How to Create Retargeting Audiences in LinkedIn Ads

For the longest time, website based URL audiences were the only type of retargeting audiences we could create within the LinkedIn interface. A few weeks ago that all changed.

LinkedIn announced that there are two new retargeting audiences we can create within the platform. We can now do retargeting audiences from video views, as well as lead gen form interactions.

This post is going to show you how you can create retargeting audiences for all three of those options. 

You can find all of these options under “Matched Audiences” section in your LinkedIn account.

LinkedIn Website Audiences

I’m going to start with the easiest option, and it is also the retargeting audience that has been around for a long time. I am talking about website or URL-based audiences. There are several ways we can create website based retargeting audiences for LinkedIn ads.

In the image above, you can see we’re matching a URL if it starts with the URL we have entered into the field. That means we would capture all visitors to the “clixmarketing.com” domain as well as any pages that live within that domain (e.g. /blog, /contact, etc.).

Another option to match the URL is to choose “equals.”

If I choose this option, it will only capture users who visited my homepage. Anyone who lands on our about page, blog page, etc., will not be included in this audience.

Your last URL match option is to change it to contains.

Every post on the Clix blog lives behind the /blog/ subdirectory of our domain. If we wanted to create a LinkedIn audience to include anyone who visited any blog page, this is the set up we would choose. Now in addition to choosing how the URL will match, we can also add additional qualifiers to that URL. You can see under the URL field, I can click the “And also…” link. I’m telling LinkedIn to build an audience off of users who visited any blog page and they have to visit the contact page. 

This is going to make your audience size a lot smaller as we start adding more of these qualifiers to your URL audience.

Last, we can add an or rule.

I’m telling LinkedIn to create an audience of users who either visited any blog page on my site, or they visited the contact page. Even when I have that “or” qualifier set up, I can still add additional “and also” rules to each of these URL options. Advertisers have the ability to create a lot of custom options based off of the website URL, and that is how easy it is to create a website URL audience for LinkedIn.

Lead Gen Form Interactions

This is the first of the two new retargeting options we have on LinkedIn.

As it states right in the lead gen audience set up, we can create audiences from people who interacted with a combination of any of your lead gen forms. First, you have to choose one option of how they engaged with your lead gen form. 

The default option is going to be anyone who opened your lead gen form. It’s important to note: this includes submissions! You then have the option to create an audience of only people who submitted your lead gen form.

Typically, if someone just recently submitted a lead gen form, I don’t want them to continue seeing my ads. So it’s kind of silly for LinkedIn to lump anyone who submitted the form alongside any potential prospects who still need to be nurtured a little bit more.

If you want to keep form engagement users separate from users who submitted the form, you’re going to have to create one audience based on people who just open the form. Then you’re going to have to create a second audience of users who submitted the form. You can then use your form submit audience as an exclusion for your campaigns. This isn’t ideal, but it’s the best workaround we have right now.

Next, you’ll choose when the user engaged with the form. When I started setting up this audience, the default option was 90 days in the past. But you do have the option to expand that audience to an entire year, or you can go down to 30 days. The length of past days that you want to pick is most likely going to be dependent on how much traffic you get with your forms, or how long your sales cycle is.

Last step for this audience is selecting which campaigns you want to use to create the audience. You have to choose at least one campaign, but you could also choose all campaigns using lead gen forms or a combination of any campaigns using the forms.

Video View Audiences

The first option for this video audience is to select “how did they engage with the video,” and let’s look at all the options.

The first option is to create an audience of people who viewed at least 25% of your video ad. But as you can see in the image below, we can change that threshold to 50%, 75%, or close to completion at 97%.

We also get to consider when did that user engage? The default option I always get in the short time I’ve been setting up these audiences is 90 days. We do, however, have the option to go as recent as 30 days and as long as 365 days just like the lead gen form audiences.  A combination of how engaged a user was with the video as well as how recent the user engaged with the ad is going to give you a few different options on how specific you want this video view audience to be.

The last step for this retargeting audience is you have to choose which campaigns we want to create the audience from. Again, similar to the lead gen form audience creation.

Start Building More Audiences

Once your audiences are built, you will be able to immediately implement them into your campaigns as both target audiences as well as exclusion audiences.

LinkedIn does not offer robust retargeting options, but any updates are better than none. Hopefully, we can see more audience options within the platform soon.

Have you tested any of these LinkedIn retatrgeting options? We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below!

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