Businesses are now able to target LinkedIn users based on their web browsing and email addresses. So how will businesses now benefit from these changes and what does it mean for their social media marketing?
Matched Audiences Update
LinkedIn is officially rolling out its Matched Audiences program. Now all advertisers, including those using LinkedIn’s self-serve ad-buying platform, will have access to the new ad-targeting options.
Matched Audiences is an umbrella program that covers the Microsoft-owned, business-centric social network’s spin on ad-targeting options offered by Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest and others that let marketers target people with ads on a platform using data gathered via that platform, like people’s email addresses or the websites they’ve visited.
The major difference between LinkedIn’s version and all the others is that LinkedIn’s ads appear where people are looking to do business, while elsewhere the ads can appear between pictures of friends’ babies or amid political rants. And since LinkedIn will consider the primary and secondary email addresses attached to people’s profiles — one of which may be their personal email and the other their work email — there’s a higher likelihood that business-to-business marketers will hit their target audience.
Matched Audience Ad Targeting
There are three types of ad targeting to choose from:
- Website Retargeting – Retargeting people who visited a brand’s website.
- Content Targeting – Targeting people based on their email addresses, including contact lists stored on Eloqua, Liveramp and Marketo.
- Account Targeting – Targeting people based on the companies they work for. The account targeting option was originally introduced in March last year, but only for advertisers buying directly through LinkedIn’s sales team. Now it’s now being made available through its self-serve ad-buying platform.
Businesses can now use these targeting options to aim the Sponsored Content posts that appear in people’s feeds — including the new lead generation ones — or the Sponsored InMail messages that pop up in their inboxes. They can also be used for IAB-standardized text ads and LinkedIn’s dynamic ads that pull information from people’s LinkedIn profiles into the ads, though the latter ad format is only available when buying ads directly from LinkedIn’s sales team.
Businesses can now get specific with their targeting since the Matched Audiences options can be used together and with LinkedIn’s standard targeting options, like people’s location, job title, seniority level, gender and age.
Businesses may not want to get too specific about who they want to see their ads, to the point of very few people seeing their ads, they can also use the new targeting options to specify who they do not want to see their ads.
For example, you may want to advertise to people at certain businesses to fill out a lead-gen form. But you wouldn’t want to annoy the people at those companies for whom it already has their contact info. So it could use LinkedIn’s account targeting to aim the lead-gen ads at certain people and its contact targeting to make sure the ads avoid annoying others.
Will you be using LinkedIn Marketing for your business going forward? Will the new targeting features help you target people at businesses who you couldn’t target previously? Let us know if the comments below.