As much as I hate to admit it, I can check off a lot of boxes when it comes to the typical millennial experience. I love a good avocado toast, I use paper towels instead of napkins, my iPhone is an extension of my hand, and I do not have a cable package because I stream everything I watch.

So how did your average millennial get end up with a magazine subscription? Let’s start by identifying the brand, drum roll, please…Bon Appetit. This magazine has been around for the past 50 years, over that time supplying readers with endless recipes, restaurant reviews, and guides to eating around different cities.

I didn’t just wake up one day and decided to subscribe to their magazine. On their end, it took a few months of providing consistently great online content. Below, I have outlined some of the strategies they used to turn their online audience into sales.

How to Turn your Online Brand into Subscribers

Entertain Your Audience

My introduction to Bon Appetit in my adult life was through their YouTube channel. This channel has everything an aspiring chef or foodie could ever want. They pulled me in with their show Gourmet Makes, in which talented pastry chef Claire Saffitz recreates everyone’s favorite junk food and candy in a gourmet kitchen. She has re-created everything from Cheetos to Oreos to Skittles. This lad me to discover Brad Leone, star chef of It’s Alive, a show that has “grown” from fermenting ingredients in the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen to traveling the world and teaching viewers the origin of everyday products.

The channel also has your typical step by step recipe videos. Most of the videos take place in the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, which is almost a character in and of itself. The kitchen is always active, and it is not uncommon for your favorite chefs or bakers to be creating their own goods in the background of the video you are watching.

This wide variety of content not only captured my attention, but has since kept me coming back for more. By creating a mix of classic cooking videos combined with more unique videos that highlight the personalities in the Test Kitchen, this originally-print company used digital strategy to draw in a new demographic of fan.

Use different Media Channels to Connect with your Audience

One of the best ways to connect to your audience is to speak directly to them, which brands can now do with Podcasts. I love Podcasts. Editor in Chief, Adam Rapport, hosts the Bon Appetit Foodcast, which almost works as an extension to a magazine’s letter from the editor. Listeners get a behind the scenes look at how the writers and editors work together.

It is normal for the star chefs from their Youtube channel to make an appearance on the podcast, and vice versa. Keep this in mind when reading about their next strategy.

Connect Content Across Media Channels

I need you to pick up your phone, open up Instagram, and search for Bon Appetit. It’s okay; I will wait.

You there?

Great. Now journey with me through their Insta feed. It is filled with beautiful images of homemade food, treats, and restaurant recommendations.

Now let’s take a closer look at this beauty.

These homemade donuts are pure heaven (brag: my boyfriend made them for us this past weekend). This Instagram post also directs users over to a YouTube video of Chris Morraco making these donuts. Still not convinced you NEED to make these donuts? They also have it posted to their website. This brings us to our last step…

Have a Strong Website

The Bon Appetit website has been the source for most dinners in my household. Our shopping routine starts with searching for the Bon Appetit recipe we want to cook for dinner that night. Their website displays recipes in easy to read listicles (millennials love listicles), or you can go right to the recipes page to find great dinner options.

If you are a newbie to cooking, you can visit the Basically section of the website. Here they make each recipe assessable by not only having clear step-by-step instructions, but also have helpful videos accompanying each step. Can someone please, please, please make me this Sour Cream and Onion Potato Salad??

On the website you can also sign up for their free newsletter- reading it is my favorite way to start the day. And best of all? It’s free! Do you know what else is free? All of the content discussed up until this point.

Bon Appetit provides an incredible amount of useful and entertaining content, but they also focus their attention on connecting with their readers. In my house, we are on a first name basis with Claire and Brad. It almost like the writers and editors are part of our family. The moment I realized my close connection with the Bon Appetit Brand was the moment I excitedly started entering in my credit card number to purchase a two-year subscription to their magazine.

Rebecca McTear

Rebecca McTear

Digital Strategist at The Moak Group
Adapting to the latest technologies to stay one step ahead of competitors, Rebecca McTear handles the Digital Strategy at The Moak Group. Here she develops unique strategies to meet client goals, crafts content for social media, videos, and graphics and monitors metrics and analytics to make sure client goals are being reached.
Rebecca McTear