Uploading Matched Audiences for LinkedIn ad campaigns for B2B lead generation

Welcome to part 3 of our 6-part series on how to set up and manage a LinkedIn lead generation ad campaign. In this section, you’ll learn how to upload a targeted audience for LinkedIn’s lead gen Matched Audience functionality.

Recap: In Part 1 and Part 2 of this tutorial, we set up a LinkedIn campaign named “Fortune 500,” within the “Software engineers” campaign group. We further refined the target audience down to individuals based in California. Now, we’re going to use LinkedIn’s Matched Audience functionality to upload a list of the Fortune 500 firms. Our final target audience will then be:

  • Software engineers
  • California-based
  • Work at a Fortune 500 firm

Step 1: Click back to the initial Campaign Manager index page and select the account we created previously, “IT firm account #1.”  Then click on the “Account Assets” drop-down, then on “Matched Audiences,” as shown below.

account assets example in linkedin screenshot
matched audience screenshot from linkedin

Step 2: In the upper right hand corner of the page, click on “Create audience,” then “List upload.”

list upload screenshot from lI

Then click on the “account list template” link, as shown below.  

account list template screenshot from LI

Step 3: Clicking on “account list template” will trigger a download of an Excel template with two pre-populated column headings: “companyname” and “companywebsite.” If you have the info for the Fortune 500 firms, just copy and paste the company names and websites into the template. You need to save it as a .csv file. (If you don’t have the Fortune 500 list you can use any list of company names and websites, such as from your Account Based Marketing efforts.) 

excel companyname screenshot from LI

Step 4: Return to the “Matched Audiences” page, fill in the “Name this audience” field, and click “select list.”

select list screenshot from linkedin

Step 5: Find the Fortune 500 Excel file (or the alternative one) you just created, and click “Upload.”

fortune 500 list for LinkedIN

Once it’s uploaded, LInkedIn will begin processing the list, reviewing it for any errors in formatting and the like. When the processing is complete, you’ll see a message stating “Processing complete. Account list ready for upload,” as shown in the green type above. Click the “Uploads” button and you’ll be taken to a page listing your matched audience, and you’ll see the status of Audience is “Building.” This means LinkedIn is creating a list of members from its database who match the criteria listed in your Excel file — individuals who work at a Fortune 500 company.

audience building screenshot from LI

The building process can take 24 hours to complete, sometimes even longer. Check to see if it’s complete by clicking on the “Account Assets” tab and see if the “Ready” status shows next to your list name. Once “Ready” is indicated, the list can be officially included in the campaign to target software engineers in California who work for Fortune 500 firms.

Part 4 of our LinkedIn ads tutorial pulls this all together.

audience ready screenshot from li
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