linkedin ad targeting

How to nail LinkedIn ad targeting to improve your ad relevance

There are a number of steps you should be taking to improve your LinkedIn ad targeting efforts. And below we’ve given our top five, as a means to help you maximise your ROI and minimise overall monthly ad expenditure. But first, we need to address one very crucial term that every great LinkedIn marketer should be familiar with.

What is your relevance score?

This a score that LinkedIn assigns to every ad account holder. It is based on how well your targeted audience engages with all of the ads you set up and publish. Your relevance score will have an impact on your ability to win bids and achieve more effective LinkedIn ad targeting.

For example, if you bid higher than someone else, but have a lower relevance score, there’s a chance you still won’t win the bid. You are unable to see your relevance score: only LinkedIn knows this. But don’t worry, it fluctuates very often so you can always improve it. Now that’s out the way, here’s your first tip:

1. Don’t be too specific

First off, we’re going to start with one of the most crucial lessons when it comes to LinkedIn ad targeting. Never be overly specific with your target audience. This might sound a bit counterintuitive at first, but hang on in there. The reason is, if you make your ads too specific, then you limit your audience size.

In turn, you cannot learn everything you need to, such as what works and what doesn’t. When starting a new ad campaign, limit your initial audience sizes to 15,000 for Sponsored InMail and 50,000 for Sponsored Content. That way, you have a broad enough audience of people on which to then test and revise your ads.

2. It’s all about location

LinkedIn has one mandatory targeting field when it comes to using their ads and that’s location. When you target via location, it will do so based on the user’s profile address or their IP address. Either way, you have the choice of going broad and basing it via country, or going more focused and basing it on county or city.

Think strategically about where you believe your exact target audience is based. For example, if you are trying to target high-earning individuals, it’s far better to target specific cities like Bristol and London. There’s still a broad enough pool of people, but it focuses your audience quickly and effectively.

3. Adjust your bidding

Just because you select an audience, it doesn’t mean everyone will necessarily see it. Instead, who sees your ad will depend greatly on your bidding efforts. LinkedIn themselves have actually laid out the following four crucial top tips for bidding:

1. Spend more of your budget at the start. If you base your ad spend on a weekly or monthly basis, spend most of this at the start. Then, optimise and reduce spend towards the latter stages of the time period.

2. Up your daily spend caps. Similar to tip number one, do this initially in order to gather more data upon which to optimise.

3. Be competitive. Once you win the bid, you only ever pay just more than the second highest bid. So feel free to go a bit overboard on some bids, simply to get your ads out there and running.

4. Remove underperforming ads. Finally, LinkedIn will base your relevance score on how all ads are performing. By removing underperforming ads quickly, you have a better chance of winning more bids and improving your overall LinkedIn ad targeting success.

4. To improve LinkedIn Ad targeting: test, test and test again!

Through the Campaign Manager, you need to be testing every part of your ads. It’s that simple. If you want to increase CTR and have your ad relevance score improve, then you need to have the perfect LinkedIn ad format up and running. So tweak everything such as the image, the headline text and the call to action. You’ll be surprised by just how much can be achieved tweaking minor phrases.

linkedin ad relevance testing

5. Let LinkedIn help you

They have a number of different tools designed to help make designing audiences that much easier, such as “Expanded Audience”, which sees LinkedIn selecting an audience of people who are most likely to respond positively to your ads. Demographically, the sorts of people you get through Expanded Audience are very similar. So it can help you to reach people your ad targeting may otherwise have been unable to reach.

If you’re still stuck trying to optimise your LinkedIn ad targeting and need additional help, then stop panicking. Anova is here to help. We support businesses of all sizes by offering specialist social media marketing support across all industries and platforms, including LinkedIn. To find out more and to see how we can help you today, get in contact with our team.

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