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Microsoft Advertising: How to target users based on their LinkedIn profile3 min read

3 min read

Following their acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016, Microsoft has implemented myriad enhancements to the user experience, including the integration of Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads), in late 2018.

With this integration, Microsoft Advertising released a beta (currently only available for search campaigns in the US) that allows advertisers across all industries to target their campaigns to professionals based on their company, job function and industry.  We’ve been eagerly testing the beta over the last few months – so how does it work and how is it impacting key client metrics?

How does it work?

Microsoft Advertising’s LinkedIn profile targeting can be added to any search or shopping campaign via the ‘Dimensions’ tab, either at campaign or group level. With this feature, advertisers are able to reach users based on their age, gender, company, industry and job title. There is also the option to search for a professional target of choice and add this to the campaign as a bid adjustment. Bid adjustments can therefore either be positive of up to 900%, or negative as low as -90%, which would nearly exclude them from seeing the ads altogether.

Who benefits?

Profile targeting can be beneficial in more ways than one. For starters, it helps to get your advert in front of the right audience, which in turn means there’s a higher chance of you receiving the results you’re looking for. In B2B advertising, this can prove particularly beneficial. But there’s also scope for non-B2B advertisers too.  It’s a known fact that people’s professional lives influence their lifestyle, especially their purchasing behaviours. For example, a CEO of a financial company may have different purchasing habits to a professional at entry level elsewhere. Therefore LinkedIn profile targeting allows advertisers to leverage this information to reach the most valuable audience for their business.

The Croud difference

We decided to put this to the test, using Microsoft Advertising LinkedIn profile targeting to create advertisements for a long-standing client within the B2B sector.

Following an in-depth performance review of their LinkedIn paid social targeting, we were able to identify the top lead-driving job titles within both industry and job functions. In this instance, the company name wasn’t a relevant targeting method, as the aim was to target a broad range of companies. The industries targeted included: Commercial Real Estate, Financial Services, Information Technology & Services and Real Estate. Whilst the job functions included: Administrative, Business Development, Operations and Sales. In addition, positive bid adjustments were in place in the form of a 10% increase across all campaigns for the targeted profiles.

Croud LinkedInOverall results showed that targeting LinkedIn audiences accounted for a click-through-rate 57% higher than standard activity, whilst conversion rate was up 17% and cost-per-action decreased by 7% compared to the account average.

However, as expected, cost-per-clicks were higher than the account average as these users were more valuable in this instance to the company.  This is why Croud implemented positive bid adjustments to begin with.

So all in all, using Microsoft Advertising’s LinkedIn profile targeting allows advertisers to capitalise on audience characteristics, so long as you’re able to identify the key lead-driving titles that suit your campaign.

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