Following beta testing the tool over the last year, LinkedIn’s new Lookalike Audience feature, which launched in March 2019, makes it easier for B2B marketers to find new potential leads, with a selection of targeting facets including location, company name, industry, job title, company size, and many others.
Lookalike audiences are nothing new, and marketers can already go to Facebook to build new audiences based on existing customer data. Abhishek Shrivastava, LinkedIn’s Director of Product, has acknowledged that LinkedIn is a little late to the party, but points to the different challenges in B2B marketing. Creating a lookalike audience based on individual users is somewhat simpler as there’s more data available to mine, from a user’s comment to likes, shares and interests. Companies on the other hand take far fewer actions on LinkedIn, so LinkedIn has to look at other information to build a lookalike audience of similar companies, including what a company posts about itself on its profile page for example.
LinkedIn is leveraging its own growth to create the lookalike tool; a 30% increase in sessions per user over the last year provided it with more signals on which to base the user modelling. LinkedIn lookalike audiences also work for account-based strategies, making it possible to target ads to companies that match an advertiser’s “ideal” customer profile – in the same way as for individuals.
According to LinkedIn, customers in the pilot were able to increase their campaign reach by 5-10x while still reaching the audiences that mattered most to their organizations.
You can get started with lookalike audiences by building a Matched Audience in LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager – a matched audience could be subscribers to an email list for example. Read LinkedIn’s article on Lookalike Audiences here.