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LinkedIn Ads Targeting: Best Practices

LinkedIn can be a lucrative channel for all B2B marketers and brands, but it can also be an artform of sorts that needs mastering in order to fully reap the benefits. You need to understand how to navigate it – and you need a well-thought-out strategy, if targeting is on your agenda. This article looks at the best practices of LinkedIn ads targeting used by our B2B LinkedIn ads agency to apply to your marketing strategy.

1 – What Makes LinkedIn Different From Other Social Media Platforms?

Other social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook (and even the newer channels like TikTok) can all be used for business, and all have tools and data designed for brands to market via the channel, but LinkedIn is far superior (particularly for B2B companies) because its function is exclusively for business marketing and networking.

LinkedIn ads is also more in-depth and specialised for precise audience targeting. And while the platform can be used for B2C marketers and brands, it’s near-perfect for B2B businesses, purely based on its targeting facets.

2 – Best Practices of LinkedIn Ads Targeting

So, without further ado, let’s get into the best practices to adhere to when using LinkedIn ads targeting for your B2B marketing.

#1 Choose the Right Audience Size

When building your audience, it is important to remember that the bare minimum of users should be 300. Although LinkedIn itself suggests an audience of minimum 300,000 for sponsored content, and between 60,000 and 400,000 for text ads, this may not be applicable, particularly if your brand is on the smaller side, or is in a particular industry niche.

#2 Do Not Include Too Many Countries in the Same Campaign

This may or may not be applicable to your particular industry – if your company is large and focuses on trading all over the world, this part may not be relevant.

If doable, try testing different countries/locations separately via their own campaigns tailored to them. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

– Selecting an abundance of countries at once may make it difficult to know which country converted with the most success, so individual country campaigns can be individually monitored.

– Having said that, LinkedIn doesn’t actually provide much analytics data regarding campaign performance per country, which may not guarantee a ROI in your campaigns. If anything, you may even waste/lose money.

– Naturally, the more countries you include, the bigger the audiences – which means a possible loss of budget and a decrease of the possibilities for a second campaign impact.

The bottom line is, while it may seem that the more countries included, the bigger the conversion rate is likely to be, the reality is it will be very difficult to track its success and the leads may not be very “warm”. So, if you have to include multiple countries, making a separate campaign for each country may seem time-consuming and strenuous, but it’s the only real way to monitor your campaign’s success per region.

#3 Be Aware of the Company Size Segmentation Criteria

During the audience building process, it is important to be mindful of the company size criteria. You may have seen the “Only Myself” option on LinkedIn during this process. If you’re building an audience on a larger scale, it is wise to exclude this because this serves to aim your content at companies that consist of one person only, which may not be entirely lucrative.

It’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of “one-man-bands” on LinkedIn are freelancers, therefore they may not be considered a “warm” or “hot” lead for your B2B company. So, if this is a concern for you, be sure to opt out of it before your campaign goes live.

#4 Try LinkedIn Interest Targeting

The great thing about LinkedIn – or one of the many great things about LinkedIn – is that you can include interests in the criteria for your campaign targeting, allowing you to aim your ads at specific leads with specific interests.

Just to be clear: these interests are business-related, so ‘horse-back riding’ and ‘drinking cocktails’ won’t be included!

Instead, you can include business, industry or skills interests, such as:

– Strategic management

– Outsourcing

– Professional networking

– SMEs

– Process management

And then dial down further on more specific areas, such as:

– Entrepreneurs

– Freelancing

– Start-Ups

– Charity, etc.

It’s worth noting that LinkedIn bases user data on their Bing searches, as well as their LinkedIn engagement; not by data inputted by the user themselves.

#5 Choose the Right Targeting Option: I.E.: Years of Experience vs. Age, etc.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that targeting via age on LinkedIn is a good idea. It isn’t! And here’s why:

LinkedIn’s data calculates age based on a user’s first included educational graduation date. Since not everyone includes graduation dates in their profiles – or that everyone is young when they focus on further education –  targeting by age demographic poses the risk of heavily limiting your potential audience size or the relevance of your leads.

Instead, it is better to focus on years of experience. LinkedIn calculates years of experience by adding up the duration of each user’s job experience information, which, for B2B marketers, may be more useful when building an audience.

Don’t forsake the power of pairing either. For example, pairing factors, such as ‘years of experience’ with ‘level of seniority’ allows your targeting to be laser-focused.

#6 Use Demographics Reporting

Keeping the focus on demographics here for a second – you’ll need to continually keep checking your KPIs (key performance indicators) once you’ve completed and launched your campaign to make sure the content is actually meeting the correct sets of eyes.

If you’re fairly new to the wonderful world of marketing on LinkedIn, here’s how to do that:

– Log in to your LinkedIn account

– Find the “Campaigns” tab

– Select the campaign of choice (if you have more than one)

– Click the blue “Demographic” box

This will then draw up a window featuring the top impressions share, clicks, click-through-rate, conversions, and conversion rate by all of the targeting criteria you’ve previously set, including:

– Company

– Company Industry

– Company Size

– Location

– Country/Region

– County

– Job Function

– Job Title

– Job Seniority

You will be able to see the impressions (clicks) on your campaign and how relevant they are to your criteria. Any impressions that aren’t in relation to the criteria can then be excluded to keep the focus in the correct direction. Failure to do this will mean your campaign’s budget is being wasted on cold leads.

#7 Retarget Users with LinkedIn’s Conversion Pixel

If you’ve not done so already, it’s wise to install LinkedIn’s conversion pixel. This is crucial if your focus is to monitor your leads’ activity once they land on your website by way of your ad campaign on LinkedIn. This gives you ample opportunity to track conversions once a lead is on your site, which will allow you to see how your campaign is performing if the goal is to drive traffic to your website.

The other benefit of installing the pixel is that LinkedIn will then allow you free access to your site Demographics, which helps you to understand what percentage of your site’s visitors fit into categories based on the criteria you’ve set. This is further proof of the importance of being specific about your demographic criteria; it’s often so crucial for monitoring the success of your campaigns in terms of conversions, and providing invaluable information for marketing via LinkedIn in the future.


So, just to seize a final opportunity to drum it in: audience criteria is really important for ensuring your campaign hits the right users, and that your budget (and hard work) isn’t being wasted on the wrong ones.

When you take the time to explore the “Campaigns” feature on LinkedIn, you’ll be surprised how well-crafted it is for ensuring that your targeting is as specific as possible.

We hope you have found the tips in this article useful for when you’re shaping your campaigns and focusing on your targeting. The key takeaways here are:

– Create an audience size that is appropriate for your brand/ad (and make sure it consists of over 300 users).

– If your campaign needs to be aimed at multiple countries, consider creating a campaign per country. This may seem like a nuisance, but it will help you see which countries are converting well, and which aren’t, which can be really useful for future campaigns.

– Be mindful of the “Only Me” option and whether it is relevant to your campaign or not.

– Interest targeting is your friend.

– Avoid targeting via age demographic. On LinkedIn, it isn’t accurate to a user’s actual age, which could potentially hinder the success of your campaign.

– Continually check the progress/success of your campaign, and make tweaks when and where needed.

– Analyse your competitor’s audience.

– If the goal of your campaign is to drive users to your website to be converted, it is imperative you install LinkedIn’s Conversion Pixel in order to monitor conversions once a lead is on your site.

If you’d like to learn more about how we help B2B SaaS and Tech companies grow their MRR through LinkedIn advertising, contact us online or send us an email today at to speak with someone on our team.

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