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Latest News | 18 Feb 2019

How to Use LinkedIn Interest Based Targeting

LinkedIn Interest Based Targeting

When it comes to ad platforms, LinkedIn dominates the B2B sector. With over 40 million key decisions makers and 61 million senior-level business professionals, it's a goldmine for those looking to play with firmographics and reduce ad spend. But, over the past year or two, saturation issues have made it difficult to reach your target audience.

InMail ads are so common that users basically ignore them (unless they're really well done) at this point, and firmographic campaigns can quickly get off-track when LinkedIn's ad algorithm decides to smash your ads in front of non-associated business professionals. This is especially true if you're trying to weave organic elements (white papers, blogs, articles, etc.) into your ad strategy.

Luckily, LinkedIn just launched interest targeting to combat some of these issues, adding a new LinkedIn advertising option. Today, we're going to go over what interest targeting is and why you should jump on interest targeted ads as soon as possible.

Let's jump in!

What is Interest Targeting?

LinkedIn's new interest targeting campaigns let you reach business professionals with content based on their professional interests. So, LinkedIn looks at all of the content that people share and engage with and uses that to target ads to them based on their interests.

As of now, LinkedIn has +200 categories, like AI, IoT, accounting, global economy, etc. So, when you're setting up your campaigns, you can target those who are interested in those categories. Important detail! You can still play with normal firmographics and layer this interest targeting on top of your existing campaigns.

Really, this just means better targeting across-the-board — which will ultimately let you stay leaner, meaner, and more KPI-friendly.

How to Use Interest Targeting

Now that we've gone over what interest targeting is, let's take a look at why it's valuable and why you should use it.

To start, let's make it clear that this is an additional LinkedIn advertising option that you can glue to your existing campaigns. So, there's really no reason not to use it.

Let's start with talking about why it's useful in a broad sense before we get granular.

As of now, most LinkedIn ads use firmographics to reach their audience. Why? Well, B2B businesses typically only need to reach decision makers. Spending money on targeting people who don't have the authority to "pull-the-trigger" on your product aren't worth the money or time. So, most B2B businesses know precisely who they want (e.g., C-level marketers, IT management, etc.)

Here's the problem. Unless you get hyper-granular and try to individually scout out the businesses you want to target, your ads are going to be hitting ALL of the IT managers that fit into your parameters. But, what if you only sell an IoT solution? Not every IT manager is going to want or even care about IoT.

LinkedIn interest targeting lets you ensure that you're only reaching the IT managers that also show an interest in IoT. Maybe they're looking around and browsing for new IoT products, or maybe they are new to the space and looking for resources. Now, you can be the one to provide them with those resources and push them back to your landing page — ultimately nurturing them down your pipeline.

On a granular note, interest target lets you set up your campaigns to be more robust. So, let's say that you run that IoT business. You've developed a batch of content that you're going to use to target your audience on LinkedIn (white papers, blog posts, eBooks, etc.) Now, you can make sure that you're sending the right ads to the right people. So, you can send IoT ads to those who show an interest in IoT and automation ads to those who show an interest in automation (to loop them back to IoT.)


LinkedIn's new interest targeting is the perfect way to get more granular and attack specific business verticals. You can ensure that you're staying lean, and you aren't throwing ad spend in the wind trying to target uninterested decision makers. Everyone brand should move on interest targeting today. Rework your campaigns and ad interest targeting parameters to help reduce ad spend waste and reach those critical prospects.

Looking for an agency that knows how to fill your pipeline and optimize your funnel with full-service LinkedIn ads? Contact us.

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By Mathew Slavica
18 Feb 2019

Founder Digital Stand. We are a Sydney social media agency working with enterprise clients and disruptive brands. We bring clarity to social media and help you become effective fast.

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