LinkedIn is Sunsetting Lookalike Audiences for Predictive Audiences: Here’s what you need to know

As many of us social media marketers have seen in our email inboxes and at the top of the campaign manager recently, LinkedIn is sunsetting it’s lookalike audience feature in favor of the new predictive audience feature. We’re waiting on whether this change will be permanent or not (we’re looking at you, Messenger ads), but savvy marketers are creating buzz about how this new approach will work to reach their target audience effectively. Fear not, the preliminary data is in and the consensus is ’so far, so good.’  

This blog post showcases how leveraging this new AI-driven targeting tool not only improved top of funnel campaign performance but also provided a higher MQL ratio  

Before the Switch: 

Our initial campaign metrics presented a clear picture: a respectable CTR of 0.60%, but high acquisition costs with a CPC of $21.73 and an astounding CPL of $249.86. These figures are particularly notable considering the high seniority level and niche nature of our target audience. Given our client was going after a highly targeted audience, the on-platform targeting would help to optimize return on ad spend and deliver maximum value to our client.   

Embracing Predictive Potential: 

Understanding the limitations of using often flawed or outdated internal data needed for lookalike audiences, we embraced the dynamic and data-driven nature of predictive audiences. This tool, powered by LinkedIn’s robust data and AI capabilities collected from their active user-base, promised to reach individuals with similar characteristics and behaviors to our existing high-value customers, maximizing conversion potential. It’s important to note that we kept the creatives and copy the same to really test the value of the new targeting versus our previous campaign. 

Transformation in Action: 

The results spoke for themselves: 

  • CTR: Increased from 0.60% to 0.75% – a 25% improvement in ad engagement. 
  • CPC: Decreased from $21.73 to $20.15 – a 7% reduction in cost per click. 
  • CPL: Dramatically dropped from $249.86 to $63.04 – a staggering 74% decrease in cost per lead! 

The Key Takeaways: 

These numbers translate to real value. The improved CTR indicates better ad resonance, while the lower CPC told us that the audience was much more relevant. But the true triumph lies in the 74% reduction in CPL, demonstrating the true applicability of predictive audiences in delivering high-quality leads at a fraction of the cost.  

Client Success Story: 

Our client was ecstatic with the results. Not only did the campaign exceed conversion goals by 30%, but the significant cost savings allowed for further campaign expansion and brand awareness building.  

Tips for Your Predictive Journey: 

  • Start small and experiment: Test different audience settings and campaign goals to find the optimal sweet spot. 
  • Monitor and optimize: Regularly analyze campaign performance and adjust settings based on learnings. 

The transition from lookalike audiences to predictive audiences has been a resounding success. This preliminary success is a testament to the power of AI-driven targeting in maximizing campaign performance and achieving client goals. If you’re seeking to unlock new levels of success on LinkedIn, we’ve seen some positive signs that show us that embracing predictive audiences is a smart move to make in your marketing plan. Let’s explore the possibilities together and chat about how to increase your lead generation and marketing efforts. 

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