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How to Build Your B2B Target Audience on LinkedIn

Ask 100 digital marketers about their preferred platforms, and a handful might mention LinkedIn. Maybe. While we’re not here to proclaim one “better” than the other -- it’d be foolish to give the title to LinkedIn or anyone else with the 800 pound Google gorilla peering over our shoulder -- we feel perfectly comfortable saying LinkedIn deserves a seat at the table.

In fact, we’ll take that argument -- one that we conveniently made up -- a step further and say that LinkedIn should have a seat of honor at that marketing platform table, particularly for its audience-building superpowers. So give us a few minutes of your time and we’ll explain how building your target audience on LinkedIn makes it an especially powerful wrench in your B2B marketing toolbox.

 

So What’s So Special About This LinkedIn of Which You Speak?

That’s a great question and we’re glad you asked, fellow marketer. To answer it, we turn your attention to what LinkedIn is -- a professional networking platform where people use their actual information to make contacts, communicate, and research companies and other professionals. The data is authentic, almost always up-to-date, and not buried beneath the distorted truths often found on other platform profiles. It’s that authenticity that allows you to build, identify, and message your target audience with extraordinary precision on LinkedIn. Even better, there are several different ways to get in front of that target audience using data as your trusty guide.

The data is authentic, almost always up-to-date, and not buried beneath the distorted truths often found on other platform profiles.

Personas

LinkedIn’s precision allows you to better leverage your content, aligning the reader with the subject matter at a level that is extremely difficult to accomplish -- if even possible -- on the other large platforms. Marketing to personas is perhaps the most basic way of engaging your audience on LinkedIn, using that profile data to narrow the range of people that receive your messaging.

For instance, let’s say we have a new content offer on technology in the internal audit space. By using personas as our guide, we could target individuals according to the following criteria:

  • Dallas, Austin, and San Francisco markets
  • Companies with 50 to 500 employees
  • C-suite, senior directors, VPs of Accounting, Accounting Managers & other titles related to internal audit
  • At least five years experience

Pretty darn specific, right? Sure, there probably won’t be a million targets in the audience given that level of specificity, but the people that do fit into that criteria will be a very good match for our content. Of course, we could always zoom in or out with our criteria to adjust our targeting.

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Website Retargeting

People that have visited your website have already expressed some interest in your company, product, or service. Therefore, those people have some degree of familiarity with who you are, what you do, and will recognize you from their own buying process.

Using LinkedIn’s Insights Tags, you can track who visits your website and then retarget those people in a campaign. Once again, you can also control the level of specificity you track, capturing those who visit, for instance:

  • Your entire website
  • Particular product pages
  • Landing pages
  • Catalyst/service offering pages

In fact, you can even track visitors to a particular blog page if you want. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when using Insights Tags. First, a website must generate at least 300 visitors before you can use it for retargeting. Also, you can only retain the tracking data for up to 90 days. Therefore, you don’t have an unlimited window to use the retargeting data and, obviously, you should understand what your budget will afford you.

 

List Uploads

If you have lists of potential targets that you want to use in a campaign, you can upload the lists and message those particular segments. For instance, those lists could include people on your email list, companies your sales team has identified as priorities, or even businesses that fit within certain attributes or identifiers.

Lists could include people on your email list, companies your sales team has identified as priorities, or even businesses that fit within certain attributes or identifiers.

Maybe you want to target companies in the Denver area that might issue an IPO in the next six months, or the top 20 hospitality companies in the Greater Atlanta area. Once you’ve populated those lists, you can target them in your LinkedIn campaign. In some cases, you might even want to upload your entire CRM for targeting, depending on your goal.

You can also layer your uploaded lists with different fields to refine your messaging even more. Now, not only can you target those Denver businesses that might go public within six months, but you can segment your message even further by narrowing it to those companies that, as an example, have greater than 500 employees. Likewise, you can layer your personas to accomplish the same effect with individuals, perhaps targeting just the C-suite level employees, directors, and specific decision-makers within those Denver firms.

 

Lookalike Audiences

Let’s say you’re a fast-growing widget manufacturer and have met with many of the big widget distributors in the past few months. You’ve closed a few deals but, much to your chagrin, there’s been quite a few that just barely slipped through your fingers. Given the chance, you’d like another crack at those meetings because you know you’d probably seal the deal on the next go-around.

LinkedIn lets you market to companies that are remarkably similar to those you barely missed on through their lookalike audiences. Using technology (we assume there is some AI and algorithms happening) and vast amounts of accurate and relevant data, you can create mirrored audiences that match the attributes of those companies and their key employees for your messaging.

With lookalike audiences, LinkedIn will identify similar companies, job titles, industries, and more to generate an entirely new, untapped audience for your to target with your original content. The platform will even look at what and whom those people are interacting with on LinkedIn, their interests and skills as well, all to build your new lookalike audience.

With lookalike audiences, LinkedIn will identify similar companies, job titles, industries, and more to generate an entirely new, untapped audience for your to target with your original content.

Sure, we understand that all of this might sound like a paid advertisement for LinkedIn, but we assure you that’s not the case. If it were, your friends here at Creative Cave would all be driving slightly nicer cars. Simply put, we want to share some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way to help get your own marketing as effective and impactful as possible.

Read Next: Developing B2B Buyer Personas

Of course, we’ve kept a few secrets to ourselves, but you won’t hold that against us, right? After all, it’s our experience and insights that make us such a valuable partner, and we promise there’s plenty more where this came from. So give us a holler whenever you need us, and we’ll show you just how powerful an inbound campaign really can be.

 

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