LinkedIn advertising is a fantastic tool that, when used correctly, can become an integral part of any marketing strategy and allow for unique market penetration among a variety of industries and verticals. Below, we’ll teach you some of the key themes to keep in mind when advertising on LinkedIn.

Targeting

On LinkedIn, you can reach members using the following demographic targeting options:

The Demographics used for LinkedIn Ad Targeting.
Source: LinkedIn Targeting Playbook

 

Be Cautious About Using Age Tageting 

LinkedIn does not require you to specify your age when you join, so it estimates age based on the user’s first graduation date. Not everyone on LinkedIn includes a graduation year on their profile, so including age targeting may substantially reduce your audience size. Additionally, users may have followed non-traditional graduation paths and their age may be assumed incorrectly.

Years of Experience or Job Seniorities are better categories than Age to qualify your audience and ensure they have the knowledge and experience level you’re trying to target.

 

LinkedIn Tip - Combine Job Function with Seniority Function
Source: LinkedIn Targeting Playbook

 

Understand OR vs. AND Targeting

OR: Makes your audience targeting broader. When you add more audience attributes using the “+ OR” button, that means that your ads will be served to a user who falls into at least 1 of the categories you’ve listed.

  • Pros: This will increase the scale and audience size.
  • Cons: Smaller audience qualities may be overlooked. For example, if you included both industries of Nanotechnology (190K+ users) and Telecommunications (7.9M+ users) the vast majority of your ads would only be served to the Telecommunications audience.

AND: Makes your audience targeting more selective. By using the “+ AND” targeting button to continue defining your audience, you’re telling LinkedIn that the user must fall into BOTH categories, rather than one or the other.Creating Custom (Matched) and Lookalike Audiences

 

LinkedIn Tip - Start broad and narrow down as you define your Demographic
Source: LinkedIn Targeting Playbook

 

It’s important to note that unlike Facebook, you cannot retroactively create custom audiences on LinkedIn, even if your pixel has been active on the website for a while. As a best practice, it’s encouraged to set up a website retargeting audience for the main landing page as soon as you gain access to a new account so that it can begin collecting user data. If you wait to create it until the moment you need to use it in a campaign, you will only have one day of retargeting data.

Audience Expansion

Both the social media management team at AVX and our representatives at LinkedIn recommend generally keeping audience expansion turned OFF. Audiences should typically hover between 150K – 450K, adding audience expansion to an audience that’s already bigger than that recommended size could decrease your targeting accuracy and reduce ad-serving efficiencies.

LinkedIn Audience Network (LAN)

Generally, it’s best to keep LAN enabled. For example – with smaller audiences, this would enable you to reach members on other trusted platforms and increase reach frequency if it’s otherwise difficult to do so while they’re active on Linkedin. The only instance where we would recommend turning LAN off definitively is if the messaging is more sensitive and you’d like definitive control over the display network, not just the accurate targeting you’d otherwise get as well. 

Test your audiences!

LinkedIn Tip - Isolate Performance by making Small Changes
Source: LinkedIn Targeting Playbook

Bidding

Manual vs. Automated

When a brand first launches a campaign on LinkedIn, it’s recommended to start with a manual bidding method (Max Cost, Enhanced CPC, or Target Cost) first, rather than automatic bidding. This will ensure that your prices don’t fluctuate too drastically in the auction as your campaign attempts to stabilize within the learning phase.

See below for a bid type overview: 

Chart Describing the different LinkedIn types
Source: LinkedIn Business

Optimizations

Website Demographics Tool

The LinkedIn Website Demographics tool
Source: LinkedIn Ads Manager

This tool allows you to look at the breakdown of people who have visited your website during a specific duration and how it has changed over time. You can filter by specifications such as job function (used in this screenshot), job title, company, location, etc. This helps you identify what types of businesses are visiting your page most often and would pinpoint the best groups to focus on continuing to move through the funnel.

Reporting

When exporting a LinkedIn Campaign Performance report type, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Carousel clicks and carousel impressions will differ from overall clicks and impressions in campaigns that feature a carousel ad unit. LinkedIn adds additional clicks and impressions to carousel ad units since they look at the views/clicks on individual cards in the carousel rather than the entire ad unit as a whole. 
  • The metric “Total Engagements” includes reactions, comments, shares, follows, other clicks, social actions, AND clicks. If you want to have a general idea of non-link click engagements you’ll want to subtract clicks from that number.

If LinkedIn Advertising is right for your brand, contact our team to get started!

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