This article is the first of a three-part series about marketing on Reddit.
I used to work with a very talented digital marketer who was terrified of Reddit. All I would have to do is mention the word and her eyes would glaze over, her body would begin to rock and with a trembling voice she would whisper “it was horrible, horrible!” My coworker’s reaction might seem extreme but marketers who have suffered similar reddit-related traumas are likely nodding their heads in understanding; articles ripped apart, sales pitches decimated and submissions downvoted to the depths of the internet. Like hockey players entering the rink without protective gear, the unprepared marketer will have their legs knocked out from under them if they fail to properly suit up before playing the game.
If marketing on Reddit is so risky, why even bother with it?
With over 36 million users and 7.55 million page views a month, Reddit is an ideal place to generate interest in whatever it is that you want to promote. Reddit has created a tight community of users from all over the world who love to share good content (especially if it contains pictures of cats) and who will help your website traffic soar, if you take the time to learn the rules and become an active part of the community. So while it may be easier to spend your time conversing intellectually on Linkedin or sharing helpful articles in Facebook groups, can you really afford not to include Reddit in your marketing strategy?
What do people actually do on Reddit?
I’m glad you asked that, because I’m actually a big Reddit fan. I could happily spend the majority of my day clicking through Reddit posts, upvoting my favorite Imgur pictures and building up my comment karma. Because whatever I am looking for I know I will find it on Reddit. Reddit is made up of a vast variety of groups, known as subreddits (which there are currently 720,798 of, according to reddit metrics) on pretty much every topic. From discussions of world news to pictures of birds with arms (over 81 k subscribers for that one!). If you can imagine it, then it’s here. And if you have always been alone in your fascination of birds with arms or the rights of toasters, on Reddit you will have the chance to connect with others redditors from around the world who share your interests or hobbies. But Reddit isn’t just a platform for the weird and unusual. If you’re looking to take part in a discussion on productivity tools, business advice, computer programming or your favorite TV show, you’ll find a place for that here as well. You can even interact with well-known authors, celebrities, brilliant scientists and other individuals with fascinating stories, through Reddit’s question-and-answer feature, IAmA.
When NASA discovered water on Mars they immediately turned to the Reddit community, offering to personally answer their questions about this major event
Reddit is also the place where you will meet interesting people doing interesting thing, such as Tom Turcich, who is walking across the world
Even Tom Hanks spend his free time leaving comments and answering random questions on Reddit
A Place For the Underdog
Redditors may at times be aggressive or scarily inappropriate but when a call for help comes through, they won’t hesitate to take up arms and defend a persecuted individual or offer a hand to someone in need. When a pizza delivery guy was publicly mocked and refused his tip, the reddit community made sure that the perpetrators received their comeuppance. And when a grieving father asked redditors for help editing a picture of his hospitalized infant, redditors put their photoshop skills to use, providing the man with a beautiful picture of his daughter . The many acts of kindness that have taken place on reddit makes it a community worth being a part of. It would not be an exaggeration to say that lives have been saved due to the timely and heartfelt intervention of fellow reddit users:
A life-saving reminder about CO detection:
A grieving father is given a gift by fellow redditors
Why Reddit Is Great For Marketers
Reddit can fit in well to almost any marketing strategy as long as you share it with the right audience. The individual subreddits make it easy to pinpoint your target audience based on their interests and if you get creative you can find ways to fit your content into some of the broader subreddits, which will bring you the most traffic. Here is one example of how we did this at WiseStamp, successfully tripling our traffic for one blog post: YouShouldKnow is a popular subreddit in which users share information and advice on a wide variety of skills and activities, that they feel would be of benefit to fellow redditors. After reading the rules for the group, we contributed a post that offered information on how email signatures can be used for marketing, and in the text we included a link to our blog article. A similar strategy can be used when sharing articles in other subreddits, as long as the content is actually helpful and fits that subreddit. Take a look at these 3 popular subreddits and see if you can think of relevant and interesting ways to share your own articles, or start a conversation about your product, with the group.
- Todayilearned A place to submit an interesting fact that you learned, along with the source.
- Explainlikeimfive– If you have a question or concept that you would like explained to you in clear and simple terms, this is a the place to ask it. Or stop by and answer other redditors’ questions.
- Showerthoughts- A place to share those deep thoughts and philosophical questions that always come to you when you take a shower.
For some ideas, take a look at what kind of content is being shared in these subreddits
If you reddit well you may be rewarded by seeing your content make it to the Front Page, which is where you really have a chance of going viral (and isn’t that what every digital marketer dreams of?). And if you do a fantastic job with integrating into the Reddit community and providing helpful and valuable answers to other users’ questions and comments, someone may decide to gift you with some reddit gold*, and that’s when you will know that you’ve really made it. So now that you understand some of the possibilities of Reddit you are probably eager to test it out for yourself and get a jump on diverting some of that beautiful traffic to your site. But wait- don’t do anything rash. As exciting as all of this sounds, you’re not yet ready to get on the field and play, until you learn the rules of the game. But stick around and I’ll show you everything that you need to know about making some marketing magic with Reddit. Coming soon- How to Reddit Right: The Ultimate Guide To Marketing On Reddit
*Reddit Gold: By buying Reddit Gold you help support Reddit and in return you receive special benefits, like the ability to turn off ads, change your themes, customize your avatar and other small perks that make Reddit even more fun to use. Reddit Gold can be purchased by redditors for themselves or it can be given to fellow redditors as a sign of appreciation, though it has no actual monetary value outside of reddit.