LinkedIn Bids Farewell to Lookalike Audiences, Introduces New Targeting Tactics

Last Updated: January 24, 2024
LinkedIn Bids Farewell to Lookalike Audiences, Introduces New Targeting Tactics

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LinkedIn has decided to discontinue the Lookalike Audiences feature, a tool widely utilized by advertisers to target users similar to their existing customer base. The decision will take effect on February 29, 2024, prompting advertisers to adapt to LinkedIn’s alternative targeting options.

Quick Take:

  • LinkedIn retires the Lookalike Audiences feature, effective February 29, 2024.
  • Advertisers are advised to shift to alternative targeting methods, Predictive Audiences and Audience Expansion.
  • Active ad campaigns using Lookalike Audiences will continue, but new creations or edits will be disabled.

LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audiences leverages user data to identify profiles resembling existing customers. Moreover, it will cease to accept new creations or edits after February 29. Existing audiences will turn static and will not be able to refresh with new data, making them dormant.

Transition to Predictive Audiences and Audience Expansion

LinkedIn encourages advertisers to transition to its newer targeting tools. These are Predictive Audiences and Audience Expansion. Predictive Audiences deploy AI to identify potential converters based on conversion data, lead generation forms, or contact lists. Meanwhile, Audience Expansion broadens target demographics using LinkedIn’s professional demographic data.

To create a Predictive Audience, a minimum of 300 people in the selected data source is required. Ad accounts can have a maximum of 30 predictive audiences, which are non-transferable between accounts. However, campaigns using predictive audiences won’t have the flexibility to expand the audience.

Audience Expansion can be combined with Matched audience segments. Performance metrics encompass the initially targeted group and the extended audience. However, certain limitations exist, such as the inability to widen audiences for adaptive ad formats or behaviors predicted by the platform.

LinkedIn added,

“LinkedIn member profile data and company attributes are used to determine similarity to expand to audiences based on similar characteristics. This means that your lookalike audience size can be up to 15 times larger than your original audience size.”

Implications for Current Campaigns on LinkedIn

Current ad campaigns utilizing Lookalike Audiences must swiftly transition to Predictive Audiences or activate Audience Expansion to maintain a dynamic targeting approach. LinkedIn grants a 30-day grace period for accessing unused Lookalike Audiences before they are archived.

LinkedIn’s API for creating Lookalike Audiences through third-party platforms will be discontinued. Marketers relying on these integrations, such as those with HubSpot will have to seek alternative solutions for audience building.

While existing Lookalike Audiences will continue to function until February 2024, advertisers are urged to make a shift towards Predictive Audiences and Audience Expansion. LinkedIn’s move reflects a shift in prioritizing its proprietary tools over external data sources for ad targeting.

With Predictive Audiences and Audience Expansion, LinkedIn provides advertisers with more dynamic and effective targeting options. Moreover, LinkedIn’s evolving ad platform will provide marketers with a chance to work with refined strategies and obtain more fruitful results.

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