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LinkedIn’s Help Documents on Member Location

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Show Transcript

In your LinkedIn Ads geographic targeting, are you reaching people that haven’t been there in six months? We’re talking about geographic targeting on this week’s episode of The LinkedIn Ads Show.

Welcome to the LinkedIn Ads Show. Here’s your host, AJ Wilcox.

Hey there, LinkedIn Ads fanatics. As he said, I’m AJ Wilcox, and I’m the host of the weekly podcast, The LinkedIn Ads Show. And I’m thrilled to welcome you to the show for advanced B2B marketers who want to evolve through mastering LinkedIn Ads and achieving true pro status.

One of the little known nuances of LinkedIn Ads targeting is the geographic targeting. We actually get two options, and most don’t even know about this. We have two options. One is the recent or permanent, which is the default. That’s probably what most of you are using. And the second option is called permanent. We talked today about what each means, why they’re important, why you should choose one over the other, given whatever it is you’re trying to do, and then all of this to help you understand exactly what’s going on in your campaigns.

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Alright, first off in the news, there’s a new media planning feature happening in Campaign Manager, and many advertisers are reporting seeing it on a couple of their accounts. What it appears to be is a little bit better of a predictor of your spend, your reach, and possible performance. You’ll notice that when you go and build a campaign, LinkedIn over in the right rail, LinkedIn will show some predicted stats of how your campaign might perform. The thing is, they’re always wrong. For instance, LinkedIn knows that the average click through rate might be something like 45 percent for sponsored content, but they’re always predicting that your ads are going to perform at .8 to 1.6%. So in short, that’s never accurate. Well, it looks like this new media planning feature is striving to be a lot more accurate. It allows you to switch your objective, switch your budget, and it’ll actually show you a graph. Based off of your budget, what you might expect in terms of reach or impressions. So it looks really cool. I would love to hear from you. Reach out if you have any experience with this. If you found this to be more or less accurate than what you were using before, I’d love to hear about it. I’m gonna guess by the time you hear this, this should be rolled out to most accounts, if not all. A big shout out to Ava Yacob, one of our super fanatics in our fanatics community. She’s at Zapier, and she surfaced this before I’d even seen it.

The next piece of news is also from one of our super fanatics. This is Anthony Blattner from Speedwork. He shared in the community that he found out that enhanced bidding can now go up to two times your bid. Now apparently it used to be that if you click that little or actually just left it checked, the box that when you choose manual bidding, there’s the box that that says enhanced bidding. And what it allowed LinkedIn to do, was to bid up to 1. 45 times your bid if they thought that someone who was likely to take the action was out of reach of your bid, so they could spend a little bit more to reach that high quality prospect. Well, several advertisers out there were noticing that their costs per click were significantly higher in their accounts, so they went to support, and support responded. They confirmed that the official enhanced cost per click cap recently moved from 1.45 times to 2 times your bid, and it fully ramped on April 24th. This means that if you’re bidding manually, which, like you’ve heard me say lots of times, I recommend it 90 percent of the time, if you leave that box checked, you might find that your costs per click could be up to double what you’ve actually set your manual bid at. Anthony pointed out that this is really annoying if you’re using lead gen campaigns, because lead generation objective, you’re basically forced to use enhanced bidding. I do have to say this is a little bit disappointing to me, because any time that LinkedIn makes a change where all of a sudden we have to pay more than we were before, of course that hits advertisers right in the pocket. I would love it if this were something that LinkedIn proactively let us know about, rather than just turning it on, ramping it up, and watching us all have to scurry off to our, our reps to ask them what’s going on. So, Anthony, thanks so much for sharing this with the fanatics community.

By the way, if you’re not already a member of the fanatics community, What are you waiting for? Go to and check it out. It’s where you can hear all of these announcements weeks before I end up announcing them here on the show.

Alright, so do you have a question, a review, or feedback for the show? You can message me on LinkedIn or email us at if you attach a link to a voice recording from you, I’ll happily play them here on the show, and I can keep you anonymous, or share your details out. So record yourself asking a question, commenting on something from a past episode, or whatever, I’ll aim to include you right here in the show. Just like this.

Okay. That question came from Tom Barlow. He’s the head of paid media for Trafficky Digital Marketing in London. Alright so Tom, on LAN traffic, this is a great question. And I’m actually working really hard right now to better understand how the LinkedIn Audience Network traffic is working. Truthfully, I want to love it so much. I want to be LinkedIn Audience Network’s biggest fan. All of this goes back to, I think LinkedIn’s biggest weakness right now, which is we can reach exactly the right kinds of professionals through LinkedIn’s targeting. But the downside is it’s not quite the network that people come and spend a ton of time on. So if we could reach these ideal professionals through our LinkedIn Ads targeting, be able to reach them all across the web, that would obviously be the very best thing. And that’s what LAN’s promise really is, reach them all the way across the internet. But the truth is I’ve done a lot of testing and I haven’t found all the value in it yet.

I’ve seen lots of LinkedIn experts hypothesizing that it’s spam or bot traffic. So I actually worked really closely with LinkedIn’s product team. And we did a deep data analysis together where we compared all of the traffic that LinkedIn was reporting versus the traffic that was actually landing on the website. We identified which ones were bots, which ones were spam, and lo and behold, LinkedIn actually wasn’t charging us for the bots and spam traffic. So it’s coming, Analytics might pick it up, but LinkedIn’s not actually charging us for it, which means it’s all okay.

Also in the fanatics community, one of the members shared that maybe it was because LinkedIn was using a lookalike model, for its targeting on the LinkedIn audience network. So maybe it’s not actually hitting exactly the right people. Maybe it’s just hitting people who look similar to them. Well, we got a response from the product team and found out that’s not true. It actually is using true LinkedIn ads targeting.

So I kind of got debunks there. But recently I ran a really clean test of LinkedIn audience network traffic versus LinkedIn only traffic for a client. And we spent lots of money, it was over 10k, and we got lots of conversions across both. So few from the LinkedIn audience network made it to MQL status, whereas the LinkedIn only traffic did quite nicely. So, one of the studies that I’m looking to do here soon is I want to analyze the conversions that actually came from the LAN campaign, and I want to look for signs of life, anything that might tell us that this is, like, these are real people, maybe it’s real people but they’re putting in Gmail addresses, Or maybe there is some spam or bot kind of traffic there that’s actually converting. So more on that when I actually complete the analysis. So Tom, all of this to say, I’m still trying to figure it out. And like I said, I want to be LAN’s biggest fan, but I’m not seeing any down funnel results from it yet, or signs of high quality from my own testing.

So I’m reaching out to you, all of you LinkedIn Ads pros, If any of you are having success with LAN, especially down funnel, please reach out to me and I would love to hear about it and possibly collaborate on some sort of a study. So Tom, for now, I’d recommend deselecting the audience network and not using it unless you have a really strong reason to want to use it.

Alright everyone, be just like Tom, send us an audio file of a question you have, a comment, or whatever, we’ll play it right on the show like that.

Alright, onto the topic at hand, let’s hit it. This episode was inspired by a comment that I got from a listener named Bree Clodagh Pavitt. She’s head of marketing at the Stevenson Mansell Group. She said, Hi AJ, did you know that there was a permanent or recent option for location targeting? I haven’t heard you talk about this yet. Love your work as always, Bree. Alright, so Bree, you bring up a really important nuance to targeting that I actually talk quite a bit to my team about, but I haven’t shared much publicly about it. So thank you for the idea.

Whenever you create a campaign and you choose your geography, the default geographic targeting is set to recent or permanent. And so I did a quick deep dive into the help section of LinkedIn, and it tells me that recent location can mean up to the last six months. That’s so scary to me. So if I’m targeting specific professionals in the US, I could be reaching people from all over the world that just happened to have traveled to the US in the last six months. That’s way too broad in my opinion. If I got to design this feature, it would definitely be, Recent might be the last week or two. Now, there are definitely times where you might want to use someone’s physical location and not just where their profile says that they live.

I’m working with a client right now where they specifically want to target events and trade shows that they might be exhibiting at or presenting at. And so when we do this, we specifically want to reach people from elsewhere that happen to be in that city. So when we do this, we use recent or permanent for the targeting. Now, because of that last six months lag, it is possible that we could get people who aren’t there in the city right now, but were in the last six months, but I’m gonna guess that that’s a very small population compared to the population that we’re trying to target. Who might be attending that show. Now, if I’m not specifically trying to target people who are attending an event right now, most of the time, I’m going to opt for the permanent geographic location. That means it’s ignoring the IP address that someone logged in from on the mobile app. And instead it’s only using the location of their LinkedIn Ads. And instead, it’s using the location that they’ve hard coded into their LinkedIn profile, saying, I live here. Now, some really good news. This change can be made at any time. So I would encourage you, go through your campaigns right now, go change them over to permanent targeting. There’s no harm in it, and probably what you’ll see, is an uplift in quality.

We recently had a client come to us and say, Hey, are we targeting India? Because we just got a lead from India from one of our ads. And sure enough, we went and looked at it and no, we’re not targeting India in any of our targeting, but one of them was left on recent or permanent. And so all we did to patch that was switch it over to permanent only. And that means anyone who happens to come visit the U S who otherwise fits the targeting criteria is not going to be targeted just because if they live outside the US or North America or wherever else we’re targeting, they’re not supposed to be targeted.

All right. We’ve talked about this before, but go check out the LinkedIn Ads fanatics community. To all four of our courses that are supposed to take you from absolute LinkedIn Ads beginner to total LinkedIn Ads pro. You can check it out at Not only do you get access to the courses, but you’ll also get access to all of us LinkedIn Ads pros who are sharing what’s working for us, And what’s not. And I promise you, it’s going to make you a better advertiser. There’s even an upgraded subscription to get you on weekly group coaching calls with me. Now, if this is your first time listening, welcome. We’re excited to have you here. Make sure to hit that subscribe button, cause we’d sure love to have you here next week.

But if you are a regular listener. Thank you so much. I love you. Please go review us on Apple Podcasts. It’s by far the best way that you can say thank you for all the time and effort it takes for us to put this podcast together, week after week. With any questions, suggestions, or corrections, reach out to us at And with that being said, we’ll see you back here next week. I’m cheering you on in your LinkedIn Ads initiatives.