LinkedIn has a wide range of targeting options. Whilst Facebook has always been seen as the platform with the most extensive options, LinkedIn is developing all the time and quickly catching up. The beauty of advertising on LinkedIn is that your target options can be much more heavily industry focused so depending on your campaign, can be extremely beneficial.
But, what are your targeting options on LinkedIn? Sometimes, when deciding on your campaign’s platforms it can be overwhelming to think about the targeting options of each one in order to make a decision so we thought we’d put together a little fact file for you.
There are also different advertising options on LinkedIn, this is a huge subject for a whole other blog but to give you a quick summary your options are as follows:
- Sponsored content: this appears in the newsfeed like any other post, like a sponsored post.
- Sponsored InMail: these are highly-targeted messages to active LinkedIn members, these are particularly good for B2B leads
- Text and display ads: these ads appear at the top or around the newsfeed and function on a PPC basis
So now you know (roughly) where you can advertise on LinkedIn, what are your targeting options?
LinkedIn targeting options
Let’s start with the basis:
You can target locations on LinkedIn in two ways, either the location that the user has specified in their profile of the location of their IP address (except sponsored InMail campaigns). Clever isn’t it?
Targeting options on LinkedIn include the basic age and gender demographics.
You can target people based on their companies and connections to different companies including the following details:
- Company connections – the 1st degree connections of companies you choose (only those with more than 500 employees)
- Industry – the industry of the company where the targeted user is employed
- Size – the size of the company where the targeted user works.
- Name – the specific name of companies where people work
- Followers – your company’s own LinkedIn followers
One of the best and most extensive parts of LinkedIn targeting is the job and work experience options. You can target people based on:
- Their job function
- Their job seniority (i.e. mid-seniority)
- Their job title (i.e. Head of Marketing)
- Their skills, these are the skills that members enter into their profile in order to be matched with appropriate people and jobs
- The number of years’ experience they have – this is calculated quite accurately as LinkedIn do not include overlapping positions or gaps in experience. Are you impressed yet?
Last but not least, interests. These are so crucial to advertising on Facebook but what about targeting on LinkedIn? Well, actually, interests can be great for finding the right people on LinkedIn too. You can target people based on their:
- Member groups: these are groups of people that share the same interests and can tell you a lot about a person
- Member interests: this is based on a members engagement in certain posts and content
In fact, there are so many different options you can target based on interests on LinkedIn the list is (almost) as extensive as Facebook. If you want some more details and interest targeting on LinkedIn, you can check these out here.
Other benefits to LinkedIn targeting
You can also use what they call ‘matched audiences’ on LinkedIn to target people who already visit your website, or people who match an existing, lookalike audience.
The only required targeting option on LinkedIn is the location. Everything else is optional, but advisable. However, you do not need to use every single option when thinking about targeting on LinkedIn. Rather, think about your target audience and then use the various options to try and fit that persona as much as possible.
For example, if you are targeting senior marketing professionals in Oxford for your webinar, you would use:
- The location targeting, e.g. within 12 miles of Oxford
- Job experience options e.g. senior roles, job titles relating to marketing, and marketing skills
- Interest targeting, people with an interest in marketing etc.
In terms of audience size, the official recommendations from LinkedIn are as follows:
- 300,000 users for sponsored content as a minimum
- 60,000 – 400,000 users for text ads
- 100,000 or fewer for sponsored InMail
Something to bear in mind
LinkedIn separate targeting into attributes. Attributes are the different sections we have detailed above, i.e. companies, demographics. For every attribute you select, your audience size will decrease. So if you include something from every attribute, you audience will be quite specific. However, for every selection you include within an attribute the audience size will increase. For example, selecting multiple job titles will increase your audience size. You can also exclude attributes within targeting.
Not to worry though, LinkedIn will give you an idea of whether your audience is too broad or too narrow when you make your selections in order to optimise your campaigns.