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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bell

Why Add Reddit to Your Digital Advertising Plan

Updated: Mar 21



An image of Reddit mascot Snoo
Reddit mascot Snoo

Reddit went public at $34 a share, valuing the company at $6.4 billion (Quartz). Scott Galloway cleverly summarized their opportunity:


“If attention is the new oil, then Reddit is Saudi Arabia, and resting beneath the platform is a sea of attention the size of the Ghawar oil field.”

Generally bullish on Reddit’s prospects @ProfGalloway does qualify that their “inferior ad stack” is getting some sorely needed work.

 

So, why should brands consider advertising on the next potential ad juggernaut?

 

With 50 million daily active users worldwide and an average visit time of 8:00, Reddit has enough reach to be valuable, especially in the U.S., which has half of all Reddit users (Social Champ). Users are highly engaged and share word of mouth more often than the average. Depending upon your product or service, results may vary, and the platform is not right for every B2B and B2C company. But the current breadth combined with an interest-driven structure makes it super-interesting.

 

Here are some other solid reasons for brands to experiment with Reddit advertising:

 

 

Reddit Pro in Beta

Reddit Pro is a set of just-released improvements for advertisers. They include:

 

  • AI-powered insights: Businesses can use these insights to join or start conversations, connect with new and existing audiences, and inform the way they interact with and show up on the platform.

  • Performance analytics to analyze organic post performance, inform strategy, and grow engagement.

  • Publishing tools to help with drafting and scheduling of profile posts

  • A Pro dashboard for organic engagement and monthly progress against account activity

 

It’s a catch-up set of tools and signals the platform’s intent to continue to create advertiser value. The advertiser's “kit” is mature enough for most brands and will only get better and better. I certainly put more faith in Reddit than X (fka Twitter).

 

Interest-Driven Advertising

Demographic-based advertising is so old-school. “Give me single women, 25-45 in major metro areas…,” said the grey-haired media manager.

 

Reddit allows you to target any of the 100K communities, special interests, locations and even custom audiences for retargeting.

 

Check out redditlist for a long list of top subreddits by subscriber size, growth and more. You’ll find everything from https://www.reddit.com/r/science/ (31.7m members) to https://www.reddit.com/r/HomeImprovement/  (4.4m members) to https://www.reddit.com/r/MinecraftMemes/ (1.8m members) and galaxies in between. There's something for every brand and then some.  And these are the communities. Brands can also target based on interests across communities. See the breadth of interests to target here. 

 

 

Organic Engagement + Advertising

It seems like the best marketing results happen for brands that are active organically as well as use paid advertising. That means engaging in comments and upvoting, managing a brand page, and being active and responsive to Redditors. Just publishing content probably won’t pay off and could trigger a backlash from community members who see a brand clumsily faking it.

 

Committing to community engagement, including the staff hours to pull it off, does mean that estimating the return on ad spend (ROAS) will be a lot harder as you need to factor in those labor hours to the cost of the results on Reddit. On other platforms like X, that community management cost often gets covered by a customer service team in your company. It might be good to try and work out something similar here.

 

Unique Redditor-created Advertising

If you have ever dumped a Facebook ad on X or Instagram without more than a format change, you know the pressure to get more with less in your advertising. You also know that you wouldn’t do that on TikTok. That platform has a specific culture. Same with Reddit except with a myriad of subcultures.

 

Brands like Adobe, often work with creative ideas generated or informed by Redditors. Check out the Adobe case study video that makes complete sense once you think about. Rather than plop polished, professionally produced visual ideas on the platform, they got ideas from Redittors and executed in the style of the platform.

 

Brands leverage their organic engagement upvoting and commenting in subreddits and managing their own brand subreddit to learn how to deliver ads that fit the community. Marketers just need to let go of the hope that they can gain efficiencies by using ads from other digital channels.

 

Surrender to creating a unique approach to Reddit, measure your overall level of effort against the result, experiment, optimize, and then evaluate your ad investment.

 

 

Brand Impact & Performance

Like most digital platforms, Reddit says it can do it all, from raising awareness to driving sales conversions. And they have their own data to back up that claim:

  • ‍Nearly ⅔ of Redditors would purchase a product if they saw an ad about it on Reddit.

  • ‍+46% are more likely to trust brands that advertise on Reddit

  • A 4% increase in Ad Spend Budget can lead to 4.9% Incremental Conversions and 5.4% Incremental revenue (via TransUnion)

 

Like any ad channel, brands need to experiment with campaigns to understand their own performance benchmarks and whether the platform is net positive. Bigger brands can take advantage of measurement partners like NCSolutions or In Market who can connect Reddit to offline actions. For SMBs, that level of complexity may be a bridge too far. Still, any brand can set up an isolated campaign that is instrumented correctly and see incremental gains, whether on the brand or transaction side.

 

Helps SMBs (not just big brands)

Sure, Taco Bell, the NFL, and The Wall Street Journal advertise on Reddit. But much like Facebook/Meta, the bulk of advertising dollars come from small and medium-sized businesses.

 

The chance to target narrowly via interests gives small businesses a measurable way to reach and influence the right audience without as much waste as broad demographic categories. Check out their SMB Solutions page for more.

 

 

Reddit’s advertiser solutions have matured. Now, there is no reason for the right brand to experiment with ad campaigns on the platform so long as they are willing to do it the Reddit-way.

 

 

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