#28: 5 Tips For Targeting Your Ads On LinkedIn
Play • 7 min

In this marketing segment, Brian Webb discusses how learning to use LinkedIn targeting can feel overwhelming at first. Listen as Brian gives you five tips for hitting the mark with your LinkedIn ad targeting strategies.

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Host: Brian Webb

Ep. 28 - 5 Tips For Targeting Your Ads On LinkedIn



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Brian Webb:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the show. Imagine this. You've created the perfect ad campaign ever, ever in the history of all ad campaigns. You've got it well thought out, it's interesting, you know people want to engage with it. It's direct, it's clear, and you know that the content will be valuable and have a really good and positive impact when the audience connects with it. But there's only one problem. You've got to get it in front of the right person, the right people, the right audience because if you don't, it'll be like the tree falling in the forest. It'll go unheard.

So, what do you do, right? Like any platform, learning how to use LinkedIn targeting can feel intimidating or overwhelming at first, but I've got you covered. Today, I'm going to give you five tips for hitting the mark with your LinkedIn ad targeting strategies. And if you are specifically a B2B business, you absolutely should be running ads on LinkedIn. It's one of the most powerful platforms and places to target other B2B potential prospects and customers for your business. And let me give you two reasons why. First of all, the quality of the audience. When you're running ads on LinkedIn, you can literally reach millions of people, and with the right targeting techniques, you can really zero in on specific decision-makers and centers of influence that can really help you move the needle in growing your business. And second, think about the professional context. Unlike most other social media platforms, LinkedIn literally caters to professionals who come to LinkedIn to further their career goals. So, this is an audience that's going to be more receptive to a relevant business-related message.

And here's the five tips that I'm going to give to you to help you up your game in targeting ads on LinkedIn. Here we go. Number one: Start broad, then go narrow. And you might say, "What does that mean, Brian?" What I mean by that is the risk of starting too narrow when you're targeting ads on LinkedIn is that you will not gain enough audience data to inform and optimize your campaign going forward. So, think about starting with a scope of at least, say, 50,000 members, and then gradually starting to filter that down with a more specific exclusion list based on which segments are responding to your content. So, in other words, by targeting a broader audience, while you might confirm your assumptions, you might just uncover some surprises that you weren't expecting.

Power tip, number two: Test small variances in your targeting. Running multiple campaigns at the same time with small variations can really unlock key insight. So, for example, you might run a campaign targeting industries plus a job function, and another targeting industries plus a seniority level inside of that industry. So, imagine running those two campaigns side by side. Compare the results and see which one is performing better, and then apply this learning in the future.

Number three: Target the full buying committee. You're not just targeting decision-makers, you're targeting influencers who have an impact on the decisions that the decision-makers make. This is an essential nuance of successful targeting in today's B2B marketing. So, buying committees have grown larger and more diverse over the years, with influence coming from various corners of the organization, so it's important to engage all the stakeholders within a given account, or at least the right ones. So, for example, even if your end-user, your decision-maker is an IT professional, you may still want to target job roles in finance, the legal department, procurement, so that you're reaching everyone who has a say in the decision.

Power tip number four: Tailor your content based on your audience. I'm always teaching clients that there's two reasons, if not more than two, but two primary reasons that you really want to identify who your ICA, your ideal customer avatars, are. First, when we know who your ICA, your ideal customer avatar, is, we know how to target them. But equally as important, when we know who your ICA is, we also know how to talk to that specific ideal customer avatar. Even a well-executed targeting strategy can really fall short if you're delivering the exact same content to everyone. That wouldn't even make sense. So, for example, is what's important to the IT professional the same thing that's important to the legal professional or those in the finance department? Probably not. The information technology professional might be concerned with specific software features and functions, but those in the legal department might only care about being in compliance with cybersecurity protocols. When you create and deliver content that speaks very directly and specifically to the audience that you're targeting, you take the next step in sophistication.

Power tip number five, last one for today: Save and reuse winning audiences. Identifying your ideal audiences is a process, and it involves trial and error, and it takes time. But when you start to hit your sweet spot, you can save and reuse those audiences to replicate and build upon that success. This saves a lot of time in the future because you don't need to start from scratch when launching new campaigns; you can just go back and cue up and tweak what has worked in the past. And if you happen to be new to advertising on LinkedIn, you can even take advantage of their LinkedIn audience templates, which are pre-built sets of attributes for personas like event planners, doctors, recent college graduates, millennials, et cetera, et cetera.

So, to summarize, power tip number one: Start broad, then go narrow. Power tip number two: Test small variances in your targeting. Power tip number three: Target the full buying committee, anyone that either makes a decision, and all of those that influence the decision-maker. Power tip number four: Speak specifically to each of those people in that audience; tailor your content. And power tip number five: Save and reuse winning audiences. I hope this is helpful. If you're considering running ads on LinkedIn to grow your business, it's a great place to do it. Thanks for being here today. Let's keep working on growing your business smarter and faster. I'll see you on the next show.



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