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LinkedIn releasing new custom ad targeting features

Tue 1 Mar 2016

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has made some changes to the way the platform can deliver ads, following the roll out of a new marketing tool which will make it possible for advertisers to use their own data to aim their ads more effectively.

The professional networking site will introduce the new account-based feature on 2 March, enabling marketers to better target Sponsored InMail and Sponsored Updates. Head of products for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, Russell Glass, said that the current tools available to advertisers were limited and time-consuming – largely manual options, with a cap of 100 companies.

The new LinkedIn ‘Account Targeting’ feature will now allow businesses to upload their own lists of up to 30,000 priority accounts, which the site then cross references against its 8 million+ company pages to build a target segment. The new feature can also be used alongside LinkedIn’s other advertising tools, allowing companies to further tailor their marketing campaigns to specific metrics, such as job roles and regions, within a thousand companies or so.

Glass commented that the new tool would be beneficial for advertisers looking to become ‘more aligned with what their sales team is already doing.’  He also explained that a further feature currently under development, ‘Audience Matching’, will soon offer advertisers more options with their datasets.

Earlier this year, LinkedIn announced that it would be getting rid of its B2B ad targeting platform it had previously acquired from Bizo in 2014 for $175 million (approx. £126 million). The company admitted that it did not originally account for the resources required to scale the acquisition.

However, LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions product line still brought in $581 million last year – an increase of 28% from 2014. It hopes that this figure will almost double to $1 billion by 2017, apparently turning to account targeting as its next step.

These new targeting options from LinkedIn follow similar moves from other leading names, including Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Twitter’s Tailored Audiences and Google’s Customer Match.

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