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Are Lookalike Audiences Useful For LinkedIn Ads?

One of the most used targeting features on Facebook and Google, lookalike audiences (LAL), is now also available on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn advertisers have been able to create matched audiences based on targeting a list of contacts, their version of Facebook’s custom audiences.

Lookalike audiences will allow advertisers to upload a list of customers or contacts and have the platform create an audience with similar characteristics and traits.

Not only can LinkedIn now create a LAL with customers and individuals, they can also create a LAL audience based on company names, an absolute game changer for account-based marketing and selling.

The greatest value in LinkedIn advertising is the ability to create campaigns with highly specific targeting. While LAL seems like great progress as an advertising platform, we don’t believe that it will be highly useful outside of the account-based marketing arena.

Why would you want to create lookalike audience over an exact targeted audience?

In addition to LAL audience, LinkedIn also released two more targeting options for advertisers.

Audience templates are exactly what it sounds like. It provides pre-populated audience segments for advertisers new to the platform so they don’t have to layer their own targeting.

Imagine targeting “corporate sales decision makers,” “IT executive decision makers” or “SaaS founders.”

At LinkedClicks, we believe that this feature isn’t highly valuable as it takes away from LinkedIn’s most powerful feature, it’s ability to target highly specific users.

LinkedIn’s ad platform UI is far from intuitive, especially if you’re accustomed to buying from Facebook and Google, and still feels like a very early product. LinkedIn’s addition of audience templates should make the platform more inviting for advertisers looking to test the traffic source for the first time.

The last targeting option is based around Bing search data to provide interest-based targeting. For example, you’ll be able to use interest-based targeting such as “financial software” or “online advertising” and get relevant results.

These features have been in Beta since late 2018 for some users and will be fully rolled out system-wide over the next couple of weeks.

Being a LinkedIn advertiser for B2B SaaS companies, we are excited about the progress the ad platform is making even though the new targeting features won’t be of much use at this time.

B2B is a different beast than direct to consumer advertising and we are still just at the precipice of what’s to come in the B2B advertising space.

If you are a B2B SaaS company looking to generate more leads and demos online that actually close fast, feel free to download a free copy of our SaaS Demo Accelerator ™ here.

Rob Nunnery