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Using a List to Reach Specific Firms on LinkedIn

If you're selling B2B in almost any industry, you'll probably take a look at running ads on LinkedIn at some point. And though you can refine your audience with quite a bit of granularity on in their Campaign Manager tool, did you know you can create an exact audience of the companies you want your ads to be targeted to? Whether you're still developing a product and want to test your target audience's receptiveness to certain capabilities, a marketer experimenting with new messaging, or a salesperson looking for ways to go deeper with your Target Accounts, Matched Audiences on LinkedIn Ads is something you should put in your toolkit.

What's the first step? You need to know who you want to target. This is called a Target Account List.

What is a Target Account List?

Quite simply, a target account list is a curated list of companies you'd like to target. For the purposes of targeted advertising, we're using the term target pretty loosely to mean any audience of companies or firms we're interested in at any time for any reason. So, you might have one target account list for one region of the country and one another. Or, if you're building your Total Addressable Market using the bottoms up method. this could be a list of all the law firms that could potentially be a customer in a particular country.

One other note. Actively choosing which companies to apply your limited resources to and which you won't saves you money long-term, even if it makes you feel like you, might be missing on a sale you deeply need. How? So. Many. Ways.

You won't waste money on ads to people who don't have a need for your solution, most obviously. But you'll also not waste you and your team's time calling, scheduling meetings with, and scheduling demos for a prospect that is a bad fit.

Why Use a Target Account List for Your LinkedIn Ads

This feels self-explanatory, but let's be clear:

  1. Precision: It ensures that your ad spend is concentrated on potential leads that are more likely to convert.
  2. Personalization: By knowing exactly who you're targeting, you can craft more personalized and resonant messages.
  3. ROI: A focused approach typically leads to better engagement and, ultimately, a higher return on investment.

Create a LinkedIn Matched Audience from a List

We don't have time here for a LinkedIn Campaign Manager tutorial, so I'm going to jump in under the assumption that you've at least stumbled your way into LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Alright, let's do this!

Yep, you guessed it. Make a list! Oh, put it into Linkedn's format (access it here). LinkedIn will attempt to match your list based on one of five (5) company identifiers: Company name, Company website, Company email domain, LinkedIn Company Page URL, Stock symbol.

Did mention you can do this for company as well as contacts? Well, you can.  Hint: you know those event lists you never get enough value out of???

Now, head to LinkedIn's Campaign Manager. In the left menu, click the down arrow to expand the Plans menu list. Click on Audiences.

Super important! Don't wait until the last minute on this import! The system can take 48 hours to run its matching process and be available to your campaign. You also won't know how well this list matched until the processing completes. If your list isn't clean, you may have to go through this process more than once to get the results you want. Ever heard about Garbage In/ Garbage Out?

Click the Create Audience button.

Under Upload a List, choose Company / Contact.

In the window that opens, give your audience an appropriately descriptive Name. Remember! This will be available to all your Campaigns, so make sure the name is appropriately descriptive team members can tell whether they want to use the Audience or not. 



In the dropdown for List Type, choose whether it's a Company or Contact list and browse and upload your file. BOOM!

You just created an Audience!



You'll notice that the list now appears in your list of Audiences with a status of Building. Remember, it can take 48 hours to finish processing even a short list.

You'll not have your exact Target Account List available to your LinkedIn Ads. And, you can use that same list for all sorts of other business purposes:

  • Assigning accounts to your sales team
  • Building a detailed TAM
  • Starting a new CRM
  • Auto-following your prospects using PhantomBuster
  • So. Many. Others.

Remember to update your Audience regularly. Feels like that goes without saying, but let's say it anyways.

Wrapping It Up

If you only take one thing away from this article, I hope it's the value and importance of making a list. Not because I love lists or crossing things off them (which I do). But because they keep you focused. They mean you've taken a moment to think strategically about the who and they why of what you're selling. And it allows you to do something just as valuable as proving you were right -- finding out you're on the wrong path quickly. So you can get the heck off it!

Need a Head Start?

Leveraging our familiarity with the legal industry, our team has collected a list of the top firms in the US. Including more than 200 firm names and their website addresses, our goal was to build a list which included the biggest and best, no matter how you define it. When someone says to me that they sell to the top 200 US law firms, this is as close to a complete list as we could come up with. We've also included a tab formatted for LinkedIn Campaign Manager to make your Audience Creation that much easier. I'd always suggest that you'd be adding to / removing names from this list to meet your specific needs, so think of this list as a giant head start on your work!

We're finalizing a correlating UK list and will post that soon. You can find these resources on our website.


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