How to Reach Your Ideal Audience on LinkedIn

Understand and engage the people who matter most to your business on the world’s largest professional network.

Getting your message to the right people on social media can seem like playing catch in the dark. At best, you can see vague silhouettes of the people you’re pitching to; at worst, you close your eyes and take your chances.

That’s especially true for B2B marketers. Most social media platforms don’t have the
demographic information to precisely target a business message.

At LinkedIn, we turn the lights on. Our members self-report their job history, industry, title, level of experience, and much more. We know that giving marketers access to that informationimproves the experience for everyone. Our members want valuable content, and marketerswant a receptive audience. The right targeting brings the two together.

First, you’ll want to determine your objectives prior to launching your campaign - who you want to reach and what you want them to do. This will determine your targeting strategy. It’s also important to research your target audience segments so that you can create tailored content thatspeaks to each of your buyer personas.

Start by Understanding Your Target Audience

Before we dive into the targeting capabilities of LinkedIn, let’s take a moment to stress the importance of understanding your audience. Your LinkedIn Campaign Manager dashboardprovides engagement insights and demographic data designed to improve your performance,but we also recommend pairing these insights with other forms of audience research. 

You won’t have any trouble finding plenty of good advice, tools, and tactics for researching your audience on the web, so we don’t get too in-depth here. Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with creating detailed buyer personas as a good place to start. 

Here are a few questions that can help you create content that speaks to each persona youcreate (a single persona is typically your ideal customer):
·       What are the common attributes that define this persona?
·       What common concerns does this persona face; what do they worry about?
·       What are the common goals and aspirations of this persona?
·       How can we provide value to this persona in advance of them becoming a         customer?
·       What does this persona look for online before they would know to look for my         company or my solution?


Find Your Target Audience on LinkedIn

Once you understand who it is you’re trying to reach, it’s about how to reach them, which means deciding where to reach them. Did you know that four out of every five B2B leads generated from social media come from LinkedIn, and 92 percent of B2B marketers leverage LinkedIn over all other social platforms?

When it comes to targeting your audience on LinkedIn, the advice we give nearly everyone is related to reach and delivery. When you target an extremely niche audience, you may see amazing click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates (CVRs) but your reach will be minimal. When you target a broad but relevant audience, you will likely see a high volume of delivery and conversions but perhaps not as high CTR and CVR. Before you start with targeting filters, it’s a good idea to determine if your campaign goal is to drive a high volume of conversions or to simply drive a smaller, more select group of people to engage and respond.

We recommend starting with a larger audience and filtering down your audience as you go. This way, you give yourself ample engagement opportunities and comprehensive data to inform your decisions.

Start with Audience Expansion

Every campaign started in Campaign Manager includes an “audience expansion” option. Select this option and LinkedIn’s algorithms will find additional audience members who are similar to those you are already targeting. When you’re just beginning to test and refine, use this option to reach a broader but still relevant audience. Not only does it expand your reach, it generates more data so you can make sounder decisions. Once you’ve started with a common filter such as geographic location of the members you’d like to target, add no more than one or two additional targeting criteria. This will improve your campaign’s reach. Read on to discover more audience filtering options.

Job Function is the broad definition of a member’s current profession. Job titles are more specific than job functions. For example, though most marketers would fall under the “marketing” job function, marketing manager and marketing coordinators would have different job titles. You can target them separately.

Once you begin adding roles, Campaign Manager will suggest other titles that may be relevant to your campaign. Job seniority is a great way to target members based on their potential decision-making ability within an organization. Also, consider targeting individual contributors, who are having an increasing say in buying decisions.

You can also target members by noting specific companies they work for. For those who’d like to target more than 100 companies, Account Targeting allows you to upload a list of up to 30,000 companies.

Primary industry and company size are other parameters here. You can also fine-tune your search by age, education, interests, and LinkedIn Groups people belong to.

Just be mindful of your overall goals when targeting. Ask yourself: Is my primary goal engagement, conversions, or broad awareness?

Defining your target audience takes time, especially for marketers who manage several campaigns. Speed up this process by saving your audience as a template. You can apply that template to future campaigns across any of your accounts.

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