Bing has been rolling out in beta mode a feature that makes it possible for businesses to target Bing advertisements by relying on LinkedIn data. The feature, known as LinkedIn profile targeting, is an example of how Microsoft is monetizing LinkedIn a few years after Microsoft purchased the popular business-to-business platform. In the following Q&A, we answer questions that our clients are asking about LinkedIn profile targeting.
1 How does LinkedIn profile targeting work?
With this new feature, businesses running search campaigns in Bing can target people based on information they’ve shared on their LinkedIn profiles – specifically their industries, companies, and job functions.
So, let’s say I want to run an online search campaign targeting marketers in the financial service sector. I can target ads toward people who have identified themselves on LinkedIn with that specific job function in that particular vertical.
2 What’s the advantage to using Linked profile targeting?
According to Bing, LinkedIn profile targeting offers three advantages:
- Relevance: LinkedIn can help you target the right audience. More-targeted audiences allow you to bid boost more precisely.
- Ease of use: you can set up LinkedIn profile targeting in minutes.
- Unique to Bing ads: Bing Ads is the only digital advertising platform (outside of LinkedIn) to offer LinkedIn profile targeting.
3 Who is a good match for LinkedIn profile targeting?
LinkedIn profile targeting is ideal for any business-to-business company. Bing can target:
- 145 industries including consumer goods, hospitality, and financial services.
- 80,000 companies such as Adobe, Disney, and Starbucks.
- Job functions such as marketing, finance, and operations.
Also, this tool could be a more efficient way for smaller B2B companies who want to capitalize on LinkedIn but might find LinkedIn advertising products to be a too costly. LinkedIn profile targeting makes it possible for those businesses to capitalize on LinkedIn’s audience in a more cost-effective way.
4 What are the limitations of LinkedIn targeting?
- The feature might not be as useful for consumer-facing firms.
- The feature is based on job function (e.g., marketing), not title (e.g., CMO). So you can’t target people with specific titles.
- LinkedIn profile targeting is based on information that LinkedIn users share about themselves. It’s only as accurate as the data people report.
5 I don’t use Bing. Why should I consider Bing in the first place?
Advertisers should consider Bing for a number of reasons. For example, the typical consumer on Bing spends more per purchase. My colleague Tim Colucci shared more reasons in an October blog post, “Why Advertisers Need Bing.” Check it out for more insight.
Plus, I believe there is much more value to LinkedIn profile targeting that I hope Bing will make available to advertisers soon. I would like to see Bing expand this new feature to include enhanced demographic/behavioral filtering. For instance, it would be useful if we could target certain interests and specific abilities/knowledge (either based on self-reported data or on post engagement) and maybe even years of experience. This capability would have a number of benefits. For instance, in the higher education space, universities could offer an operations management MBA program to target candidates with more than two years of experience who have field-related abilities like strong communication skills, and who share an interest in inventory forecasting, logistics, and quality control.
6 What should I do next if I am interested?
It’s a closed pilot. Not everyone can just do it. Reach out to your Bing representative or agency partner, such as True Interactive. Contact us. We’d love to help!