Business Insider’s LinkedIn Strategy

LinkedIn is the sleeping giant of social networks, often ignored by publishers. But recently, the social network has introduced several features — most notably LinkedIn Today — to help drive traffic to a publisher’s site and Business Insider is exploring additional ways to capitalize.

Last week, Business Insider launched a new social offering on LinkedIn presenting two different views of Business Insider content. Trending on LinkedIn shows  Business Insider stories popular on LinkedIn, as well as what’s trending in your visitors’ own networks there. To see this personalized content, a Business Insider reader has to be signed into Business Insider with their LinkedIn account. Once a reader does that connection, it access their account and what their professional network is sharing.

“Our site reaches a whole bunch of professions — tech, finance, media, marketers — but I may not care what the finance people are sharing,” said Julie Hansen, Business Insider’s president and COO. “The relevance itself is what makes it important and interesting.”

LinkedIn has been a solid referral source for Business Insider, according to Hansen. While it varies by month, LinkedIn is typically been one of the top three referring sites outside of search. In September, for example, LinkedIn was the outlet’s No. 2 referral site. According to Hansen, LinkedIn had the “second highest “quality” traffic to the site, meaning the longest visit duration and the lowest bounce rate of our top referrals.” In October, LinkedIn was the 6th highest referral and the No. 1 highest quality source, with higher visit duration than any other top source. Business Insider also has a LinkedIn publisher page.

The feature is sponsored by Lexus, which is using the business social network as a place to target high-level execs with buying power. The campaign runs through January. Presented on the Business Insider homepage as a module with links to three articles, once you click through, a full page of content relevant to you opens up. And that whole page is sponsored by Lexus.

The offering, according to Hansen, while not a part of the company’s “Brand Insider,” its sponsored and custom content for brands vehicle, is yet another way the publication is trying to woo brands. This LinkedIn module is aimed at helping brands take advantage of the publication’s approach to social content, as well as its young and affluent demographic.

“It’s a very smart integration sponsorship opportunity as it’s a personalized view and not bleeding Lexus content into this,” said Hansen. “It’s a smart partnership that leverages the social nature of our site.”

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