Just as the many job seekers who use LinkedIn know the value of a well-placed contact, marketers can find more success by focusing on targets they have existing relationships with as well.

That’s both the thinking and finding behind LinkedIn’s new marketing tool, Matched Audiences, a set of features that allow marketers to combine the professional social network’s already-substantial user database with first-party data, leveraging their company’s existing contacts to find the user accounts, prospects, and audiences most relevant to their business.

The tool is available for all LinkedIn advertising products, including LinkedIn Sponsored Content and LinkedIn Sponsored InMail.

“With Matched Audiences you can use LinkedIn to retarget your website visitors, market to your contacts from your customer databases and marketing automation platforms, and reach decision makers at target companies for your account-based marketing programs,” LinkedIn senior product manager Eva Chau wrote in an April 24 blog post. “Matched Audiences helps increase ROI by enabling you to focus your efforts on the audiences and accounts that are most likely to drive revenue.”

The tool’s three key features include:

  • Website Retargeting, which allows marketers to create target audiences from website visitors and execute campaigns tailored especially for them.
  • Account Targeting, which invites marketers to securely upload a CSV list of company names, which Matched Audiences will compare against the nearly 12 million company pages on LinkedIn, allowing them to focus on influencers and decision makers at their most valuable accounts.
  • Contact Targeting, which invites marketers to securely upload a CSV list of email addresses, or import lists of contacts from the Marketo, Oracle Eloqua, or LiveRamp platforms, and engage them on LinkedIn.

Chau noted that Marketo, Eloqua, and LiveRamp were just the beginning of the company’s integration efforts, and that it was exploring additional platforms to increase the service’s flexibility.

Effective in both theory and practice

To test the effectiveness of Matched Audiences, LinkedIn ran a six-month pilot program involving more than 370 participating advertisers and over 2,000 active campaigns. On average, it found that:

  • Using Website Retargeting resulted in a 30 per cent increase in click-through rates and a 14 per cent drop in post-click cost-per-conversion;
  • Using Account Targeting resulted in a 32 per cent increase in post-click conversion rates and a 4.7 per cent drop in post-click cost-per-conversion; and
  • Using Contact Targeting resulted in a 37 per cent increase in click-through rates.

To learn more about the service, check out the video below, or click here.

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