How We Optimized Our LinkedIn Targeting to Surpass Our Conversion Goal by +49%

It’s no secret that the paid social advertising landscape is always evolving. Creative and strategic thinking is necessary to succeed but your targeting strategy can be the difference between missing the mark altogether and hitting your client’s goals out of the park.

A recent campaign on LinkedIn showcased the importance of innovative targeting tactics in reaching and engaging with your audience effectively. Let's delve into some of the strategies we implemented that led to significant improvements in engagement and conversion rates.


Our client offers niche products and services to a very targeted audience of key decision-makers within their industry, with all paid media efforts focused on ultimately influencing closed/won deals. While our primary goal was not to drive those closed/won deals directly from our paid social efforts, we were expected to drive conversions in the form of webinar form completes in an effort to demonstrate paid social’s ability to influence deals in the future and drive awareness online.

While ABM targeting paired with seniority and job function parameters have always been an important part of our targeting strategy for this client, it became apparent that there was a need for additional testing and refining. We identified and focused on three major tactics in order to address and correct inefficiencies heading into 2023 that would help us hit (and ultimately surpass!) our form completion goals for the year.

Tactic #1 - Regional Segmentation

Our client’s location targeting ranges from singular countries to entire continents. Upon digging into the country-level data for a campaign using worldwide targeting, we noticed that a large portion of our impression volume and clicks were attributed to India, despite India’s conversion rate being nearly -50% lower than our overall average. Additionally, while our ABM company target lists contained a large portion of United States-based companies, both impression volume and clicks were below LinkedIn’s reporting minimum. The red flag was raised. 

We decided to test the same campaign again with the same ABM company list, this time segmenting both India and the United States out from the rest of the world into their own separate campaigns with their own budgets. The result? One campaign targeting India, a second campaign targeting the United States, and a third campaign targeting the rest of the world, excluding both India and the United States. 

Final Results

  • Through continual testing throughout 2023, we found that while India drives the highest click volume at the most efficient cost per click, it also drives the lowest form complete volume at a higher-than-average cost per form complete, ultimately leading us to limit our total ad spend in India for the rest of the year.
  • In the United States we also saw higher-than-average CPLs, but both form complete volume and engagement rates increased as the system was no longer pushing the majority of our budget to India.
  • As for the rest of the world? Engagement rates increased, the cost per click decreased, and we were seeing additional form completes coming in from countries like Canada, Mexico, and Algeria for the first time– countries we were previously unable to gather sufficient data on. Without the United States or India soaking up our budget, we were able to drive quality form completions across the globe, helping us surpass our 2023 form completion goal.

Tactic #2 - Retargeting Audiences

Promoting both live and on-demand webinars to drive conversions in the form of webinar form completes was a top priority for our team in 2023. While we had successfully begun to reach more of our target audience following the regional segmentation testing, we also wanted to ensure that we continued to stay top-of-mind after a live webinar promotion had ended. For our on-demand webinar promotions, reconnecting with high-intent users who hadn’t registered for the live version was a top priority to ensure we hit our form completion goal for the year. 

We started to incorporate retargeting audiences based on users who had interacted with our live webinar ads and/or visited the website, but didn’t register for the live event. We also created similar retargeting audiences based on recent awareness- and traffic-optimized campaigns that promoted similar topics to ensure we reached users who were interested in related content.

As a result, we began to see an increase in engagement rates and higher on-demand webinar form completion volumes than we had previously in 2022. 

Tactic #3 - Testing Vertical Creative

Okay, so this tactic isn’t related to targeting, but we did see quite a bit of success in terms of both form completion volume and CPLs when we began testing vertical creatives for mobile devices. For context, we had previously only run horizontal, static image ads, with vertical assets not being introduced until late 2022.

By continually testing vertical and horizontal ads against one another in 2023, we learned that:

  • 76% of all paid social form completions in 2023 were driven by vertical ads, confirming that the majority of high-intent users interact with us on mobile devices.
  • Vertical ads drove a -76% more efficient CPL and a +46% higher CTR compared to horizontal ads.
  • Despite the system allocating more budget to horizontal creatives by default, both form complete volume and cost per form complete were less efficient than those driven by the vertical ads.

YoY Horizonal Creative Lead Results

YoY Results

Before we wrap up, let's review our goals again for 2023: 

  • Increase form completion volume by +10% to drive a total of 294 form completions
  • Decrease the cost per form fill by -5% in 2023 ($160 to $152)

While we crushed our form completion volume goal, we did miss the mark on decreasing our CPL, which actually increased YoY by +34%. However, given the large increase in YoY ad spend, we aren’t surprised by this. Moving into 2024, we’ll continue to focus on optimizing our strategy and refining our targeting approach to ensure success for this niche industry client.

*While we drove a +63% higher form complete volume YoY, we surpassed our 2023 form complete goal (294) by +49% (437).

Want to learn more about LinkedIn strategy? Check out our other blog posts: 





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Olivia Kaufman
Olivia Kaufman
Sr. Manager, Paid Social
Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson
Associate, Paid Media