LinkedIn Gives B2B Marketers a Win with Matched Audiences

Starting April 24, accounting firms that advertise on LinkedIn will be able to use a brand new feature called Matched Audiences. While Matched Audiences is the official name, don’t be misled by the vague moniker: it’s a big win for B2B marketers. You can now target ad audiences by email (you can upload a list or have them automatically imported and synced with your data integration platform) and by company.

To access Matched Audiences, go to the Audiences tab in the ad campaign you’ve chosen. At the bottom of the menu that opens, you’ll see “Target a list of accounts,” with a clickable box labeled “Create an audience” below. Clicking that box will open the “Create an account list” interface where you can type in a name for your list of addresses. Once you’ve named it (pick something specific, because you may want to use multiple lists in different campaigns) select “Match based on a list of email contacts” and upload your list.

The lists you upload must be in .cvs files, with the first column on the sheet labeled “email.” Use one email address per row below the heading. After uploading, click on the “Next” button. Now you’re ready to head back to the audience-targeting page you were on when you started. You’ll see “Target a list of accounts” as before, but this time you’ll also see a button labeled “See full list” that will reveal your uploaded email lists. Click it, select the one you want and save. You’re done!

With this update, LinkedIn is providing your accounting firm with an ability you’ve had with Facebook, Twitter and Google AdWords for years. Being able to target this way here is more valuable, however, because most people include their work email addresses when they create an account on the platform, whereas personal email addresses are more common on other social networking sites. As a result, you’ll be able to direct your content to warm leads, professional contacts and identified decision-makers with far greater accuracy than was possible previously – more so than on other networks.

Consider all the ways you can use Matched Audiences to get your content in front of the right people:

  • After attending a conference, target those you met there
  • Target previous and current clients when you’re promoting a newly added service
  • Upload lists of decision-makers at businesses you’d like to work with
  • Upload a list of current clients, then use this list as an exclusion for ad audiences to make sure you’re not wasting money preaching to the choir

There’s no end to the number of ideas for targeting ads by email address on LinkedIn, but there are a few important caveats:

  1. Make lists carefully and edit them well, because you can’t change them after uploading.
  2. Lists must include at least 300 addresses. Not every address will match successfully, so your lists should probably be a good bit larger.
  3. Lists don’t process immediately. Give them 48 hours before using (and be aware that a smaller list size in the first day or so doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem).

Now that you’re familiar with this new feature, how will you take advantage of it?

Follow Sarah:
Sarah Warlick is responsible for making us and all of our clients sound professional and eloquent as the content director at bbr marketing. In this role, Sarah is in charge of ensuring that all copy is well-written, accurate and free of pesky typos before it heads out the door. Additionally, she is a prolific writer and a frequent contributor to bbr marketing’s blog sites. She spends a good deal of time writing copy for our clients and has a unique way of crawling into our clients’ heads to create ghostwritten copy that sounds as if it came directly from their pen.
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