LinkedIn Advertising's New Targeting Options a Higher-Ed Bonus

When it comes to social media advertising, LinkedIn is not always top-of-mind, especially for B2C companies. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn users know that current and future employers may view their profiles, and tend to keep their posts more professional and their personal information to a minimum.  While LinkedIn advertising is still somewhat new (see our white paper on the subject), the company is making huge strides in its interface in order to attract more advertisers.

Recently, LinkedIn launched two new targeting options which add the ability to target by school and skills, in addition to the previous options of location, company, job title, group, gender and age.  While this development will not be helpful for all advertisers on LinkedIn, it is a huge advantage to the already competitive industry of education.  In addition to targeting a university as a whole, admissions departments also have the ability to target schools inside of the university such as arts, business, law,etc.


This specificity will give advertisers a chance to create campaigns exclusively to students in certain interest categories, and tailor the ad copy and images to appeal to that group of students.  If you do create degree-specific campaigns, ideally the click-thru rate will increase due to ads being more relevant, and the conversion rate should increase as well.  Click-thru rates in LinkedIn have plagued many online advertisers for some time now, and I think that this new degree of targeting will have a huge effect on advertisers of higher education.

While most of this post has been all glitter and unicorns, do not rely on school-specific or degree-specific campaigns to have high traffic right off the bat.  As I stated before, LinkedIn user profile information is left up to individual discretion and may not be uniform between users.

For example, let’s say two students are both attending Harvard Law School.  User #1 may have Harvard University in her profile while the other has Harvard Law School.  So, while the advertiser would like to target both of the users in a campaign targeting Harvard Law School, only one user would be shown an ad from that campaign.  So, while there still may be some bugs that need to be worked out, I truly believe that LinkedIn will continue to improve its targeting methods and look forward to future developments.


Get a deeper look at advertising wisely on LinkedIn with our LinkedIn advertising white paper.


Check out Fathom’s 30-pg. Ultimate Guide to Marketing an Educational Institution with Social Media. It’s full of insightful interviews and illustrative case studies on using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing a school.

Social Media 101 for Schools

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