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LinkedIn's lookalike update: What it Means for Marketers

Sheep in a field that look alike

By Chris Murphy

VP, Paid Media

Uh oh! Last week, LinkedIn announced that it will no longer support "Lookalike audiences" as of the 29th of February this year. That's less than a month away!

You can read their official announcement here

If you are currently running LinkedIn campaigns that include lookalike audiences, this will have an impact on performance in the short term and perhaps longer term as of March 1st, 2024. 

However, don't fret! There is cause for optimism. LinkedIn has launched a new alternative to predictive targeting that depends less on lookalike audiences and more heavily on AI. LinkedIn is calling this ‘Predictive Audiences’. Their tool creates new audience segments by extracting demographics and behavioural attributes from first-party data, lead generation forms, and data compiled from in-app conversions. 

Their new AI tool is similar to lookalike audiences, but it has two key differences:

  1. LinkedIn-Specific: These AI audiences are more confined to LinkedIn-specific data, which may produce better results as it better aligns with LinkedIn’s systematic understanding.
  2. AI-Based: Lookalike audiences work with a fixed methodology, whereas Predictive Audiences have the benefit of continuing to learn and evolve as campaigns grow. 

LinkedIn has not offered a reason as to why they have made this change but their internal testing showed that Predictive Audiences reported a 21% CPL reduction which could improve overall ROI for businesses. 

Predictive Audiences are ready now, and you can start building them based on contact lists, lead gen forms or the Insight Tag. First, you need to start replicating your current lookalike audience segments and launching Predictive Audiences ASAP, to give the AI algorithm as much time as possible to learn before lookalikes are sunsetted. 

This will leave you in the best position on March 1st to hit the ground running and, more importantly, understand the wider impact of the change.

In analysing Predictive and Lookalike audiences in tandem, we can offer updated forecasts on what we expect performance to look like. If you're interested in talking to one of our team to learn more about how this will impact you, or get direct support to mitigate negative impacts, get in touch.

Email me at [email protected].

Featured image: Tanner Yould on Unsplash

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