Reddit: The self-proclaimed ‘Front Page of the Internet’ could be the new marketing platform your brand needs. Often overlooked by marketers due to the infamous hostility towards advertising by users, Reddit could be digital marketing’s final frontier.
The platform is, however, slowly becoming more accepting towards advertising — especially if it is done in a certain way.
Reddit is an often overlooked platform — but it shouldn’t be.
The latest data from Reddit lists the average monthly users at 330 million which is slightly higher than Twitter. Also, Redditors log roughly 16 minutes per session and the platform is active, it has a count of 2.8 million comments and 58 million up/down votes every day.
But, marketing on Reddit has very specific parameters.
There’s a reason why marketers are often hesitant to advertise on Reddit. If you’re coming to the site specifically for self-promotion, you’ll want to think again. If you join the site, shamelessly self-promote or try to disguise your advertisement in an attempt to trick people, you’ll get downvoted into oblivion.
The Reddit community prides itself on being able to spot a fraud from a mile away — don’t attempt to disguise your post as a non-promotional piece. Redditors have no patience for dishonest behaviour — something Woody Harrelson (or at least someone on his team) found out during a failed AMA.
Tl;dr: Harrelson started an AMA and attempted to control the questions in an effort to promote his movie Rampart. And Reddit was having none of it.
Depending on the response of your community to your posts, you might want to consider doing an AMA yourself. They can be a great way to see what your consumers are curious about. Just don’t take a page out of Harrelson’s book.
On this platform, you have to provide the community with information of value. To start, join a few subreddits that share your interests and be active within them. Giving out free, valuable information from your company is a good way to start gaining trust. Keep in mind: anyone can see anyone else’s post history at any given time. So, they’ll know if you post selfishly or don’t post at all.
While you’re creating your posts, keep Reddiquette in mind. Essentially, it tells you to be a kind human — which for marketers, translates as lose the sales pitch. If you wouldn’t recommend your product to a friend, don’t post about it on Reddit.
Community Engagement & Brand Awareness
If you’re promoting your content and focusing on conversions, Reddit might not be the place for you. Rather, focus on community engagement and building your brand awareness.
And even besides engagement, awareness or advertising, Reddit should be a tool for every marketer. You can go to the site to find out how your consumers think and what they want. It’s a huge resource of information for consumer behaviour.
BeardBrand is referenced as a Reddit marketing success story in almost every article that talks about Reddit marketing. Their monthly earnings from Reddit marketing have been stated as $120,000. BeardBrand followed the same formula we’ve outlined — they gave useful, no-strings-attached information about beards and beard products. They build themselves up as an industry expert and are now reaping the benefits.
One other Reddit user stumbled into a viral post that helped his business out in a big way. Jimmy Hickey, the founder of Findlay Hats, almost mistakenly generated $28,000 of sales from an authentic, heartfelt story. He was travelling through Italy on his first vacation since starting his American-based hat company. He saw someone wearing one of the hats he had made in his garage, took a photo with the guy and posted it. That’s it. Just one small business owner who wanted to share the excitement of seeing your product out in the world.
The image and story hit the front page of Reddit and Findlay Hats started generating more sales than they ever had. Their e-commerce site crashed from all of the traffic. Jimmy Hickey says to be interesting and genuine — don’t try to push sales on people. The story he told on Reddit was just that — a story. It was a genuine, small business owner telling a heartwarming tale about spotting one of his products halfway across the globe. The takeaway? There was no sales pitch.
Paid Advertising on Reddit
You can pay for different types of advertising on Reddit, too. These posts may have the opportunity to be seen by more eyes but often, the best way to market on Reddit is through organic engagement.
Reddit Promoted Posts
These posts will be pinned to the top of a subreddit — it will be labeled as promoted content so users know it is a paid ad. Users can up or downvote these and leave comments on them. One important thing to note, these ads will be authored by your Reddit username, which means users can see your history and karma points.
Display ads on Reddit work much in the same way as display ads on other platforms do — published in the sidebar. For these, you have to work directly with the Reddit team.