4 B2B Audiences You Need to Create in LinkedIn Ads

As a B2B advertiser, LinkedIn is one of my favorite channels.

I recently wrote about the different customer list upload options available by channel in Google, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn. Today I want to take it a step farther and talk about the audiences you need in LinkedIn to take your B2B strategy to the next level.

(I won’t be delving into details about how to upload these audiences, so if you need that, visit the post linked above for how to upload Customer Match audiences in LinkedIn.)

Let’s hop in.

Opportunities and Leads

Similar to a list of customer emails, uploading a list of opportunity and lead emails can be another powerful way to reach users who already recognize your brand.

I recommend uploading these as separate lists when possible (rather than grouping these two levels of the funnel together).

How to utilize Opportunity and Leads audiences:

When layered into a retargeting campaign, this can be a great way to nurture leads and stay in front of these audiences.

Additionally, I like to exclude these lists from net-new campaigns to make sure I am truly targeting a new audience.

When it comes to Lookalike audiences, creating lists off of all levels of the funnel (Customer, Opportunities, MQLs/SQLs, Leads) is a great way to find users outside of your typical targeting.

Website Visitors

Assuming you have the LinkedIn pixel setup and working properly, you should definitely be tracking your website visitors into audiences within LinkedIn. While getting granular and tracking every page always sounds fun, smaller sites may have too few visitors to get too specific.

I’d recommend the homepage, contact us/sales page and PPC landing pages to start.

Where to leverage site visitors:

Retargeting campaigns can be very expensive in LinkedIn, so I typically retarget to site visitors in a cheaper channel like Google or Facebook using UTM parameters.

I would definitely look to exclude these audiences from net-new campaigns.

Engagement Audiences

If you’re running lead gen form or video ads in LinkedIn, you should create engagement retargeting audiences.

For lead gen form retargeting, you can choose to target anyone who opened your form OR anyone who submitted it in the following time periods: last 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, or 365 days.

For video engagement retargeting, you can target people who viewed at least 25%, 50%, 75% or 97% of your video ad in the same time periods as outlined for lead gen form audiences.

For both of these engagement audiences, you can choose which campaigns to include.

How to best leverage LinkedIn engagement audiences:

It’s helpful to exclude lead gen form submissions from campaigns to prevent double-paying for leads and to make sure you’re not continuing to pester users who have already converted.

Once these audiences are created, you can see the audience sizes in the Matched Audiences Library, which can give you an idea of how many people are interacting with your ads at each threshold.

For example, in these audiences below that are modeled off of the same video, you can see that 940 users made it to the 97% mark out of the 2,500 viewers in the 25% viewed audience. This offers me a benchmark for future video campaign performance.

Remember that audiences with less than 300 members will not serve, so this might mean grouping some campaigns and forms together depending on the audience sizes.

Lookalike Audiences

If you’re not using lookalikes in LinkedIn (and Facebook), you’re missing out!

Abby Woodcock outlines a strategy on curating B2B lookalike audiences and suggests finding your most valuable root audiences to begin.

“For B2B clients, generally, the two most valuable types of users are those who completed a conversion action, like filling out a lead form or downloading a whitepaper, and existing customers,” Abby says in her post “How to Leverage B2B Lookalike Audiences in the Stages of Your Sales Funnel.”

Lookalike audiences are a great way to reach users LinkedIn knows look like your audience but perhaps don’t have their profile completely up to date, allowing them to potentially fall outside of the scope of your typical net-new campaigns.

The best way to leverage Lookalike audiences in LinkedIn:

I like to use Lookalikes as a form of net-new targeting while excluding my customer, opportunities, leads and converter lists.

Layering additional targeting on top of the Lookalikes is certainly going to make your audience smaller and usually isn’t advised. However, monitoring lead quality for these campaigns, especially when they’re new, can be very useful in case additional exclusions are needed.

Email List & Blog Subscribers

Since these users may or may not have converted or contacted your business in another way, there is a chance they’re not on your leads lists but are within your target audience.

Uploading these email addresses (and potentially other information such as their name) gives you additional audiences to build lookalikes from, and exclude from net-new campaigns.

Exclusions

Here is a list of my core exclusions I always make:

For Net-New campaigns, I always exclude customers, leads, opportunities, etc. I also exclude other lists that have their own campaigns. In addition, I like to exclude converters so that I know I’m reaching ONLY new users.

Depending on what targeting I am utilizing in a campaign, I will exclude other geographies to keep regions separate, job titles that we find in the client’s CRM that are unrelated as well as interns/unpaid job levels.

Occasionally, it is also necessary to exclude specific Job Functions or Job Titles.

Really, the world is your oyster when it comes to exclusions and you can add as many exclusions as necessary to keep your campaigns in line.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you’re not utilizing these audiences in your LinkedIn account, you’re really missing out! These audiences are a great way to make use of all of LinkedIn’s B2B targeting features.

What is your favorite audience to utilize in LinkedIn? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!

Comments (2)

  1. Hi Mark! I think it really depends on your goals: you can try testing it, keep a close eye on lead quality, and assess from there. I often look to utilize Lookalikes before trying expanded reach, as it seems to yield the best lead quality in my experience, but it’s certainly worth testing! Thanks for reading.

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