Beginners Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences

Start using LinkedIn-matched audiences in your advertising campaigns and scale their performance to new heights.

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Beginners Guide to LinkedIn Matched Audiences

While paid LinkedIn advertising campaigns can be difficult to master, it doesn’t have to be if you’re able to use the right combination of targeting and messaging you’ll be able to achieve your desired results.
This is particularly evident when you use matched audiences.
LinkedIn’s equivalent of Meta’s custom audience, matched audiences ensure you can reach those who have already engaged with your business online in some way.
This blog article will provide you with an overview of how you can get started with LinkedIn-matched audiences and leverage them for the growth of your business.

Types of Matched Audiences

As mentioned above, matched audiences can be created based on a variety of interactions that your potential customers have with your business online. Ranging from first-part and third-party methods, you can build a variety of audiences including:

  • Company lists: targeting anyone who works for a specific organisation
  • Contact lists: targeting individual people
  • Pixel-based retargeting: reaching anyone who visited a specific page on your website
  • Engagement-based retargeting:
  • Image ad engagement
  • Video ad views
  • Lead form engagement i.e. opens or submits
  • Company page engagement
  • LinkedIn event

If you’re familiar with the range of custom audiences you can create with Meta, you’ll be familiar with the above as well.

Guidelines for LinkedIn Matched Audiences

To create a matched audience of any kind, the absolute minimum size needs to be 300 to be eligible to serve the ad.

What this means is that there need to be 300 individuals to match in the platform after your specific list has been uploaded and processed.

Keep in mind that not everyone on your list will be a match as the platform cannot match everyone from your original list.

Once the list has been processed, LinkedIn will show a match rate, permitting you to verify your entries if the match rate appears lower than anticipated.

In saying this, 300 people might seem like an efficient number to target, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Typically, larger audiences - ideally 50,000 - generally see far greater efficient CPCs and CPAs.

If you’re looking to target companies, LinkedIn recommends including a minimum of 1,000 companies.

If you wish to target contacts, the platform recommends a minimum of 10,000 email addresses. Please note that if one email address matches with the same user, that person will only be counted as one.

Once you have uploaded your list, that’s when you’re able to launch your campaign. An uploaded list will generally be ready to be used within 48 hours, but it can take longer. Ensure this is factored into your media buying & planning.

Layering Targeting

Your audience targeting doesn’t end with matched audiences. You can combine them with other available targeting layered over the top such as company size, titles, job function, and more.

Be aware that you cannot combine LinkedIn-matched audiences with general interests and traits.

One handy strategy here is to use “AND” as well as “OR” targeting when setting up layers. For example, you can reach those who exist in either of the two lists you want to use, and if they are at a Director level too.

To create a matched audience of any kind, the absolute minimum size needs to be 300 to be eligible to serve the ad.

Exclusion Audiences

To ensure your ads are being delivered as efficiently as they possibly can, it’s important to include exclusion audiences. The most obvious kind of exclusion audience is those who have already taken the action that you want them to take.

You can take this a step further and exclude competitor companies so their employees don’t see your ads either. This ensures that your ad budget isn’t wasted on those who don’t matter.

Another type of exclusion audience includes website visitors. For example, if your product offers an online experience, you can exclude those who have visited the log-in page as they’re more than likely going to be existing customers.

LinkedIn Lookalike Audiences

Once you’ve created your matched audience on LinkedIn, you can go deeper again and create what’s referred to as a lookalike audience. 

Again, if you’re familiar with the various audiences that can be created on Meta, then you’ll already be familiar with lookalike audiences. 

For those of you who aren’t, these audiences are people with similar online characteristics and traits to those on your existing list.

Uploading a list of current customers enables the production of a lookalike list containing people with matching job titles, hobbies, etc. who have yet to interact with your business.

In short, it’s a highly effective way of skipping strictly cold audiences and targeting slightly warm audiences to ensure you can reach your desired business result quicker.

Test different lookalike audiences in distinct campaigns to find which works best and keep utilizing that one for the greatest results.


We genuinely hope that this guide on LinkedIn-matched audiences will help increase the performance of your campaigns beyond using general interest targeting.

Be sure to test your audiences regularly to determine which is the best-performing one which will also ensure your ad budget is being spent as efficiently as possible.

Uploading a list of customers can generate a list of potential customers who possess similar characteristics (e.g. job titles, interests, etc.) yet have no prior relations to your firm.

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