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LinkedIn Interest Targeting: The complete guide

LinkedIn Interest Targeting is fairly self-explanatory. It enables you to display your ad campaigns to platform users who hold specific interests. And while LinkedIn only lists nine major interest categories, there are actually circa 200 sub-categories to choose from, allowing you much autonomy over targeting your ads; particularly if you’re interested in targeting niche audiences.

With LinkedIn Interest Targeting, we can create an ad campaign that is aimed at an audience that may have expressed prior interest to what we are advertising. Back to few years ago this type of targeting wasn’t really accurate and nowadays it really improved in terms of targeting precision. Interest audience attribute is one of the best targeting strategy used by our LinkedIn advertising agency.

If you’re wondering how LinkedIn’s Interest Targeting works, it’s simple. LinkedIn’s algorithm searches for two primary behaviours a user may have: content that the user interacts with and the content that the user shares.

So, if you’re interested in creating an ad campaign on LinkedIn and utilising its Interest Targeting feature – this is the complete guide on how to do just that.

1 – How to Access Interest Targeting on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is always improving and evolving its targeting techniques to make your campaigns as successful as possible based on your targeting preferences.

Interest Targeting is a new(ish) feature of the Linkedin advertising targeting options, which the platform introduced in 2019, and its purpose is to add another category of sorts to reach an appropriate audience via the channel. It’s important to note that if you utilise this feature, your ads will be targeted at the audiences based on Interests, as well as prior criteria you have selected.

Here’s how to access Interest Targeting on LinkedIn:

– Search for “Interests” under “Audience Attributes” when setting up your campaign.

Audience attributes LinkedIn

– Click on the arrow next to an interest to access the subcategories.

LinkedIn interest audience

– Add the subcategories you want to your campaign’s targeting focus.

Linkedin interest categories

2 – The Benefits of Targeting by Interest on LinkedIn

The benefits of utilising Interest Targeting on LinkedIn are plentiful because it works well in conjunction with your current audience criteria settings, but the two key benefits are:

2.1 – More Specific Restrictive Targeting

The goal here is to home our audience to make our campaign more relevant by focusing exclusively on an audience based on their listed interests. We call this restrictive targeting, which means we can apply this feature to a campaign and it will be targeted at users who must have a specific interest we have selected when building the campaign, allowing us the freedom to tweak areas of the campaign to be focused on those audiences.

The only downside of this feature is that it can mean your audience will become much smaller because it may weed out users who don’t qualify as an “ideal target” just because they haven’t listed one of your chosen interests as one of their interests.

Please be mindful that your audience can’t be too small. If it is (the general rule is your audience must have no less than 5 000 members), the campaign will be redundant.

2.2 – We Can Explore New Audiences

Once we have crossed the hurdle of not making our audience too small based on our Interest Targeting selections, we actually get to expand our audience because we have created this great new way of reaching new members we might not have been able to before, meaning we are able to target a newer genre of high-quality leads.

3 – LinkedIn’s “Interests” Privacy Issue

It’s important to note here that LinkedIn members have the freedom to decide whether or not they wish for LinkedIn to use their listed interests as “behaviour” that can then be attributed to collectable data for targeted campaigns.

This means that when we are setting up our campaign and are keen on using the Interests Targeting feature, we need to bear in mind that there may be high-quality leads out there that our campaigns will not reach because they have opted out of this preference on the platform. This could be a factor if you find your campaign isn’t performing how you’d hoped when utilising Interest Targeting on LinkedIn.

To fully understand how this works, head to your “Account >> Settings and Privacy” to see how a user can deactivate this feature. In this section, LinkedIn lets the user know that by deactivating the interest data collection option that they (the user) will still see the same number of ads, but those ads won’t be as relevant as they would be, which should at least help deter users from deactivating this setting.

Conclusion

The idea behind LinkedIn’s Interest Targeting is to open up our campaigns to potential wider audiences based on those user’s listed interests. This allows us to delve deeper into hooking a wider audience of high-quality leads, while simultaneously restricting the targeting of our existing campaigns.

LinkedIn has nine key interest categories that have a multitude of sub-categories to select when building our campaign, so as to target the right leads with the right interests. This is particularly useful for brands seeking niche audiences.

If you wish to use LinkedIn’s Interest Targeting when building your ad campaign, it is crucial to bear in mind that when a user sets up his/her account, he/she has the option to disable whether their interest data is used or not. If they choose to do this, a campaign based on interests will not reach them. However, LinkedIn does warn the user that if they choose to disable this feature, this will not limit the amount of advertising they see – it just means what they do see will be less relevant to them.

It is worth bearing this in mind if your KPIs (key performance indicators) are showing that your interest-targeted campaign isn’t performing as well as you’d hoped.

LinkedIn is constantly working and striving to create targeting options and features to help B2B marketers and companies who use LinkedIn to advertise their products or services to a finely-honed audience, with the hopes of maximising the campaign’s success, so whether or not you choose to use LinkedIn’s Interest Targeting feature, the platform is endeavouring to ensure advertising through its channel is the ideal solution for all B2B marketers and companies.

LinkedIn interest targeting categories list

Here’s a complete list of interest targeting options available:

General Interests

  • Arts and Entertainment
    • Audio-Visual Production
      • Sound Engineering
      • Special Effects
    • Design and Visual Arts
    • Online Media
      • E-books
      • On Demand Videos & Streaming
    • TV & Radio
  • Business Management
    • Accounting
      • Cash Flow Management
      • Cloud Accounting
      • Payroll
      • Taxation in Business
        • Corporate Tax
    • Business Administration
      • Business Analysis
      • Business Consulting
      • Business Continuity
      • Business Mediation
      • Business Plan
        • Business Loans
      • Corporate Communications
      • Corporate Law
      • Disruptive Innovation
      • Franchises
      • Non-Profits and Charities
      • Office Management
      • Operations Management
      • Outsourcing
      • Process Management
      • Professional Networking
      • SMBs
      • Starting a Business
        • Entrepreneurship
        • Startups
      • Strategic Management
    • Business Ethics
      • Corporate Social Responsibility
      • Sustainable Business
        • Social Entrepreneurship
      • Business Intelligence
      • Business Technology
      • Business Travel
      • Corporate Finance
        • Corporate Financial Planning
        • Financial Auditing
        • Mergers and Acquisitions
        • Stocks and Shares
      • Human Resources
        • Continuing Professional Development
        • Corporate Event Planning
        • Employee Benefits
        • Employee Engagement
        • Employee Onboarding
        • Performance Management
        • Salary and Wages
          • Minimum Wage
        • Workplace Conflict Resolution
        • Workplace Etiquette
      • People Management
        • Leadership Development
      • Project and Program Management
        • Agile Project Management
        • Risk Management
      • Working Environments
        • BYOD
        • Coworking
        • Home-Based Business
        • Hot-Desking
        • Office Design
        • Office Supplies
        • Remote Working
        • Workplace Wellness
      • Careers and Employment
        • Retirement
          • Pensions
        • Seasonal and Temporary Jobs
        • Self-Employment
          • Freelancing
      • Finance and Economy
        • Banking
          • Central Banks
          • Credit & Lending
          • Digital Banking
          • Retail Banking
        • Financial Investing
          • Venture Capital (Previously in another spot)
        • Financial Technology
          • Digital Currency
            • Cryptocurrency
        • Global Economy
          • Emerging Markets
        • Insurance
          • Car Insurance
          • Health Insurance
          • Home Insurance
          • Insurance Fraud Prevention
          • Liability Insurance
          • Life Insurance
        • Personal Finance
          • Mortgage
          • Student Loans
        • Public Finance
          • International Aid
        • Taxation
          • Tax Compliance
          • Tariffs
        • Trade
          • International Trade
            • Economic Sanctions
  • Health
  • Marketing and Advertising
    • Advertising Strategies
      • Celebrity Endorsement
      • Commercial Sponsorship
      • Direct Marketing
      • Mobile Advertising
      • Native Advertising
      • Out-of-Home Advertising
      • POS Advertising
      • Performance Based Advertising
      • Affiliate Marketing
      • Product Placement
      • Targeted Advertising
        • Hypertargeting
        • Influencer Marketing
      • B2B Marketing
      • Brand Management
        • Brand Awareness
        • Brand Equity
        • Brand Personality
        • Corporate Identity and Culture
        • Employee Advocacy
      • Customer Experience
        • Chatbots in Marketing
        • Consumer Engagement
        • Customer Relationship Management
        • Customer Retention
        • Customer Satisfaction
        • User Experience
      • Digital Marketing
        • Ad Blocking
        • Email Marketing
        • Pay-Per-Click
        • Programmatic Marketing
        • Retargeting
        • Search Engine Marketing
        • Search Engine Optimization
          • Content Strategy
        • Social Media Marketing
          • Paid Social
      • Marketing Communications
        • Copywriting
        • Integrated Marketing Communications
        • Public Relations
      • Marketing Performance Management
        • Marketing Metrics
          • Dark Social
      • Marketing Research
        • Focus Group
        • Market Research
          • Market Segmentation
        • Neuromarketing
      • Marketing Strategies
        • Affinity Marketing
        • Content Marketing
        • Engagement Marketing
        • Lead Generation
        • Marketing Mix
        • Media Planning
          • Media Buying
        • Relationship Marketing
      • Marketing Technology
        • Marketing Automation
  • Politics and Law
    • Government
    • International Development
    • International Relations
    • Law Practice
      • Legal Accreditation 
      • Legal Aid
      • Legislation
        • Corporate Law
        • Data Protection
          • Data Protection and Privacy in Business
          • GDPR
        • Insurance Law
        • Public Services
        • Social Issues
          • Civil Engagement
            • Philanthropy
  • Sales and Retail
    • Sales Channels
      • E-Commerce
  • Science and Environment
    • Agriculture and Farming
      • Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences
      • Crops
      • Farm Machinery and Automation
      • Forestry
      • GMOs
      • Irrigation
      • Livestock
      • Organic Farming
    • Biology
      • Genetics
    • Chemistry
    • Energy
      • Renewable Energy
    • Engineering
      • Infrastructure
  • Society and Culture
    • News Media
      • Journalism
    • Social Media
      • Blogs and Blogging
      • Influencer Marketing (Previously in a different spot)
  • Technology
    • Artificial Intelligence
      • Chatbots
      • Machine Learning
        • Deep Learning
      • Natural Language Processing
    • Biotechnology
      • Gene Editing Therapy
    • Computer Graphics
      • Augmented Reality
      • Computer Animation
      • Video Game Development
      • Virtual Reality
    • Computer Programming
      • Competitive Programming
      • Computer Languages
        • C++
        • Java
        • Javascript
        • Python
      • Integrated Development Environments
    • Computer Software
      • Antivirus and Malware
      • Open Source Software
    • Data Management
      • Big Data
      • Blockchain Technology
      • Data Architecture
      • Data Hosting
      • Data Modeling
      • Data Science
      • Databases
    • Digital Manufacturing
      • 3D Printing
    • Electronics
      • Computer Hardware
        • CPUs
      • Consumer Electronics
        • Baby Tech
        • Entertainment Electronics
        • Fitness Technology
        • Home Appliances
        • Video Games
        • Wearable Tech
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Information Technology
      • IT Infrastructure
        • Cybersecurity
      • Information Systems
    • Internet Infrastructure
      • Computer Networks
        • Cloud Computing
        • Distributed Computing
        • Network Equipment and Virtualization
        • Network and Enterprise Security
      • Web Development
        • Web Design
    • Mobile Technology
      • Cell Phones
      • Tablet Computers
    • Nanotechnology
    • Quantum Computing
    • Robotics
      • Drones
      • Nanorobotics
      • Swarm Robotics

Product Interests

  • Accounting Software
  • Business Intelligence (BI) Software
  • Call Center Software
  • Cloud Security Software
  • Collaboration Software
  • Computer-aided Design (CAD) Software
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
  • Cybersecurity Software
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
  • Human Resources (HR) Software
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  • Marketing Software
  • Productivity Software
  • Sales Software
  • Shipping Software
  • Video Conferencing Software

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 info@getuplead.com to speak with someone on our team.

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