Business Insider sale: Implications for corporate and professional services publishing

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Corporate and professional services firms can learn something from the recent acquisition of online digital news magazine Business Insider (@businessinsider) by European publishing company Axel Springer (@axelspringer_EN):  Online publishing is something you should be embracing.

Last month, Julia Greenberg @julia_greenberg), reporting for Wired, outlined how Business Insider has just been purchased for $442 Million dollars – $200 Million more than what the Washington Post sold for in 2013.  And while Business Insider was able to rapidly scale itself thanks to $60 Million dollars in funding since its founding in 2007 — a corporate or professional services blog or online magazine could grow a substantial global audience with a comparatively tiny investment.

Seek to emulate the success of Business Insider

A blog, a managing editor, and a commitment to publish about subjects of importance to key potential clients and business partners might be all that’s needed to create a mini-Business Insider.  Imagine from that small investment what kind of audience might be built — and customers that might be won.  Since 2007, as Greenberg outlined, Business Insider’s audience has grown to 76 million unique monthly visitors.  A small fraction of this audience is likely to markedly increase knowledge of and custom for, a business that publishes online.

The importance of publishing in a digital age

As Stephanie Sammons has outlined in WiredAdvisor:  More business are realizing “that they need to be self-publishing to attract and retain clients in the digital age.”  “You may think of yourself as being influential,” she writes, “but if you’re not blogging in the digital age, you’re likely not going to be influencing anyone online.”

And while many professional services firms and corporations are still mulling over whether to take the plunge and establish basic publishing efforts, Business Insider’s acquirer Axel Springer is marching forward into new online niches.  For example, as Greenberg reports, they’re “also invested in digital news startups…and [a] news reader app.”

Create your own mini-Business Insider

A Business Insider valuation which exceeded that of the Washington Post sends a very clear message about the importance of online publishing:  Good all-digital publications can in a short time exceed the titans of the old-media era.  And since anyone can adopt online publishing at a relatively low-cost:  Why not, if you’re a professional services firm or corporation – create a mini-Business Insider and gain a wider, global audience and  generate more business as a result?

Corporations and professional services firms don’t need to out-do Business Insider in the publishing business to achieve online success.  But they can emulate its success on a much smaller scale and reap the rewards that online publishing offers.

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