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LinkedIn Launches Direct Sponsored Content, Enables Testing With “Dark Posts”
Today, LinkedIn launched a “dark” version of its Sponsored Updates ad product called Direct Sponsored Content. These new native-style ads don’t get published to a company’s LinkedIn page, so advertisers can customize and test ad messaging and creatives to targeted audiences.
LinkedIn isn’t the first social network to enable testing through posts that aren’t published to a company or brand page. Facebook has offered “dark posts” for over a year now. Like Facebook’s offering, LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content ads gives companies the ability to target and test messaging without having to spam the same audiences with multiple posts.
Direct Sponsored Content messages also don’t have to be orchestrated by the page manager since the content isn’t being posted to the company page. With page administrator approval, multiple stakeholders and business units can test content for their own specific audiences.
The new ad offering is available through the LinkedIn Campaign Manager and Sponsored Updates partners. Unified and AdStage are among the partners that have announced support for Direct Sponsored Content. AdStage says its service offers the ability to manage dark posts in bulk, customize the appearance of attached content and track conversions.
Comcast Business and NewsCred two of the dozen or so companies participating in the pilot. According to LinkedIn, Sponsored Content now accounts for 19 percent of the company’s Marketing Solutions revenue.