LinkedIn Matched Audiences: Everything You Should Know

kristi gamboni
Kristi Gamboni
October 3, 2022
Blog, Intent Data, Partnerships, Product
14 min read

LinkedIn Matched Audiences: Everything You Should Know

LinkedIn offers some of the strongest targeting attributes available for B2B brands. With an audience of more than 830 million members, most companies can build audiences that fit their ideal customer profile (ICP). Using LinkedIn Matched Audiences can also help you break through the noise and connect with buyers in a meaningful way.

According to LinkedIn, 80% of people on their platform help “drive business decisions,” making it a top choice for B2B brands trying to reach the right audiences. But how do you know if the companies that fit your ICP are actually in-market? Learn more about matched audiences, their targeting and retargeting capabilities, and how downstream intent data can help maximize their usefulness to find and win in-market buyers.

What is a Matched Audience on LinkedIn?

A LinkedIn Matched Audience is an audience segment built by combining LinkedIn’s user data with a brand’s existing data to create a more defined audience for targeting on the platform and its audience network. 

With the Matched Audiences campaign builder, brands can upload a list of companies or contacts to target, retarget people who have already engaged with the brand, integrate contacts from third-party systems, or create audiences with attributes similar to another audience. 

Linkedin Matched Audiences’ self-service targeting capabilities

Several advertising tactics are available with Matched Audiences, including account targeting, contact targeting, retargeting, and website targeting.

Contact targeting

Contact targeting on LinkedIn allows brands to target specific users based on their email address. Achieving high match rates for email addresses can be difficult for platforms, as users may have multiple email accounts and default to personal accounts for site registrations. Due to the professional nature of LinkedIn, users are more likely to include a work email address in their profile, which improves match rates and campaign success.

Audiences can be created in LinkedIn Campaign Manager by uploading a list of up to 300,000 contacts or by connecting to a supported integration partner. After LinkedIn finishes processing the list (usually within 48 hours), companies can launch campaigns targeted to these accounts with relevant content that drives conversions.

Company targeting

LinkedIn company targeting is similar to contact targeting, but instead of focusing on the level of the individual contact, audiences are built across relevant persona in the entire company. This can be especially effective for account-based marketing campaigns and reaching multiple decision-makers at the companies that matter most to you. 

Contact targeting and company targeting are beneficial when brands already have access to audience lists, but this approach can leave other opportunities on the table. Furthermore, the strength of the campaign will greatly depend on the strength of the targeting and data used. Brands can take it a step further by using TrustRadius’ downstream intent data. TrustRadius’ integration with LinkedIn Matched Audiences enables you to target companies engaging with your products or your competitors’ on TrustRadius.

Website retargeting

Most users don’t make a purchase after their initial exposure to a marketing or advertising message about a product or service. Users at that stage spend more time researching and comparing offers before making a decision. Brands must stay top of mind for prospects as they continue their journeys. 

Website retargeting helps improve performance while creating a more relevant user experience. Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on a brand’s website.

LinkedIn’s website retargeting allows brands to tailor messaging based on previous actions and accelerate the buyer’s journey. Because lists are created dynamically, there’s no need to upload site visitors manually. 

Companies will, however, need to ensure that their LinkedIn Insight Tag is set up and installed correctly. LinkedIn recommends only using one partner ID or Insight Tag per domain while installing the tag in the global footer of the website.

While website retargeting can be very effective, the process can seem clunky and convoluted. TrustRadius downstream intent data helps remove the guesswork from this manual process. Users who research brands or their competitors on TrustRadius are automatically imported as an audience within the campaign builder.

How to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences

LinkedIn Matched Audiences can be accessed and managed directly in LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Follow the directions below to get started with your first matched audience.

  1. Go to Linkedin Campaign Manager.
  2. Select the LinkedIn page and account you want to work with. 
  3. Choose “accounts assets,” then “Matched Audiences” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Select “create audience” (or the appropriate audience, if editing).
  5. Complete the required fields and upload your list (Hint: check LinkedIn’s list template to confirm compatibility before uploading).
  6. Choose “Uploaded List” audiences. 
  7. Select “Upload a List.”

How to use TrustRadius with LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Brands can also use LinkedIn Matched Audiences directly through the TrustRadius vendor portal. The audience segments are preloaded and updated daily based on buyer behavior with a brand’s product on TrustRadius. 

How does it work?

  1. Vendors build audience segments on the TrustRadius vendor portal. These segments are composed of downstream intent data for companies researching the vendor’s product(s) or category on TrustRadius.
  2. TrustRadius sends the segment data to LinkedIn. This data includes company information for users who have researched products or categories related to the vendor on TrustRadius.
  3. LinkedIn uses the company information to match TrustRadius companies with their corresponding companies on LinkedIn. Companies that are successfully matched are included in the LinkedIn audience segment.
  4. Once the audience segment is built, it can be used for LinkedIn ad campaigns. Audience segments are refreshed with the latest intent data daily.

LinkedIn Matched Audiences for retargeting

LinkedIn also offers additional retargeting opportunities, including:

  • Company page: Create an audience based on members who have either viewed your LinkedIn page or clicked on a call-to-action button in your page’s header
  • Event: Create an audience based on members who signed up to attend your LinkedIn event
  • Lead-generation form: Create an audience based on members who opened or submitted your lead-generation form(s)
  • Single image ad: Create an audience based on members who’ve engaged with your single image ad on LinkedIn
  • Video: Create an audience based on members who viewed all or part of your video ads

LinkedIn Matched Audiences integration best practices

Find your target accounts

With over 830 million people to choose from, it’s difficult to imagine a B2B brand that wouldn’t be able to find an audience on LinkedIn. The platform also collects details that others don’t, especially regarding work. 

While some LinkedIn parameters are commonly found on other platforms, such as age or gender, others can be uniquely useful for brands that need specific targeting capabilities, including job title or seniority, company size and industry, and years of experience. 

Finding and targeting an ICP on LinkedIn can be difficult. As job titles evolve, they’re becoming less standardized. This approach also relies on users maintaining up-to-date information.

Meet customers where they are in their journey

It’s important to recognize that each user is at a different stage in their unique buying journey. Just because potential audience members share characteristics with a brand’s ICP doesn’t mean they’ll all follow the same path at the same time. What may work for some campaigns isn’t always repeatable at scale, and consumers need time to process their options before making a decision. 

Avoid hyper-targeting

It can be tempting to narrow campaigns to the smallest, most targeted options available, but that’s generally not recommended. People sometimes assume they’re saving money by hyper-targeting, but they’re losing out on potential ROI in the long run.

Instead, focus on the most critical aspects of the ideal audience, and build broader campaigns with those as a framework for targeting. Analyze results after the campaign is live and optimize the audience based on those results. Then, let your sales team do the hyper-personalization when prospecting.

Incorporate downstream intent data

Through our integration with LinkedIn Matched Audiences, TrustRadius offers high-quality downstream intent data representative of buyers actively researching your products and your competitors’ on our platform. By combining the data from TrustRadius with the scope of LinkedIn’s audience, brands can reach qualified, in-market buyers and send them relevant messages when it matters most. 

TrustRadius customers can start using the integration in three easy steps to start building dynamic segments to target. Audience segments are refreshed with the latest intent data on a daily basis, allowing brands to take a timesaving set-and-forget approach. This leads to higher conversion rates, higher return on ad spend, and an accelerated sales cycle, all of which will improve your bottom line.

linkedin matched audiences

Increase campaign potential with LinkedIn Matched Audiences

As the largest social media site for professionals, LinkedIn offers unique ways to target and engage with audiences. To realize the full potential of campaigns, brands should pair additional insights and campaigns with LinkedIn to identify the most meaningful prospects and build relationships that offer solutions. 

TrustRadius’ downstream intent data captures some of the strongest in-market signals buyers leave for brands. When using these insights to build audiences, companies can reach the prospects closest to purchase. When combined with the power of LinkedIn ads, they can nurture and develop relationships that turn into customers.

If you want to learn more about making buyer intent actionable, download What is Intent Data? The Ultimate B2B Playbook. If you’re ready to see how the LinkedIn Matched Audiences integration could accelerate your growth, reach out to us!

About the Author

kristi gamboni
Kristi Gamboni
Kristi Gamboni is the Content Marketing Manager at TrustRadius. Kristi believes content is the epicenter of a brand’s identity and the first and lasting impression a customer has of a company. Her proven track record in launching strategic marketing campaigns stems from her passion for storytelling and humanizing content. She resides in Virginia Beach, VA, enjoys being a mom, sugar-free baking, and trips to the beach. Kristi's active on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristigamboni/