Admittedly, it can be difficult to know where to start when considering Reddit for marketing.
Even though it has been around for more than a decade, it’s still hard to explain what exactly Reddit is to people.
The self-proclaimed “front-page of the internet” can be intimidating.
But for PR professionals, it creates a huge opportunity.
“The great thing about Reddit is that it changes to suit you,” fans are fond of saying.
If it is a big enough change to suit anyone, that means there are plenty of ways to use Reddit for marketing.
And, it attracts a huge amount of traffic:
An estimated 1.58 billion users accessed the site from April to September 2017.
Word of Caution
The great thing about Reddit being so diverse is the opportunity to reach a broad audience, but that can also be a pitfall for which you must prepare.
As many celebrities and other high-profile personalities, including President Obama, have participated in Reddit’s ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA) feature, it has become more mainstream.
Putting on an AMA, or other pieces of content on Reddit can be risky.
Your subject is on the hot seat, and due to the fast-paced nature of the site, it can be easy to fire off unscripted, quick responses.
Have a Plan, But Be Open
The first question: is Reddit or an AMA worth the risk?
Let’s start with the AMA.
Here are some helpful suggestions on how to produce your AMA and prepare for it:
- Sign up for a Reddit account
- Submit or Request an AMA in the right sidebar
Image credit: Reddit.com
- Get familiar with Reddit, including reading through old AMAs to see what types of questions people ask. You can also see what worked well and what didn’t, giving you a sense of what to do and what to avoid.
- Find the right subreddit community to host the AMA. This will allow you to target appropriate and valuable subreddit sites with subscribers are likely a better target audience.
- Schedule your AMA a few weeks or even months in advance. Try to make it an all-day event if possible to give people in different time zones the chance to interact with your client.
- Advertise and market the AMA on social media and otherwise to try to drum up participants.
Reddit for Marketing through AMAs
And yes, it is worth doing (and the numbers back this up) according to comments posted on past AMAs.
In general, fans love to interact with well-known executives or celebrities.
- Your spokesperson is on board. Being willing to be engaged makes a huge difference.
- Your spokesperson can inject humor. Brian Niccol, president of Taco Bell, made a joke about sales increasing in Colorado and 4/20, which received coverage in the Huffington Post. This shows engagement and can win fans for your client.
- Your spokesperson should focus on transparency. Users can easily tell when someone is not engaged, or even worse, gives answers that seem like they were written by a publicist.
- Your spokesperson should be prepared to handle negativity. Behind the veil of internet anonymity, there are always jerks and those people who will ask tough questions. Make sure your spokesperson has a disarming answer ready and can move on from it immediately.
Reddit for Marketing through Subreddits
Reddit for marketing presents many opportunities to push new product marketing information to potential buyers, shareholders, investors, and users.
The hundreds of subreddits broken down by subject allow you to find a niche community of people interacting with your product.
If you can inject your spokesperson into a conversation with a post that is relevant, thoughtful, and helpful—not just PR spin—you will gain respect from the Reddit community.
And, it’s all about gaining “upvotes” as well, which increases the chance of more people reading your posts and having exposure to your product or client.
Similar to the AMAs, avoid spam and spin by being genuine and respectful.
No BS. People will see through this and Redditors will call you out on it.
Reaching Target Audiences on Reddit
If you gain credit from subredditors, you can hit the jackpot with a key demographic or target audience.
It might take some research on your part to figure out what is best.
Here are even more in-depth tips, with key things to do:
- Become an actual, authentic Reddit user. Leave comments on threads, especially ones where you can lend your expertise.
- Gain karma or seek to build a reputation. You’ll likely need to have built up karma with an account in a subreddit community before promoting anything anyway.
- Follow the rules of Reddit and the community.
- Don’t use several accounts and try to “upvote” your posts. It won’t work in getting you karma.
- Be careful not to make typos or mistakes.
- Avoid blatant advertising.
- Build up a rapport in a subreddit community by asking for help on questions when the timing is right.
Also, look at how Redditors have responded to posts in the past.
What works and what doesn’t?
Now create a plan.
Once you tailor your content to the right audience, people who are interested in your message will give you enough “upvotes” to start exposing your client or content to an even broader audience.
Do your best to connect with your audience so you can ride their wave of influence on the internet.
It won’t be easy.
And, it is best to make an effort to become part of the community first, rather than immediately jumping in and promoting yourself or your client.
We talked about the level of the BS detector on Reddit.
Users appreciate—really they demand—authenticity.
The easiest way to start is to be part of the conversation on a topic, not lead the topic.
For example, if your product is a tech gadget, don’t just push your product.
Talk about features, trends, and provide some analysis.
As an expert, your opinion is valuable so it can be fun to buil credibility.
Other than interacting via content, there is the number of eyeballs attracted to the platform to consider.
Reddit generated eight billion page views from approximately 234 million unique monthly visitors.
The traffic is cheap, for sure.
So, yes, there is a huge opportunity to advertise.
Here are basic tips on how you can start by creating an ad:
- Have a verified Reddit account with a working email address.
- Make sure you have the ad copy for the headline.
- Pick out a good, clean thumbnail image and a mobile card view image.
- Log in to your Reddit account and manage your ad campaign with a name, etc.
- Select the audience you are targeting using the helpful form.
- Choose your ad schedule and budget.
- Create your headline and line, and upload your images.
Some believe most advertisers are missing out big, and it’s hard to argue.
Key issues to be aware of:
- Similar to posts, be aware of the huge upsides and downsides.
- Always seek upvotes, and craft your ad with that in mind.
- Pay to have the top post/link on any given subreddit or front page.
Image credit: Reddit.com
- Use Reddit terms, because subredditors are already talking about your topic.
- Write the ad similar to a Reddit post.
- Use an advertising account instead of your own Reddit account.
- Make sure you have found the right audience and subreddit.
- Think of it as an advertising campaign and do your research thoroughly on which subreddits are best.
- Watch your analytics and adjust if you need to.
- Leave room for contests, giveaways, and promotions, as a way to interact more with marketing to your audience.
As you can see, there are lots of moving parts and things to be aware of.
But, Reddit for marketing can be a huge windfall when building awareness and interacting with a segmented population.
It might be a new audience, which your spokesperson will love, or a way to more efficiently reach a target.
Either way, it is a win for you as a PR professional, if you proceed carefully and do things the right way.
Online interactions are crucial in business and marketing these days, and you might be leaving money on the table if you don’t suggest Reddit for marketing in some form.