LinkedIn has announced that it’s removing Lookalike Audiences as an ad targeting option, which could change the way that you look to reach your target audience in the app.
LinkedIn’s Lookalike Audience option enables you to input a list of customer information from your own database, which LinkedIn’s system is then able to scan for various traits. The process then matches those traits to other, potentially interested users in the app, helping you reach those of a similar profile.
But now, it’s going away, with LinkedIn prompting advertisers to look to its other targeting options instead.
As per LinkedIn:
“On February 29, 2024, LinkedIn’s lookalike audiences will be discontinued. This means that new lookalike audiences can’t be created and existing lookalike audiences can’t be edited. Existing lookalike audience data will no longer refresh, and a lookalike audience will become a static lookalike audience. Any active campaigns using lookalike audiences will continue to deliver using the static audience.”
That’s a fairly significant shift, especially considering the value that lookalike audience options have traditionally provided for advertisers, by enabling them to more specifically target people who match the profile of their existing customers.
Though there are still similar options within LinkedIn’s system.
The first alternative to consider is “Predictive Audiences”, which enables you to create, essentially, a lookalike audience in the same way, but from fewer data sources. Predictive Audiences can be created via info gathered from LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms, your contact list in the app, and conversions data generated via the Insight Tag.
So it’s the same thing, in effect, but more confined to LinkedIn-specific data, which may produce better results as it better aligns with LinkedIn’s systematic understanding.
LinkedIn also suggests that brands consider using “Audience Expansion” instead, which enables you to reach users with related interests.
“For example, if your campaign targets members with the skill “Online Advertising”, Audience Expansion might 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.”
So you still have options to expand your ad audience, and because these tools utilize LinkedIn-specific data as the targeting source, they may actually drive better results.
LinkedIn’s ad targeting systems are also improving, and presumably, it’s found that the value of lookalike targeting via outside data sources is now outweighed by the benefits of using its own tools for the same.
As such, the impact might not be significant, but if you’ve traditionally used lookalikes in the app, you’ll need to update your process.
We’ve asked LinkedIn for more info on the removal of lookalike targeting, and will update this post if/when we hear back.
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