Targeting on LinkedIn Is the Newest Way to Grow your Audience

There are so many ways to define your audience that finding the “perfect” one for your company can be overwhelming. How do you know if you’re reaching the right group?

LinkedIn’s newly released audience targeting system could provide you with the right connections.

In early 2019, LinkedIn released an exciting new advertising model that uses three main methods to help expand your business reach and propelling your business further:

  1. Lookalike audiences, which finds people who look like the audience you already have.
  2. Audience templates based on commonly related characteristics such as job titles and skills.
  3. Interest targeting for the most relevant topics or themes to your ideal audience.

Here’s a quick introduction to how you can use LinkedIn’s targeted advertising to reach your perfect audience.

1. Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is similar to your core audience with one important difference: these individuals are not completely dedicated to your brand yet. But the potential is there because they have visited your website or engaged with your mobile app.

By enticing this audience through ads that reflect their interests or professional careers, you can expand your audience and grow. Those who are already engaging in mild ways with your site are the most likely to convert and grow your business.

Getting Started with Lookalike Audiences

The best step to begin this process is to find a specific starting point within your audience and develop the group from there. It’s important to not make overly broad audiences such as “all purchasers”. How would you know if they were one-time purchasers or consistent buyers? Identify your important customers.

After you’ve identified segmentation of your core audience, determine if you want to optimize based on similarity or reach. Typically, between 1%-5% of the target demographic will find you a group closely resembling your core audience.

For reach optimization, aim for anything near 10% of the target demographic. While you are targeting a greater number of users, they will be less similar to your core audience.

Why LinkedIn Lookalike Audiences?

What sets LinkedIn apart from other companies that help develop lookalike audiences?

  • Ability to reach farther with active users and convert them.
  • Scale results not just with a wide reach but with quality conversions.
  • Find audiences you may not have considered before.

With 500 million people actively using the site and 9 million companies, you have access to a huge pool of people to expand your audience from. This software was built on their information, where people are motivated to keep their information up to date so they can network for future job opportunities.

Only active members within your target audience receive the advertisement campaigns. Meaning you are more likely to get traction on your ad from active users that are going to engage. During their pilot testing, companies were able to tailor their ads to their desired demographic and received 5-10 times more reach while still having quality customers.

Prior to any campaign launch for your business, LinkedIn has developed a system that predicts the general outcome of the ad. You can then make improvements before it goes live, which results in even more success with your campaign.

2. Audience Templates

LinkedIn provides a variety of different pre-set packages regarding their targeted advertisements. They are based on commonly related audience characteristics such as:

  • Company size, name or industry
  • Job title or function
  • Seniority level
  • Schools
  • Degrees
  • Skills
  • Fields of study
  • LinkedIn member groups

Businesses can easily begin their reach campaigns but don’t have to spend hours setting up the specifics.

3. Interest Targeting

Interest targeting is the idea that you are serving your ad campaign to people who are interested in that topic or a general theme.

The initial pique of interest, followed by content that they engage with, helps create a receptive and responsive audience. In the future, they will seek your content, products and services.

LinkedIn ads offer interest targeting based on content that users are responsive to. Relevant ads and content match a user’s interests using at least one of the 200 professional interest categories, including:

  • Arts and entertainment (music, visual arts, literature, television, and film)
  • Business and management, (company acquisitions, business funding, and human resources)
  • Finance and economy (the stock market, corporate finance and financial matters on a personal, state, or federal level)
  • Marketing and advertising (market research, advertising strategies, and brand management)
  • Politics and law (law practice, social issues, and activism)
  • Sales and retail (sales channels, lead generation, and retail merchandising)
  • Science and environment (human health, social interactions and infrastructure, engineering, and consumer electronics)
  • Society and culture (religion, family and personal relationships, and social issues)
  • Technology (biotechnology, artificial intelligence, and internet technology)

There are also sub-categories within these broad categories. ‘Top’ categories will widen your reach, while sub-categories will find you more similarity.

Finding Your Audience on LinkedIn

Ultimately, customers care about their interests. They won’t purchase something they don’t like.

Businesses can shape their brand perception and appeal to the target audiences by associating ads with the interests of the people they wish to reach. You can reach many communities through targeted interest advertisements.

LinkedIn is a platform all businesses should consider utilizing when they wish to expand their core audience and get more traction and engagement. They have made ads user-friendly for both the business and the customer.

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