Imagine performing a Google Search only to discover all the content with a first-page ranking had been upvoted there. This is, essentially, the premise behind Reddit, a discussion website that hinges on content ratings.
With nearly a quarter billion unique monthly users across its 50,000 niche communities, Reddit has massive marketing potential. But learning how to market on Reddit is an artful science. Users are quick to circumvent anything that could be construed as strictly promotional.
Done right, Reddit is an invaluable part of any brand’s content marketing strategy. Just make sure you learn the nuances and strictly follow the ‘Reddiquette’ or prepared to be banned.
Redditor User Demographics
Wondering who’s online? Last year Pew Research Center released a study of Reddit users.
Seven in ten use the site for news purposes. About 67% are young men between the ages of 18-29. Almost half have a college degree and classify themselves as liberal. Diversity in these communities is low with 70% of users self-reporting as ‘white, non-Hispanic.’
Marketers looking to drive website traffic can use these stats to inform their big-picture approach. Those who aim to build brand awareness with a specific target audience are better engaging the subreddits.
Market Research with Subreddits
Niche communities populate the subreddits of every subject under the sun. Regardless of your industry, in them, you’re likely to find highly engaged users primed for conversion. The trick is knowing where to look.
Reddit is a big place. Start with some keyword sleuthing to zero in on potential customers. You can also download free tools to help with advanced searching. The more you utilize custom filters to weed out irrelevant threads and outdated posts, the more concentrated your market research with be.
Read the subreddits that appear most applicable to your product or service and make a note of common themes, questions, critiques, etc. Pay specific attention to key phrases you can use in your own search marketing. By listening in on these candid online conversations, you can get an honest assessment of how your target market feels about a brand or industry.
You can also see if competitors have attempted to advertise in a particular subreddit. Under the ‘promotion’ tab of the thread, you can view the consumer comments of current or previous promotions. Use them to help inform your next online advertising campaign.
Come off as a spammer and Reddit users will spring into action, banning your account or even your entire web domain from posting on the site. (Unsurprisingly, there’s even a subreddit that discusses Reddit bans.)
They don’t take too kindly to overt or clandestine marketing attempts, especially if they’re irrelevant to the thread.
To avoid getting banned on Reddit, don’t:
- Openly ask for upvotes. Facebook recently implemented a similar demotion for brands that ask for likes and shares. Make sure your user-generated content can stand on its own.
- Copy and paste content verbatim in different subreddits. You posting history follows you and redditors won’t hesitate to search it out. If they don’t like what they see or detect a pattern of promotion (i.e., only uploading links to your direct website) it could result in a ban.
- Publish private information or illegal content. These two are probably self-explanatory but are important to reiterate.
Instead, offer thoughtful, original responses to posts and subreddits that are pertinent to your industry. Listen more than you talk, at least at first, and when you do post, keep the focus on customer service. In any event, you always make sure you understand and adhere to posting rules, regardless of thread size.
The truth is, Reddit is a highly evolved community of intelligent and engaged users. Work within their well-established parameters, listen in, and learn what you can to help refine your niche marketing strategy.
Want to take a run at Reddit but aren’t sure where to start? Make contact, and we’ll strategize together.