LinkedIn Ad targeting tips: Use experience & company criteria

LinkedIn Ad targeting tips: Use experience & company criteria

June 3, 2020

When you’re investing in a LinkedIn ad campaign in Las Vegas it’s so important to reach the right target audience with the right message at just the right time based on your marketing persona. LinkedIn helps facilitate that process by putting over 600 million member profiles at your fingertips, most of which contain important demographic information- starting with member Location and Language.

In addition to those two, you can also narrow your search criteria by using other Professional themes found in LinkedIn profiles. But sometimes it’s confusing to know which themes to prioritize so that you’ll end up with a captive target audience. Here’s how to use the Experience and Company themes more effectively when planning your next LinkedIn ad campaign.

Targeting LinkedIn Ads Based on Member Experience

There are several LinkedIn profile subcategories found within the Experience theme that allow you to precisely target your ad campaign, including these:

Job Title

As the roles of LinkedIn members change and are added to their profiles those corresponding Job Titles are grouped and organized into standardized Titles that can then be used to create a target audience data file.

However, choosing only a handful of Job Titles could significantly limit your campaign’s reach. To help you along, when you enter a specific title in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager tool it auto-suggests other relevant Job Titles that you may also want to consider. By following Campaign Manager’s lead, you will expand your ad’s reach to more potential customers.

It’s also possible to broaden the scope of your campaign by targeting both current and past holders of a specific Job Title. And although their roles may have changed at their respective organizations, those members might still possess skills and responsibilities that are relevant to your brand.

Job Function

The Job Function search option is based on standardized groupings of Job Titles that members have entered in their profile. For example, a computer software engineer would show up in the general Engineering Job Function category along with someone who is a mechanical engineer or petroleum drilling engineer.

If your product or service is designed specifically for applications in the computer software industry, you’ll have better results when refining your profile search terms based on that specific Job Function.

Job Seniority

Based on the Job Title listed in their profile Job Seniority describes the rank and influence of a member’s current role in their organization. Depending on your ad’s message, using Job Seniority as a targeting standard can be an effective approach for reaching multiple key decision makers (KDMs) that may influence buying decisions within the same organization.

One example would be targeting any LinkedIn member that’s a Senior Buyer within the Clothing and Fashion industry. You can even narrow down your search further by using the Years of Experience option.

Years of Experience

The Years of Experience (YOE) feature allows you to target audience members based on the combined years of professional experience they’ve accrued during their entire career. LinkedIn algorithms compile a member’s YOE by combining the duration of each separate Job Experience listed in their profile- minus any gaps in Experience and without double counting overlapping Employment positions.


A member’s Job Skills information includes highly relevant keywords appearing in their profile and Skills section that indicate they have expertise in-a-given area. Those Skills not only include ones that a member has entered in their Skills section, but also any applicable keywords and phrases found elsewhere within their profile and summary sections.

LinkedIn also uses algorithms that “infer” Skills taken from both a member’s Job Title and Job Description. Inferred Skills targeting is a different way to reach audience members who have certain Job qualifications when their Job Title alone isn’t specific enough.

Narrow Your Audience Search Using the Company Theme

Based on your marketing persona, you can also attract a more captive target audience by using LinkedIn’s Company theme option. Here’s how it works:

Company Name

This is the organization that a member lists as their current employer based on LinkedIn Pages maintained by company employees. Whether your ad campaign’s goal is brand awareness or customer retention, the Company Name feature lets you specifically target your message to high-value accounts and the KDMs employed at those organizations based on their profiles.

In fact, you can select up to 100 different companies by using the Company Name feature. If you’d like to target an even broader audience, the Matched Audience option lets you upload a list of up to 300,000 companies.

Company Size

This Company subcategory allows you to target members based on the size of the organization they work for. Company Size is calculated from the total number of inferred employees who work there and not just the number of LinkedIn members who list that company as their current employer in their profiles.

When narrowing down your intended target audience, Company Size lets you distinguish between small and medium-sized businesses with up to 200 employees, versus larger enterprises with 500+ employees. While finalizing your search criteria Company Size is an effective tool for excluding audience members that don’t fit into your marketing objectives- like those employed at companies that are too big or too small.

Company Industry

This Company theme subcategory is based on an organization’s primary industry of operation, like home care or financial services. If a business competes in several industries, only the primary industry listed on their LinkedIn Page will be considered.

In general, Company Industry helps you specifically target your ads to fellow members who work in a specific market sector. This approach is notably effective if your ad content is applicable to all the organizations within a given industry niche, for example if you sell computer software that’s designed specifically for any company that manufactures automobiles.

On the other hand, if the product or service that you’re advertising can be used by organizations across various industries, you should probably leave Company Industry off your ad targeting list.

Are Your LinkedIn Ads Attracting the Right Audience?

If your LinkedIn ads aren’t attracting the right audience then your current customer engagement and conversion rates are probably not what you were hoping for. At Simple Social Media we are social media marketing experts who can show you how to develop a more effective LinkedIn ad targeting campaign that will ultimately attract, engage and convert more customers- all while optimizing your online marketing budget.

Simple Social is a Las Vegas social media marketing firm and member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce. We provide expertise for creating consistent and effective content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube advertising and branding. To schedule a consultation, call our social media specialists at (702) 582-7750 or contact us.

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