LinkedIn Creates Lookalike Audience Targeting Options for Ads

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

LinkedIn isn’t as popular as social networks like Facebook, Twiter, and Instagram, but the platform has an undeniable advantage when it comes to reaching business owners and professionals. By specializing in providing connections for the business community, LinkedIn made itself the premier social media network for business to business marketing and advertising. LinkedIn recently announced a new targeting feature that can help an organization reach its target audience.

With millions of people on social media platforms, it can be tricky to fine-tune ad targeting so it reaches the right people. By using algorithms and data, it’s possible for a social media platform to define and locate your ideal consumer. LinkedIn is taking a page from Facebook’s playbook and introducing lookalike audiences.

In a recent blog post announcing the change, the company wrote, “LinkedIn’s lookalike audiences combine the traits of your ideal customer with our rich member and company data to help you market to new professional audiences similar to your existing customers, website visitors and target accounts.”

There are several benefits to using this targeting option. By finding audiences that are similar to the ones who are already like the business, lookalike audiences have the potential to reach more high-converting audiences. Rather than theorize about the kinds of people who would like content, the algorithm uses actual data to determine what the audience should look like.

Another benefit of lookalike audiences is that it extends the reach of a campaign. The algorithm will find targeting interests the advertiser hadn’t considered, which means the campaign will reach more people who are qualified prospects. The same is true for connecting with businesses. B2B marketers who are searching for companies to target will find new options by using the lookalike audience option.

LinkedIn has also indicated that the new feature has been handy for the early adopters who used the system during the testing phase. Some of the pilot participants were able to improve their campaign reach five or tenfold. And they reached more high-quality prospects as a result of the advanced targeting.

LinkedIn advertisers who want to use the lookalike audiences can start now. LinkedIn recommends that advertisers begin by creating a Matched Audience in Campaign Manager. This will build an audience based on data from a list of target accounts or a list of contacts from the advertiser’s CRM, or based on an audience that’s visited the company website. The algorithm will be able to use that data to find common interests and other factors that correlate with being a member of the group. These factors are then used to make a new audience that can reach more people.

For more recent news about social media marketing, read this article about a recent test from Twitter that will allow users to subscribe to a conversation without engaging with the post.

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