How cool is this – advertisers can upload lists of up to 30,000 companies and LinkedIn will target ads to those companies’ employees. LinkedIn, we sincerely thank you for letting us use your own data of over eight million company pages to target our ads. This is similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Twitter’s Tailored Audiences and Google’s Customer Match targeting options.
Russ Glass, the head of products at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions (the social network’s advertising arm) said, “This is us launching our audience match platform, and audience match is effectively LinkedIn’s entry into the custom audiences world. Account targeting is the first capability we’re releasing as part of our audience match platform.”
He added that LinkedIn plans to develop the audience match platform so that marketers can upload other types of information, but he didn’t go into any specifics, sad face.
LinkedIn is keeping up with its competitor’s offer and letting advertising use the social network’s data to filter the accounts they target by laying in existing target options. What are the pre-existing options?
Think of options such as someone’s location, job title, seniority level, gender and age so that a company could make sure to only show ads to a client’s employees with “sales” in their title, for example. This will be handy if a company is fishing for new clients, but doesn’t want to but its current clients.
Understand that LinkedIn’s account targeting option doesn’t offer an altogether new capability. Businesses could already target ads on LinkedIn based on users’ current employers. However, that was a manual process limited to 100 employer names, or “accounts,” in LinkedIn’s parlance.
For the time being, account-based targeting will only be available for two of LinkedIn’s ad formats: its Sponsored Updates format that puts promoted status updates in people’s content feeds and its Sponsored InMail format that puts promoted messages in people’s LinkedIn inboxes.
Only brands buying ads directly from LinkedIn’s sales team can use account targeting at the moment, but the company plans to eventually roll it out to brands buying ads through its self-serve tool. The lucky advertisers that got to try it first? Comcast, Salesforce and Swrve.