LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for targeting your B2B campaigns at relevant people. Packed with tons of useful information about companies and professionals it’s second only to Facebook as a destination for B2B marketing activities on social.
LinkedIn is also expensive, with relatively high advertising costs and minimum daily spends. This makes it especially important to dedicate time and resources to finding your audience. To avoid wasting money on impressions and clicks from users with no value to your business you need to get your targeting spot on.
As users are highly incentivised to provide lots of relevant and accurate details on their LinkedIn profiles, there is a great deal of useful information to filter against. So much in fact, that it can be a challenge for the B2B marketer to navigate.
The trick is to focus on the right filtering options and to pick the right type of categories in order to keep your audiences big enough while minimizing wastage. Here are Bizmut’s top tips for the most efficient set up of profile-based targeting on LinkedIn:
Tip 1: Define your target persona
A necessary step for all marketing campaigns, it is particularly relevant when you are using a platform, like LinkedIn, that has so many options. Make sure you have done your persona homework BEFORE you start setting up your campaign in LinkedIn. The more defined and clear your target personas are, the easier it will be to navigate the myriad options on LinkedIn and find the profiles that fit.
Tip 2: Choosing the right level in the information hierarchy.
There are different hierarchies of information available in the LinkedIn campaign manager. For example, if you want to target based on job title or seniority, you have the option to list out all the job titles that are relevant to you, or just to tick one generic job area or grade that will cover all of them (say ‘marketing’ or ‘manager’). The first option is optimal in that it will avoid you wasting money on profiles that fall within the generic titles but are not in your target group. However, unpicking all the nomenclature for job titles in all the firms you are targeting may just be too big a job.
Tip 3: Avoid non-compulsory fields.
Beware of including non-required fields in your set up. People do not have to enter information about their school, their type of degree or even their age on LinkedIn, so if you include these criteria you might find your audience size has drastically shrunk -> this is the reason. With so much required information in the tool, you can usually find another way to filter for the audience you want. For example, using years of experience (calculated for every single LinkedIn profile) as a proxy for age.
Tip 4: Always target by company size.
Nearly all products and services have limits on the size of company they are relevant for. This is an easy filter to use accurately, so don’t neglect it.
Tip 5: Start broad then focus on your best performers.
The audience size and level of focus varies a lot with B2B marketing on LinkedIn. Some campaigns will only be relevant for high-level decision makers and your targeting is likely to filter out all but a select list of job titles. Other campaigns may be for products or services that any member of staff might have an influence on procuring (for example an employee training service). Whatever the overall size of audience your product is relevant for, in most cases, your targeting will get more focused as the campaign progresses and you learn more about who is interacting with your campaign. So when you’re starting a campaign, it’s best to start at the broader end of the spectrum. For really easy targeting you could use LinkedIn audience templates to start with. These are a set of pre-made types of LinkedIn users- that you can just implement ‘off the shelf’ then adjust as you monitor performance.
Tip 6: Don’t use the Audience Expansion function
Audience Expansion is a popular tool in LinkedIn that helps expand audience size by automatically finding additional profiles that are similar to the ones that have been identified with ‘manual’ targeting. It might help you expand your audience size, but it is to be used with caution. Our experience is that you don’t always get good lead quality with the Expansion function and often you’d be better off sticking to adjusting your targeting settings manually, looking into your demographics report and spotting the types of interested profiles most relevant for you.
Tip 7: Do use the LinkedIn demographic report
The demographic report is a core tool for analysis and tweaking your B2B campaign as it runs on LinkedIn. It shows you the types of profiles that are interacting with your campaigns so you can check that you are targeting the right audiences and get ideas for audience expansion. For example, you can spot when you are wasting money on showing your campaign to irrelevant people, and spot types of people who are showing an interest, who are relevant, that you might want to find more of (by including profiles with similar characteristics).
The more familiar you get with LinkedIn, the easier targeting by profile is going to become. It is a complex tool and it will reward time spent learning to get the best from it. Get familiar with the tool and be aware of your time restraints when setting up a campaign. Don’t spend too much time searching categories in one filter until you have checked all options and made sure there is not an easier way. As you get more familiar with the tool you are likely to find more efficient ways to reach the right people.
Give yourself a head start and access years of experience in successful targeting on LinkedIn through the Bizmut team. Our experts can help you find your perfect audience and share tips, specific to your use case, for fine-tuning your approach on this powerful tool.