Apartment Therapy Media, which also publishes Kitchn, serves up design advice and DIY tips for an engaged community numbering over 20 million visitors a month. From daily house tours submitted by loyal readers to cooking lessons, AT Media is the online destination for people who want to dive in deep and be inspired.
The team produces a staggering 125 pieces of original content each week. We discussed how they use audience insights to give their readers the stories that they crave.
How does Apartment Therapy’s content team use Quantcast to better understand and engage with its audiences?
From Kitchn Editor In Chief, Faith Durand: Quantcast is a fascinating tool editorially. It gives us more detailed and nuanced views into where our audience shops, their favorite cereal, and even where they drink their milkshakes. It lets us research more creatively, looking for bright ideas and story concepts that align with what our audience is already loving, going beyond our own internal data to get even more intimate with an enormous (and enormously interesting) national audience.
What about on the business side of the house?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, Daria Perrone: Quantcast has been useful in helping us conceptualize meaningful sponsored content concepts to our brand partners because it helps us identify what content resonates with our audience. It’s enabled us to better understand our readers’ affinities and how best to engage with them, which we can leverage to help our partners engage them effectively. It’s one of the tools that help us to create strong sponsored content that we know our readers will love.
What was the most surprising insight that Quantcast helped you to discover about your audience?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, DP: Quantcast helped us identify the breadth of our audience and their interests. While they’re clearly passionate about home, the kitchen and cooking, there are also a wide range of less obvious categories like beauty, media, technology and auto that we find them embracing on our platform.
How does Apartment Therapy engage with their readers on a regular basis?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, DP: We have a variety of ways we reach our readers – we have daily email newsletters with a highly engaged readership, social platforms that meet our users where they are on their phones, and we’ve even created private Facebook groups to help focus on the more niche topics they’re interested in. For example, Kitchn’s Meal Planning Facebook group is extremely active, and a fun way to have a direct dialogue with our readers.
What is the most read article on the site of all time? Why do you think it was/is so popular?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, DP: For Kitchn, it’s always going to be How To Make The Best Pork Chops! It’s been number one for as long as I’ve worked with the company – and I think it’s because it shows what Kitchn does best: clean and clear recipes that make everyone feel like they have the skills to cook whatever they want!
For Apartment Therapy, our most popular story revolves around HGTV’s show Fixer Upper: Here’s How Much It Costs To Be On Fixer Upper. I think design shows have made a lot of people question about much it really costs to fix up your home.
How does Apartment Therapy approach sponsored content?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, DP: A critical aspect of our approach to branded content is our editors’ participation in the brainstorming and execution processes. They know our readers best and are true experts on creating content that sparks engagement–and that drives sales. We marry this editorial insight with research data in order to create content that both resonates and performs.
What’s next for the brand?
From Apartment Therapy Editor-In-Chief, Laura Schocker: Apartment Therapy continues to be focused on helping people live a happier, healthier life at home, no matter what “home” means to them. In 2019, we are expanding our real estate coverage and house tours, looking at pop culture and the world outside the home through a design lens, and talking to families about how they make real spaces (and budgets) work for them.
From Kitchn Editor-In-Chief, FD: Kitchn speaks to cooks and eaters who just need food that makes their lives more healthy, easy, and fun. This year we are expanding into fresh, innovative ways of helping people feed themselves. It’s not just about recipes — it’s about meal prep, budgeting, grocery shopping, and learning from cooks and real families who feed themselves in smart, diverse ways.
Best piece of design advice that you have learned from working at Apartment Therapy?
From Sales Research and Strategy Manager, DP: For me, I think it’s been to focus on what makes you happy! Don’t worry about what’s trending, or what’s on your social feeds – find items that you genuinely love and invest in them, because it brings a positive energy to your space.
What accent piece is crucial for NYC apartment living?
From Apartment Therapy Editor-In-Chief, LS: A small utility cart on wheels — it can be used for so many things, like kitchen storage, a bar cart, a side table, a book or plant shelf, or even a nightstand, depending on your needs.