Reddit has around 52 million daily active users. It’s one of the most interesting places on the internet, with highly engaged communities. If you get good exposure on Reddit, you can drive loads of traffic to your website.
Marketing on Reddit does offer some amazing opportunities, but it’s also pretty tricky to get right. Not all brands do well on this platform, and it can take a lot of work to get results. You need to be genuinely engaged with your Reddit communities, and you can’t just dive straight into promoting your business.
We’ve put together everything you need to know about creating an effective Reddit marketing strategy. Follow these strategies and tips, and you’ll be able to run effective campaigns on this unique social media platform.
Let’s get started!
How Reddit Works
First things first, let’s get a quick understanding of what exactly Reddit is and how it works. Reddit is a one-of-a-kind social media channel. Instead of regular social media platforms that are based around individuals, Reddit is focused on communities. Reddit is branded as “the front page of the internet”. It’s a platform that’s heavily focused on viral content, and what’s big at the moment.
Reddit users post all kinds of content on the site (images, links, text, etc). Other Reddit users engage with this content, comment on it, and upvote or downvote it. The most popular content with the most upvotes rises to the top where most users can see it. Unpopular content disappears into oblivion. Users gain “karma” according to their upvotes and downvotes – this is Reddit’s point system that rewards you for good activity.
Reddit is categorized into subreddits. These are the different communities, where specific topics are discussed. There’s a subreddit for absolutely any topic, niche, or interest. In fact, there are currently more than 2.8 million subreddits. And even if you can’t find a subreddit for your topic, you can easily create one.
About Reddit Marketing
Before we get into the details of Reddit marketing, let’s just get one thing clear: Redditors do not like obvious promotions and advertising. The site is focused on genuine engagement and authentic contributions, not promotions. When you use Reddit for marketing, you can’t just promote your product or brand like you would on other social media platforms. This is why many businesses avoid marketing on Reddit.
However, there are still opportunities for a powerful Reddit marketing strategy. Just because Reddit’s content policy doesn’t leave much space for self-promotion, it doesn’t mean you can’t use the platform to boost your business. You’ve just got to take a different approach where you focus on providing value to your Reddit community by sharing helpful, relevant content.
Before you use Reddit, always keep this one important thing in mind: On Reddit, the users have the power. Reddit is entirely focused on content that redditors enjoy. Self-promotion and blatant advertising will just annoy redditors, which will not do any favors for your brand.
Here’s an example of the kind of useful content that redditors want to see from brands.
Why Market on Reddit?
Although marketing on Reddit can be tricky to get right, it can also produce awesome results for your website. With 52 million daily active users across the world, it’s a massively popular platform. Reddit users are also seriously engaged.
You can also find a Reddit community that’s perfectly relevant to your brand. This community will be full of interested users who are probably your exact target audience. So if you post quality content on Reddit that your community enjoys, then you will be able to rise in popularity within the right online community.
This can help you to drive more high-quality traffic to your site, get more backlinks, and establish your brand as a leader within your community.
Is Reddit Marketing for Everyone?
Reddit marketing doesn’t apply to all businesses. If you need to develop a local marketing strategy and target an area-based audience, then Reddit probably isn’t a great place to focus your marketing efforts.
Reddit marketing is best suited towards online businesses that serve an international audience. Online service providers, startups, consultants, and SaaS companies are a few examples of businesses that can do well using Reddit. It’s also a great place for personal brands, influencers, and celebrities to connect with people.
This platform should mainly be used to drive traffic to your website. If you have interesting web content that appeals to a very specific online community, then strategically advertising it on Reddit can bring you a lot more high-quality traffic. If you’re looking for new customers for your local bakery, then becoming popular on Reddit might not have a big effect on your business.
How to Succeed at Reddit Marketing
To be good at marketing on Reddit, you need to be an active user of the platform. This is the most important thing to get right.
Reddit is entirely about adding value to your community. You need to make sure that you’re posting useful content on Reddit and offering value to your community before you start promoting your business. If you’re not interested in becoming an active, engaged Reddit user, then you should probably focus on paid traffic instead.
The best thing for marketers is to just enjoy using Reddit. Join communities that you’re happy to engage with, and spend your time posting interesting content. Read what other redditors are posting, and engage with the subreddit community.
That’s the most important thing. If you’re not willing to put in the work to get organic Reddit interest, then you’re probably not going to do that well.
Once you get this right, here are some of the most important things to remember when using Reddit for marketing:
Gather as many karma points as you can before you start promoting your business. This shows that you’re an active redditor, which will give you more credibility in your subreddits. Ultimately, this will help your posts perform better.
Be careful with how much promotional content you post. Redditors can be fierce, and they might go through your posting history looking for overly promotional activity. If your promotional posts don’t perform well, remove them. Keep your promotional posts to a minimum where they’re necessary.
Don’t spam your subreddits. Even if you’re offering genuine, valuable content, keep your promotional posts to a minimum of about once every two weeks. You might also get caught in a subreddit spam filter if you don’t participate and engage with the subreddit enough before posting.
Participate in subreddits as much as possible. Comment on other users’ posts, ask questions, share helpful links, and start discussions. The more involved you are in subreddits, the better.
Wait until your account is old enough before you start promoting. Create your Reddit account a couple of weeks before starting your promotional strategy. If your account is too new, you might not be able to post too frequently or participate in certain subreddits.
How to Post on Reddit
When you post on Reddit, you have to provide genuinely helpful insights. Always make sure that your posts are relevant to the community you’re posting on. Be friendly, be personal, and welcome discussion, debate and comments.
Here are some important guidelines to remember about Reddit etiquette (or Reddiquette):
- When you share stories, use original sources.
- Keep submission titles factual and free from opinion.
- Always post appropriate content to the most appropriate community.
- Each Reddit community has its own guidelines. Read these guidelines in full before you post anything.
- Always be considerate when speaking to other Reddit users.
- Be conscious of duplicate content when you post.
Best Reddit Marketing Strategies
If you want to include Reddit in your social media marketing strategy, then you will need to follow a few important processes. Here are the most effective strategies and tips to keep in mind when marketing on Reddit.
1. Be a Redditor, Not a Business
Yes, you’re promoting your business on Reddit, but this shouldn’t be your main focus. When using Reddit, you should spend more time contributing to subreddits than blatantly promoting content. In their community guidelines, Reddit says:
“It’s perfectly fine to be a Redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a Reddit account”.
This statement sums up the whole idea of Reddit marketing pretty well.
When creating your account, make sure that it’s under your personal name and not your business name. Then start joining interesting subreddits and engage with them based on your interests. Using Reddit should be interesting and fun for you too, and not just approached as a promotional activity.
2. Subscribe to Subreddits That Interest You and Align With Your Business
Join the right subreddits that relate to your business and your target audience. You need to make sure that you only post in relevant subreddits that match your brand. The bigger the subreddit, the bigger the audience. This gives you more marketing opportunities. It also means it will be more difficult to create top-performing content though.
There are a couple of ways that you can find the right subreddit.
Start by searching your topic on Reddit. The search results will show the most popular content and subreddits based on your interest.
You could also join a subreddit called “Find-a-Reddit”. You can ask for subreddit recommendations based on your interest, and the community will point you in the right direction.
Redditlist is a helpful website that puts together the most popular subreddits based on your search keywords. You can also use this site to access helpful data on each subreddit.
3. Cross-Post Across Different Subreddits
We’ve mentioned the importance of not spamming your communities. This doesn’t mean that you can’t post the same content more than once though. There are millions of subreddits out there, and there are likely multiple subreddits that relate to your brand and your community.
So, when you create a good post, post it to several different communities. Cross-posting to other subreddits can get your content seen and upvoted by many more users.
Some best practices when doing this include tweaking the headline slightly with each post and spacing your posts out over a couple of days or weeks.
4. Use Reddit as a Research Tool to Stay On Top of Trends
One of the best ways to use Reddit in your marketing strategy is to keep up with what’s trending in your industry. Reddit isn’t just a platform for promoting your content and driving traffic to your site. It’s also a great place to keep up with what your audience is interested in.
Any marketer can do this, and it doesn’t require complete dedication to Reddit. Simply join the right subreddit where your target audience is, and follow what’s trending and popular. You could also ask questions, and engage with users in that subreddit to gain more insights into their interests.
This can help you to find topics for blog articles, establish pain points that your target audience is feeling, and stay on top of the latest trends within your industry.
5. Run an AMA
Many popular users on Reddit do an ask me anything (AMA) post. The idea is simple: redditors can ask the person anything in a dedicated space. The user will answer all of these questions. An ask me anything is often done by celebrities or politicians that have a certain campaign or release to promote. However, any kind of business can do this too.
As long as you’re normally active on Reddit, this can be a great place to get some of your promotional content out there. You can get users asking about your business and your product. This is your chance to talk all about your business while still sticking to the Reddit guidelines.
Even if you don’t have a product to talk about, an AMA will help you build up credibility and gain a following. This helps Reddit users to trust you, and gain interest in what you have to say. If you’re new to Reddit, then answering questions through an AMA is a great way to build up a reputation.
To do this, just write an AMA post explaining who you are and what you do, then finish it off with “Ask me anything!”. This invites redditors to engage with you.
Ivan Kutskir is a great example of a business owner who uses AMAs to reach loads of new customers. Just look at the example above that got 59.5k votes on a discussion about his product.
6. Try Reddit Paid Advertising
If you’ve decided that Reddit is a good platform for your business, but you don’t have the time or energy to attract enough organic traffic, then you can always run paid ads. Reddit offers a pay-per-click advertising model to help your content become more visible.
You can run ads targeted across the entire Reddit platform, or targeted towards specific subreddits. This is a helpful way to make sure that your ads are seen by people interested in your niche.
Here’s an example of a ‘promoted’ Reddit post.
Reddit Ad Options
Paid ads on Reddit are available in a couple of different options and formats. The most popular type of ad is promoted posts. These are native ads that take the form of a regular Reddit post, except that they hold their presence throughout your campaign. These posts can still be upvoted or downvoted and commented on. This can be helpful to marketers to understand what users actually think of their ads.
Video ads are also an option. These can have a custom CTA and are embedded onto the page.
Takeovers are another option. These are fast ads that allow you to own top spots for 24 hours in communities that you pick. Takeover ads are a great way to get the news out to your community about a certain launch or event. This will help to spur on the conversation within the subreddit.
Targeting Your Reddit Ads
Unlike other social media platforms, Reddit doesn’t have as much data collected on its users. This means targeting your Reddit ads is not always as precise. Here are some of the paid ad targeting options that you can choose from on Reddit:
Community targeting: This is when you target specific subreddits based on your ideal target audience. When a user enters your subreddit, they will be able to see your ad, even if they end up on a different subreddit.
Custom audiences: This is when you run ads that target specific people based on their email address, or mobile app ID. To successfully run custom audience ads on Reddit, you will need to have a good email marketing list already in place. If you use your leads database to segment custom lists, then you will be able to target a more specific audience related to your content.
Interest targeting: This is similar to community targeting, but it picks Reddit users based on the content that they’re interested in instead of specific communities. Reddit offers 15 different interest groups that your business can choose from. This is a little bit more of a broad targeting strategy compared to community targeting.
7. Start a Subreddit for Your Brand
You don’t have to just stick to subreddits that already exist. You could also start a subreddit dedicated specifically to your brand. This gives you a space to focus all of the conversations on your brand. You can also use it to connect with interested customers and engage with your audience.
You can use your subreddit to share industry news, build relationships with customers, and attract new customers with interesting content.
8. Focus on Writing Engaging Headlines
Your headline on Reddit is really important. To write a successful post that gets a lot of attention, you need to have a great headline. Headlines on Reddit are also different from regular blog headlines. There are many different types of headlines that you can use, and different headlines work well in different subreddits.
Here are some useful tips to remember when crafting your Reddit headlines:
- Go to the Top section of the subreddit that you’re posting in, and you will be able to access the best performing posts in that subreddit. Look at all of these headlines, and see how you can use the same structure for your own. These are headlines that work for that audience, so try to make the same ones work for your content.
Keep your headlines personal. Adding a personal experience can go a long way in connecting with your subreddit audience and getting them interested in your content. Using phrases like “I tried X and this is what I experienced…” or “I needed X so I did this one trick…” really work.
Avoid clickbait. It might work in your blog posts or YouTube videos, but it won’t work on Reddit. Reddit users want headlines that are more real, personal, and friendly.
Reveal value in your headline. Use your headline to show how the body of your post is going to offer genuine, helpful advice and value to the reader.
Examples of Brands That Have Used Reddit Well
Looking for inspiration? Here are some examples of brands that have been able to get great results from creative Reddit marketing campaigns.
Spotify ran a clever campaign on Reddit where they asked redditors questions about connecting certain emotions with different songs. Their questions weren’t directly promoting their platform, so redditors got happily involved in answering them.
They were able to create a playlist from their Reddit engagement consisting of 10,000 submissions. This campaign helped Spotify achieve plenty of positive brand engagement, without using obvious promotional tactics.
Ally Bank used Reddit to advertise to a completely new audience. They ran an ad targeted at video gaming subreddits, with the caption “You wouldn’t settle for a 1-star controller, so why settle for a 1-star bank?”. The ad was a success and helped Ally Bank to reach a whole new community of customers.
Your business can run campaigns like this by thinking of new ways to appeal to different audiences. Instead of reaching the same audience that all of your competitors are also targeting, you can use Reddit to effectively get your name out to different niches.
Little Ceasars ran a #UnlockPretzelCrust campaign with the rerelease of their pretzel crust pizza. The brand offered hidden codes online and in the real world that allowed winners to receive pretzel-themed gifts.
Little Ceasars used the many different communities on Reddit to generate buzz around their campaign and attract new customers. The platform offered high levels of engagement for the campaign.
Examples of Brands That Failed at Reddit Marketing
We’ve already established that Reddit can be a tough place for marketers. Here are some examples of brands that didn’t get the platform right, and what you can learn from their mistakes.
Now known as MindFire Studio, this brand blatantly promoted its services in the r/SEO subreddit. The brand offers SEO services, so they thought this subreddit would be the place to do that. However, the subreddit is focused entirely on asking and answering SEO questions. The promotion got zero upvotes or comments.
Doing this showed a huge community interested in SEO that Mindfiremedia wasn’t properly researching their campaigns, which resulted in many potential customers losing trust in this business.
Jerry Stritzke, REI’s CEO, did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. He was hoping to gain some good publicity after giving all REI employees the day off on Black Friday, but instead, he got bombarded by redditors asking questions about poor working conditions and low wages at REI. The whole event turned into terrible publicity for the company.
Redditors can be intense, and it’s vital that businesses understand how their audience is feeling, and how they feel about the brand, before taking to the platform.
Google SRE Team
Even Google got Reddit marketing wrong. The Google Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) team did an AMA on Reddit. The event took place just as Gmail services went down. Of course, redditors dug into the SRE team about Gmails failure. This resulted in bad publicity that the Google team wasn’t able to spin around.
We’ve got lots of different options to choose from when it comes to social media marketing. Many marketers are afraid of Reddit. They might think that it’s too much effort, or that it doesn’t offer ideal results. Well, this isn’t always true.
Reddit marketing can help you get loads of traffic. Reddit is one of the most engaged communities on the internet. Each different Reddit community, known as subreddits, is full of people interested in very specific topics. This allows your brand to reach a big audience of people interested in your niche. When you post the right content on this platform, your popularity could skyrocket.
And yes, Reddit marketing is unique. Successful organic popularity on this platform does require a lot of effort. You need to be fully engaged with your redditors, and willing to provide enough effort, helpful comments, and engagement to keep your audience happy.
Think beyond just advertising and use this platform to pay attention to trends, connect with your audience, and position yourself as a thought leader. When doing this, marketers can produce some excellent results for their business.
Have you used Reddit to market your business? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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