The learning curve for marketing on Reddit is steeper than on other channels, and results are variable. The average revenue per user (ARPU) of the social news aggregation site is low compared to bigger sites like Facebook and Twitter. And Reddit users are known for their passion and influence—both positive and negative. So, it’s no wonder many marketers tread lightly or avoid Reddit altogether.
Yet Reddit was one of the few social media sites showing significant growth between 2019 and 2021, according to The Pew Research Center. For companies that successfully overcome Reddit’s challenges, the ROI and ROAS are worth the effort. And all companies can learn something from Reddit about their customers and market. Here are the top five things to know about using Reddit for your market research and ad spend:
1. What is Reddit, exactly?
Reddit is a global social news aggregation website. Its users post links to original content and pre-existing content, such as news stories, memes, photos and videos, and they also post comments. Users (also known as redditors) post to communities organized around specific subject matter areas and niche interests and then “upvote” or “downvote” the content and comments, pushing the most popular posts to the top of the thread and less popular posts down the thread.
According to Reddit, the site has more than:
- 52 million daily active users
- 100,000 communities
- 50 billion monthly views
2. Reddit is different—and so are its users
Reddit prides itself on active and engaged users who share information in their communities to help and entertain each other. Authenticity and posting helpful and relevant content are essential. Posts that aren’t genuine won’t gain traction—or worse, will get called out. A comment made by video game company Electronic Arts set a Guinness World Record for most downvoted comment.
Here’s what you need to know about posting to engage Reddit communities:
Mind your “Reddiquette.” These are the do’s and don’ts of Reddit community interactions, including remembering that there are humans on the other side of your posts and comments.
Each community has its own rules. Find them in the sidebar of each community and adhere to them.
3. Reddit is a high-value source of customer insights
Subreddits get granular. For example, there are subreddits dedicated to small businesses, finance, specific product types (think software and streaming services), and interest areas (think cooking, wellness, and entertainment). Spend time searching and scrolling threads in subreddits related to your business niche and products. You’ll find a trove of trends, get plenty of feedback and suggestions, and learn in real time what your target audience cares about the most.
You can also find passionate brand advocates, customer reviews, and client success stories to use with permission.
4. Reddit connects customers with information and support
Reddit users don’t love the hard sell—or even posts with a subtle “salesy” angle. Letting redditors come to you is a good idea. For Reddit marketing, consider setting up a company account where you can post business or product news and answer customer questions directly. You can also run surveys and analyze results, and even create subreddits relevant to your brand, if they don’t already exist.
Finally, you can host an AMA session on the popular Ask Me Anything subreddit. Setting up an AMA requires some lead time to:
- Research prior AMAs in your target market
- Establish a clear topic for discussion
- Find the right subreddit for your AMA
- Prove that you are real (your company page serves as verification)
5. Reddit offers paid advertising
This is at the bottom of the list on purpose—you should be very familiar with Reddit before buying ads to market on Reddit. Once you have a handle on the site, understand your audience, and have established a presence, however, you can explore paid Reddit ad campaigns. Here are your options:
- Promoted posts: Link ads or text ads that resemble user posts, but with a clear “Promoted” tag. This is the most affordable entry point to paid ads on Reddit.
- Display ads: Because these are targeted posts and banner ads, you must work with Reddit Ads managed services, and the entry cost is higher.
The things that make Reddit a challenge for marketers are also what can make it a valuable channel to pursue—just make sure to put on your Reddit-colored glasses first.