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LinkedIn Advertising: Part 1 - The basics

Posted by Stuart Walters on October 16, 2020

When you create a new campaign, you‘ll be asked to select a marketing objective. Objectives allow you to customise your campaign to achieve the desired marketing results.

Setting a specific objective for your campaign helps you achieve your goals. A campaign objective is the action you want your customers to take when they see your ads. Choosing an objective LinkedIn to deliver the best ROI for your goal, and show you relevant reporting.

Awareness - This objective is at the top of the marketing funnel, which helps build awareness of your brand.

Brand Awareness 

Tell more people about your products, services, or organization through Brand awareness ad campaigns. These impression-based ads maximize views of your ads on LinkedIn. 

Consideration - These ad campaigns are in the middle of the marketing funnel, which engages your targeted audience.

Website Visits

Encourage members to go to your website or landing page through the Website visits ad objective. These advertising campaigns will be shown to those most likely to click on your ad, which directs them to your website, landing page, or other URL. 


Increase engagement on your content by running ad campaigns through the Engagement objective. Engagement actions may include likes, comments, shares, follows, or clicks to a landing page or LinkedIn Page. 

Video Views

Share videos with more members through the Video views ad objective. These advertising campaigns encourage customers to find out more by watching your videos.

Conversions - These objectives are at the bottom of the marketing funnel, which encourages valuable actions that you define.

Lead Generation

Get qualified leads through the Lead generation advertising objective. With this objective, customers who click on your ad go to a lead generation form that is pre-filled with their LinkedIn profile data.

Website Conversions

Choose Website conversions for your advertising objective to capture leads on your website and encourage valuable actions that you define.

Job Applicants

Promote your job opportunities to top talent by choosing Job applicants as your ad objective. Your ads will be shown to those most likely to view or click on your job ads, getting more applicants.

If you hover over any of the options, you get a quick and friendly reminder of the details. 

LinkedIn Ads Screenshot

For today, we'll select Website Visits. Probably the most used option. Get people to your website to take action. 


Now you have to select your audience, in our opinion, the most important part of the whole process. No matter how great your product or service is, or how amazing your ad creative is, if the ads are pushed to the wrong people, it won't sell. It's that simple. 

So, who are you targeting, or, what are the options...

Firstly - where are your audience? 

Do you want to target the whole of your country, or just an area. We're based in Wallingford in Oxfordshire. So in our example, let's look at the options.

LinkedIn location screenshot

As you can see, we could select Oxford, Oxfordshire, Great Oxfordshire Area, South Oxfordshire, West Oxfordshire. Each has its own target audience size depending on your selection. 

You can pick to between people who have visited the area, or who are permanent to that location. Choosing a location to target is compulsory. 

Next, let's narrow our audience further. 


Company Connections: Allows you to reach the 1st-degree connections of employees at companies you select. This is only available for companies with more than 500 employees.

Company Industry: The primary industry of the company where the member is employed.

Company Size: Allows you to reach members based on the size of the organization where they work. Company size is determined by the number of employees listed on the organization's LinkedIn Page.

Company Name: The organization a member lists as his or her employer. These are based on LinkedIn Pages, which are maintained by company employees.

Company Followers: Allows you to target your own LinkedIn Page followers. To use this targeting facet, your Ads account must be associated with your LinkedIn Page. 

Company Growth Rate: Allows you to target companies by their rate of growth year over year, determined by factors such as employee growth or inferred data from other similar companies within the same location and industry.

Company Category: Allows you to target companies by custom segments such as S&P 500


Member Age: An estimation of how old a member is based on their profile information.

Member Gender: Determination of whether a member is female or male is inferred, based on their profile information.


Fields of Study: The major or area of study within a member's degree. 

Member Schools: The school, college, university, or other learning institution where a member completed a course.

Degrees: Recognized ranks granted by a college, university, or other learning institution.

Job Experience

Job Function: Based on standardized groupings of the job titles entered by LinkedIn members.

Job Seniority: Describes the rank and influence of a member's current role in their organization.

Job Title: When members update their LinkedIn profiles with new roles, these job titles are grouped by LinkedIn's algorithms and organized into standardized titles.

Member Skills: Highly relevant keywords found within a member's profile and skills section that indicates expertise in a particular area. Member-entered skills in the Skills & Endorsements section on their profile, skills mentioned in their profile text, or inferred skills based on their listed skills.

Years of Experience: Reach a target audience based on the years of professional experience they've accumulated. 

Interests and Traits

Member Groups: LinkedIn Groups where members who share interests or professional associations can gather, discover new information, and ask questions. 

Member Interests: Interest categories identified by and inferred from member actions and engagement with content on LinkedIn. Learn more about interest targeting options.

Member Traits: Direct and inferred behaviour traits based on member actions on LinkedIn, profile information, and more. Learn more about member trait targeting options.

LinkedIn audience options screenshot

So, let's say we want to target Marketers, we'd select 'Job Experience' then 'Job Functions'. So, this covers all marketers in all industries, just say we wanted to restrict this, our campaign is for marketers in Education. 

We'll need to click on 'Narrow audience further' options - otherwise, our next selection would be 'or' and we'd be selecting anyone working in education or marketers. 

So we'll select 'Company' then 'Company Industries' and use the selection boxes to choose which subcategories of the Education industry we want to target. 

LinkedIn company industry options

So, with our selection, our audience has narrowed from 6,500+ Marketers in the Oxfordshire region to 590+ marketers in Education in the Oxfordshire region. 

Perfect for this example. Keep an eye out for next week's blog where we'll look into targeting in more detail. 

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