Learn why targeting LinkedIn users through the Bing Ads platform is the next channel for B2B and SaaS brands. Gone are the days of expensive clicks and a challenging ad manager in LinkedIn.



Today I want to talk about a new feature at Bing Ads, which is LinkedIn Profile Targeting. This came about when Microsoft agreed to buy LinkedIn and integrate it with the Bing Ads platform through the Microsoft Audience Network. LinkedIn Profile Targeting still in a closed beta (ask your AM for access).

The Microsoft Audience Network offers ad placements with MSN, Microsoft Outlook , Microsoft Edge and other top sites. Microsoft is really trying to help everyone reach the right person at the right time. The network is a combination of Microsoft Graph (all the data it has on you and me) and artificial intelligence (AI).


One important caveat, LinkedIn profile targeting can only be done with search campaigns, dynamic search ads (DSA), and shopping campaigns. No other campaign type will activate this feature.

There are a few reasons targeting LinkedIn users through Bing Ads and the Microsoft Audience Network makes sense. You get scale by the sheer size of all these Microsoft properties.

Search and social has a more cohesive relationship at Microsoft then what Google or Facebook can offer. The death of Google+ anyone? Managing two ad networks from one ad manager makes our lives easier. Plus there is the off chance you might see slightly lower CPCs.

What exactly is on offer when you target LinkedIn profiles through Bing Ads?

When you set up your campaign and ads, LinkedIn Profile Targeting gives you 3 options for targeting:

  • Company: 80,000 companies
  • Job function: 26 job functions
  • Industry: 145 industries

LinkedIn Profile Targeting can be applied to the campaign or the ad group level along with normal bid modifiers. The target option will be bid only, and won’t narrow your audience when you use bid modifiers. See the end of this article for a breakdown of the job function and industry selection.

How To Set Up LinkedIn Profile Targeting

We recommend setting up a separate campaign to help with testing and controlling your spend. Follow all the normal steps you would do when making a search, DSA or shopping campaign.

When you reach step 4, that is where you can set LinkedIn profile targeting when you build your new campaign. See the screenshot and steps below:

  1. Click Campaign targets.
  2. Click Edit target categories.
  3. Select Company, Industry, and/or Job function.
  4. For each target type, click Edit target.
  5. Search or browse for companies, industries, and/or job functions, and click Target for the appropriate ones.
  6. For industries, and/or job functions, you can select only subcategories if you want
  7. Click Done for each target type.
  8. Finally, set a bid adjustment for each target, if you want to.
  9. Click Save and you are done.


Within a few hours you should see traffic for a search or shopping campaigns. We have found DSA campaigns can take closer to 24 hours before we see traffic come in. Also make sure your bids are high enough.


New To LinkedIn Advertising

With 590 millions users on the social network worldwide and 154 million coming from the USA alone. Plus with 44% of these users being active every month on the platform. Odds are the people you want to target are on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Demographic Stats

  • India, Brazil, Great Britain and Canada have the highest number of users after the US
  • There are 56% of male users and 44% female users on Linkedin.
  • 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions.
  • 13% of Millennials (15-34 Years old) use Linkedin.
  • 44% of Linked users earn more than $75,000 in a year.
  • There are over 39 million students and recent grads on Linkedin.

How To Use LinkedIn Profile Targeting

Targeting users on LinkedIn and setting yourself up for success means picking the right strategy from the outset. Luckily  the targeting options we have now are pretty broad, you now need to make sure the rest of your campaign settings are heading down the right path.

Campaign Type & Settings

Unless your site is setup to facilitate a transaction for B2B customers. I would stick with a search or DSA campaign. This will help you get up and running the fastest and give you the most flexibility.

We always target a whole country and all languages to make sure we target the people we want. We will adjust bids for devices depending on how other campaigns have performed for us in the past.

Bid and Bid Strategy

Always start off on manual. If you want to move beyond that than maybe eCPC as a bid strategy makes sense. You need to have enough data to pick a bid strategy beyond manual / eCPC. You want to be able to test bidding and not start to overpay for any clicks starting out.

Keep your bids higher than what you would on Bing Ads. This might mean starting at $3 or $4/click and seeing how traffic goes for the first couple days. If you don’t see any traffic after a day, then trying upping your bids a bit.

Keywords & Ad Copy

Take some of your best performing keywords and ads you already have in your Bing ad account and test those along with job functions and industry targeting. If you are looking to target people at a company, than use keywords you think people are going to search for.


Wish List For LinkedIn Profile Targeting

The LinkedIn Profile Targeting on Bing is a good start and shows there is tons of potential if Bing ..and microsoft..can open up the inventory and let their nerd cred fly.

Job Functions
I really wish we had the opportunity to target percises job titles. Marketing is a pretty broad industry and even just the difference between those who work online vs traditional advertising would help refine our audience.

Company Size
This is one targeting option I was hoping they would launch with. Being able to narrow down the company size a person works at changes who you are going after. A marketing person at a 50 person company is different then someone who works at 1,000 person company.

Targeting people who graduated from a certain school or a set of schools would also be great for different brands looking to test out B2B marketing through LinkedIn for the first time.

Company Name – Bulk Upload
My friend and LinkedIn advertising master AJ Wilcox, wants to see bulk upload for company names you want to target. He’s right about this being a must have feature. Doing them one by one takes a lot longer work wise. Few people will reach that 1,000 company limit if they have to do it one by one.

Bing Display Network
The other wish list item from AJ is having the Bing Display Network as part of the Microsoft Audience Network or at least let us target these LinkedIn ads to the display network. A few years ago Google started letting their search ads shows on the Google Display Network (GDN) and that really opened up the inventory and opportunities.

A few years ago Bing decided to outsource their display network to AOL/Oath. I’m not sure if the agreement between those companies is why we don’t see Bing let their search ads show on their display network. This is something for them to consider and big their revenue stream.

See below for a breakdown of the job function and industry selection. That is it for this week. See you next time.

Category Breakdown for Job Functions and Industry

LinkedIn Profile Targeting Targeting Options Notes
Company: 80,000 companies Most major brands would be on this list. Bing gives you a search function to pick each company including Nike or REI..ect. You cannot target more than 1,000 companies in a single ad group or campaign.
Job function: 26 job functions Accounting
Arts and Design
Business Development
Community and Social Services
Healthcare Services
Human Resources
Information Technology
Media and Communication
Military and Protective Services
Product Management
Program and Project Management
Quality Assurance
Real Estate
No subcategories to pick with job functions. Can make targeting a little to broad for some brands.
Industry: 145 industries Manufacturing
Corporate Services
Consumer Goods
Energy & Mining
Health Care
Recreation & Travel
Hardware & Networking
Public Safety
Transportation & Logistics
Software & IT Services
Real Estate
Public Administration
Media & Communications
Wellness & Fitness
Each category has subcategories to help refine targeting. I.e.


  • Construction
  • Building Materials
  • Civil Engineering
  • Wellness & Fitness
  • Alternative Medicine
  • Health, Wellness & Fitness