LinkedIn has pleasantly surprised its users by steadily rolling out new features in recent years.
In April 2022, they publicly released the ability to build retargeting audiences based on individuals who engage with single image ads.
This targeting option enters the ranks of video view and lead form retargeting as one more route to reach visitors who have engaged with ads.
These audiences are currently built based on the campaign level, only including individuals who meet the targeting criteria within the campaign(s) you’ve selected to be a part of the audience.
Note that you can potentially use either standalone single image ads or sponsored content based on existing posts you’ve promoted.
There are a couple of options to go either wide or narrow with your audiences.
You can choose to include all people who engage with the ads in any way (including reactions, comments, shares, and clicks) or you can strictly limit audience building to chargeable clicks.
These would only include individuals who take the intended click action that your campaign settings are billing you for, such as clicking to a landing page, opening a lead form, or viewing a video.
You can also select a timeframe of engagement to include people in your audience.
Options include 30, 60, 90, 180, and 365 days.
You’ll likely want to think through the potential size of your target audience from the original campaign and the length of your sales cycle when deciding what duration to choose.
You could also build audiences of various lengths to stagger various future retargeting messages based on the duration of their initial engagement with your ad.
Benefits Of Engagement-Based Retargeting
Pixel-based retargeting audiences continue to become less reliable as mobile OS and browser restrictions decrease the ability to track users.
On the flip side, first-party platform data has become more valuable.
By expanding opportunities for in-platform engagement retargeting, LinkedIn instantly offers a way to build audiences from individuals who otherwise might not enter pixel-based retargeting.
Additionally, paid search has become more focused on audiences, with loosened match types and increased machine learning, and less on targeting very specific keywords.
Supplementing a search with paid social becomes increasingly valuable to ensure you reach your target audience across multiple channels.
Particularly for B2B advertising, LinkedIn lets you reach those individuals front and center via precise targeting when identifying keywords can sometimes be tricky for niche industries.
By strictly limiting the audience to people who have engaged with ads, you can sculpt audiences to those who meet your targeting criteria.
For instance, if your initial campaign settings limit targeting people who work for a list of companies, you know that the narrower audience of those who click your ads should only include employees of those companies.
Effectively, you’ve now built yourself a list of people associated with your prime target accounts who are also interested in your content based on their behavior.
You can also either enlarge an audience by including multiple campaigns or stick to segmenting different audiences by individual campaigns, depending on how you’d like to set up future retargeting.
Full-Funnel Campaign Approach
The priciness of LinkedIn has always made it a complex channel to justify the cost of brand awareness advertising.
However, building post engagement audiences allows for more strategic top-of-funnel advertising to grab users interested in your brand and retarget them with more offer-focused messaging.
For instance, a top-of-funnel campaign could contain sponsored content linking users to blog articles related to your industry.
You can build audiences from people engaging with those posts and then retarget lead ads offering a buyer’s guide in exchange for their contact information.
Since you’ve already warmed them up with initial content, in theory, you can preselect individuals who have expressed some level of interest in your products.
At a minimum, even if you don’t have immediate plans to build a future campaign, set up a retargeting audience anytime you set up a single image ad campaign.
You’ll then have the audience ready to go if you want to use it in the future.
Using engagement-based audiences directly for targeting can also be useful for exclusions.
If you want to avoid oversaturating users with your ads, you can exclude people from your campaign once they’ve engaged.
Particularly when running a brand awareness/top-of-funnel play, you can ensure they don’t continue to see the same post after they’ve reacted or clicked on it.
Additionally, if you’re shifting people to a mid-funnel offer campaign such as an asset, you can avoid crossing wires by continuing to show them higher funnel content and focusing on keeping lead gen-focused messaging in their feed.
Exclude the ad engagers in the original campaign while targeting them in the lead gen-oriented campaign.
Now that you’re familiar with the ability to create single image ad retargeting audiences on LinkedIn start thinking of ways to implement it in your ad account.
Perhaps you have blog content already available that you can promote via sponsored content ads to start building audiences.
Think through the persona you want to reach; you may want to cast a wide enough net to allow cost efficiency, knowing you can narrow it down to the individuals who directly express interest.
Create your audiences, let them start building, and begin retargeting them to take additional action.
I’m excited about this feature and look forward to seeing what else LinkedIn will roll out for advertisers over time.
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