Facebook is continually updating its advertising features. Along with improvements and new integrations with Instagram, they get most of the attention in the world of social media advertising. Meanwhile, LinkedIn has been building up its advertising platform, albeit with less fanfare than Facebook and Instagram.
LinkedIn has been building up
2019 saw several LinkedIn Advertising updates that allow for much better targeting, bringing them closer to Facebook’s level of ad sophistication.
Building on LinkedIn’s successful 2018
Thanks to improvements in their newsfeed and a boost to smaller content creators, LinkedIn had a huge 2018. From mid-2017 to mid-2018, LinkedIn gained 75 million new members to a grand total of 575 million.
Social Media Today noted for context that during the same time, Facebook added around 146 million members and Twitter added 9 million, saying that LinkedIn’s growth is probably above average in comparison.
LinkedIn also saw their revenue increase by 33% and “record levels of engagement” with a LinkedIn sessions growth of 34%.
Teaming up with Microsoft, Bing, and Adobe
With LinkedIn owned by Microsoft, they’ve now integrated Bing’s search engine data and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales.
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LinkedIn also teamed up with Adobe to harness their valuable trove of data via their ubiquitous Creative Cloud set of apps and their Marketo Engage B2B marketing platform.
This combines a major search engine’s data and several massive sets of business data from Microsoft and Adobe, all perfect to compliment LinkedIn’s purpose.
- Gain a deeper, real-time understanding of targeted accounts:
Marketing and sales teams will be able to leverage data from Marketo Engage and Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to get a deeper, real-time understanding of targeted accounts, including insights into individual roles, influence, and preferences.
By integrating LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences with Marketo Engage, the combined account-based targeting capabilities will help marketers identify the right contacts within an account to reach on LinkedIn.
- Target audiences more effectively by leveraging richer account profiles:
To identify the best-fit accounts to pursue, Marketo Engage’s Account Profiling capability combines the power of intelligence-driven predictive modelling and automation in a single ABX solution, empowering marketers to identify these accounts out of 25 million companies within minutes.
- Power people-based campaigns with more precision than ever before:
Adobe Audience Manager, the company’s Data Management Platform (DMP), will enable brands to stitch together audience data to power contact-based campaigns on LinkedIn and other channels while informing media buys with more precision than ever before.
Data governance and privacy controls help to ensure that customer data is kept secure and helps brands to comply with their privacy policies and data privacy compliance objectives.
LinkedIn Advertising’s big start to 2019
LinkedIn Dynamic Ads Now in Campaign Manager
For anyone not familiar with LinkedIn advertising, I’ll start with an important update from last fall that leads up to this year’s main updates. Last July, LinkedIn stepped up with an overhauled Campaign Manager, with Dynamic Ads integrated into it in September.
Dynamic Ads allows advertisers to personalize LinkedIn ads using publicly available data from LinkedIn users through several advertising types. Now part of their Campaign Manager, you can personalize, test, track, and funnel creative at scale.
Through ad templates and automation, such as auto-translation and personalized auto-targeting, it’s easier and more effective to use.
The wait for Interest Targeting is finally over
Being able to easily target different audience groups by interest has always been key to Facebook’s advertising success. As of January this year, we finally have it for Linkedin.
Through user activity and the push over the last few years to use and follow hashtags in LinkedIn, we can now target over 200 interest groups, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, global economy, customer experience, and tons more.
These interest groups can now be combined with other factors, such as education level, job title, industry, location, and more to reach certain audiences much more accurately.
New Lookalike Audiences let ad campaigns look more like Facebook’s
A powerful and immediately popular upgrade to Facebook’s Ad Manager was Lookalike Audiences back in 2013, which has continued to grow since.
Like Facebook, As of March 2019, you can now target new audiences that are similar to your existing or ideal audiences. This includes features like uploading an email list or a data set of website visitors to your Campaign Manager. With these upgrades LinkedIn marketing agencies can be very beneficial for B2B companies.
LinkedIn then compares your uploaded data to their existing database and creates new audiences that are similar to your added data set.
While nowhere near the scale of Facebook’s audience, LinkedIn has an unmatched source of data from professionals and businesses that can lead to potentially much higher conversion rates.
To help anyone not as familiar with this type of advertising or who don’t have the most robust data set to upload, LinkedIn offers Audience Templates.
This lets you easily set up a range of targeting variables via a template, that then works with LinkedIn’s data and your uploaded Lookalike Audience data.
LinkedIn has also released a guide to help out, called Reach Your Audience: Targeting on LinkedIn.
This year, LinkedIn teamed up with Adobe an Microsoft and took some big steps for its advertising platform. While maintaining the website’s successful development in 2018, LinkedIn Advertising’s updates allowed better targeting. This also made the platform closer to its important competitors.