Startups and small businesses are constantly working to increase their ROI by trying to engage just the right audiences at just the right stage during the customer lifecycle. LinkedIn has officially rolled out their Matched Audiences program, used to target its users based on their email addresses and web browsing preferences. This means that all advertisers, which also includes those already using LinkedIn’s self-serve ad-buying platform, can finally access the new options for ad targeting.
Read more: CYBERGEAK
How can Matched Audiences help startups grow?
Matched Audiences is a set of specific targeting capabilities that allows marketers combine the vast amount of professional data offered by LinkedIn with their first-party data, in order to help engage audiences, prospects and key accounts most valuable for the business. It encompasses three new capabilities:
- Account Targeting
- Contact Targeting
- Website Retargeting
These capabilities allow marketers to retarget website visitor and advertise to contacts based on data from marketing automation platforms and large customer databases. Additionally, Matched Audiences can lead to an increase in ROI, by allowing young startups to focus their efforts on accounts and audiences with the highest probability of driving revenue.
Account Targeting allows advertisers to run marketing campaigns based on company accounts. This is accomplished by running a CSV list containing company names against 12 million individual company pages currently available on LinkedIn.
Campaign-based advertising campaigns are made easier, as you’re only reaching the decision-makers in your target companies. Instead of using lead-centric strategies, startups can now use account-centric ones to better align their sales with PPC campaigns.
With Contact Targeting, you can upload a CSV list containing e-mail addresses easily, and more importantly, securely, or import contact lists directly from platforms such as Marketo, LiveRamp or Oracle Eloqua.
LinkedIn has stated that these platforms are only the beginning of their integration efforts and that they’re currently exploring additional options in order to provide their clients with more flexibility. Startups can use Matched Audiences to fully customize their content based on the topics their customers find important and valuable.
Website Retargeting allows you to create your specific target audience using website visitor data and uses always-on campaigns to nurture them. These campaigns involve tracking visitors and serving them ads while they’re browsing their favorite platforms and websites. Acquiring leads becomes a lot more affordable, as you’re using sponsored content to capitalize on past visitors. The only issue left is to provide relevant ads in order to ensure better conversion rates and, in turn, better ROI.
Furthermore, the capabilities of Matched Audiences can be used in combination with LinkedIn’s default targeting options, which already include age, gender, job title, location and seniority level. Now, just because they could, doesn’t necessarily mean that they should.
During a testing phase, marketers using Matched Audiences without any additional targeting solution have actually achieved the best results. This means that a young startup with a limited budget only has to invest in a single marketing strategy instead of using several, and still experience an increase in ROI.
Google vs. Facebook vs. LinkedIn
Facebook might be ideal for high-profile public brands and businesses that would benefit from their content being shared and people visiting their website, such as news sites, but it’s hardly a great platform to be used for B2B selling. Google AdWords, on the other hand, is excellent when it comes to marketing to users who are at different points in the buying cycle, using keywords such as “Buy This”, “Trial” and “Reviews”.
Very useful during the buying cycle, but if your consumers aren’t actively searching for the products and services your startup is offering, this type of advertising cannot be used.
LinkedIn can be a dream-come-true in situations where you know exactly who your buying audience is. Let’s say, some of the health care industry’s top chief marketing officers that are certainly unfamiliar with the products your startup is offering. Matched Audiences ads can hardly be surpassed when it comes to niche and high-margin B2B sales. The only disadvantage to LinkedIn is that’s its network is considerably smaller when compared to Google or Facebook. This may cause some difficulties such as the target audience is too small to be served with ads or have the ads served extremely slowly.
Considering these kinds of difficulties, it’s really not that strange to see an up-and-coming startup burn through their budgets without even realizing the mistake they are making and resort to various credit loans. You can avoid these pitfalls if you consult with experts or even take small credit for example. In order not to get overwhelmed with all this, you can keep track with a free calculator on the Bad Credit Loans website. That way, even if you have to burn through your budget in order to finance your advertising campaign, your startup still has available options to continue operating and eventually, generating revenue.
Engaging customers just at the right point in the buyer’s cycle, as well as nurturing them for purchasing outside of it is becoming fairly manageable for small businesses, startups and young entrepreneurs. Advertising options such as LinkedIn’s Matched Audiences are paving the way for a new era of customer targeting and retargeting capabilities.
This allows startups to get their branded content delivered to just the right person in order to ensure an optimal conversion into a loyal customer. Not to mention that LinkedIn also offers its own landing pages to be used to convert visitors, using various persuasive elements such as trust indicators and social proof, to compel prospects into downloading or purchasing a product or service your startup is offering.
Raul Harman’s is a IT consultant and a writer who has a lot of experience about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. IoT and the world of mobile devices have been his focus in the previous years. Raul is a passionate runner and adventure seeker. Every spare moment he loves to spend in nature. He is a regular contributor on Technivorz blog.