Chances are if you are aged between 18 and 45 you’ve heard of Reddit. If you haven’t, the social community Reddit calls itself the “Front Page of the Internet” and Wikipedia defines it as “is an entertainment, social networking service and newswebsite where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links.”
But what B2B opportunities exist on the bare-bones site attracting more than 5 billion pageviews monthly?
The site is operated much differently than any other social network – users post links or text posts, and posts can reach the top of a sub-community (or sub-reddit) based on those votes. A B2B company can stake their presence on Reddit but it can’t be done haphazardly or without a smart strategy that leverages the community.
There are a few different options for how to advertise on Reddit, one being free and organic, the other being paid advertising.
First, I am going to walk you through how to create an ad on Reddit.
You can see an example ad below:
How to Build a Reddit Ad
1. Once you’re a member of reddit, go to http://www.reddit.com/advertising and click the get started button.
2. Input your title and destination URL.
◦ As with any advertising campaign it is important to use a link that you will be able to track clicks through. Avoid Facebook links or anything behind a paywall that may not be accessible to all users
◦ It is best to have a title that speaks to your audience. Reddit users tend to prefer wit and humor over call to actions. Be pithy, be sharp and tailor your headline to your sub-reddit or target Interest.
3. Pick your target audience. Reddit is much different than any other network in the way it targets its users. They have two types of targeting: Interest Targeting and targeting by sub-reddit.
Subreddit targeting could give you a better-click through rate depending on what product or service you are selling/promoting.
For example if you are selling something that only people in Philadelphia would want to buy than you can target only that city subreddit. This gives you the ability to create highly targeted ads. Or maybe you want to reach users in r/socialmedia on a new analytics platform you’re launching.
4. The next step is setting the budget and campaign length. If you are testing the waters I suggest a budget of $10 which, depending on your targeting, can give you around 10,000 impressions.
Note that all Reddit ads are $0.75 CPM – you get 1000 views for $0.75 – which is a fraction of the cost of many ad platforms.
Once your Reddit ad is created and launched, you can track its performance consistently via the ads platform, and take note of click-through rate and engagement (people can comment on your ad too). Finetune your next ad based on how you targeted the first one, and try out A/B testing to learn if certain headlines or keywords resonate more strongly with Reddit users.
Paying Reddit for ads is one way to get your B2B firm in front of Redditors, but you can also organically promote your firm or presence.
With this method you should be very cautious as Reddit users are not a fan of spammy comments and are not afraid to rip a business apart. They are very wary of astro-turfing, where Reddit users publicize their company blatantly (or even subtly). The more you cheerlead about your company, the more you’ll be ignored by Redditors.
Reddit doesn’t just destroy a business, it has the ability to put a company in the spotlight and generate huge amounts of income. It is the modern version of being recommended by Oprah. Receiving that “Reddit bump” could equal a massive spike in website traffic or publicity, which can boost your company’s profile globally. How can this be accomplished, though?
Creating your own subreddit can be a good idea if you have a large following. For instance, Salesforce has their own sub-reddit of 1,000+ subscribers, and while its size may be miniscule compared to, say, Facebook’s community, Salesforce can reach out directly to fans and clients to get feedback, promote new products, learn more about their audience. Just make sure your sub-reddit doesn’t end up being a self-promotional office party.
You can also host a Q&A session using the IaMA sub-reddit (ask me anything), a wildly popular community where intriguing celebrities, everyday people and thought leaders can reply directly to reader queries. Just remember you may be asked some tough questions about your business model or practises or history and the more you evade inquiries, the tougher it will be to gain the trust of the Reddit community. If you are transparent and quick to reply to all the questions, though, Redditors might see you and your company as a business they can turn to when they are hunting for your services/product.
Also, join in conversations relating to your industry. In this scenario, you shouldn’t promote your firm when Redditors are discussing something unrelated to your firm, but instead offer insight and intelligence into a discussion to gain some good karma from other users. Only when relevant, and very rarely, should you slip in what your firm is doing to assist others in the industry, just as long as the mention doesn’t seem too astro-turfy.
In short Reddit can be a great place to advertise your product/service if done right. The best method to advertising isn’t to be to salesy but to use Reddit as a channel to communicate with your customers or industry insiders. They can give you insight you might have never received elsewhere. And, most importantly, you can take part in conversations affecting your business, your market and your clients.
Photo via Scott Beale (Flickr, Creative Commons)