Reddit calls itself the front page of the internet. A vast and free-wheeling discussion forum, Reddit is the third most visited website in the world. It has 542 million monthly users – far more than Twitter, which only boasts 336 million monthly visitors. And now, armed with data that shows Reddit users are ‘heavy online spenders’, Reddit is working hard to attract advertisers.
What Reddit Offers
One of the things that’s unique about Reddit’s user base is that they’re generally not active on other social media platforms. A September 2018 comScore report showed that 65 percent of Reddit users are not on Pinterest; 43 percent are not on Snapchat; 33 percent are not on Instagram; 28 percent are not on Twitter and 17 percent are not on Facebook. Advertising on Reddit may be a way to connect with customers you’ve previously had limited access to.
71% of Reddit users are male, with nearly 60% of them being between 18-29. They report being online “all of the time”.
Marketing Your Business on Reddit
Some brands, especially those focused on attracting the young male audience, have been using Reddit successfully as a content marketing platform by participating in the discussion forums. To do this effectively, brands must understand ‘Reddiquette’ – the unique cultural norms of the site. This includes making meaningful contributions to conversation, avoiding being overly promotional, not asking for upvotes (the mechanism by which popular content is moved to Reddit’s main page, where it will get the most views), and sharing content from many sources – not just your own website. This is a time and labor intensive strategy, but it has helped small, obscure brands boost their visibility, increase revenues and build relationships with their customers.
Another option is to advertise on Reddit. Reddit ads can be up to 50% cheaper than Facebook ads, on a CPM basis, and it’s possible to test your brands appeal on the platform for a relatively modest investment. The ads that are top performers on Reddit are clever, quirky, and aligned with Reddit’s attitude. It’s a good idea to spend some time exploring Reddit and looking at the ads that are already there to determine if it’s the right platform for you. As Reddit is moving to attract bigger brands, the user bases’ expectation of advertising may change, but for right now, it’s wise to proceed with both eyes open.
Reddit Can Be Risky
That being said, Reddit has a well-deserved reputation for being a brand-safety nightmare. There are rules on the site, and conversations are moderated, controversial content abounds. The impact of the content extends beyond the site, with targets of the Reddit community’s wrath subjected to intense harassment, death threats and more.
Advertisers who are aware of these issues – which Reddit’s leadership has been increasingly active about combatting, at least as much as Twitter has been – may be wary of having their brand involved. AMAs – Reddit’s Ask Me Anything feature, which gives users the opportunity to ask a guest literally anything – can be a great brand building tool. However, AMAs can quickly become a branding nightmare. Reddit users are notorious for finding the one topic a brand doesn’t want to talk about and asking all kinds of embarrassing questions.
It’s clear that Reddit’s not for everyone. It’s important to know your brand and your ability to deal with a sometimes hostile audience. If you’re able to roll with the punches and can speak to Redditors in the way they appreciate being spoken to, the potential power of the platform is huge. If your target market is young, male, and vocal, it’s worth exploring. Reddit continues to grow in size and importance, and may be a critical marketing channel by this time next year.