How To Create A Target Audience On LinkedIn

Table of Contents

You can segment your target audience by filtering:

  • Company/industry

  • Job titles

  • Skills

  • Location

Every day, 3.96 billion people use social media. It’s expected to hit nearly 4 billion by the end of the year.

Reaching the right people with the right message at the right time is key for B2B marketers. 

There are some important new updates from LinkedIn for reaching & engaging with audiences.

When prospecting & targeting on LinkedIn, a common problem is knowing who you want to contact but not having their email address.

For matched audiences, LinkedIn tested first & last names, job titles, company names, and mobile device IDs for several months. 

What’s the verdict?

Marketers who tested these fields saw a +30% increase in matches.

Using LinkedIn’s audience targeting options, you’ll be able to focus your budget on potential clients who are more likely to convert or audiences who traditionally have a better success rate.

You can target your audience based on their age, gender, etc.

The platform has more detailed information for precise, professional micro-targeting, such as company size & industry, job title, job seniority, function, years of experience, and relevant skills. 

You can even target individuals based on specific companies & groups, company connections, and followers, & that’s just the beginning.

There’s always a balance between relevant targeting & audience size. It’s a fine line between raising awareness & shaping perceptions versus getting quality leads.

Linkedin has 830 million active users, making it a major corporate social media platform. There’s a lot of valuable content on LinkedIn.

It’s the second most popular platform for B2B marketing, & its ads convert 3X better than Google Ads. So LinkedIn ads are worth it. 

Read on to learn how LinkedIn can help you reach your target audience based on the details that matter.

LinkedIn Ads

Search engines like Google & social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn recognize the importance of advertising.

LinkedIn should be your number one social media platform if you’re a B2B company. 

Since LinkedIn users are open to business-related content, it’s the perfect platform for creative ads.

Start with LinkedIn advertising by logging in to Campaign Manager, LinkedIn’s self-service advertising platform. Click ‘Create Campaign.’

You’ll be asked to pick an objective for your LinkedIn campaign.

Consider what you want to accomplish with LinkedIn advertising, from top-of-funnel brand awareness to bottom-of-funnel conversions. 

Plan your advertising activities in detail so you can take your target audience on a journey with you.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Why Is Finding The Right Target Audience So Important?

LinkedIn ads can perform better if you build the right target audience. Your engagement and conversion rate increase if you have the target audience. 

You’re using the information LinkedIn members put in their profiles to build your target audience.

Often, profile searches reveal other options for relevant targeting. If possible, combine targeting features, but avoid hyper targeting.

While you should aim for a tightly controlled & well-sculpted audience, make sure that your potential audience is big enough.

Create A Company Page

LinkedIn text & sponsored content ads run from a company page, not a personal profile, so make sure yours is set up right.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn company page, don’t worry; most interaction on LinkedIn happens via individual profiles. 

It’s best if company pages are used as content hubs for employees to share company content.

What Are Sponsored Content Ads?

In user feeds, sponsored content ads are ads made with sponsored content. They also include image ads, video ads, and carousel ads.

Sponsored content lets you go beyond the reach of your company page followers to target relevant audiences interested in your company.

Advertise directly to people through LinkedIn’s messenger or InMail ads.

What Are Message Ads?

Message ads (formerly sponsored InMail) let you send personalized content through LinkedIn Messenger.

These are cost-per-send, meaning you only pay for the delivered messages.

What Are Text Ads?

The sidebar features text ads based on pay-per-click ads but looks like regular text ads. These self-service ad formats help you create campaigns in minutes.

What Is Account Targeting?

We’ll explain the most important LinkedIn terminology before we get into how to start a campaign here.

When you understand these terms, you’re almost ready to start building your LinkedIn audience. Account targeting is all about talking to your exact target audience.

This strategy works best if you’re already doing ABM or want to start. Using LinkedIn account targeting, you’ll only talk to decision-makers in your target market. 

What Are Matched Audiences?

Using LinkedIn ads’ matched audiences feature, you can create custom audiences if you have an email list and relevant data permissions.

Contacts can be engaged based on their previous interactions.

A matched audience is a group of people or profiles that have the same or similar characteristics as your matched audience.

This can be anything from the job title, skills, location, gender, or age.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

What Is A Lookalike Audience?

With a lookalike audience, you’re broadening the pool of matched audiences on LinkedIn to whom your ads are displayed.

LinkedIn generates lookalike audiences for you, so you don’t have to do anything more than clone your existing matched audience with just a few clicks.

The lookalike audience is created by LinkedIn looking at your target audience’s characteristics and patterns to find other people who are probably relevant to you.

LinkedIn analyzes your target audience to find people likely to be relevant to your objectives based on their characteristics & patterns.

You can expand your audience by clicking the “Audience Expansion” box.

Using Audience Expansion, you can show ads to audiences with similar attributes to your target audience. 

When you target ‘Interactive Marketing,’ Audience Expansion helps you reach members who list ‘Online Advertising’ as a similar skill. 

It can sometimes take LinkedIn 24 hours to match all companies with their members.

Lookalike audiences are only interesting if they come from highly relevant target audiences that promise big sales. 

Therefore, it’s essential to carefully create the original list you feed to LinkedIn.

How Many Contacts Or Email Addresses Do You Need For A Lookalike Audience On LinkedIn?

To create a lookalike audience on LinkedIn, you need at least 100 contacts from a country in your target audience.

What's The Difference Between A Custom Audience & A Matched Audience?

Facebook ads can be targeted to Custom Audiences. You can make a Custom Audience from customer lists, website traffic, lead lists, or even Facebook interactions.

Custom Audiences can also be created from people who already know your business & are on your list. 

“Custom Audience” is also used for a “Matched Audience” on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s matched audiences are basically like Facebook’s custom audiences.

You can upload a list of companies to LinkedIn if you want to show ads to your website visitors, existing customers, or leads.

There’s also the LinkedIn tag on your website, which automatically retargets visitors to your website when they’re on LinkedIn.


The only LinkedIn ad targeting option that’s mandatory is location. Choose a city or metro area to start or go broad & target people by state or country.

With this targeting option, you can reach people based on their location or IP address. 

Interests & Traits

LinkedIn ad targeting options let you reach members based on groups, individual members, or traits.

Depending on the member’s profile & their online activities, they’re also subject to these.


The skills listed on your audience’s LinkedIn profile can help you target them.

You can put “PPC,” “Google AdWords,” & “Online Advertising” as skills if you’re trying to reach online advertisers.

Start filling your sales pipeline today

Company Size

You can reach users based on their company size. It’s based on how many people are listed on the organization’s LinkedIn page.

You can target users based on what they list as their employer. This option is based on LinkedIn pages that employees maintain, like company size.

This targeting option is determined by the number of employees listed on the organization’s LinkedIn page.

Company Connections

Using company connections, you can reach any 1st-degree connections of employees at the companies you select. This option only works for companies with more than 500 employees.

Job Titles

LinkedIn ads can be targeted based on a user’s job experience in several ways.

The first thing you can do is target members by their job function, which is based on the standardized grouping of whatever job title they entered.

With job seniority, you can target users by their rank & influence in their current position, and with job titles, you can target them by the title they list.

Once users update their profile roles, LinkedIn organizes the titles into standardized ones based on LinkedIn algorithms.

LinkedIn Audience Templates

Check LinkedIn’s audience templates if you’re having trouble building your audience. These templates are pre-populated with various targeting options such as:

  • Customer Experience Professionals

  • Financial Decision Makers

  • Small Business Owners

LinkedIn Campaign Manager

You’ll see a clean page when you log into LinkedIn Campaign Manager with your account icon, a question mark, and a bell.

You’ll see “Detailed account list” below the Campaign Manager text. 

You can see which accounts you’re managing here, which is crucial if you’re an agency or freelancer with multiple clients.

With any digital marketing campaign, a limited scale hurts performance & limits reach.

When you’re building your audience, the Campaign Manager shows you your estimated reach & a suggested range, but if your audience gets too narrow, it warns you. 

Website Retargeting

You can target people who visited your site. Make sure you add the insight tag to your website.

Insight tags also let you see details about your website visitors like their job title, seniority, function, location, company, and industry, as well as the insight tag’s analytical tools for LinkedIn ads. 

Ad Optimization

LinkedIn requires dedicated campaign management and optimization like any other social media platform.

To optimize your ads with LinkedIn’s ad targeting options, you’ll need:

  • The experience & knowledge to set up campaigns

  • Adjust targeting options

  • Manage your budget

  • Monitor results

Start filling your sales pipeline today


AdStage is the only LinkedIn Certified Partner with access to Text Ads & Sponsored Content.

It’s a cross-network advertising platform helping businesses manage all of their ad campaigns from one place.

Posting Content

LinkedIn is all about building your network & engaging with content. Consuming content is an important part of the decision-making process.

Your audience will start trusting you when you post content that’s relevant to them on LinkedIn. 

You’ll get likes, comments, and shares, plus you can post links to drive traffic to your site.

Save Your Target Audience

Creating target audiences for your LinkedIn ads can take a lot of time, especially if you’re creating several. You can save the target audiences you build for later. 

Doing so can speed up the process when you advertise in the future.

Reach New Audiences With Kennected

According to HubSpot, 61% of companies name their top marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.

If you’re part of that 61%, keep reading because what you’re about to discover could be a game-changer for you and your business (like it has for thousands of people before you).

So many business owners & sales professionals that come to us are struggling to get ahead because they’re stuck relying on referrals, lead lists, or manual prospecting.

This is taking up too much of their time and isn’t creating the consistent income they’re looking for to fund the lifestyle they want for themselves and their families.

Four years ago, the founders of Kennected had the same struggles. They found that lead generation was way too complicated, expensive, and time-consuming, knowing there had to be a better way.

So they developed a new way of getting qualified leads that turn into new customers on the #1 platform for B2B lead generation… LinkedIn.

In the four years since we developed this lead gen strategy, we’ve earned a spot on the Inc. 5,000 list of Fastest Growing Companies in America.

And more importantly, it helped over 17,000 businesses get new leads and sales for THEIR businesses.

Want to see how it works?

Click here to see how you can use Kennected to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads in less than 10 minutes per day.

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