Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Target your update, part of Up and Running with LinkedIn Sponsored Content.
- Earlier, we saw how to get started with either a sponsored update or direct sponsored contact campaign. Now both of these campaigns are going to eventually arrive at this audience-targeting view. So however you started, you're going to end up here. The idea with targeting is to position your ads to a relevant audience. As you select from the options below, your audience size is going to change and you're going to see that reflected here on the right-hand side. So here I can see that my estimated target audience is over 400,000,000 LinkedIn members.
Now that is a significant number. We clearly don't want to be targeting that many people. And we're going to watch that number decrease as we add in information here on the left. Now there are two options below this, one labeled Audience expansion, and one labeled Deliver beyond LinkedIn, and I'm going to talk about these towards the end of this movie. The first thing we need to do is establish the locations that we want our advertisements to run. You'll be able to do that by entering in a country, state, city, or even a town, right here in this location search.
So if I want to target Santa Barbara, I can start typing Santa Barbara. I'll see the option appear and I can click on it and we can see that Santa Barbara, California area is now targeted. If we wanted to remove this targeting, I could choose the x to the right of the label, and I could enter in, say, a country. Let's say we want to run this to the entire United States. I'll go ahead and add that in here, and it's now included. Now most of the specific targeting options are going to include the ability to include or exclude specific targeted.
Now not all of them are going to show you the exclude option and we'll get into that in just a minute. But if you wanted to, say, have a much broader audience, perhaps you were marketing globally, and you just wanted to exclude a few countries, you could do that by selecting Exclude and then adding in the countries that you'd like here. Now when you have just one country included, it's only going to show your advertisements into the country or countries that you've selected here. So if I select back to Include, and we can start typing in another country.
Perhaps we want to target Italy. I'll type in Italy and select Italy. And now you're going to see that we're including the United States and Italy. And you notice on the right-hand side that our target audience has now dropped to 100,000,000 members. We want to get that even more refined, and it's at this point that all of the wonderful demographic targeting features of LinkedIn come into play. It's within this specific targeting where you can identify company names, industry, fields of study for these members, perhaps even their age or gender.
This is the opportunity to really narrow down your customer segment that you're speaking to. As with all marketing, the idea is to find that right market so you're going to want to really narrow this down, and I recommend that you get your audience size between 60,000 and 600,000 members. If you're scaling beyond 600,000 members, I would really consider breaking up your campaigns so you have more focused targeting which will give you better visibility into which demographics and which creatives are working best.
So to establish this targeting, you'll simply select the area that you want to use as a targeting filter. I'll start by selecting Company size, and let's say that we wanted to target everything that's above 50 employees. I could either select from the options, here just as so, so I could turn all of those on, or I can also use that exclude criteria and choose to exclude anything in that small company size. And now we can see that that didn't do much to move the number here in the upper right-hand corner.
So you can continue stacking this targeting. So from here, I might look at Fields of study. I'll select that option, and you simply start typing a field of study. So I could start typing in marketing and that's going to bring the general field of study. And the great thing about LinkedIn is that you might have noticed there are multiple fields of study with marketing within them. And for the most part, when you pick sort of this broad target, LinkedIn's going to do a pretty good job of matching those that are in that similar space, international marketing, marketing and so on.
The more specific you get, that will sort of pull you out of that broad focus and help you narrow in deeper. So if you wanted only those in international marketing, well, then you would select that option from the list below and that would help you refine that list a little bit more. You'll notice now in the upper right-hand corner I'm down to 21,000 members. However, if I remove international marketing, and go back to just marketing at a broad level, you'll notice that that continues to bring in a little bit more, in this case 1.3 million members and that's still a little high, but we're going to continue adding some more targeting.
As I scroll down, you could introduce Job seniority, and again you have the include or the exclude option. Now what's nice is if you're a little bit confused as to what options are available to you. On the right-hand side for some of these targeting you're going to see the option to see the full list. I'll select this, and now we get a view down below with some options available to us. So we can select Manager, Director, VP, CXO, and maybe even Senior.
We'll notice now that our targeting is at 858,000 members and we can see those seniorities down below. Anytime you want to hide the list, just select that option. The list will go away. And you can continue moving through your targeting criteria. I recommend that you have anywhere from one to 20 targets selected to really help refine that audience. Too much granularity and you're not going to have the audience size necessary to get you the engagement that you're looking for. And again too broad, and you're likely not going to see the return on investment because even if you are getting engagements, it might be with the wrong audience.
If you wanted to specify specific Member groups, you could type in a group that you were aware that someone might be a part of. So, let's say I was looking for social media marketers. I could start typing in the term social media, and I'll see a list of groups that match that term. Here I can select Social Media Marketing, and now we can see we're down to 48,000 LinkedIn members. Now this might be a smaller list than what I want, but again this is just an example to walk you through how to leverage these features. Now the way that these work is you're going to be targeting as an OR statement within a category and an AND statement as you stack the categories.
So what I mean by that is we are targeting anyone in United States or Italy and they cannot be part of a company that has one to 10 employees or 11 to 50 employees. And they need to be in the field of study of marketing and they need to be a manager or a director or a VP. Does that make a little sense there? So the ORs are within the category and the AND statements are how you stack them together. And that's how you get that filtering, but still allows you enough flexibility to introduce that seniority level or some of these other job functions maybe to continue broadening that market.
You can also remove an entire chunk of this filtering by choosing the x in the upper right-hand corner of the area that you want to remove. So let's say we want to get rid of fields of study. We had a bunch of options in here. Rather than clicking the x next to each one, I'll choose that in the upper right-hand corner and that will be removed. Those are the options to undo it, if you made that mistake accidentally. Now as I scroll down, you'll notice that once you've selected a particular option, it's no longer available to you and that's because it's going to be in the view above. Now earlier, I mentioned that not all of these targeting criteria are going to allow you to either include or exclude.
They will restrict you to one of the two. And to give you an example of this, I'm going to select Company name. You'll notice that the company name is defaulted to the exclude criteria. And when I hover of this, LinkedIn's going to give us a reason why. So here they're saying inclusive targeting for company name is disabled because you're targeting by company size or company industry. And here we can confirm that because on the right-hand side we've decided to target by a specific company size. So this is okay. We could enter in company names that we wanted to exclude but if you did want to have inclusive company targeting, you'd have to remove that criteria first.
One other thing that I should point out about company targeting is that the way that LinkedIn uses the company name is that it's going to have to be the current employer listed on a member's profile. So if they were previously employed but now have a new current employer, the targeting of the company is not going to match that. So this is either going to exclude or include, if you have that option available to you, only those who have this company listed in their current employer. I could, for example, exclude, say, lynda.com.
And I can select that and now we are excluding any employees of lynda.com from seeing this advertisement about lynda.com. And that might be a good thing if your company is fairly large and you don't really need your employees clicking on your ads because they're interested in the content and sort of costing that additional click to you. Once you've entered in all your targeting, you can review it here on the right-hand side. But there are these two options that I mentioned we were going to discuss later, and that's the Audience expansion and Delivery beyond LinkedIn. You'll see there's two checkboxes here at the bottom of the screen.
The first is labeled Help my campaign reach new audiences and so on, and that one's selected. And the second one is this one labeled Beta Deliver my campaign to my target audience beyond LinkedIn. Let me talk to you about both of these. The first one is known as audience expansion and this is going to automatically expand your audience to include members with similar characteristics, such as groups, companies, or skills. This can be particularly useful if you want to use your targeting as a cue for LinkedIn to know who you're trying to reach.
Instead of having to identify a list of hundreds of companies, you can select a handful that are similar to where your target audience is and then leave this option enabled to let LinkedIn build that similar audience for you and leverage that information to try to keep extending that. If you want direct control over the audience and you need to maintain that granular control, I would recommend unchecking the option. Next you have the opportunity to deliver this campaign outside of LinkedIn. And this is going to put the content on what are known as LinkedIn brand safe partners.
And they mean brand safe because they want you to know that they're particularly careful about where your advertisement can show up. Now I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this option as a marketer. You won't be able to differentiate in the data between LinkedIn impressions versus impressions on their partner sites. Any time you have the opportunity to introduce another variable to your marketing, it's important that it's trackable. Now this is a Beta feature, and I assume that LinkedIn is working to introduce that tracking. So for you, it's really an opportunity to experiment.
Try it, see how you feel about it, but just know the limitations in terms of tracking. For now, I'm going to uncheck the option. From there, you've got all of your targeting set up, you're good to go, and you'll choose Next in the bottom right-hand corner. From here, we're going to set our bids and our budget, and we're going to talk about that in the next movie.
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Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/18/2016. What changed?
A: We updated eight tutorials to reflect changes to the LinkedIn interface and the workflow around Sponsored Updates.