Digital MarketingLinkedIn introduces Objective Based Advertising

LinkedIn introduces Objective Based Advertising

LinkedIn has officially announced the rollout of Objective Based Advertising (OBA), reconfiguring its Campaign Manager to keep advertisers' objectives at the forefront.

On Thursday, LinkedIn officially announced the rollout of Objective Based Advertising (OBA) which has been in beta since November 2018.

With OBA, LinkedIn has reconfigured its Campaign Manager to focus on keeping advertisers’ business objectives at the forefront of their campaigns.

The changes include:

  • Redesigned Campaign Manager interface
  • Live ad previews
  • Updated targeting
  • Redesigned targeting “experience”

What redesigned targeting means for LinkedIn advertisers

The Campaign Manager’s interface has been streamlined to allow for easier targeting based on five categories as follows:

  1. Company
  2. Demographics
  3. Education
  4. Job Experience
  5. Interests

Profile language is the first option and is now located under “target audiences.”

LinkedIn how to set up your target audience
Image source: LinkedIn

After the language is selected, advertisers specify geographic region (the only mandatory field). LinkedIn then provides a forecast of the target audience size, 1, 7, or 30-day spend, and impression, CTR and click estimates.

LinkedIn volume forecast in campaign manager
LinkedIn volume forecast—Source: LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Each category is associated with a selection of subcategories which helps advertisers further refine their targeting (e.g., Company Connections, Company Size, etc.) LinkedIn recommends no more than 2-3 targeting facets per campaign to reduce the possibility of hypertargeting which can minimize ad impression volume and prevent the campaign from reaching many people.

Example of targeting by industry in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager
Example of targeting by industry in the LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Once audience criteria have been set up, advertisers can further refine targeting using LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences feature. This enables companies to integrate their business data into their campaigns and includes the following:

  • Retargeting: Serves relevant content to LinkedIn users who have visited your website in the past
  • Contact targeting: Upload a list of contacts who will then receive targeting messages from you while on LinkedIn
  • Account targeting: Enables advertisers to target decision makers at organizations they’ve identified as “Ideal potential customers”

Aligning campaign targeting with business goals

The main impetus for the change to LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager is to help companies reach the most qualified, interested people. That’s why there’s an emphasis on refining the target audience by their professional attributes such as company size and industry.

LinkedIn has even created a guide to targeting audiences on LinkedIn which provides detailed instructions and examples on how to leverage all of their targeting capabilities.

LinkedIn currently reaches over 600 million professionals and is the largest B2B social network. With 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members driving business decisions, it can be an important channel for B2B marketers.

However, like most social networks, LinkedIn is a cluttered, fast-moving environment with many companies vying for attention. Thus, understanding what targeting criteria are available to advertisers and how to best implement them are both crucial components of creating successful campaigns on the platform.

You can read more details about LinkedIn’s latest push towards objective-based marketing via the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog.


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