linkedinLinkedIn has launched a “dark” version of its Sponsored Updates ad product today that they are calling Direct Sponsored Content.  These particular native-style ads are special, as they don’t get published to a company’s LinkedIn page.  So what does this mean?  Advertisers can customize and test ad messaging and creatives to targeted audience.

This can be quite a useful ability to have for those wanting to advertise on LinkedIn, but you don’t want to show your ads to a full audience quite yet.  Facebook has also offered “dark posts” for over a year now.  Following suit with Facebook, LinkedIn Direct Sponsored Content ads are giving companies a way to target and test their ads without annoying their audience by spamming them with countless ads.

Anybody who is interested in utilizing the new ad offering can do so through the LinkedIn Campaign Manager and Sponsored Updates partners.  So far, the partners who have been announced to support the Direct Sponsored Content is Unified and AdStage.  With Adstage, you have the ability to manage dark posts in bulk, as well as customize the appearance of attached content and even track conversions.

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