For many brands and marketers, Reddit is literally a graveyard. And that isn’t exaggerating.
Reddit users are notorious for their brutality in attacking corporate invasions of their community, and highly adept at spotting infiltrators from far away.
Rather than being chastised and humiliated by a community of vocal users, most brands will likely choose to avoid any form of marketing on Reddit.
And if you have no idea what Reddiquette is, you’d be making the right decision.
But that’s not to say that Reddit cannot be a great benefit to integrated marketing campaigns. When done correctly, Reddit can drive a huge amount of traffic to your website, which can then either be converted directly or remarketed to at a later date.
Using Reddit to Solve these Marketing Problems
There are a number of issues we run into with clients where traditional digital marketing strategy cannot drive traffic in a cost effective way. These include:
- A lack of search volume around key terms [paid search]
- Too expensive to compete in paid search results
- An inability for smaller brands to get enough traffic to a deep page to build a remarketing list (a minimum of 100 unique cookies within 30 days is required)
- Not enough time to wait for the SEO slog to send enough organic traffic for a healthy ROI, when large paid KPIs have been set
One solution to these problems is to use Reddit to send large amounts of referral traffic to your landing page or blog post quickly. Once you have the traffic, you can start remarketing effectively.
With over 200 million unique visits a month, there is potentially a large audience to tap into.
The trick is going about it the right way.
1) Get to know Reddit
Preferably inside out. You cannot spend enough time researching Reddit and becoming a part of the community.
With millions of users and thousands of subreddits (niche communities dedicated to specific ideas, hobbies and content) there’s a lot to explore. Take the time to get to know how users interact and the things they say. This will help you understand their mind set.
Lurk, listen and watch everything. Check out the broad subreddits (e.g. /r/television) and search for really specific ones too (e.g. /r/DowntonAbbeyFashion). Each subreddit is unique, and each has its own set of rules and its own community of users. Spend time learning about each.
You’ll want to make sure the subreddit you’re looking at is a community you want to engage with, and one which will be interested in your product or service.
Again, patience is important here. Reddit is a community of free speech, so naturally there are a lot of inappropriate subreddits, some of which have hate group tendencies. For example, /r/Catholicism is a subreddit dedicated to discussing the Catholic faith. This may easily be confused with /r/Catholic which focuses more on abuse and sexuality within the Catholic Church.
Tread carefully to avoid a PR nightmare. Take the time to get a full understanding of the community of each subreddit you’ve identified.
2) Engage cautiously
Before you post, you should establish yourself as a member of the Reddit community. If you’ve spent the time researching, this won’t be difficult; if not, engage at your own peril.
Reddit users are smarter than you might think. They can easily spot spammers and identify who is a true member of Reddit and who is just using it for their own gain. As you’d expect, there’s a subreddit dedicated to corporate infiltrators (/r/hailcorporate).
Yes, this will mean spending more time before you even start your own campaign, but it will be worth it.
Upvote posts, add your own comments, reply to others, and then maybe post content which isn’t your own.
3) Don’t worry, this isn’t wasted time
Remember, time spent researching and engaging with the Reddit community is time spent getting to know your target audience.
You’ll be finding out what they like and dislike, and what makes them tick. You never know, you might discover something surprising.
This is also the perfect opportunity to research for content marketing campaigns, and get proof of concept for any potential ideas you might have.
We built a campaign for an automotive client around the best and the worst roads to drive on in the UK. In order to find out what people thought, we got on the /r/cars subreddit and posed the question directly to users.
Not only did we get a great number of comments and suggestions, we could also judge which were the most popular based on the number of up votes each received.
4) Create your content
With your ideas proofed and research done, you can now create your external content. Be sure to keep in mind the Reddit audience, and make sure it’s content that will add value.
Decide whether you want a long form, meaty piece of content that will get upvoted and bring in longtail search traffic, or more of a quick “listicle” type article that will generate a lot of clicks in a short amount of time.
Be warned: Click-bait articles can be heavily punished by Reddit users. If you’re obviously just trying to get clicks to a site with attention grabbing headlines that offer no value, you will be downvoted and potentially even have your account blocked.
5) Decide your offer and prepare your site
When Reddit users click through to your blog or landing page, alongside the value of the content, you’ll want to offer them something as well. That’s the point of this marketing campaign, right, to attract users you can sell to.
Incentivisation is key here – decide whether you’ll be providing a special offer, a discount, or free delivery – but the type of product(s) you are selling is just as important.
Think about those subreddits again. Users on subreddits are either experts in that niche or extremely passionate about a subject; either way they have a lot of knowledge and experience, so offer them something unique which they will actually get use from.
For example, on a subreddit for Sous Vide, the chances are that all the users already have Sous Vide machines that they use; so rather than selling them something they already have, put a deal on consumables instead.
Don’t forget: Call to Action banners for your page or blog. You’ve got the traffic through, so you might as well aim to get a conversion from users before your remarketing kicks in.
6) Set up the remarketing
Naturally, the final step before posting is to check your remarketing campaign is set up effectively.
To get maximum value from your campaign, make sure you’ve added a:
- Google remarketing code
- Facebook remarketing pixel
- Twitter remarketing tag
Design your remarketing banners to the required sizes ahead of time so that you’re well prepared (I made some free templates to help out).
I’ll assume you already have a Google AdWords account set up, and that you know how to create remarketing lists, as this post isn’t the place to go into the specifics on remarketing!
You can set up a rule based list direct from AdWords with the URL of the post, or if you have remarketing set up on Analytics, you can create a tag based list from traffic sources containing “reddit”.
Again, you’ll likely already be familiar with how to create remarketing lists on Facebook and Twitter; the key is just to make sure everything is in order before moving to the next step.
I’ve got a work account that I post from, but as previously discussed, I use it leisurely to engage with the Reddit community and keep it authentic.
Make sure that you get any comments and messages sent through to your email, so that you can respond in a timely fashion and keep the conversation going.
Respond genuinely, but whatever you do, don’t feed the trolls! You’ll always find these types of the users on Reddit; don’t encourage them, and accept that you may be poked fun at. Many a brand and celebrity have fallen foul by simply not understanding the Reddit community.
Check your timings; the vast majority of users on Reddit browse, comment and vote during their commute. If you have a primarily UK target audience, post around standard British commute times; if you have a large US target audience, do likewise.
8) Monitor and Review
With the hard work done, sit back and monitor the campaign, as you would with any other remarketing list. Respond to the comments on Reddit, track the assisted conversions, and check if there are any changes you can make to your campaign along the way.
Remarketing cookies last for 90 days, but remember that your list may not start working until you’ve built up those 100 initial unique users.
Posts on Reddit generally won’t stay ‘visible’ on the front page of a subreddit for a long period of time, so you’ll be able to get provisional analysis of a campaign’s success and your ROI fairly quickly.
If you didn’t get the traffic or the conversions you wanted, don’t worry. Like any content marketing campaign, and perhaps even more so given the discerning nature of Reddit users, there are no guarantees or certain wins.
As long as you didn’t crash and burn, try again with a different form of content; images, videos, long and short forms of content can all be tested.
Content: A cheat sheet to video editing software.
Unique views form Reddit in a day: 7500
Remarketing conversions: 17 conversions
Sector: Food & Drink
Content: A calculator that helps you decide the cooking time for different cuts of meat in a water bath.
Unique views form Reddit in a day: 2000
Remarketing conversions: (ongoing)
Sector: Leisure & Tourism
Content: Showing what's in different types of traveller's bags via flat lay pictures.
Unique views form Reddit in a day: 5000
Remarketing Conversions: 5 bookings
Got any questions about using Reddit as part of a marketing campaign? Leave them in the comments below, or get in touch.