A new game-changing feature was added by LinkedIn to their advertising tools arsenal a couple of years ago – April 2017, to be precise. The LinkedIn Matched Audiences program offers advertisers a series of targeting tools that can allow them to reach members of the platform using their own data in a far more effective and efficient manner.
LinkedIn already provides a convenient way of targeting members – by company, industry, skills, titles, and other aspects. With the Matched Audiences feature, you can reach the people you already know. The feature is available on all LinkedIn advertising products, including Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and other ad formats.
Matched Audience offers a convenient way of:
- Retargeting visitors to your website
- Using your customer database and marketing automation platforms to market to the contacts
- Promote your account-based marketing programs to reach the key marketing professionals of specific organizations on your radar
With these remarkable features, LinkedIn makes it possible for organizations to boost their ROI as their efforts can be laser-focused on the audiences and accounts more likely to drive revenue and generate better profits.
Marketing messages can be delivered using LinkedIn Matched in three ways:
- Website Retargeting
- Account Targeting
- Contact Targeting
When people visit and browse any website, they are indecisive about buying in nearly all cases. Brands must know how to nurture the prospect and nudge them towards becoming a customer. That’s what website retargeting is all about. Retargeting is obviously driven by technology that tracks visitors and presents them with ads on the sites and platforms they visit the most. This is done using codes placed on the back-end with the aim of persuading them to perform the next step in the marketing funnel.
As this is a critical element of online marketing, smart marketers know that they should put a good portion of their marketing budget into retargeting. Research shows this helps boost ROI impressively in most instances. It will now be possible for LinkedIn members to target their audience based on their browsing history and preferences.
“If you show enough randomized retargeted ads to a potential client, you’re bound to address that major concern that’s holding them back. But don’t just send them to your homepage. Send them to a targeted landing page that addresses that particular concern in detail and you’re sure to get a final conversion.” – Evan Roberts, Managing Director at Dependable Homebuyers, Baltimore
Key Advantages of Website Retargeting
- It is easy to classify or segment visitors to your website. You can create target audiences based on the pages they visit on your website.
- The ad content can be suitably customized to create hyper-specific, personalized ads.
- As your website will now have more relevant ads, the chances of visitors’ conversion improve – leading to improved ROI.
How to Start Using Website Retargeting
Step 1: Add the LinkedIn Matched Audiences insight tag to your website.
- Sign in to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
- Click on your account.
- Access the Insight Tag from the Tools drop-down list.
When this process is completed, your website will have the “Verified” label.
Step 2: Create the audience for LinkedIn Matched retargeting.
- Go to Campaign Manager>Audience Creation page.
- Click on Create an Audience to Retarget.
- Create Rules for tracking (You have three options available: Starts With/Exact/Contains.)
You can use the option best-suited for your business needs.
The Starts With option matches identical characters starting from the beginning and including the last character in the string specified.
The Exact option matches every single character in your URL from beginning to end. You can use this option to retarget to visitors of a specific web page.
The Contains option matches characters appearing anywhere in your URL.
Step 3: Allow Buildup of Your Audience
After successful completion of Step 1 and 2, you will have to give some time for your preferred type of audience to build up. You will have to reach an audience size of 300 to be able to start tracking. This can take up to 48 hours on average, according to LinkedIn.
There are a few things that you must focus on:
- When installed right, the Insight Tag will appear as Verified.
- It may take around 48 hours to build an audience if your website traffic is good enough.
- The campaign will take time to serve impressions to your visitors. A minimum of 300 members must be matched for this to happen.
- Once this is achieved, the campaign will launch on its own. Make sure you click launch to keep the campaign in active mode.
“Before you start any business, you need to get your target audience down pat. Who do you want to serve? Who will your product/service benefit the most? Don’t worry about the rest.” – Kevin J. Donaldson
The Account Targeting feature of LinkedIn Matched is designed to make it easy for advertisers to reach the relevant influencers on the platform’s company pages. Considering the fact that LinkedIn has around 12 million company pages, the potential and possibilities are incredibly huge.
Account Targeting allows you to target a list of up to 300,000 companies. You can focus your targeting efforts more specifically on professional demographics at those businesses.
The key benefits of this feature are:
Account-Based Marketing Campaigns
Serve ads to only those companies you want to work with.
Reach Professional Demographics
Your ads will reach only the targeted decision-makers at the companies you choose to do business with.
Achieve More Conversions
The chances of achieving conversions can boost significantly with focused targeting. With access to the professional demographics of targeted customers, you can reach out to them in a more efficient manner.
How to Initiate Account Targeting
The following steps must be taken to start the LinkedIn Account Targeting feature.
Preparing Your Account List
List your target accounts using a spreadsheet that has only one column and row. Write ‘companyname’ in the first row and import the names to be saved as a .CSV file. You can import up to 300,000 names.
Setting Up Ads for Account Targeting
To set up ads for account targeting, you have to first sign into Campaign Manager and go to the Tools drop-down feature to select the ‘Matched Audiences’. The next step is to click the Uploaded Audiences tab and select the ‘Upload List’. The process can be completed by creating a name for that list, clicking the ‘Upload File’, and proceeding to the ‘Next’ step.
Points to Remember
- Company names must be mentioned in the first column using a CSV File Format.
- Make sure the spellings are right to achieve faster matching.
- Special characters and URLs must not be used.
- All formatting must be removed.
- Best response rates can be achieved by targeting influencers.
- Upload at least 1000 companies as a smaller list may limit the scale and delivery of the campaign. A larger list can also enhance match rates.
The Contact Targeting feature is akin in many ways to the Custom Audiences feature on Facebook. It is designed to allow users to upload email addresses of the targets on LinkedIn but it does better than the FB tool.
Match rates on other popular social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are extremely low. Only around 15 percent of the audiences see an ad and that happens because most people do not use their work email address to register on these platforms. This translates into low ad volume for B2B advertisers and that’s why most of them are not keen on spending their precious time on setting up an email match on Facebook.
LinkedIn connects email accounts automatically when an invitation is sent to a member to their work address and the invitee authenticates the invite. That’s why it is very likely that LinkedIn Matched will have both your personal and professional addresses. This can boost ad views and help advertisers achieve their objectives effectively.
With access to both your professional and personal email account details, LinkedIn match rates could be much significantly much higher than on other networks.
So What Can You Do Using Contact Targeting?
- You can upload a list of email contacts you plan to target in a secure manner.
- You can reach out to current customers as well as potential prospects by delivering relevant content.
- Higher relevance leads to a higher rate of conversion as is the norm of the digital marketing process.
Getting Started With Contact Targeting
There are two methods in which you can use Contact Targeting:
- Upload your email list.
- Set up ‘Integration’.
Upload Your Email List
The process of uploading your email list is similar to the steps used for setting up Account Targeting.
Start with a one-column spreadsheet where the email addresses are listed downward, one per row.
When this is done, navigate to Campaign Manager and click on ‘Create an Audience’ and then click on ‘Match based on a list of email contacts’. This will bring you to the stage of uploading your file. Click on ‘Next’ to complete this stage.
Next, navigate to Campaign Manager. From there, click on “Create an audience,” followed by “Match based on a list of email contacts.” Then, upload your file and click on “Next.”
Set Up ‘Integration’
When you use Contact Targeting, it gives you the opportunity to import email data from various marketing automation platforms and software systems such as Eloqua, Marketo, and LiveRamp. This can be done by reaching ‘Matched Audiences’ from the ‘Tools’ drop-down option. The ‘Upload List Audiences’ tab allows you to import email data by selecting the ‘Connect To Data Integration’ tab.
When these steps are completed, all you have to do is link the API keys to the relevant marketing automation software to populate the list automatically. The list will be ready within 24 hours.
After that, all you’ll need to do is link API keys to your marketing automation software. Then your list will automatically populate within 24 hours. Please note that the list can also be uploaded manually. However, you will have to check and make sure that you do not miss out on any step and every move is completed as recommended by LinkedIn.
Pilot Program Results
LinkedIn has been running a Matched Audiences pilot program for the past six months and has around 370 advertisers on board for the project. In this period, some 2,000 high-performing campaigns have been created.
Here are the results of this endeavor:
- A 30 percent increase was seen in the click-through rate and a dip of around 14 percent in post-click cost per conversion in website retargeting.
- The post-click conversion rate increased by 32 percent while post-click cost per conversion dropped by nearly 5 percent in account targeting.
- Click-through rate increased by 37 percent in contact targeting.
These are impressive results by any yardstick and will certainly attract B2B advertisers looking to optimize their social ad spend with the new offering.
Walking That Extra Mile
In the data reported from the pilot program, it is seen that LinkedIn went beyond measuring the Click-Through Rate or CTR of advertisements on their platform to actually check how Matched Audiences behaved when they left LinkedIn. It is clear that they are more likely to convert after they have reached the post-click landing page of an advertisement.
It is clear from the higher post-click conversion rates and lower post-click costs per conversion convey that Matched Audiences found the content on the page they were directed to more engaging and attractive because of the high relevance factor. Consequently, they were more likely to claim it at a lower cost to advertisers.
LinkedIn Post-Click Landing Page Explained
A LinkedIn post-click landing page is an independent web page designed with the sole aim of converting visitors. The presence of elements such as social proof, trust indicators, and others, drives prospects into performing the desired marketing activities such as buying, downloading, or subscribing. It is an effective way of converting traffic from various platforms to the LinkedIn network.
Benefits Of Using LinkedIn Matched Audiences With Post-Click Landing Pages
The LinkedIn Matched audiences feature is sure to get an impressive ROI boost and it will further grow when combined with other targeting capabilities of the platform by using the LinkedIn post-click landing page.
Why LinkedIn Post-Click Landing Page Is Of Value To Advertisers
Matched Audiences targeting capabilities focus sharply on boosting relevance to the best possible state and that’s why it is successful in achieving an impressive engagement level. The chances of a prospect converting to a lead can increase significantly as the relevance and level of personalization of the marketing message increases. This fact is confirmed by the results experienced by platforms like Econsultancy, Kibo, Evergage, and many others. Post-click landing pages allow users to improve relevance and personalization just the way Matched Audiences do.
The new LinkedIn Matched Audiences will soon be available for advertisers. Now that you know how it works, are you ready to use it and enjoy its numerous benefits and advantages? Most advertisers and marketers are answering this question with a resounding YES!