Linkedin Ads targeting: audiences & advertising strategies

Linkedin Ads targeting: audiences & advertising strategies

Want to set up LinkedIn advertising campaigns for your business, but feel overwhelmed by all the targeting options available?

Throughout this article, I will detail the different ways to target your professional audience, and share with you different strategies for successful campaigns.

1) Targeting by location and language of the profile

First, you will need to define the location (s) where the professionals you want to reach with your advertising campaign reside.

Then, make sure that the language of their profile is the correct one compared to that of the advertisement that will be displayed on the screens of your targets.

2) Audiences of conquest

LinkedIn will allow you, thanks to its targeting options, to reach people who do not yet know your business , as opposed to retargeting audiences (which we will see in a second step), who already have interacted with your brand.

To do this, you will need to click on “Audience attributes”, which will give you access to a first list of targeting categories.

Among the different targeting options are:

  • Company
  • Demographics
  • Education
  • Professional experience
  • Interests and characteristics


With the “Company” section, you will have the opportunity to reach professionals according to various criteria, namely:

  • Subscribed to the LinkedIn page (target the subscribers of a LinkedIn page that you administer)
  • Company category (target professionals through rankings of high performing companies, produced by Forbes or the editorial staff of LinkedIn)
  • Company names (target employees of specific companies )
  • Relations within the company (target the LinkedIn contacts of employees of one or more company (s))
  • Sectors of activity of the company (target professionals according to the sector of activity of their company)
  • Size of the company (target professionals according to the number of employees in their company, ranging from sole proprietorship to over 10,000 employees)


With the “Demographic data” section, you will be able to specify your audience according to:

  • member’s gender
  • member’s age


You will be able here to restrict the size of your target audience according to:

  • degrees
  • fields of study
  • member’s school

Professional experience

This is undoubtedly one of the key areas to reach the right professionals through LinkedIn ads because you can add the following targeting criteria:

  • Years of experience (target professionals based on the number of years of experience accumulated during their career)
  • Skills of the member (target according to the skills added on the LinkedIn profile)
  • Functions (target according to the department occupied within the company such as purchasing, resources human resources, accounting, etc …)
  • Hierarchical levels (target according to the degree of power within the company such as Manager, director, owner, trainee …)
  • Posts (target based on the job title provided on the LinkedIn profile)

Centers of interest and characteristics

This last conquest targeting section allows us to specify our audience with additional options such as:

  • Member characteristics (target based on member behavior such as “Recently moved”, “Recently promoted”, “Frequent contributors”, “Recently changed jobs” , “Expatriate”, “Frequent travelers”, “Open to training”, “Open to relocation”, “Person looking for a job”, “Professionals changing careers”, “People using a mobile phone”, “People using a desktop computer ”)
  • Interests of the member (target according to the type of LinkedIn pages followed)
  • Groups of the member (target according to the groups to which the people to be reached belong)

3) Retargeting audiences

LinkedIn will also offer you the opportunity to reuse data allowing you to target people who already know you, and this by different digital means.

You will need to click on “Audiences”, framed in red below:

Similar audience

A similar audience comes from a data source that we have provided to LinkedIn (website visitors, client file, etc.) and whose members’ commonalities have been analyzed to generate a large audience of potential prospects.

Loading the list

This retargeting audience corresponds to loading a list of businesses or a list of email addresses .

Here are the recommendations for loading:

  • from a company list -> upload at least 1000 companies (for example by the name of their company page LinkedIn )
  • from a contact list -> load at least 10,000 email addresses


This option will allow you to display your advertisement to people who have interacted with:

  • your Linkedin page events
  • your Lead Gen forms
  • your Company page publications
  • your website
  • your videos published on the Company page

4) Relevant targeting strategies

By now knowing the different targeting options offered by LinkedIn Ads, I will share with you in this very last part some targeting strategies to make your business known to the right professionals.

Target by profession

In this case, it is a question of having our advertisements displayed to people occupying a specific position within a company or being a liberal profession.

Let’s assume that I want to reach lawyers in the Paris region .

The first step will of course be to change the location and language of the users’ profile .


Next, we will need to go to “Audience attributes”, “Professional experience” and then to “Positions”.


Once you have clicked on “Posts”, you will be offered a search engine by job title. This is where, for the purposes of my example, I can type “lawyer”.


Target by department & hierarchical level

It often happens that the targeting option by job title is too restrictive in relation to the professional audience you want to reach through LinkedIn ads.

Its advantage is also its disadvantage: the hyper-precision of the profiles in the potential audience could make you miss certain people also relevant to target, not having filled in their LinkedIn job title like you did. would have imagined.

So, targeting combining occupied department within the company and hierarchical level can be a good option.

To do this, click on “Audience attributes” then on “Professional experience”.


Then click on “Functions” to access a list of current departments within companies.


As soon as you have checked one or more department (s), click on “Close” at the top right below:


Then, you will have to click on “Refine” to combine this data with other targeting criteria. In our case, it will be a question of filling in one or more hierarchical level (s).

To do this, go to the “Professional experience” level then to “Hierarchical levels”.


After adding the hierarchy level (s), check that each targeting criterion is linked by an “AND” and not an “OR”, so that there is a linkage and not an addition of the data.


Retarget website visitors

In the latter case, I’ll show you how to retarget your website visitors when setting up an advertising campaign on LinkedIn.

As with any campaign, check that the location and language of the profile is suitable for the audience you want to reach.


Then, this time, you will have to go to “Audiences” and then to “Retargeting”.


You will then find the possibility of retargeting your site visitors:


After clicking on “Website”, you will be offered personalized audiences that you may have created in the past, as well as the possibility of generating new ones now.


This collection of data from visitors to your site will necessarily go through the installation of the Insight Tag .

To go further:


Trainer & social-media consultant, I am the author of the” Box tools of the Community Manager ”published by Editions Dunod. I have trained several thousand employees in the professional use of social networks since 2011.

Join me on Twitter and Instagram .

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