TIL: How to Use Reddit for Marketing
Reddit is a platform that allows users to rate news and content using upvotes and downvotes to help the most interesting posts rise to the top of users’ feeds. Members can post text, photos, videos, or direct links in topic-specific subreddits, while surrounding users vote and comment on the post.
You’re likely to find any and everything on Reddit from cool news and interesting videos, to memes and some of the internet’s uglier content. It’s truly the breeding ground for some of our sharing-culture’s greatest “who came up with this?” moments.
Is Reddit a useful tool for marketers?
The simple answer is “yes.” Reddit has a large active user base of about 330 million users and generates about 14 billion page views per month. Posts and content that make it to the front page can reach more than one million users and can drive huge amounts of traffic to your website. There are also over one hundred thousand active subreddit communities where users self-identify interests, which marketers can then use for ad targeting and organic tactics.
But it’s certainly not for everybody. You’ll want to tread lightly with organic strategies, as communities might have specific rules about self-promotion and in my experience users on Reddit can be much more unpredictable than other social platforms.
How do subreddits work?
Subreddits are the communities within Reddit, each with their own theme, rules and moderators (otherwise noted as mods). Moderators are users that are granted special permissions to protect the integrity of subreddits by policing posts and comments. If you see a comment that says [deleted], it’s likely a moderator removed it because it broke the rules of the subreddit.
When you first create an account, you’ll automatically be subscribed to some of the most popular “subreddits”. Similar to other platforms, you can subscribe and unsubscribe from subreddits to customize the content you see on your feed. Social media managers and marketers should always read community info before posting or commenting in a subreddit. If you come across a post or comment that says [deleted], it’s likely a moderator removed it because it broke the rules of the subreddit.
Paid Advertising on Reddit
Reddit offers a self-serve ad platform that makes it easy for small- and medium- sized businesses to test the platform without a large budget commitment. The platform also allows marketers to use a pixel to measure conversions and optimize campaigns.
Types of Campaign Objectives
- Brand awareness – The brand awareness objective will help the ad reach the most users possible.
- Traffic – This objective will focus on generating the most traffic to your webpage from your ads.
- Conversions – With this objective, the platform will measure and use conversion data to optimize campaigns to generate more conversions.
Available Targeting Options
- Location targeting – Locations are limited to city, state and country. Keep in mind, not adding locations will cause your ads to serve worldwide.
- Interest targeting – Not nearly as robust as other social media platforms but some marketers in some industries might find these useful. Examples include gaming, higher education, programming, technology and business. Multiple interests can be added but interests can not be layered to target more granularly.
- Subreddits – Target users based on the subreddits they follow. This can be a powerful tool if you can find large niche subreddits that are relevant to your target audience.
- Time of day targeting – Choose if your ads show around the clock or only during certain hours of the day.
- Device targeting – Choose from desktop or mobile, or both.
Daily and lifetime budgets are available on Reddit, making it easy for marketers to manage spends. Reddit also has a low minimum budget of $5 per day which makes it an option for marketing teams with a low budget. Keep in mind, you can be billed up to 20% more than your budget so set your budget accordingly.
We always recommend turning comments off when you run ads on Reddit to add a level of brand safety to your ad campaigns.
Organic brand engagement can be tricky on Reddit. But if you understand the platform, you’ll find there are a lot of marketing possibilities.
Here are a few ways marketers are using the platform to reach their audience:
- Create a Reddit post in a relevant subreddit linking to your own blog content to help it reach a targeted group of users. Keep in mind, you’ll need high caliber content to earn upvotes and be effective. If you have interesting content and you post it in the right subreddit, you have a good chance to find success.
- Actively engage with relevant communities and use links to your content to bring value for users and drive more traffic to your website. Reddit can be a good source for backlinks to improve SEO but it’s not as easy as just throwing a link on Reddit. Although all subreddits are different, you’ll typically need to generate at least 5 upvotes to earn a follow link.
- If your business is interesting or you have a strong following, you could host an “Ask Me Anything” (AMA). AMA’s are posts where other users can ask the original poster (OP) questions in real time. This can be a great tactic to bring awareness to your business or brand.
Tips for an effective organic Reddit strategy:
- Know your audience and choose the right subreddit.
- Know the rules and proper “reddiquette” before posting and commenting.
- Don’t blatantly advertise products and services in a subreddit without bringing some value to the community or discussion.
The Future of Reddit
It will be interesting to see how Reddit continues to improve its ad platform. If Reddit’s traffic trends continue, it’s possible to see it more evenly compete with other digital adverting channels. With a few more rounds of new features and updates, the platform may gain more steam especially as Facebook limits partner data.
Reddit is essentially the internet’s Wild West, so proceed with caution. If you understand the quirks of the platform and read the rules, you can find a relatively untapped marketing goldmine. Just remember: be strategic, find your audience and always add value.