3 Awesome Things You can do with LinkedIn’s New Website Demographics

Recently, LinkedIn rolled out its new Website Demographics feature which allows any business that has a LinkedIn Ads account to better identify who exactly is coming to their site. While Google Analytics has for years shown us aggregate data with sessions, pageviews, and more, we actually don’t know who makes up these metrics. What LinkedIn aspires to do here is provide granular information about your website’s visitors such as:

  1. Job title

  2. Company industry

  3. Job seniority

  4. Job function

  5. Company size

  6. Location

  7. Country

  8. Company

What’s really cool about this is that you’re able to actually break this down at the domain, subfolder or page level, so you can see exactly who is visiting a certain sections or pages of your site. But there’s so much more. Data isn’t intrinsically valuable by itself, one needs to know what they’re going to do with that data in order to make it valuable. Because all of you are busy, I’ve taken the liberty of hashing out a couple of the best ways to use this data for good with your company.

Getting started with Website Demographics

As I mentioned before, to get access to Website Demographics, you’re going to need to have an Ads account, so you if you don’t already have one, go ahead and set one up or at least get access to one. If you do not have a LinkedIn Ads account set up and would like to have one, click here for information on how to do so.

I’m going to assume for now that you either already have an Ads account or have just set one up, so we’re going to get into the implementation stage. Once in your account, you’ll need to click on account assets and then “Insight Tag”, as shown in the screenshot below:

What is the Insight Tag you ask? The kind experts at LinkedIn describe it as “a piece of lightweight JavaScript code that you can add to your website to enable in-depth campaign reporting and unlock valuable insights about your website visitors. As a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions customer, you can use the LinkedIn Insight Tag to track conversions, retarget website visitors, and unlock additional insights about members interacting with your ads.” If you have more questions about how the tag will affect your site, you can check out this page, but in a nutshell, it’s pretty much all benefit and little negative as the tag is unlikely to slow down your site in any significant way, but you would be providing LinkedIn more information about your site’s visitors.

After you click on the Insight Tag button, you’ll be brought to the following screen:

You’ll need to verify it for your domain, but then you’ll be able to place it on all of the pages of your website. My favorite way to do this is via Google Tag Manager which makes it very simple. The Insight tag can be handled as either custom HTML tag (just copy and paste the code above) or within the pre-made option (seen below) that just requires your partner ID, which can be found in the second line of the JavaScript of the image above. Though some people may disagree with me, I find it easier to just copy and paste the entire script and add it as custom HTML.

After you have your Insight Tag on all of your pages, you can click on Website Demographics and begin to create an audience. I like to segment out by visitors to different pages to get an idea of who is visiting what pages on the site in question.

Examples of your audiences could be visitors to:

  • the homepage

  • a sales page

  • a services page

  • the entire blog section

  • literally anything else

Save your audience and then you’ll need to let your audience build. Once a minimum of 300 LinkedIn members visit the page or pages, you’ll start to have data and it will be visible under Website Demographics, but until that threshold is reached, it’ll say your audience is still building and you need to wait. This could take days to weeks depending on how much traffic your site gets, so plan accordingly. Eventually, you’ll get your visitors, the data will populate, and you’ll be able to explore around and glean some pretty cool insights. Don’t know where to start once you have this data? That’s ok. That’s the point of this post.

Use case #1: Better LinkedIn ad targeting

Let’s call a spade a spade, LinkedIn developed and released Website Demographics because it anticipates that with this new information, companies will be more likely to spend on their platform. Without a doubt, the information provided best dovetails with LinkedIn advertising. Why? Well, all of the information it provides such as job title, location, job function, seniority level, company size, etc. all happen to be targeting functions on LinkedIn.

In the event you have landing pages and/or forms that require a person to fill in their job title, it’s quite likely that your CRM will eventually contain examples like this:

  • Vice President

  • Vice President, Finance

  • VP Finance

  • VP

  • VP, Finance

  • Vice Pres

  • Executive VP

The problem with this is that if you try to collate this data with a pivot table, each one of these titles will be calculated as a separate entity, which makes calculations difficult, especially if just about every single one of the job titles collected has 8 or so variants. With Website Demographics, all of this data is easily processed and streamlined because LinkedIn will bucket the job titles into groups that it allows you to target via ads. No more guessing if certain titles can be targeted by LinkedIn.

Beyond this, there are also bits of business intelligence such as company size, company industry, job function and seniority level that other analytics sources such as Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Facebook, or Twitter likely won’t be able to provide. This allows you to take your segmentation to the next level by analyzing exactly who is landing on what pages and providing you the opportunity (though you’ll have to seize it) to target to an incredibly specific audience and serve them content that is highly targeted and relevant to their interests.

Sponsored InMails might be a great tool here as you’ll be able to tailor your messages specifically and be able to use your credits wisely. As a reminder, sponsored InMail messages are those that get sent to your message inbox as opposed to appearing in your news feed or in a module on the right-hand side where LinkedIn text ads are found. They allow you to contact anyone on LinkedIn without an introduction or contact information. InMail messages can have up to 200 characters in the subject line and up to 2,000 characters in the body, so there’s plenty of space to get your message across. LinkedIn does not let you send Inmails without a subject line.

Use case #2: Business intelligence for content creation (organic search/paid social)

Yes, Website Demographics can be immensely helpful if you want to run LinkedIn ads, but it does, in fact, have other use cases besides helping to fill LinkedIn’s coffers. Once we have the valuable business intelligence about who is visiting our website, we need to ask ourselves, are we currently providing these audiences with the content that they’d find useful? In the digital marketing industry, I tend to view anything that comes with a guarantee skeptically. However, I can nearly guarantee that by adding more exceptionally high-quality content to your website that specifically addresses the problems and pain points of your newly identified (or confirmed) audience, your business will only benefit. I’ve never had a single client who has said, “No thanks, we don’t want anymore qualified organic traffic than we already have.”

For example, think about the seniority and job functions of the people who are visiting your site. Is it possible that the junior-level account manager would likely respond best to different ad copy than a senior-level partner? Do they have different needs? As Tom Critchlow recently wrote, “there’s too much mediocre content written for no-one and spread to everyone.” Tailor your content to be as relevant as possible to the audience that searches for and reads it and you’ll give your organization in a much better chance to achieve more conversions (and probably higher rankings too, which doesn’t suck).

If your business doesn’t already have personas, this very well could be the time to create them, comparing the data from LinkedIn with the data you have from your CRM on who your best (and worst) clients are. Match the data from LinkedIn and interview similar profiles from your actual customers asking:

  1. What value do they receive from using your company?

  2. Do they perceive your company to be an industry expert in the field?

  3. Do they turn to your company for updates within the industry?

  4. How does your company make their job easier?

  5. What benefits do they get from working with your company over a competitor?

  6. What information would they like to see that you currently don’t produce?

  7. What information does your company have that would make their lives easier if they had access to it?

  8. On what channels/sources do they get their industry news from?

  9. On what channels do they share industry news?

Ideally, you find out what matters to your segmented audiences and those topics also have significant organic search volume. This post is not on keyword research, but if you’d like to read some good posts on how you can quickly and effectively do keyword research in your niche, you can check out:

  • Paul Shapiro’s Searchlove Boston 2016 presentation

  • Geoff Kenyon on how to use SEMrush

  • Me on how to  do keyword research in 90 minutes

But not all content that you create needs to have great search volume, another option is to create content that is likely to be engaged with because it provides value, often when your target audience doesn’t know they need it. A few companies that I think do this really well are DeepCrawl, Botify and Onnit, which send out periodic emails and well-timed articles on social media that I open strictly because they make my life easier both in my professional life (DeepCrawl and Botify) and my personal life (Onnit). The key takeaway here is not to create and send emails just because you think you should or your boss says to, but to actually deliver relevant content that provides value. Just look at the screenshot of my inbox when I do a search for Botify:

As an SEO, all of these headlines appeal to me. If you’re only sending me updates about your company or speaking about how I can learn more about your company, you’ll lose me. Targeted emails and social media posts need to make my life easier or better in order for me to open or engage with them and Linkedin’s Website Demographics provide great information about who your audience is. Now you just need to give them what they want, minimizing the guesswork.

Use case #3: Engage with visitors to specific pages

This last part use case may seem a bit creepy, but I’d ask, isn’t nearly all marketing creepy these days because of the level of granularity we have? If your marketing isn’t specific or targeting a highly relevant audience, aren’t you just wasting money and not properly leveraging the tools at your disposal? Ethics aside, let’s get to the targeting.

This use case may be most helpful if you work in the B2B space and have a Contact Us or a Services type of page. If you’re responsible for business development or closing leads, you might have CRM that tracks your leads or just your email to know with whom you’re engaging. If you see a particular company is visiting your conversion pages and they’re demonstrating interest, but you also know that that company had emailed you a few days or weeks earlier, maybe it’s time to send a follow-up.

This can be used exactly like LinkedIn’s feature for showing you who is visiting your profile, but in this case, you know they’ve accessed specific pages. Of course, you could, in theory, employ this use case for any page on your website and there certainly might be a reason to do that, but putting the finishing touches on a warm lead and sending a friendly reminder just as that person is visiting a specific page on your site might be enough to close the deal. Feel free to modify this to best meet your exact needs, but the main takeaway here is that in some cases, you might be able to tie the data back from who is a lead in your system to who is visiting your site. Engaging with that person at the right moment could be the difference between money in your pocket or money in your competitor’s.

Rounding it all up

LinkedIn’s new Website Demographics tools is super easy to use and requires very little effort to deploy. I’m of the belief that it’s always better to have more information rather than less and even if you don’t know what to do with all that data now, you could always use it later.

Without a doubt, the best use case for Website Demographics information is to plow it back into LinkedIn for highly effective targeting, but the knowledge can be used off of the platform if you have the ability to leverage the insights for content creation or following up with leads. This is a new tool so I personally don’t have all that much experience with it yet, so if you come up with other cool use cases for this data, I’d be excited to see it.

Happy marketing!

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