Home » LinkedIn » How to do LinkedIn Ad Targeting? (October 2022)

How to do LinkedIn Ad Targeting? (October 2022)

LinkedIn Ad Targeting
Illustration by Fruzka from Ouch!

Wondering how to target ads on LinkedIn. Yes, you are at the right place to learn everything about LinkedIn Ad targeting.

You can target audiences on LinkedIn with multiple ad formats and hundreds of possible ad targeting parameters.

Right ad targeting gets you in front of very specific and often motivated segments of your audience, on the network used by 756+ million professionals worldwide in over 200+ countries.

Ad targeting is very important in LinkedIn because LinkedIn has the highest CPC among social media platforms. Effective LinkedIn targeting increases ad conversions while lowering the cost per conversion—the ultimate measure of an ad’s value.

In this guide, we will discuss the different targeting techniques you can use to improve your LinkedIn ad performance.

How to Target Ads on LinkedIn?

How to Find Target Audience on LinkedIn?

How to do LinkedIn Interest Targeting ?

How to Target Specific Companies on LinkedIn?

How to Target Business Owners on LinkedIn?

How to Target LinkedIn Posting to a Specific Area ?

Can I Target Ads to Specific LinkedIn Groups?

Can LinkedIn Ads be targeted based on device?

What to do after setting Target Audience on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn Ads Targeting Best Practices

We will discuss each of these in detail below.

How to Target Ads on LinkedIn?

First of all, before targeting ads, you need to be crystal clear about why you are running ads on LinkedIn. Once you are clear about it, you can target your ad well.

You might be running ad for any of the following 3 reasons.

Awareness: These campaigns maximize your brand’s share of voice through impressions.

Consideration: These campaigns encourage prospects to find out more about your business by taking actions. This usually translates as clicks that take them to a landing page, or other engagement such as encouraging social actions and views.

Conversion: These campaigns are focused on lead generation and allow you to track actions on your website, such as whitepaper downloads.

LinkedIn Ad Targeting Objectives

Once you have decided on the objective of your ad, now you need to target the right audience to display your ads.

Before proceeding further, you can watch some of the best LinkedIn ads of 2022 here.

How to Find Target Audience on LinkedIn?

The biggest benefit of LinkedIn ads is the ad targeting function that lets you pinpoint specific audiences who are most likely to buy. This helps you serve ads only to relevant users.

You can target an ad to LinkedIn members in numerous ways. A LinkedIn Ad Targeting Infographics is provided below.

LinkedIn Ad Targeting Infographics

There are 3 ways to find target audience on Linkedin. They are as follows.

  • Creating an audience based on specific attributes.
  • Matched Audience
  • Lookalike Audience

We will discuss each of these in detail below.

Creating an audience based on specific attributes

For starters, use LinkedIn to create ad audiences from scratch. Businesses can define audiences based on specific parameters such as:

Location: With members in over 2.8 million locales, you can reach professionals based on their recent and/or permanent location

Company: Company Name, Followers, Growth Rate, Category, Size, Industry, or Connections.

Create LinkedIn advertising target audience

Job Experience: Job Function, Seniority, Title, Skills, Years of Experience

Interest and Traits: Groups, Interests, or Traits

Education: Degrees, Fields of Study, Schools

Matched Audiences

These types of ads target members of your audience who’ve interacted with your business in the past. Matched Audiences help you to reach your audience who has

  • Visited a page on your website
  • Engaged with your single image ad
  • Viewed your video ad
  • Opened or submitted your Lead Gen Form
  • Engaged with your company page
  • RSVP’d for your LinkedIn Event
Create LinkedIn advertising matched audience

With the help of tools, businesses get a sort of “second chance” to win over leads who already know who you are. Here’s a snapshot of what you can use to create a Custom Audience, including a customer file such as your email list.

Lookalike audiences

Another key feature of LinkedIn ads is Lookalike audiences empower businesses to target new prospects based on their current customers. In short, you can target a LinkedIn audience that resembles your most loyal customers or people who’ve already engaged with your ad campaigns. If your LinkedIn ad strategy is centered around prospecting and awareness, Lookalike audiences are for you.

These goals will ultimately determine the direction you take with your ads, including the creatives and ad types that you choose.

We will now answer few of the general queries related to LinkedIn Ad Targeting.

How to do LinkedIn Interest Targeting?

Follow the below steps to do LinkedIn Interest Targeting.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Click on Audience attributes.

Click on “Interest and Traits“.

LinkedIn interest targeting

There you can see 3 LinkedIn ad targeting options – Member Groups, Member Interests and Member Traits.

LinkedIn Ad interest targeting

If you choose Member Interests, then select General Interests or Product Interests.

LinkedIn interest targeting Ads

Based on your choice you can see different interest like Arts and Entertainment, Business and Management, Accounting Software etc.

LinkedIn Ad Targeting General interest product interest

Now you have selected a target audience based on interest.

Continue with selecting the Ad format and placement.

Budget and schedule the Ad.

How to Target Specific Companies on LinkedIn?

Follow the below steps to target specific companies on LinkedIn.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Click on Audience attributes.

There you can see 3 LinkedIn ad targeting options – Member Groups, Member Interests and Member Traits.

linkedin company targeting

Click on Company.

linkedin company name targeting

You can target a company on LinkedIn based on the following LinkedIn ad targeting options

  • Company Category
  • Company Connections
  • Company Growth Rate
  • Company Industries
  • Company Names
  • Company Revenue
  • Company Size

Here, we will choose Company Names.

Search for company name.

Linkedin Ad targeting company

Select the company. You can choose multiple company name if required.

Now you have selected a target audience based on company name.

Continue with selecting the Ad format and placement.

Budget and schedule the Ad.

How to Target Business Owners on LinkedIn?

Follow the below steps to target business owners on LinkedIn.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Click on Audience attributes.

LinkedIn Business owner targeting

Click on Job Experience.

To identify a business owner, you can either select Job Seniorities or Job Titles.

Linkedin Owner targeting

If you select Job Seniorities, then you can select either options such as Director, CXO, Owner, Partner from the list.

If you select Job Titles, then you can search for titles such as CEO, Chairman etc. which also has same meaning as Owner.

Now you have targeted business owner as audience.

Continue with selecting the Ad format and placement.

Budget and schedule the Ad.

How to Target LinkedIn Posting to a Specific Area ?

Follow the below steps to target LinkedIn posting to a specific area.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Set your target location as required.

Linkedin location targeting

Proceed with creating your ad.

Can I Target Ads to Specific LinkedIn Groups?

Follow the below steps to target specific LinkedIn groups in LinkedIn ads.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Click on Audience attributes.

Click on Interest and Traits.

Linkedin group targeting

Click on Member Groups.

Search for group.

Linkedin member group targeting

Select the group.

Now you can target people based on the LinkedIn group.

Can LinkedIn Ads be targeted based on device?

Yes, LinkedIn Ads can be targeted to device. Follow the below steps to target ads based on the device.

Login to LinkedIn Campaign Manager account.

Click on Create.

Click on Campaign.

Click on Next.

Set the Campaign Objective.

Click on Audience attributes.

Click on Interest and Traits.

Click on Member Traits.

Linkedin Device Targeting based on the member traits

Click on Device Preferences.

Linkedin Ads Device Targeting based on the member traits

Select the device you want to target the people.

Linkedin Ads Device Targeting Desktop, Mobile users

Now you can target people based on the device.

What to do after setting Target Audience on LinkedIn?

Once you have set the LinkedIn ad targeting options, you have to choose the type of ad format.

LinkedIn offers many types of ad formats you can use to reach your target audience throughout the LinkedIn ecosystem, including the feed and in messaging. Here’s an overview of most popular ad formats:

Single Image Ads: Here you can capture attention with a powerful visual

Message Ads: Send direct messages to your prospects to start immediate action

LinkedIn Ads format

Carousel Ads: Tell a story with a swipeable series of cards

Conversation Ads: Start quality conversations with professionals through a choose your own path experience

Video Ads: Captivate your audience with sight, sound and motion

Lead Gen Forms: Collect quality leads using forms that are pre-filled with LinkedIn profile data.

LinkedIn Ads Targeting Best Practices

Following are some of the LinkedIn ad targeting best practices.

Retarget those that watched 25% or more of your Video Ad with another Video Ad or a Single Image Ad to deepen engagement and provide your audience with the information they need during the early stages of their buying process.

Retarget those that previously submitted your Lead Gen Form for middle-of-the-funnel conversions, such as content downloads, and deliver a personalized message with a single CTA to their LinkedIn Messaging inbox with a Message Ad.

Use a series of Video Ads to captivate your audience and bring awareness to a cause, an event, or a brand campaign.

Use Single Image and Video Ads in parallel to bring visual stories to life, highlighting interactive and engaging customer stories in testimonial form while promoting more case study examples in a Single Image Ad.

Use Conversation Ads to deliver personalized stories at scale and include rich media in the body of your message to provide visual context about the subject of your message.

Best Practices for LinkedIn Ads Targeting

To drive website visits Use a Single Image Ad along with a Conversation Ad to provide your audience with multiple entry points for taking that next action in the funnel. This can include those you want to retarget who have visited high-intent pages on your website or that downloaded a piece of content.

To drive video views Use Video Ads of varying lengths to increase reach and engagement with a visual story. This can include those you want to retarget who watched part or all of a prior video ad.

Split your audience into two segments: Those that watched less than 50% of your video and those that watched more than 50%. Show the former a shorter video on a different topic. Tap further into the engagement of the latter by showing another video around the same length that focuses more on a middle-funnel topic.

Use a Single Image Ad and Message Ad together with a Lead Gen Form to drive product demos, free trials or event registrations.

Use a Single Image Ad with a Message Ad to drive more high intent conversion opportunities such as white paper downloads or sales demos.

Retarget website visitors that downloaded your top-of-funnel content and serve them bottom-of-the-funnel thought leadership or product information to capitalize on brand familiarity and known engagement.

Mix paid campaigns with organic activity. That is, organically targeting customers through content and community-building while supplementing your LinkedIn advertising strategy with paid campaigns.

LinkedIn Ads Targeting Best Practices Bonus: Check your competitor’s LinkedIn Ads

To get a little inspiration, you can check your competitor’s ad. Once you find the ads they ran, check the engagement of ads. From this information, craft an ad for your company.

Follow the below steps to search for your competitor’s company page on LinkedIn:

Click on the competitor’s LinkedIn page.

Click on “Post”. This will bring up another menu where you’ll click on “ads”.

Check your competitor's LinkedIn Ads

Once there, you can see all of the company’s ads.

To view engagement on a competitor ad, click on the three dots in the top corner and “Copy link to post”:

Take this link and paste it into your browser to view engagement levels on the post.

FAQs

How to target LinkedIn ads to specific users ?

There are different LinkedIn ad targeting options on LinkedIn as mentioned in this article such as Interest targeting, Location targeting, Group targeting, Company targeting etc. You can use these LinkedIn ad targeting options to target specific users.  A good rule of thumb when starting out is to keep the target audience over 50,000 for Sponsored Content and Text Ads, and over 15,000 for Message Ads. Campaign Manager will show estimated reach and a suggested range while you’re building your audience.

Can you target a specific individual on LinkedIn Ads ?

You cannot run a campaign for a specific individual through LinkedIn ads. But based on the various LinkedIn ad targeting options such as location, company etc, you can narrow down your audience size and create ads. However, hypertargeting might affect your initial campaigns. So,it is recommended to add not more than two to three targeting facets.

Wrapping Up

The value of LinkedIn as an advertising channel is undeniable. Understanding how to create an effective paid ad campaign on the platform is an essential way to expand your reach.

Hopefully, this LinkedIn ads targeting guide might serve you as some much-needed direction if you’ve been struggling with the platform.

Check out some more articles on LinkedIn Ads.

201 Best LinkedIn Ads of 2022

How to track LinkedIn Ads through Google Analytics?

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