These Reddit marketing tips will help you reach niche audiences, improve your brand, increase traffic, and avoid common Reddit pitfalls.
Almost every digital marketer knows about Neil Patel. He’s one of the internet’s top influencers and a bestselling author. When Neil Patel calls Reddit the most intimidating social platform, you have to take notice. Intimidating or not, Mr. Patel also says that the right Reddit marketing strategy can help deliver targeted traffic and many other benefits to your business.
Why invest in a Reddit marketing strategy to attract a niche audience?
Reddit does have a reputation for hosting a population of harsh critics and controversial topics. Disrespecting Reddit users with inauthentic marketing tactics will do your brand more harm than good and perhaps even get your account banned from the more prickly communities. Given its reputation, you might wonder if Reddit really has a place in your social media strategy.
Still, according to HubSpot’s collection of Reddit statistics:
- Over 430 million users access the site and search the site over 46 million times each day.
- The site gets about 21 billion screen views every month.
- Reddit has over a million communities, called subreddits, and at least 130,000 of these are active.
You can find subreddits dedicated to almost every interest, from cute pictures of animals to guides to navigating the dark web. As with many other social sites, the most active discussions tend to center around popular culture, public figures, and current events.
HubSpot’s statistics also supported the idea that Reddit users, particularly younger ones, tend to view the site’s crowd-sourced opinions as a great place to research solutions to problems, products, and services. Done well, Reddit can provide a valuable addition to your company’s content marketing strategy.
Even better, a fairly high portion of Reddit users earn at least $75,000 a year and have a college degree. This means that you have the chance to connect with a relatively high-income and educated audience. Even if that doesn’t describe your best market, you will also benefit from the Reddit user’s ability to self-select their communities. Compare that to social sites like Facebook, where users often complain they see ads and content that don’t interest them.
Three important Reddit marketing tips to help attract your tribe
If you’re marketing your own business or offering services from a content marketing agency, you should see how you might benefit from adding Reddit marketing to your toolbox. Make sure you take the time to understand this unique social site before you plunge in.
1. Understand Reddit’s structure
If you just look at the front page, Reddit may look like a very plain bookmarking site from 2005. Indeed, back then, that’s what the original founders pictured. It was only after they added subreddit communities, that this site really took off. If you’ve never spent time on Reddit, the first thing you should do is explore the communities that align with your interests.
Communities have this URL structure: reddit.com/r/subreddit. You can also search for communities and topics in the search box at the top. As an example, a search for marketing found reddit.com/r/marketing, reddit.com/r/content_marketing, and more. If you just want to start by looking at the front page, you will also see tags by the titles that tell you which community these popular posts originated in.
You may also notice three common kinds of posts on Reddit. These include media posts, text posts, and link posts. For instance, clicking the title of a linked posts will redirect you to the linked page. Posts with such media as graphics, videos, and even polls may tend to attract lots of views. Still, you may find that your thoughtful text posts drive the most conversation and engagements. As with most social sites, a mix of content types tends to perform the best over time.
Reddit users can vote posts up or down. Obviously, more upvotes will tend to keep your post higher on the subreddit’s page. Posts will lots of votes can even make it to the front page. So yes, you can think of Reddit as a popularity content. Your own popularity will depend upon how well you read the room — or in this case, the subreddit, the quality of your content, and sometimes, your overall reputation, called karma on Reddit.
As with other social sites, you can also develop your profile page. That’s where users can see a feed of all of your post history, your overall karma, and how to content you directly.
Digging Deeper into Reddit
Mashable published a beginner’s guide to Reddit a few years ago, but they’ve updated it somewhat since then, so it’s still a pretty good resource for beginners. It will introduce you to Reddit’s unique culture and provide more information about Reddit’s structure and organization.
2. Present yourself as authentic
While you have a good chance to post your message in front of an engaged audience, you’ve also been warned that these users may not, as they say, suffer fools lightly. The tone in subreddits varies considerably, even those with similar topics.
Read the rules
As you would when venturing into any new community, like an old-fashioned forum, make sure you adhere to the subreddit’s unique rules and browse enough posts to understand what kind of posts tend to gain positive notice and which either don’t gain traction or even draw criticism.
Understand the community’s tone
Again, the most popular types of posts can vary considerably between subreddits. If you look at r/entrepeneur, for instance, you’ll probably see a lot of serious case studies that have been developed just for that community at the top. In contrast, r/books tends to favor links to interesting articles about books and authors.
To help you understand the community, you can sort posts in a variety of ways. For instance, sorting by “Hot” will show you the most popular posts. You can also find a checkbox to select such time frames as the last 24 hours, week, or year.
Mostly, you should participate in a subreddit as a friendly and helpful member before trying to sell anything. Reddit users justifiably distrust new accounts with little history because that’s exactly what aggressive sellers and even scammers create. You’ll have a much better chance to post successfully if you also take some time to answer questions or comment upon other member’s posts first.
Before trusting an account they don’t recognize, many Reddit users will check out your profile and post history. If you’ve only ever made two posts that linked directly to sales pages on your business website, you may get ignored or even worse, called out as a spammer. On the other hand, you can win over even the harshest Reddit critics with authentic, helpful, or even witty content, and in that case, they can become your company’s best friends.
3. Figure out what works for you
Really, the right approach and selection of communities can vary considerably. As mentioned above, some subreddits tend to favor different types of content. Others may not specifically gravitate to various kinds of content but will respond better to different topics and tones.
For instance, you can find several popular communities dedicated to GRRM’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books and the popular TV show, “Game of Thrones.” Some of these only tolerate serious discussions, but others gravitate towards light-hearted jokes and memes. In fact, users who didn’t like the strict rules on some of these subreddits started the more accessible ones.
Reddit case study: Transamerica
Search Engine Journal highlighted a case study of the way that Transamerica successfully used Reddit as part of their content marketing strategy. They began by running a sponsored post that surveyed Reddit users to post their questions about such personal finance topics as student loans, retirement plans, and insurance.
During this post’s run, Transamerica made sure they answered each comment and didn’t shy away from using a bit of humor, particularly to diffuse some critics. When some users accused Transamerica of simply trying to market, they didn’t react defensively because after all, that’s what they were trying to do. Still, they marketed by providing valuable content to their audience, which is what content marketing is all about.
Afterwards, Transamerica created content to answer the most common questions. They posted this content within subreddits but returned to the original paid post to find the original questions and link to their new content. In other words, they did exactly the opposite of the kind of hit-and-run selling that Reddit users tend to dislike. This approach benefited the company with better brand awareness, direct engagement, and plenty of content ideas to use on Reddit and other platforms.
Like they say about New York City, if you can make it on Reddit, you can probably make it anywhere. Just take some time to understand this social site’s unique structure and culture. Present yourself as a helpful and authentic community member. Find the right communities and see what elicits positive reactions from members. At first, Reddit can appear intimidating, but once you’ve been accepted into the tribe, you can enjoy a large and engaged audience.