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Is it impossible to advertise on Reddit?

As I come back blogging after some time away, I decided to focus on a subject I have had in my head: Reddit. The social network ranks among the best websites in the world (56th in the world and 21st in the U.S according to But this website seems to remain free of direct marketing, and the companies that risk the adventure often suffer some major drawbacks. So why is it so difficult to advertise on Reddit, and what are the keys to penetrating this social fortress?

First and foremost, some history. Reddit was created in California in 2005. The website is a Social Media dedicated to entertainment, with a key concept that explains its success: the moderation of its content. Once a registered user posts some content, it will be judged by the rest of the users (or at least by people who stumble upon it) and will be up-voted or down-voted according to its relevance and general popularity. This system made the website one of the fastest growing networks in the world (especially with the success of memes and other funny content), and even created trends among content on the Internet. Some other websites are following its path, like 4chan or Imgur, created in 2009 and that ranks 49th in the world and 14th in the U.S. (Imgur will have its own article I promise) . 

So the first thing that comes to the mind of any online marketer, once the fun of the discovery dissipates, is how can I advertise on this platform? The solution may seem obvious but it is not. Reddit offers a service of paid advertisement that allows you to target your audience, a system widely used by other major social media. This option would be the easiest and the one with the highest chance of fail. Why, if I spend money I should see results! Not necessarily and if your campaign fails, it is because you forgot a key element: Users of this kind of website hate marketing. A good sales speech with some money will not produce a good ROI, and your business would be missing an opportunity.

Reddit can be a very powerful marketing tool as long as you can handle it correctly. The first step would be to sign up as an individual, not a business. It is pretty self explanatory-an individual will be better accepted than a business. Then comes the hardest part: the content. You want people to like what you post, and to bring you to the front page where most of the traffic is. For your content, you can apply the same recipe as something you would post on any other social media be honest, be funny, have a fresh idea, and think outside the box. 

 Actors and Artists in general use Reddit source

Reddit offers a really cool feature that would make really good tools to improve your brand awareness. If you work for a non profit or you have a particular experience, create a Subreddit (personal Reddit page) following the AMA trend (ask me anything, an open forum where everybody can ask you anything). You can also ask question about a certain market you may be targeting, and Reddit will turn into a very powerful survey tool that will allow you to communicate with your target audience directly.


Even President Obama created a AMA subreddit. source

So is it impossible to market on Reddit? No, not at all. Once you have in mind that Reddit users hate sales speeches and direct marketing (who wants to see an ad when you browse funny pictures of cats right?), you can build your strategy. Content creation is a good way to get some exposure (avoid memes unless you know how to use them, nothing can discredit you faster than a misused meme), but you can also adopt a more pragmatic approach and talk to people, ask questions, answer questions and get some precious information about your market and your products. At the end of the day, the key is to be social. But isn't what social media are all about after all? Take it EZ.

This post first appeared on Marketing MadEZ, please read the originial post: here

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Is it impossible to advertise on Reddit?


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