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How to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences to convert hard-to-get leads

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3 min read

How to use LinkedIn Matched Audiences to convert hard-to-get leads

By Ana Gotter · April 1, 2021
The logos for LInkedIn, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Mailchimp.

Lead generation is expensive, whether you're trying to run campaigns on conventional platforms or purchase lead data from third-party companies. 

It can be particularly difficult for B2B brands to connect with high-quality leads because it's not enough to reach users who work for certain types of organizations; they need to get straight to the decision-maker. 

This is partially why advertising on LinkedIn is so valuable. LinkedIn ads allow you to use advanced, professional audience targeting and a feature called Matched Audiences so you can reach the people who matter most to your business. This can help you convert valuable and hard-to-get leads you may not have reached otherwise.

In this post, we're going to discuss how you can use LinkedIn's Matched Audiences to reach and convert those elusive high-value leads. 

What are LinkedIn Matched Audiences?

LinkedIn's Matched Audiences is similar to Facebook's custom audiences, allowing you to be more specific about which users you want to reach.

Screenshot of "What you can do with Matched Audiences" page with icons for company targeting, contact targeting, and retargeting.

There are several options available with Matched Audiences: 

  • You can upload lists of customer IDs or connect to a contact management system to target specific users with ad campaigns

  • Retargeting allows you to reach users who have taken specific actions with your brand like interacting with you on LinkedIn or viewing a landing page

  • Company targeting allows you to take advantage of account-based marketing to connect with decision-makers at specific companies

  • Use lookalike audiences to target users who are similar to existing audience members from a separate custom audience segment 

The more you know about your targeted audience—whether it's the company they work for, the job title they hold, or how they've interacted with your brand before— the more relevant your ad campaigns can be, boosting the potential success of your lead generation campaigns tenfold. 

How to set up LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Matched Audiences feature is exceptionally easy to use. During the ad creation process, after creating your Campaign Group, you'll be asked to select an audience.

Scroll down until you see the Matched Audiences section.

Screenshot of page asking "Who is your target audience?"

You can then choose which type of Matched Audience you'd like to use, and upload any lists or connect to third-party tools as needed. 

How to get results with Matched Audiences

Ready to leverage Matched Audiences to connect with high-value leads? There are a few exceptional use cases and best practices to test out. Let's look at each. 

Consider the best way to reach decision-makers 

One of the most important contributing factors to getting results with B2B advertising is connecting with the key decision-makers. 

I can show an ad featuring my outstanding marketing automation software to a target company's marketing employees. It won't matter, however, if a member of the marketing team sees the ad and likes it; it needs to be seen by someone with purchasing power, like a director, because that’s who makes decisions.

Test out different ways to reach those high-value decision-makers. You could upload a list of current leads or try targeting employees of specific companies. LinkedIn also allows you to upload a list of companies whose employees you would like to target with your ads, so you can reach people in your target market, but with whom you do not have an existing relationship.

Screenshot of options to choose a list to upload

You can then use demographic information or other LinkedIn targeting facets to fine-tune this list, increasing the odds that it's seen by a key decision-maker. 

Automatically add leads to Matched Audiences

As you attract new leads (by using ads that send users to landing pages or with LinkedIn's lead generation ads), it's important to make sure that you're following up regularly. 

Learn more about how to use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms and automating them with Zapier to streamline your process.

Using Matched Audiences to reach out to existing leads is an outstanding follow-up strategy; it keeps you on their mind even outside their inbox.

It's best to automatically add leads to your Matched Audiences in most cases. That’s where a tool like Zapier comes in, as you can automatically add leads or other audience segments from your CRM to LinkedIn's Matched Audiences. You can even use this feature to upsell existing clients on new products or higher-tiered pricing plans. 

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Automation is much simpler than needing to manually update an Excel document and re-upload it every time you get in new leads, so this is well worth setting up.

Explore more ways to automate LinkedIn Matched Audiences in our App Directory.

Final thoughts

LinkedIn has the potential to be a B2B marketing juggernaut, especially if it's used to convert high-value leads. Matched Audiences and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms are incredibly effective features for advertisers and B2B brands looking to connect with quality, high-intent leads. 

As with most marketing, you'll want to take the time to optimize these campaigns with automation so that you can get the most out of your LinkedIn ads while being as efficient as possible.

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Ana Gotter picture

Ana Gotter

Ana is a strategic content marketer specializing in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs and can be contacted at


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