How to Use LinkedIn Profile Targeting – And Why

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By Boris Dzhingarov

LinkedIn is by all means a unique social media channel that has no equal in the B2B segment. This is largely due to the fact that unlike other more popular social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is exclusively meant for finding, creating and expanding professional contacts. No one can deny that Facebook in particular is amazing for businesses of all size, but they are more attuned to the needs of the B2C sectors, rather than B2B.

While there are certainly clone sites of a similar nature, none of them come close to the original, be it for finding a relevant user base or for the set of intuitive marketing tools LinkedIn offers. If you are marketing a business in the B2B sector, strategies focused around LinkedIn profile identification and targeting could play a crucial role in determining your campaign’s ROI. With that perspective in mind, let us first go through the basics of what exactly is profile targeting on LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn Profile Targeting?

LinkedIn profile targeting fundamentally involves the same concept as profile targeting on any other social media platform, which can be broken down into two major steps:

  1. Identification and marking of the target profiles that are likely to be the most relevant audience for your ads and other marketing content
  2. Usage of online marketing methods to deliver your marketing content to the identified, relevant profiles (businesses and people)

As the readers may have noticed, the definition as stated above is almost identical to how profile targeting or targeted ads work on social media in general. However, the difference between LinkedIn and other social media channels is not in the way it works, but rather in the type of information which the site provides to marketers.

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For example, Facebook is excellent at finding potential customers who have shown interest in the kind of products/services that a retailer might be selling. LinkedIn on the other hand, provides relevant, business specific, and particular information to help service providers/manufacturers/suppliers find potential client companies, which are in need of their products/services.

What Makes LinkedIn Profile Targeting So Effective?

If we were to sum up the various reasons that come together to make LinkedIn profile targeting such an important aspect of online B2B market today, they could be briefly listed as:

Higher ROI – For companies that cater to business clients, LinkedIn is ideal for identifying relevant profiles with greater accuracy. This naturally allows for a better ROI than is expected from most other social media channels.

Easy Interface – Time is of the essence for professionals, which is why the marketing, targeting and management interfaces, as well as the various connected tools, are designed to be familiar, intuitive and easy to use for marketers.

Exclusivity – Marketers from around the world can utilize Microsoft Ads or Bing Ads for LinkedIn profile targeting, aside from the default one on the site itself. Both can be used for profile targeting on LinkedIn simultaneously, but those are the only two ad platforms which they can use.

LinkedIn profile targeting is also a geo-blocked service for the time being. This means that while marketers can be located anywhere in the world, the target demographics must be located in Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and/or Australia.

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In addition to being a superb marketing platform, LinkedIn is also a very useful search engine and networking channel for professionals. Both SMEs and larger enterprises use the site frequently to find and recruit potential candidates with the right skills for filling various job roles.

How to Use LinkedIn Profile Targeting

Learning the steps necessary for utilizing LinkedIn profile targeting will make more sense at this point, since readers now have a complete understanding of what it is, why it’s so useful, and what kind of businesses will find LinkedIn profile targeting to be the most effective. Next, it is time to elaborate on the details.

Choose Your Option

Before you can set up the profile targeted campaign, you will be given a choice between:

  • Industry
  • Company
  • Job function

These are the three prime categories based on which your LinkedIn profile targeting campaign will be set up. In other words, the marketer can start targeting profiles based on any of the above. It’s an expanding list, so always keep an eye out for new additions to any of the categories.

Setting Up LinkedIn Profile Targeting: The Steps

As LinkedIn Profile Targeting is a specific feature embedded in the campaign, you will have to begin by creating a campaign first. Once you have started on it, just follow the simple steps as stated next.

  • Find and select Campaign Targets to find the Edit Target Categories option
  • Select either one of the three categories mentioned earlier (Industry, Company or Job Function)
  • Find the Edit Target option next, and click on it
  • Find and Target companies/industries/job functions by going through the list
  • There is also a search button if you wish to find and target a few profiles manually
  • Once you are done with the targeting, simply tap/click on Done
  • Save the progress to get started on your LinkedIn marketing and profile targeting campaign right away
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Higher bids generally begin to see results in a few hours, but a day’s time should be more than enough for any company to notice relevant traffic coming in from LinkedIn.

Bidding Strategy

Use Enhanced Cost-Per-Click (ECPC) to automate your bid adjustments so that it can drive in more relevant traffic and improve the campaign’s conversion rates. However, you must set a maximum CPC, so that the software never ends up overshooting your budget. That being said, if the current CPC limit proves to be too low, try raising it a bit higher and see if that improves your conversion rates. Understand that in order for your bids to be particularly effective, the pricing strategy must be backed up by market data and research.

Now that we have gone through the basics of LinkedIn profile targeting, you should start small. As a general rule, it is best to stick with DSA campaigns on LinkedIn, as it’s easy, quick and flexible. As your data pool begins to look more impressive, you will need to make adjustments along the way.