As revealed in a recent Nieman profile on Business Insider’s ambitious international expansion, the Business Insider brand now thrives in 10 editions around the world, with many more on the way, including France and the Netherlands.
First, choosing the right growth model is essential. Secondly, it’s necessary to be selective about which markets to enter and, just as importantly, which partners to do business with.
For Business Insider, the smartest way to quickly scale our brand internationally, while maintaining our standards, is to enter into licensing agreements with local publishers that “get” the unique Business Insider approach to business news coverage: obsessive, real-time, social and multimedia at its core. Launching in new markets with reciprocal licence agreements enables us to effectively create a 24-hour newsroom with great efficiency.
With its international partners, Business Insider shares its content, style, voice, and best practices. For their part, partners bring to the table their deep local market expertise, including both commercial and audience insights. They also offer local social media expertise.
When assessing a potential new market, we analyse traffic from our US and UK sites to determine the baseline local footprint. We also study local digital and social penetration, and the forecasted growth of each. These metrics paint a picture of the possible opportunity for both audience and monetisation. We then converse with potential partners to hear their points of view on the prospects of a partnership in their market.
In Poland, we partnered with Onet, a publisher that is majority-owned by Ringier Axel Springer, a division of Axel Springer, our corporate parent. This has been an opportunity not only to work directly with a corporate sister, but to work closely with the leading digital publisher in Poland. The result has been a great collaboration, which kicked-off with an exciting launch on May 12.
For the Nordic site we partnered with Bonnier Media, an ideal partner to work with in the region covering the Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Finish markets. Digitally-savvy and a major publishing powerhouse in the region, Bonnier Media is headquartered in Stockholm.
Partnerships like these enable Business Insider to monetise itself in new markets and engage with new advertisers. Then there is the “softer” but equally tangible benefit: building Business Insider’s brand around the world via a network effect — one turbocharged by social, such as events on Facebook Live.
Here’s a look at how the recent launches went down:
Warsaw, Poland. May 12.
Business Insider Polksa launch day kicked off with a breakfast with more than 48 members of the Polish media. Hosted by Editor-in-Chief Łukasz Grass, the event featured a Q&A with four notable Polish business and technology entrepreneurs and thought-leaders.
Later in the evening, a conference and reception took place with nearly 200 guests, many from key agencies and Polish advertisers. The event included keynote addresses from representatives of Ringier Axel Springer, Onet and Business Insider US.
The entire event was held in the beautiful, historical and recently restored Jabłkowskis House.
Business Insider Polska is off to a rip-roaring start, with traffic up 5x over the visitation from Poland prior to the launch of the site.
Stockholm, Sweden. May 13.
Shortly after launching the Nordic site, we conducted a Facebook Live Q&A segment, “Ask a Swede,” based on the popular Swedish Tourism initiative. The segment generated quite a bit of engagement: 40,000 views, 400+ comments and a 10% spike in Facebook likes.
BI’s 10 international editions are:
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