Do you want to know whats the The “Top Secret Method for Marketing Effectively on Reddit” As the Internet’s largest social news aggregator, reddit boasts more than 2 billion (yes, with a b) pageviews each month, and more than 34 million unique visitors.
With stats like these, its no wonder that reddits a prime target for advertisers and marketers trying to get their products and services in front of large web audiences.
As a new and quickly evolving medium, reddit has been a tough nut for most marketers to crack. Because the site relies on a democratic voting system to decide what content becomes most visible, marketing overtly at redditors is counterproductive.
In order to understand how to effectively market to this motivated, but finicky, group, you must first understand the community and its particular idiosyncrasies.
Format and Reach
On reddit, any registered user is capable of submitting any type of content to the site. Registered users then vote this content up or down. An algorithm based mostly on time vs. votes is used to determine how visible the submitted content becomes.
Content that is voted up by large numbers of reddit users can see massive amounts of engagement. Content submitted to reddit that reaches the front page of the site (the most popular content of the day) generally sees traffic in the range of 50,000 to 200,000 referral visitors and dozens to hundreds of subsequent links to that content from outside sites. thats how The Top Secret Method for Marketing Effectively on Reddit works
Over the last several years as reddit has grown substantially, theres been an increasing segmentation of the community across “subreddits.” These subreddits are discrete sections of the site dedicated to specific topics or niches, and spanning an incredible variety.
The most popular subreddits boast more than 1 million subscribers and with more than 100,000 unique subreddits, they cover nearly any topic you can imagine. Even obscure niches like “My Little Pony” boast subscriber numbers in the tens of thousands.
Examples of subreddits:
r/pics 1,836,255 subscribers
r/funny 1,878,172 subscribers
r/askreddit 1,692,100 subscribers
r/worldnews 1,636,927 subscribers
r/politics 1,478,066 subscribers
r/music 985,289 subscribers
r/technology 1,225,117 subscribers
r/mylittlepony 32,637 subscribers
Though it would be silly to try to characterize the entirety of reddit, before attempting to engage the reddit audience (either as a user or as a marketer) you should understand what resonates with redditors in a general sense.
While surely not representative of all redditors, the typical redditor is:
1. Socially liberal
2. A technology first adopter
3. Active in social media
4. Likely to be part of the “linkerati”, or an individuals who writes for, runs, or who is otherwise capable of publishing content online
5. Politically interested and possibly active
6. Majority young (16-35)
7. Majority male
8. Highly literate in Internet culture and memes
9. Critical, discerning, and cynical of marketing
10. Critical against unoriginal, rehashed, or otherwise old information/news
11. College education
It is important to note that the zeitgeist of reddit as a whole can vary to a huge degree depending on the subreddit. For instance, the subreddit community at r/twoxchromosomes is overwhelming made up of women.The Top Secret Method for Marketing Effectively on Reddit has something more for you
Allergy to Overt Marketing
Reddit users come to the site for content, community, and conversation, not to be marketed to. Because of this, maintaining an impartial community that is free from spammers and spammy marketing or advertising is a nearly universal sentiment from most redditors. Fortunately, there are methods for overcoming this
The Benefits of Reddit Marketing
With reddit being such a large, dynamic, and marketing-averse community, you might be thinking “Is it even worth trying?” The answer is a resounding yes, and for 3 main reasons.
1. Viral Potential
Because of reddits democratic voting system, the visibility of content is dependent on how the content resonates with redditors. The source of the content plays only a small role in how many people eventually see the content. This system allows for innovative and creative individuals to enjoy viral success in a way that has rarely been possible previously.
2. Targeted Users
With the segmentation of communities provided by the subreddit structure, very specific demographics can be engaged with. In many cases, the subreddit communities are among the largest dedicated to that specific niche on the entire Internet.
3. Syndication Potential
Because reddit is a news/information hub for thousands of tastemakers online, the content that appears on reddit enjoys wide syndication across blogs and other online (and even offline) publications. For those whose primary goal is linkbuilding, this is a notable and important advantage.
Reddit Marketing Models That Work
Reddit Paid Advertising
For those just beginning, or those who are unsure and want a good way to ease into marketing on reddit, I recommend getting started by testing out reddits paid ad platform.
Many users have reported results that outperform other display networks, though there is a great variability in efficacy depending on targeting, the ad, and the advertiser. Search engine Duck Duck Go found great success with reddit paid advertising, coming in with a CPM of under $2.00.
The model is simple, but still requires that you understand reddit as a whole, as well as the subreddits you intend to show your ads to.
How to Use Reddit Ads
- Submit a Title and URL for what you are looking to promote.
- Decide how long you want the ad to run and how much you would like to spend.
- Choose whether you want the ad to run on all of reddit, or just specific subreddits.
- Pay for the ad.
- Wait two days for approval. Once approved the ad goes live.
When that date arrives, you take everyone with a link running on that day and figure out what the total contribution is of all of those bids. This total becomes the cost for that day of selling out our ad space. Each user gets impressions that commensurate with the fraction of the total that they contributed (so, say, you paid $20 and the total for the day is $200, you will get 10% of the site traffic). In this way, everyone pays the same CPM, though that CPM is variable from one day to the next.
To make up for the fact that smaller reddits have fewer subscribers, you will weight your ad by ratio of its traffic to one of the top subreddits. For example, if the subreddit you are targeting gets 1/5 as much traffic as the top (default) subreddits, your ad will get a 5x boost when presented to users who subscribe to that subreddit.”
Running ads under the untargeted model should only be used by advertisers looking for wide visibility. If your product or service is a general match for the typical interests and proclivities of reddit users, the untargeted model may work quite well for you. For instance, technology products would be a good choice for running an untargeted campaign.
For those with more specifically targeted products or services, picking the appropriate subreddits is the most important aspect of the process. It is here that you are choosing your audience. For instance, if you sell energy drinks, you probably want to target subreddits like reddit.com/r/fitness and reddit.com/r/running.
Keep in mind that just like regularly submitted content, redditors can comment on your advertising submissions. Submit ads and content that are generally neutral in message as to avoid inviting a critical response from the community.
Organic Model (The Holy Grail of Reddit Marketing)
As mentioned previously, reddit users are highly allergic to overt marketing or advertising that occurs in the regular content sections of reddit that is not part of the approved paid system. Reddit owners and the community have fought hard against spammers, who often attempted to falsely promote or push their own content or advertisements through the unpaid content sections on reddit. Reddit has gotten progressively better at detecting spam, and any overt advertising that does get through is easily removed by redditors by flagging the content themselves.
So, if pushing ads is out, how does one find marketing value outside of the paid system?
The answer lies in providing value, which luckily, is the prime benefit of a content marketing based approach.
Understanding Content Marketing Approach
In order to see real value from marketing on reddit, you need to approach it with the intention of providing value for redditors from the start. This isnt to say that you cant accomplish yours or your clients advertising goals at the same time, but if you dont constantly keep in mind that your first priority is providing value to reddit, you will surely fail.
Providing value on reddit is as simple as providing content that is interesting, useful, or otherwise shareable. This content can be in almost any form, but visual content typically performs best. It is extremely important to keep the content you create as impartial and non-salesy as possible. If your content smacks at all of marketing, it will never fly on reddit.
For this reason, reddit is not a great place if your goal is for simple branding or general company/product exposure. It is, however, a great way for you to launch content with the intention of gaining links (and subsequent ranking improvements). This is key.
Organic reddit marketing is generally only efficacious for content marketing campaigns focused on linkbuilding. The notable exception to this is if you already have a national marketing campaign that is well received, or you have a notable celebrity who is willing to participate with reddit on behalf of your brand or content.
The Secret Sauce
There is one nearly surefire way to engage in marketing with reddit that will often result in great success. It is a model weve used successfully many times here at BlueGlass. The approach starts with the community in mind, and expands from there.
Here is the approach:
1. Understand that your goal is to create engagement through content creation. The principle benefit will be traffic to your site, link building, and possibly brand engagement. This will not typically ever be a way for you to gain customers in a direct way.
2. Understand that you must provide something of obvious and proven value to the community you are marketing to on reddit.
3. Your content must be explicitly tailored to a particular subreddit.
4. Your content should be visually impressive.
5. Your content should serve as an evergreen resource for the subreddit you are targeting.
6. The only marketing that the content should do is give credit to the creator of the content. Putting the company logo on your content is fine, or saying that the content was sponsored by X company should be fine, too.
Content: This subreddit has its own FAQ, a list of best practices that could and should be followed by readers looking to live a healthier lifestyle. This FAQ is linked to in the information section of the r/fitness subreddit in the sidebar. It was a collaborative FAQ generated by members of the subreddit themselves. This made it the perfect base to use for the content you would be creating tailored to this community, Reddit’s Guide to Fitness.
Reddit Collaboration: In order to avoid any backlash, approachthe leaders (moderators) of the subreddit and include them in the content creation process in order to gain powerful advocates within the community before attempting promotion. When you got positive feedback on the idea from the communities leaders, Begin creating the content. During the content production process, actively engaged with the moderators of the r/fitness subreddit to gather their input on the infographic . You can also use quotes and information from specific redditors and gave them specific credit within the final info-graphic.
Promotion: When the content is finished and published , then reach out again to the moderators of the community to let them know you were submitting the content to their subreddit at that time. By doing this, you make sure that the content would not get hit by any spam filters, and also gave the moderators an opportunity to comment on the submitted content and vote it up.
The key to unlocking the potential of reddit is to first understand its communities, and then working with those communities to provide them content of value based on subject matter you certain they find interesting. When you can accomplish these two things, youve set yourself up to harness the viral power of one of the most active and powerful sites on the Internet.
What are some effective marketing initiatives you have seen on reddit? Let us know in the comment below.