Three Best Practices for LinkedIn’s Audience Network
LinkedIn has become the go-to B2B platform for advertisers over the last few years given its usage by many key decision makers within companies, as well as its robust targeting options that go beyond the capabilities of any other social platform. With popular targeting segments like job titles, job industries, job seniorities, and more, it is a prime platform to reach target audiences within professional networks.
In addition to its robust targeting options, LinkedIn’s Audience Network (LAN) is an additional placement option for sponsored content campaigns. For brands that utilize sponsored content campaigns, this expanded targeting opportunity is available. The primary benefit of LAN? It targets users beyond LinkedIn’s platform by placing select ads on trusted websites like MSN.com, Outlook.com, MyFitnessPal.com, etc. While this feature is optional, many advertisers are opting in because it increases campaign scale and touchpoints immensely. However, because the LAN includes inventory that is not directly on LinkedIn, there are three best practices to keep in mind to get the best performance from campaigns.
1. Consider running two campaigns
LinkedIn’s algorithm is notorious for favoring ads serving on its Audience Network rather than in-platform because there is more scale. If marketers are able to secure a sufficient budget, a multi-campaign strategy is recommended. By running complementary campaigns that target and exclude the LAN, marketers can have greater control over ad serving and budget spent between the different placements. This can also give the advertiser more robust reporting options for analyzing placement performance.
2. Implement category exclusions
Once LAN is enabled within your campaign, LinkedIn provides publisher category exclusion options. These categories are classified by the “Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) category taxonomy,” which is a system that classifies website content and therefore improves targeting. IAB exclusions are helpful when content is sensitive and could result in discrimination, or is tailored to a specific industry and brands don’t want their ads to show up alongside specific website content. The website partner category exclusion options are vast, some of the most popular exclusions include “Family & Parenting,” “Religion,” “Shopping,” and “News.
3. Upload publisher lists
Another way to control how your brand serves on the Audience Network is to upload a publisher list. With LinkedIn’s provided template, advertisers can create a custom list of publishers to either target or exclude from its campaigns. These lists are called “block lists” or “allow lists” and can include up to 100,000 domains. This enables brands to fully remove publishers they feel threaten their brand safety and gives marketers full control on how their campaigns are served to their target audience.
Not sure how to decide which domains to negate? LinkedIn provides “Publisher Reports” that identify all additional domains where ads were shown over the last month through the Audience Network, if it’s enabled. Downloading this report provides a list of publishers that advertisers can comb through to find relevant exclusions.
What marketers need to know
LinkedIn’s Audience Network is a great way for marketers to scale campaigns and reach relevant B2B audiences. But, following best practices to maintain control for contextual relevance, brand safety, and ad serving is crucial to ensure your brand gets the best performance possible. Keep these three recommendations in mind before adding LAN into your LinkedIn approach.