1) Find out who actually visits your website (it’s free!)
By simply placing the LinkedIn Insights Tag on your site, you can access a professional demographics report of your website within LinkedIn Campaign Manager. And that’s before you even need to think about parting with precious media budget. You can view the job titles, seniority level, company size, location and more, of your historic site visitors to gain a real view of the types of professionals visiting your website. It’s an invaluable starting point for setting up LinkedIn audiences and can guide your content and messaging for future campaigns.
When your campaigns are firmly underway, you can re-visit the demographics report and find out whether a particular campaign was successful in driving traffic from your desired audience. You may find out that your content resonated with an unexpected audience, which could open your eyes to a new audience you hadn’t previously thought of.
2) Targeting? Go broad
When it comes to LinkedIn, the same Paid Social targeting tactic prevails: start broad. Don’t get lured in by the infinite targeting variables and end up with a restricted audience that misses a potentially valuable pool of people. Think of it as ‘sophisticated mass marketing’: you are appreciating that a conversion decision (purchase, sign-up etc.) could be influenced by someone other than just the final decision maker at a company. In addition, you are taking into consideration that not everyone’s LinkedIn profile will be standardised for job title and skills targeting – there is a certain level of inaccuracy that broad targeting protects you from.
LinkedIn won’t even let you start targeting with a matched audience list of less than 1,000 users but the recommended is much higher at around 100,000 – 300,000 users. This size allows LinkedIn’s data-hungry algorithm to function and start to figure out exactly who should be seeing your content. Once your campaigns have gathered significant data, you could even separate out a high performing audience and allocate a separate budget.
3) Understand how the targeting gets technical
Before you draw up an ideal audience list based on LinkedIn’s audience targeting options, it’s worth understanding how LinkedIn matches up your request for “female marketing managers” or “18 to 24-year-old entrepreneurs” to an actual individual’s profile.
Firstly, age and gender are inferred. LinkedIn doesn’t ask for this data when you setup your profile (it is a professional network after all), therefore it guesses based your name, graduation date or years of work experience. As you can imagine this approach can’t be 100% accurate therefore I’d suggest avoiding age and gender targeting unless it is business critical.
Secondly, when targeting someone by ‘skills’, LinkedIn takes into consideration not only the skills you have submitted on your profile but also anything relevant mentioned in your history of job titles and descriptions. As a result, this targeting is already much broader than you think. And as for any adventurous job titles (looking at you “PPC Ninja”), these are simply standardised and grouped in with other similar job titles.