LinkedIn is the business professional's social media platform of choice. Besides showcasing a user's resume, LinkedIn also allows its users to connect with fellow employees, potential clients, and other industry professionals. With LinkedIn's advertising platform and ad manager, brands and companies will have more reach and targeting capabilities to get qualified users to accomplish a goal such as a conversion, gain more awareness about their brand, or fill out a form for more information.

Advertising Options

On LinkedIn's advertising platform, companies and brands can reach their target audience by either Creating an Ad or Sponsoring Content. Creating An Ad: If you decide to create an ad on LinkedIn, your ad can have text, an image or video, and a link to a specified landing page on your website. Not only can you choose different goals for your ad to achieve, such as a webinar signup, whitepaper download, or newsletter subscription, you can also delve into exactly who your ad will be shown to within demographic targeting options. Creating an ad also lets you choose between whether you want your ad to focus on getting clicks or impressions through a CPC or CPM advertising model. Sponsoring Content: Instead of creating an ad, you can also choose to sponsor content that you have already posted on your company's profile. This is particularly useful as you can boost the audience reach of a post that has already done well with your followers organically. Sponsored content encourages users to follow your company, gets you more impressions, and drives more traffic to your website. With the option of either creating your own ad or sponsoring one of your organic posts, LinkedIn's advertising platform is a great way to reach your target audience in a professional setting and is a no-brainer for B2B business who are looking to spend on social media advertising initiatives.

LinkedIn's Targeting Options

Before you set out on any social media campaign, it's very important to take a step back and research each social media's advertising channel to see if they offer the right targeting capabilities to reach your potential and existing audience demographic. Here are the categories that you can drill down into on LinkedIn's advertising platform:
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Job Title (Easier thought of as department within a company)
  • Seniority
  • Company Size
  • Gender
  • Age
To help you get started, we have come up with a spreadsheet of the possible demographic targeting combinations that your business or company may come up with that aligns with your existing and potential customers.
For example, if you are a B2B company that has just released your newest whitepaper with the goal of becoming an important industry resource online, LinkedIn's advertising platform is very useful. When creating an ad about your whitepaper that links back to your website, you can ask a user for their email address and have them subscribe to your newsletter in exchange for downloading your whitepaper. When they download your whitepaper, you now have their email address, and you can contact them in the future about your products and services. You can also narrow down the exact target demographic that will see your ad, which is beneficial for both parties if you have done your audience research. For example, your whitepaper ad could specifically be shown only to VP's, Managers, and Directors in the New York City and Boston areas, ages 35-54, in the Advertising industry on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn ads and the precise targeting that it offers, you have the capability to get your message in front of specific individuals at specific companies, and even target your competition's current customers. As you can see, LinkedIn's Advertising Platform is very specific in letting brands and companies advertise their content to very specific individuals based on their target demographic capabilities. If you think LinkedIn advertising is right for your business, we've provided a resource of our LinkedIn targeting list in excel, here. If you have any questions about how to do LinkedIn targeting let us know in the comments section below or by reaching out to us on twitter at @BFMweb.
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