Business Insider’s Slideshows Are Now Ads, Too

Publisher unveils gallery-takeover units

Business Insider has become known all-too-well for making its site sticky with a constant procession of topical or newsy slideshows.

Well, the New York-based digital publisher this week started to monetize the idea with a sponsored gallery ad unit, and location-based marketing firm Yext has signed on as the first buyer. The ad unit lets brands own an entire slideshow gallery experience at

"We've done sponsored posts, and we've done sponsored email. So why not do sponsored slideshows?" Julie Hansen, Business Insider president and COO, told Adweek. "It's a pretty obvious extension for what we've been doing. And it's part of what everyone is seeing in the larger native advertising trend."

While Business Insider published Yext's nine-slide gallery dubbed "Why Local Search Is Important For Retailers—And Why It's A Mess" on Wednesday, the publication will be pushing the slideshow in its featured section by mid-morning today. Yext is also getting the site's top banner placement on the gallery's pages, while promoting its recent quarterly report/white paper on local search.

Allison Tepley, svp of marketing at Yext, said the gallery-takeover format is well-suited for her firm, which looks to educate brands about how its software can help them manage multiple online listings. "For this, we are looking to get [white paper] downloads and create awareness of our data," Tepley said.

Peter Spande, chief revenue officer at Business Insider, said, "It's another example of how brands are starting to use the same tools and techniques that professional content creators on the editorial side employ every day."

Spande said his content team handled the production of the gallery for Yext and plans to do the same for future advertisers.

"I think it will attract companies like luxury auto manufacturers, consumer electronic firms and other brands with products that have a lot of need for product-detail differentiation," he said. "But I do think this is going to mainly be a B2B-focused ad solution because there's generally a more nuanced and complex message to convey for those brands."