LinkedIn Ads: What Are You Waiting For?

By Heidi Smith | Feb 23, 2017
More Articles by Heidi


The ability to advertise using LinkedIn ads has been around for years. The platform continues to expand and progress its available offerings, from ad types to new features to continuously granular targeting and more concise reporting. The website has more than 467 million users, and has increased each year.

And yet we still see companies of all types that have never ventured into the LinkedIn advertising space, though it seems a perfect fit for their business. It may seem daunting, or perhaps they simply are unaware of the features this platform has to offer. Let us dive into why you should be using LinkedIn to reach your ideal customer and advertise your products, services and content.

find your perfect target audience using Linkedin AdsTargeting for the Win

Targeting is the #1 reason why LinkedIn advertising is the place to be if you are a B2B company, and also why I can’t quite understand why every one doesn’t have LinkedIn in their marketing plan.

Ideally you will be using marketing automation to track and gain insight into your existing customer pool. But at the very least. you know who your ideal customer is – if you’ve done your persona development work, you may also be aware of their job titles, average company size, experience level and even their pain points. Regardless, LinkedIn provides the opportunity to reach who you need to in order to showcase your products and services.

You can reach your ideal customer with granular targeting options including:

  • LinkedIn ad targeting optionsLocation
  • Company Name, Industry and Size
  • Job Function (think Administrative, Consulting, Finance, HR, IT, etc.)
  • Job Title or Seniority (you can even pick if it is a current job or past position)
  • Schools
  • Field of Study
  • Degree
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Years of Experience
  • Skills
  • Gender and Age

Is your service perfect for HR Managers with 5+ years of experience, working in companies of 200-500 people? Reaching them, or whoever your ideal customer may be, is right at your fingertips. Instead of shouting into the void and hoping the right people hear you, you’re reaching right out to them and saying “Here we are, let us help.”

Targeting: By Groups

One of the essential targeting options we’ve seen success with is Groups. This option pertains to LinkedIn groups users have joined based on their interests, specifically in relation to their professional life. While you can combine Groups targeting with additional demographics, you don’t necessarily have to – these users are self-selecting themselves by joining certain groups and telling you exactly what they are interested in.

Targeting: By Specific Company

Another unique targeting option on LinkedIn is Company Name. While this targeting option is available on Facebook as well, we can potentially assume a user’s professional profile on LinkedIn is probably more accurate and up-to-date seeing as most use it specifically for a professional networking tool and online resume. Being able to target a specific list of companies you’d love to do business with and think would be interested in your product, combined with the other targeting options like job title and job seniority, can’t be beat in terms of today’s available B2B advertising targeting options.

Design and Technical Progression

The LinkedIn Ads interface continues to see progression in design and technical advancement. In the last few weeks alone the company has rolled out a completely revamped user experience. As it is still a relatively new platform compared to Google AdWords, it is comforting to see a devotion to improving and enhancing both the user and advertiser experience.  A few new and notable improvements include:

Conversion Tracking

In 2016, the long awaited conversion tracking arrived. Although you could track conversions in Google Analytics or other third party software previously, now you can gain a different kind of insight from tracking conversions in the interface, such as view-through conversions, conversion rate and cost-per-conversion, directly where you manage your campaigns.

Sponsored InMail

LinkedIn rolled out Sponsored InMail to all marketers in November 2016. This feature allows you to send personalized messages to specific individuals, utilizing any of the aforementioned targeting. Many will utilize this as a recruitment tool, but LinkedIn also recommends utilizing it to promote webinars and new content. This could be the crucial first step in getting potential customers into the top of your funnel, or to increase brand awareness for those who are not already cognizant of who you are and what you can offer them.

Reach Farther with LinkedIn Ads

Besides optimizations like ad testing and analyzing which targeting combinations work best, use what you learn from running LinkedIn campaigns to apply to other marketing initiatives.

Does your campaign performance tell you those with specific job titles are more likely to download your latest whitepaper or visit a specific product page? Apply these findings to test a new Facebook strategy (it doesn’t just work for B2C, trust me!) or re-purpose LinkedIn users visiting your website by creating new AdWords remarketing lists to retarget those individuals now that you know more about them.

Are you ready to get started or what?! We’ve been running successful LinkedIn campaigns for B2B and B2C clients for the last few years – now it’s your turn! If you want to learn more about LinkedIn ads, check out posts from my esteemed colleagues below. And if you need help getting started on your LinkedIn campaign strategy, we are here to help.

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