Can LinkedIn Audience Expansion Save You Time? The Short Answer is: “Probably Not”
The LinkedIn Advertising tool allows advertisers to expand their target audience definition automatically with LinkedIn Audience Expansion, which the company defines as:
Audience Expansion allows you, as an advertiser, to increase the reach of your campaign by showing your ads to audiences with similar attributes to your target audience. For example, if your campaign targets members with the skill “Online Advertising,” Audience Expansion may expand your audience to members who list the skill “Interactive Marketing” on their profile. This means you can discover new quality prospects and automatically drive them into your marketing funnel.
The option seems like a good way to catch attributes you might not think of, like job titles. In one recent campaign targeting sales professionals, managers and directors, you can see just how many job titles this can entail.
Audience Expansion Can Waste Your Ad Budget by Including Users You Aren’t Trying to Reach
In my experience with AI, computer intelligence has a hard time with certain concepts, like homonyms and industry-specific terms. For instance, Google Ads can’t tell the difference between “irrigation sprinklers” and “fire sprinklers” or “auditorium speaker” and “keynote speaker.” Advertisers need to be vigilant to prevent wasting ad budget on people who aren’t your target audience.
With LinkedIn Ads, the algorithm has a hard time distinguishing levels of seniority. Activating Audience Expansion will show my sales ads to junior-level salespeople, retail associates and students. It would make my carefully curated list of job titles useless.
How to Make LinkedIn Audience Expansion Work for Your Advertising
If you want to try out the Audience Expansion feature, first identify attributes you want to exclude. For instance:
If you were hoping that Audience Expansion would save you time and effort with your LinkedIn Ads, it won’t. Sadly, there’s no shortcut to reaching your ideal audience.
To explore if LinkedIn advertising is right for your small business, contact us.