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Unlock LinkedIn Ads Targeting: Job Titles & Super Job Titles?4 min read

Flavia Groza-Bocăneț marketing specialist

FLAVIA BOCĂNEȚ Marketing Specialist & the owl

Îmi lansez amprenta digitală în lume prin colaborări cu însemnătate. Ofer la schimb creativitate, doze concentrate de educație digitală și punchline-uri pentru meeting-uri mai mult decât vesele.

If you tried to create a campaign on LinkedIn Ads and could not access all the Job Titles that usually exist on user profiles, this is an article for you.

From the start, we must understand that there is a difference between the number and diversity of job titles a user can access when setting up their LinkedIn profile and the number of job titles you can access as an advertiser when setting up the targeting for a LinkedIn campaign in Campaign Manager.

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When setting up a LinkedIn profile, the Job Title field is freeform. You don't have to choose your title from a list, you can create a unique title.

Pro

From the user’s point of view, it’s ok because you have the freedom to set your job title. LinkedIn is a global service, and we can understand how these titles can differ from one region to another, depending on legislation, industry, etc.

Con

From the advertiser’s perspective, problems arise because LinkedIn places several job titles in a single category, ensuring the correctness of this process by correlating with the Job Function and Job Seniority (two other targeting criteria from LinkedIn Ads).

This is how SUPER TITLES are born – the umbrella under which similar job titles are collected.

Example of using Super Titles

Super Titles are not explained by LinkedIn to the general public or to advertisers creating campaigns in LinkedIn Ads.​​

Take the example of the IT industry. When you run a campaign with lead generation or event registration objectives, the user’s profile is very specific, whether we refer to seniority or through the lens of the job description.

If we run a lead generation campaign for Java Developers, omitting seniority for the sake of the example, we will start by adding the job title to the targeting.
If the chosen location is Romania, the audience is sufficient to run the campaign. But if we reduce our localization to centers such as Iași, Cluj, or Bucharest, we may have the unpleasant surprise of being informed that the audience is too small to launch the campaign.

And then the turmoil of any marketer begins. What are you doing now?

My recommendation: distance yourself from LinkedIn Ads for a few minutes and start researching the profiles of users from your target audience. Create a low-level persona. Most importantly, what title do these users use on LinkedIn?

Going back to my IT industry example, I discovered that several Java Devs I knew were using the Software Engineer title on their profiles.

Let’s see how this information looks in the Campaign Manager’s simulation.

Choosing Romania as the location and Java Software Engineer as the job title, the estimated audience consists of 3,200 members. With the same location targeting, using just the Software Engineer job title, we can reach 72,000 users.

Cum se folosesc Job Titles în targetarea pe LinkedIn Ads? Ce sunt Super Titles?
Cum se folosesc Job Titles în targetarea pe LinkedIn Ads? Ce sunt Super Titles?

This is just a simulation. Of course, other variations of job titles, seniority, and/or functions must be considered in setting up the campaigns.

Combining the two audiences, the number of members should be 75,200. But as we can see here, that Software Engineer is a Super Title, which includes Java Software Engineers from Romania in those 72,000 users.

Cum se folosesc Job Titles în targetarea pe LinkedIn Ads? Ce sunt Super Titles?

What can happen if you choose a Super Title in targeting?

You run the campaign, and either you have no conversions, or few apply, or you receive applications from people with job titles you are not looking for. That is because the Software Engineer Super Title includes: JavaScript Developers, .NET Developers, Back-end Developers, and many others.

The Importance of Job Titles and a Solution

This is just an example of a super title, and I can tell you that some are not as easy to match as Java Developer -> Software Engineer. It is clear to me that LinkedIn’s algorithm fails to categorize them correctly.

Just think of the profiles where users named themselves “Unicorn@…, Warrior@…”.

And the fact that there is no documentation, no clear explanation from LinkedIn for these Super Titles, is frustrating, to say the least. There is no mention of it in their targeting playbook.

Targeting Job Titles is a powerful tool, so we need to understand the mechanism behind assigning these titles. Depending on the geographical location and seniority is sometimes impossible to run a campaign on job titles because the audience is too small.

In such cases, we can use a combination of Job Functions, Seniority, Members’ Skills, or Years of experience to reach the desired audience.
This requires correct analysis of the job description, especially to extract skills specific to the job, trying not to fall again into the trap of displaying the ads to a broad, irrelevant audience.

Theory vs. Practice in targeting Job Titles on LinkedIn Ads

In an ideal scenario that would demonstrate the correctness of LinkedIn’s data processing, the audience for a job title should be equal to the audience formed by job function+seniority. If, for example, we were to consider targeting a manager, VP, director, or owner. I have not found such a situation.

But each campaign and company/client has its specifics, and all that remains is to appeal to some targeting artifices to reach the desired audience. “We have to test” comes into the discussion, and the tension in the room increases.

From the campaigns I’ve run targeting job titles, they have a higher cost than the campaigns using combinations of Job Functions, Seniority, Members’ Skills, or Years of experience. So I recommend you constantly check the demographics area of Campaign Manager (Job titles, especially) and make sure you can track the campaign’s results correctly.

OMG, you're here!

This is a conclusion of my experience, which I hope will help you “cut” out of the testing stage and bring some clarity.

If you want to share your experience with LinkedIn Super Titles, you can leave a comment below.

And if you need help with LinkedIn Ads, drop me a message here.

– Flavia Groza-Bocăneț

Owl eyes on digital.

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