Back to Blog
The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads Targeting For B2B Startups [2023]

The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads Targeting For B2B Startups [2023]

Yashwin Naidu
September 11, 2023

As a startup founder, you're likely to be continually on the lookout for effective ways to enhance your business's digital presence. If you're yet to explore LinkedIn's advertising capabilities, now is the time to dive in. With over 690 million users worldwide and a reputation as the go-to platform for professionals, LinkedIn offers a potent and targeted approach to advertising that can significantly amplify your startup's visibility. 

But why should you consider advertising on LinkedIn? And how can you make the most out of it? The reasons are manifold, and the opportunities are rich. Let's take a closer look at why LinkedIn should become your new digital advertising ally. 

"LinkedIn isn't just about networking. It's a powerful advertising tool that, when used correctly, can supercharge your startup's digital presence."

Here's what we'll be covering in this article: 

  1. Benefits of LinkedIn Ads for B2B Startups
  2. LinkedIn Ad Targeting Overview
  3. Cold Targeting
  4. Warm and Hot Targeting
  5. Tips About Launching LinkedIn Ads

The Benefits of Advertising on LinkedIn for B2B Startups

As a B2B start-up founder, you're surely aware that reaching the right set of audience is crucial for your growth. LinkedIn, with its professional user base and wide-ranging capabilities, offers a unique platform to boost your digital presence. But why specifically LinkedIn? Here's why. 

Embedded text "4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions" and "LinkedIn's audience has 2X the buying power of the average web audience"
  • A Professional Audience: LinkedIn is a hub for professionals. It's a platform where business leaders, decision-makers, and influencers gather to network, share ideas, and stay informed. When you advertise on LinkedIn, you're reaching out to an audience that's not only interested but also has the power to make decisions about your products or services.¬†
  • Precise Targeting: LinkedIn's robust targeting capabilities allow you to zero in on your ideal customers. You can target users based on their job titles, industries, company size, and even the skills they've listed on their profiles. This precision ensures that your messaging is seen by the people who matter most to your business.¬†
  • High Quality Leads: LinkedIn users often have a higher purchasing power and are more likely to engage with B2B content. This means that the leads you generate from LinkedIn are typically high quality, ready to convert, and beneficial for your return on investment (ROI).¬†
  • Trustworthy Platform: Being a professional platform, LinkedIn inherently instils a sense of trust and credibility. When you advertise on LinkedIn, your ads are viewed as more reliable and authoritative, which positively impacts your brand perception.¬†
  • Powerful Analytics: LinkedIn provides comprehensive analytics for your ads. You can track your ad performance, measure your ROI, and gain valuable insights to fine-tune your campaigns. This is a crucial factor in continuously improving your results.¬†

Understanding LinkedIn's Targeting Capabilities

If you're looking to maximise the effectiveness of your advertising campaign, understanding LinkedIn's targeting capabilities is paramount. LinkedIn offers unique targeting features that can help you reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. 

Overview of LinkedIn Ad Targeting Capabilities 

LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network, offers several unique and powerful tools for targeting your advertisements. These tools can help you connect with your desired audience more effectively, ensuring your message is seen by the people who are most likely to respond. Let's delve into these targeting capabilities:

Type of Targeting                        Description

Audience Attribute Targeting                  Target based on specific demographic and professional traits.

Company Targeting                                 Target ads to individuals at specific companies or within certain industries.

Interest Targeting                                    Target users based on their interests and interactions on LinkedIn.

Retargeting                                              Target individuals who have previously interacted with your brand.

TOFU Targeting: Reaching a Cold Audience on LinkedIn ‚ĚĄÔłŹ

In the context of LinkedIn advertising, you may often come across the term "cold" audience. But what exactly does this mean? Let's delve into understanding this crucial concept and how it shapes your advertising strategies on LinkedIn. 

In the simplest terms, a "cold" audience refers to individuals or businesses on LinkedIn who haven't had any previous interaction with your startup. They are unaware of your company, products, or services and have had no prior exposure to your advertisements.

Here are some ways that you can target cold audiences using LinkedIn Ads:

1. Demographic Targeting 

LinkedIn's demographic targeting capabilities allow you to reach potential clients based on specific demographic factors such as age, gender, and location. This enables you to tailor your message to the most relevant audience, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. 

2. Job Experience Targeting 

When it comes to B2B advertising, LinkedIn's industry and role targeting capabilities truly shine. You can target users based on their industry, job title, job function, years of experience and seniority. This allows you to reach decision-makers in specific industries, increasing the precision and effectiveness of your ad campaigns. 

3. Company Targeting 

LinkedIn also allows for company targeting. This means you can target users based on the company they work for, the company size, or even the company's growth rate. This is especially useful for startups looking to engage with potential clients from specific companies or industries.

4. Interest and Behaviour Targeting 

Want to reach users based on their professional interests or online behaviour? LinkedIn's got you covered. With interest and behaviour targeting, you can target users who have shown interest in specific topics or who have interacted with certain types of content. This can help you reach an audience that is more likely to be interested in your product or service. 

Remember that the best approach to LinkedIn targeting is combining these options to create a highly defined audience. The more precise your targeting, the higher your chances of connecting with the right people and generating high-quality leads. 

MOFU & BOFU Targeting: Reaching Warm and Hot Audiences on LinkedIn ūüĒ•

One of the most potent methods of targeting on LinkedIn, is by leveraging your own first-party data along with LinkedIn's unique targeting capabilities and diverse ad formats. But before we delve into these features, let's first understand some crucial aspects of LinkedIn Ads: MOFU and BOFU targeting. 

MOFU stands for "Middle of the Funnel", while BOFU stands for "Bottom of the Funnel". These terms define the stages of a customer's journey, from becoming aware of your brand to making a purchase decision. Understanding these stages is essential to developing an effective LinkedIn Ads strategy.

By understanding and effectively leveraging MOFU and BOFU targeting, you'll be able to create more impactful LinkedIn Ads that resonate with your potential customers at each stage of their journey. Here are a few ways to implement these targeting methods.

Retargeting Users Who Engaged With Your Brand on LinkedIn

An effective strategy for boosting your startup's digital presence is re-engaging with LinkedIn members who have previously interacted with your company page or ads. This approach, known as retargeting, can significantly enhance your LinkedIn Ads performance. 

Wondering who exactly you should be re-engaging? Let's delve into some specific audience types: 

  • Video Ads: Zero in on members who viewed all or part of your video ad but didn‚Äôt convert and serve up a new ad to nudge them a little closer to the finish line.
  • Lead Gen Forms: This is for members who expressed interest by opening or filling out a native LinkedIn lead gen form. Restrict targeting to only those who didn‚Äôt hit submit for best results.
  • Company Page: This is like website visitor retargeting. You know these people know who you are, but maybe haven‚Äôt reached the purchasing decision stage of their buyer‚Äôs journey yet. Time for some reminders of their pain points and how you can solve them.
  • Events: If you run a lot of LinkedIn Live events, this is a great option to help convert attendees into customers.

Retargeting Site Visitors

Retargeting site visitors is a powerful tool that LinkedIn Ads provide, effectively allowing you to interact with an audience that has already shown interest in your startup. With this in mind, how do you retarget website visitors using LinkedIn Ads? Let's break it down into manageable steps.

  • Install LinkedIn Insight Tag: The first step is to install the LinkedIn Insight Tag on your website. This is a piece of JavaScript code that enables LinkedIn to track visitor activity on your site. You can install it through your website's management system.
  • Create a Matched Audience: Next, create a Matched Audience in your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This involves specifying the URLs that LinkedIn will use to identify visitors to your site. You can choose whether you want to target all visitors or only those who visited specific pages.¬†¬†

Note that creating a Matched Audience requires the LinkedIn Insight Tag to have been installed on your website for at least a week. This is to ensure the tool has enough data to use for retargeting.

Remember, the goal of retargeting is not just to increase visibility, but to entice previous visitors back to your website and convert them into customers. Hence, it's crucial to create ads that are relevant, engaging, and aligned with your startup's brand and objectives.

Custom Audiences: Contact List and Company List 

LinkedIn allows you to upload your contact or company lists to create a targeted audience for your ads. Here's how you can do it: 

LinkedIn's 'Matched Audiences' feature lets you import your existing contacts or company lists directly into the platform. This enables you to specifically target your ads to these audiences. This is a powerful tool for B2B startups to reach potential clients or partners that they already have a relationship with, or who are part of their desired market segment. Here, we'll walk you through the process: Firstly, navigate to the 'Matched Audiences' section within your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Click on 'Upload a list', then select either 'Contacts' or 'Companies'. From here, you can import your list by either uploading a CSV file or by syncing your CRM. Once your list is uploaded, LinkedIn will match it against its database of millions of professionals. The matched audience can then be used to create highly targeted ad campaigns that speak directly to your desired customer base.

Now that you've got a grasp on LinkedIn's targeting capabilities, the next step is exploring the different ad formats available. But that's a topic for another time.

Tips About Launching LinkedIn Ads

As we've discovered throughout this article, LinkedIn offers a multitude of benefits for B2B startup founders looking to enhance their digital presence. The platform's advanced targeting capabilities, diverse ad formats, and professional audience make it an indispensable tool in your digital marketing arsenal. 

When it comes to LinkedIn advertising, the key is to be strategic, be consistent, and be patient. The results may not be immediate, but with time, you'll see a significant impact on your startup's digital presence.

In light of this, if you're considering LinkedIn advertising but don't know where to start, our recommendation is to seek guidance from the experts. Here are some tips for you to appoint the right B2B marketing agency for your business.


At KPI Media, we specialise in LinkedIn advertising and are equipped with the knowledge and experience to help your startup realise its full digital potential. 

Don't leave your LinkedIn advertising to chance. Allow the professionals at KPI Media to guide you towards digital success.

More Blogs

See All Blogs