The idea of marketing on Reddit might make many businesses nervous, but rather than avoid the platform, why not embrace it as an opportunity?
Reddit has traditionally considered itself the “front page of the internet.” In other words, it’s a network of communities where users can dive into their hobbies, interests and passions. Registered users can share content on different discussion boards, referred to as subreddits.
Considering that Reddit sees about 430 million monthly active users in comparison to the roughly 444 million monthly active users on popular aspirational platform Pinterest, the potential of a sizable (yet largely untapped) audience is there.
To state it another way, Reddit is one of the world’s most popular websites. As of May 2020, the United States generated about 50 percent of all desktop traffic to the forum site.
On the flip side, Reddit is not a fan of marketing. In fact, it strongly discourages sales content and self-promotion.
But cracking the code to marketing on Reddit (so to speak) comes down to understanding the difference between marketing strategies of the past and those that we recommend today. Simply put, it’s about prioritizing authenticity and delivering value to other Reddit users.
The following are four tips to market your brand on Reddit without being spammy or “Reddit shamed” (or banned entirely).
Invest time in being a Reddit user first
This sounds obvious, but it’s more true on Reddit than on any other platform. Being an engaged natural user of the platform will only help you with your content marketing efforts.
We recommend engaging on subreddits that span your personal interests to your professional interests. Comment, ask questions, be an active participant.
Not only will you get first-hand experience on the overall code of conduct and expectations of the platform, you also will see the nuances of different subreddits (and how they differ from each other). In addition, you’ll discover the subreddits (and relevant conversations) that your brand should target and engage with along the way. Just like how you want to get specific with your target audience, you also want to get as specific as possible with your selection of subreddits.
There’s no official amount of time that you should invest before posting your own content, but know that you shouldn’t be in a rush. The more you can invest as an engaged user first, the better. You’ll best understand any subreddit-specific rules of engagement, as well as any potential inside jokes among a subreddit’s audience.
Then, once you get going, a general rule of them is to balance your posts with a greater number of comments. For example, commit to 10 comments on others’ posts for every link you share. Think of it this way: You should contribute 80 percent of the time and only self-promote (in an authentic way) 20 percent of the time.
Create helpful content
Helpful and/or entertaining content naturally drives higher engagement. This is no different on Reddit, where users are just as open to content that can help them solve their problems or overcome an obstacle just like anyone else.
Focus on brainstorming an array of how-to content ideas that are relevant for your target audience. This entirely depends on the nature of your business and how you’re trying to reach, of course. Just think about the typical questions you hear from your customers. That’s a great place to start.
Once you have at least a dozen topics that you can create content around, check out our eight tips for developing a content calendar to stay organized. If writer’s block pops up, see our seven tips to overcome it.
As far as posting, you have numerous creative options you can explore on Reddit:
- GIFs instead of videos or video links (you can always link to a full video in the comments)
- Images (just make sure they’re eye-catching)
- Text (sometimes the preferred medium for in-depth conversations on certain subreddits)
- Blogs (just make extra sure that your content is highly engaging and useful since Reddit users have a particular distaste for any blog spam)
- AMAs (“Ask Me Anything” threads that are just that)
- News (any industry or other type of update that is relevant and timely to that subreddit)
Treat everything as a conversation
This includes engaging with commenters on your own post long after you’ve even posted, just as you would on any other social media platform.
Remember, social media in general is the compilation of conversations.
Reddit is no different. In fact, you’ll get called out that much quicker for not engaging as expected. You have to always go above and beyond to prove that you’re human when representing your brand. But in the end, that engagement builds much-needed (and much-sought-after) trust.
Reddit users are a skeptical crowd that has seen it all with various cheat-the-system tricks:
- Face accounts
- Employee (or colleague) upvoting
- Undisclosed paid sponsors
The reaction of fellow users and Reddit itself will be very negative if you try to cheat in any way. You risk being banned from a specific subreddit as well as the website itself.
While Reddit can feel like an intimidating site to branch your marketing efforts into, it really is worth the effort if you have the resources (aka time) to invest in it.
Of course, if you have an available budget, Reddit advertising might be an option for your brand as well.
Organically speaking, though, link dumping definitely won’t work no matter how you try to conceal it. As long as you aim to be human first as you represent your brand and give as much as (if not more than) you take, your business will reap the rewards of reaching a largely untapped audience that can appreciate you investing that effort and being part of the community.
Check out our seven tips to level up your overall content marketing while you’re at it.
Then, consider the possibility of optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.