• February 29, 2024

LinkedIn Ends Lookalike Audiences

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LinkedIn today discontinued Lookalike Audiences, impacting the way businesses target their ads on the platform.

With this action, new look-alike audiences can no longer be created, and existing look-alike audiences can no longer be edited or refreshed. Active campaigns using look-alike audiences will continue to deliver using the static audience.

In place of Lookalike Audiences, LinkedIn is recommending that marketers turn to Predictive Audiences for contact list, conversion, or Lead Gen Form data sources and Audience Expansion or Matched Audiences and LinkedIn attribute targeting, such as by skill or interest.

"These options can help you scale and reach similar audiences and identify buyers most likely to act," LinkedIn said in a statement.

Predictive Audiences use Lead Gen Forms, conversions using the Insight Tag or Conversions API, or contact lists as the audience data source to reach audiences with similar characteristics who are likely to convert. To create a predictive audience, LinkedIn combines tcompany data sources and its own AI. Company data sources must have 300 or more members to create predictive audiences. Contact lists must have a minimum of 300 rows and a maximum of 300,000 rows. Currently, only contact lists uploaded directly to Campaign Manager usingCSV files can be used as data sources. Conversion or Lead Gen Forms must have more than 300 members. There's a limit of 30 predictive audiences for each ad account.

Audience Expansion primarily uses professional demographics, which can be combined with Matched Audience segments, as the data source to reach an audience with attributes similar to target audiences.

And while the deprecation of Lookalike Audiences might seem like a negative, Carol Howley, chief marketing officer of Exclaimer, an email signature management solutions provider, believes this update opens the door for creating more impactful campaigns.

"LinkedIn's decision to remove Lookalike Audiences underscores a shift within digital marketing toward more AI-driven and data-centric approaches. While this holds a new challenge for brands and marketers, it also presents opportunities to offer better targeting precision and efficiency," she says.

"As marketers, navigating this change will involve embracing new tools and adapting our approaches, such as increasing our use of one-to-one communications such as [account-based marketing] and personalized engagements. Solutions like email signatures offer organizations a simple and effective way to reach and engage with target audiences by delivering content and messages that resonate specifically with intended audiences, placing a heightened emphasis on quality and relevance over mere reach.

"This change is a great catalyst for businesses to focus on creating more precise and impactful campaigns. Modern digital marketing is evolving, and marketers must remain adaptable and proactive to stay ahead amidst these changes," she concludes.

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