4 LinkedIn Ad Targeting Tips for Nonprofits

4 LinkedIn Ad Targeting Tips for Nonprofits

When it comes to planning an effective nonprofit ad campaign, targeting is everything. Your message is naturally going to resonate with some people more than others. Getting it in front of as many members of your target audience as possible will help you maximize your ad dollars and drive the most impact.

Since LinkedIn is a professional social media platform, it’s ideal for reaching an audience of decision makers and senior-level influencers. At the same time, it’s a place where people at all stages of their career turn for trusted news and opportunities related to topics they care about. Whatever your ideal audience is, by developing a strong ad targeting strategy for the platform, you can get their attention and encourage them to take action. Here are four best practices to help you get started.

1. Start by casting a wide net, then tighten it

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to start with a relatively broad audience when planning your ad campaigns. That’s not to say that you need to put your message out to all of LinkedIn’s 756 million global members. But if you start too narrow, you may not gain enough data about your audience to help you adjust and optimize your strategy over time. 

Targeting an audience that’s around 50,000-members strong is a good starting point. From there, you can see which segments of that audience are responding to your content the most and start adding in additional filters and exclusions to reach more people like them. You may find that the people you expected your content to resonate with are indeed responding well. But by broadening your scope initially, you can test your assumptions and potentially uncover new audience segments that you hadn’t thought to target before.

LinkedIn campaign manager

2. Run multiple campaigns simultaneously

Another great way to zero in on your optimal audience is to run simultaneous campaigns with small variations. For instance, you could run one campaign that targets members of a specific industry who work in a particular department of their organization, such as business development. At the same time, and using the same ad content, you could run a campaign that targets people in that industry who are at the director-level or higher.

By only testing one variance at a time (like targeting by job function as opposed to seniority), you’ll be able to pinpoint if that change had a significant impact on your results. You can then apply this learning to improve future campaigns.

3. Match content to audience carefully 

When you’ve created an ad you’re really proud of, it can be tempting to want to put it in front of as many people as possible. But different audience segments will likely feel more strongly about some elements of your nonprofit’s mission and programs than others, so it’s best to tailor your content to the specific people you’re trying to reach. 

As your targeting strategy grows more sophisticated, you may also find that some groups respond better to certain types of ads than others. For example, a busy executive-level audience may scroll right past video ads on their feed, while other audience segments are captivated by them. The more you learn about your target audiences, the better equipped you’ll be to cater to them, so a little trial and error can really pay off.

4. Don’t start from scratch every time

Once you’ve found a targeting strategy that delivers great results, LinkedIn allows you to save and reuse those audience filters later. That way, you can save time when you want to run a campaign targeting that audience again—and hopefully replicate your results.

Of course, it will take a little longer the first time you build a campaign, but there are steps you can take to streamline the process. LinkedIn has ready-made Audience Templates you can leverage to rapidly target certain personas, such as Doctors, Millennials, and Recent College Graduates. 

For more tips that can help you master the art of targeting, check out the course Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting, which is available through LinkedIn Marketing Labs’ suite of educational resources. And to find out more about how advertising on LinkedIn can help your nonprofit achieve its goals, contact our team today.

This post was inspired by the LinkedIn Marketing blog article “Ad Targeting on LinkedIn Made Easy With 5 Helpful Tips” authored by Renee Lowe.