Home  › Social › Social Media
linkedin22

LinkedIn Unveils Direct Sponsored Content for Better Targeting and Testing

  |  July 24, 2014   |  Comments

The new feature will not only help marketers with A/B testing, but industry participants say it also indicates a big move for native advertising.

Right on the heels of its acquisition of Bizo, LinkedIn has released a new feature called Direct Sponsored Content (DSC) to help marketers deliver more personalized content to specific audiences.

This new ad solution is an expansion of LinkedIn's Sponsored Updates, a content marketing product launched last year. With DSC, marketers can now publish sponsored content to their LinkedIn homepage feed without posting it to their Company Page. And while DSC can still be viewed by the page administrator on the Company Page, it only appears in the homepage feeds of LinkedIn members who fit the targeting criteria specified in a campaign.

With the introduction of DSC, industry participants say brands will gain the ability to customize and test their content across audience segments. According to Sahil Jain, chief executive (CEO) and co-founder of cross-network ad platform AdStage, when marketers previously used Sponsored Updates, they had to post to their Company Page. For example, if a brand wanted to test an ad, it had to repeatedly post the ad to its Company Page to gauge consumers' interest, which, Jain says, was "frustrating for users."

Through these tests, marketers gathered a mixture of organic results and paid results, and thus they could not accurately measure the performance of their posts.

But now, marketers can optimize content for specific consumers, and conduct A/B tests correctly across audience segments.

As the only LinkedIn Certified Marketing Partner with support for both Text Ads and Sponsored Updates, Jain's company AdStage has conducted early tests of DSC with its clients. "DSC is performing well. Our clients have seen a growing positive return on investment (ROI)," Jain tells ClickZ, declining however to share specific numbers.

Patrick O'Rourke, creative technologist at socialdeviant, a Chicago-based social media agency, agrees that DSC enables marketers to test specific content more effectively. "This new feature allows marketers to test new messaging that does not get shared with their entire audience," he says. "And it allows for more freedom for marketers to customize their message in an effort to reach a new audience."

To get the most out of DSC, O'Rourke suggests marketers should start testing content that may not be applicable to their existing audience, but would attract prospects who fit the target criteria.

Looking beyond LinkedIn itself, the launch of DSC seems to represent a big move for native advertising. "[The introduction of DSC shows] that native advertising goes beyond the direct social space like Facebook or Twitter," Jain notes, adding that now this ad format can work for a large variety of audiences, including business professionals from different industry verticals.

ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a junior reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

UPCOMING TRAINING

Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • Customer Service Consultant
      Customer Service Consultant (Bonner and Partners) - Delray BeachBonner & Partners: Full-time Customer Service Consultant Position Who we are...
    • Financial Editor
      Financial Editor (Confidential) - DurhamSIX FIGURE EDITORS WANTED: To enforce lofty NEW editing standards. Easy Conditions Unlikely. Promotion and...
    • Information Processing Specialist
      Information Processing Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreInformation Processing Specialist – The IP specialist position ensures the successful...