LinkedIn Audience Targeting Updates 2020


LinkedIn has long been the superior ad platform for B2B markets with its various targeting methods. With options like job titles, seniority, industry, and company size, it’s no wonder that it’s the go-to for many businesses.

In early April, LinkedIn announced some new, valuable company targeting types – Company Category and Company Growth Rate – that will help to get you more quality leads if used correctly.

Here’s the breakdown of what each of these is and how you might apply them:

Company Category

While this might sound similar to “industry”, it’s far from it. Company Category is matched LinkedIn audience lists that are generated by other curated lists from places like Forbes, Fortune, and even lists LinkedIn creates themselves. The description from LinkedIn is “Reach members based on the category their company falls into. Company categories are defined based on publications and industry lists that group companies into specific market segments.”

While these lists are somewhat limited right now, they could lead to more inclusive lists in the future. Right now, the list includes some of the fastest growing companies worldwide and within the US and other countries. LinkedIn also has captured the fastest growing startups worldwide with lists in every country. Here are a few examples:

  • Fortune 100 Fast Growing Companies (Worldwide)
  • Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies
  • Fortune 500 (US)
  • Linked News Editors’ Top Companies (US)
  • LinkedIn News Editors’ Top Startups (US)

How should you use this? If your clients are considered corporate or enterprise-level companies, this might be a good solution for you. These can also be layered with other features in LinkedIn, including industry, job title, etc. to get more granular in your targeting. While these lists are fairly broad now, there may be the option to get more specific later on.

Company Growth Rate 

The second targeting type is Company Growth Rate, which might be more useful to B2B companies looking to target at a smaller scale than the Company Category options.  This targeting option allows you to target based on growth rate, with the following choices:

  • Negative growth companies
  • 0% – 3% company growth
  • 3% – 10% company growth
  • 10% – 20% company growth
  • 20%+ company growth

If you’re already familiar with LinkedIn targeting options, this may sound a little bit like the “company size” option. Both targeting options use number of employees to determine size/growth, but they do so in different ways and growth rate is arguably more accurate.

“Company size” is determined when a user first creates their LinkedIn page and defines the number of employees at their company. However, this is rarely updated and checked by page admin, and therefore isn’t always accurate. Some company pages will even skip this step, leaving out their employees as potential targets.

The new company growth targeting is likely derived from individual’s profiles who have listed a company as their employer. Users are more likely to update their individual profiles on a regular basis rather than a company is, which makes this a more accurate depiction of company growth. This method might not work to determine company size in general, as blue-collar workers, for instance, might not create a LinkedIn profile, but it does work well to show company growth rate as it should still be representative of both white- and blue-collar workers.

How should you use this? This, again, could be layered with so many other LinkedIn targeting options to get specific. If your product or service can accommodate growth in some way – for example a product that improves efficiency, or real estate loans for quickly growing offices – then this would be a good choice for you. Again, layering with the industry you are after or even roles, like HR/management, can help you make the most of this option. High growth companies are also more likely to have the disposable budget to try something new.

 So, how might you use these targeting options to generate higher quality LinkedIn leads? If you need some consulting on how to make the most impact out of your paid advertising, let’s talk!