r/Marketing: How Businesses Can Nail Marketing on Reddit

27 July 2022
by Annie-Mai Hodge
5 mins
r/Marketing: How Businesses Can Nail Marketing on Reddit

Reddit is a platform with more than 430 million monthly active users, 130,000+ active communities and daily traffic numbers that top both Twitter and LinkedIn. But it gains significantly less coverage as a potential outlet for marketing compared to other social media sites.

Why is that? Reddit is built around communities in millions of different “subreddits”, which are vibrant and interesting but also hostile to blatant advertising and self-promotions from accounts.

While it’s easy to create a business profile on rival platforms, Reddit instead requires brands to start at the bottom like everyone else, and attempt to win the hearts and minds of users with engaging organic content creation.

This can appear like a lot of hard work, so why is it worth it?

One of the most compelling reasons to start using Reddit for marketing is to reach an audience that doesn’t regularly log in to popular social media platforms – 69% say they don’t use TikTok and 48% don’t use Instagram.

These “Redditors” congregate in super-focused subreddits and are open to talking about topics in detail and learning new things. This is a potential goldmine for engagement – when a subreddit aligns with your interests, products and keywords, you will basically have a ready-made target audience you can tap into.

The 1.7bn annual page visits and 11 minutes and 29-second average daily user time is also a testament to just how big and underutilised Reddit is as a marketing tool.

And while spam accounts will be given short shrift, Reddit is very much open to business, as the advertising options attest. You can use takeover ads and promoted posts to increase visibility across the platform. These ads are among the most affordable in terms of cost-per-click (CPC) too.

How does Reddit work?

Reddit is a social news aggregation site and is regularly referred to as the “front page of the internet”. The main page features posts that have received the most “upvotes”, which is how users show their appreciation for funny, quirky, engaging and memorable content.

The best content rises to the top while downvoted posts disappear into the digital ether, never to be seen again. It’s a classic case of sink or swim.

However, while the main page is ultra-competitive, posts will still be visible, for a short time at least, in one of the millions of subreddits that make Reddit such a unique platform for discussion. These subreddits probably cover every topic you can think of, even the most esoteric subjects.

For example, SEO professionals might want to venture to the r/SEO subreddit, which has 200k subscribers, or r/content_marketing, with its 98k subscribers. Both of these communities discuss the latest news, ask questions and offer advice. 

What’s the best way to market on Reddit?

Organic marketing on Reddit is a slow burn initially, so don’t expect immediate success. You should start by creating an account with a username that includes both a branded keyword and a personal name, the latter of which will help to make your interactions appear more authentic.

Now you can start seeking out some of the subreddits that align with your brand’s products and services. Reddit has its own useful third-party tools that can help here, such as TrackReddit, which will handily send you alerts for specific phrases. With this, you can jump straight to a community when a keyword or topic is mentioned.

At the start, it is best to engage in social listening, build a feed of relevant subreddits and dole out upvotes to content that you like. You can also start adding comments and engaging in discussions. Slowly ramping up your activity will give you a platform to eventually share your own original content. By putting in the groundwork, this content will look like it’s coming from a genuine place rather than being advertising or self-promotion.

Reddit itself advises users not to engage in spamming, while communities are not shy in calling out and dunking anyone who breaks this golden rule. Reddit says: “Don’t just spam out your links, and don’t blindly upvote your own content or ask anyone else to! Why? Because Reddit is a community, not a platform for self-promotion.”

Reddit can be particularly useful for supporting specific marketing objectives, such as:

  • Finding customer feedback and conducting social listening.
  • Engaging with new audiences to broaden reach.
  • Discovering brand advocates creating unique user-generated content.
  • Providing customer support as part of online reputation management.
  • Driving traffic to your website from links on Reddit.
  • Showcasing authority and expertise with original content.

What content should I post on Reddit?

You will be pleased to hear that Reddit users love the same content formats that gain the most traction on other social media sites. You can post pictures, GIFs, news and other text-based content – just make sure that it is tailored to the specific subreddit you are engaging with. Video has also surged in popularity after Reddit added a native video option last year.

One feature unique to Reddit is ask me anything (AMA). If your brand is big enough, you can jump ahead of the queue and really boost visibility by answering questions from Reddit users and showcasing your expertise and influence. To set up an AMA, you will need to create a proof page to demonstrate your bona fides and then submit a request to Reddit’s moderators detailing when the AMA will take place. You can then promote your AMA via emails and other social media channels.

While Reddit is unlikely to be a core part of your SEO strategy, having a presence on the platform can increase your visibility in Google’s search results. Text-based posts generally perform better in SERPs, so keep that in mind. You can also earn followed links from content that gains traction.

How does advertising work on Reddit?

Reddit also offers paid advertising in the form of takeover ads and promoted posts. As the name suggests, takeover ads place brands front and centre on either specific subreddits or the main page, with a top banner and a promoted post. There are several different ad packages, so you can select one that best suits your objectives.

Promoted posts work in the same way as regular Reddit posts but they will get a bump in visibility in subreddits and a “promoted” tag next to the title. Japanese car manufacturer Toyota is among the big brands that have used promoted posts to drive engagement on Reddit. Toyota recently promoted a video featuring two professional drivers in its Supra car in the Formula 1 subreddit, which is a community that would be very interested in watching content with fast vehicles.

Additionally, Reddit allows you to pick an objective for your ad campaigns. These objectives are traffic, brand awareness, conversions, video views and app installs, each with different bidding structures and ad types. Reddit uses this to optimise your ads and then serve them to the appropriate target audience.

Whether you want to use Reddit organically to post content and immerse yourself in communities that are important to your brand, or jump right in and use paid ads to reach new audiences, there is a lot this social news aggregation and discussion site has to offer. So, don’t overlook it when building your marketing and advertising strategies.

If you want to use Reddit and other social media sites to create new business opportunities and boost your visibility online, Atlas SEO can help. We can conduct a social media audit to identify areas for improvement, create a targeted strategy and then craft content to drive engagement. Contact us today to find out more.

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