targeting Industries + Job Functions, and another targeting Industries + Seniority. Compare results and see which one is performing better, then apply this learning in the future.

#3: Target the Full Buying Committee

This is an essential nuance of successful targeting in modern B2B marketing. Buying committees have grown larger and more diverse over the years, with influence coming from various corners of an organization. It’s important to engage various stakeholders within a given account. Even if your end user is an IT professional, you may want to target job roles in finance, legal, and procurement so that you’re reaching everyone who has a say in the decision.

#4: Tailor Content Based on Your Audience

Even a well executed targeting strategy can fall short if you’re delivering the exact same content to everyone. Per the above example, are the value props for your service really the same for an IT user as a legal stakeholder? One may be more concerned with specific software features and functions, while the other might care only about compliance and cybersecurity elements. 

When you create and deliver content that speaks very directly to the specific audience you’re targeting, you take the next step in sophistication. 

#5: Save and Reuse Winning Audiences

Identifying your ideal audience is a process, often involving some trial and error. But as you start to hit your sweet spot, you can save and reuse audiences to replicate and build upon your success. This saves a lot of time in the future because you don’t need to start from scratch when launching new campaigns — you can queue up and tweak what has worked in the past. 

If you’re building campaigns for the first time, you can also take advantage of LinkedIn Audience Templates, which are prebuilt sets of attributes for personas like Event Planners, Doctors, Recent College Graduates, Millennials, and so forth.

You’re Ready to Get Started with LinkedIn Ad Targeting

If you want to reach a quality audience in a professional context, then LinkedIn is the right place for you. With the right targeting, you’ll be able to reach your most valuable audience on the platform with precision. 

We invite you to check out the full LinkedIn Ad Targeting course from LinkedIn Marketing Labs, where you’ll learn how best to match your message with the right audience, and ensure that your ads hit the bullseye every time.