Once known as ‘the front page of the internet’ to now being favoured by Google’s ranking systems and dominating the SERPs, Reddit has now become a towering online entity that’s continued to grow from its relatively humble beginnings nearly 20 years ago.

Reddit is immensely popular and sits as the 8th most-visited website in the world (as of April 2024) and welcomes over 52 million daily visitors. Unlike some social media platforms that primarily cater to younger demographics, Reddit’s user base is notably diverse, making it an attractive platform for brands aiming to target specific niches or engage with a wide-ranging audience.

That’s Reddit in a nutshell: a huge, diverse platform with a massive user base. But what’s the best way to utilise it for advertising? Well, let’s look into that.

Source: SEMRush, April 2024

Reddit ads: same, but different

On the internet, no two ad platforms are the same and this is true of Reddit. When compared to other big two platforms (Google and Meta Ads) the difference is more obvious. Whilst all three platforms allow you to target specific audiences with paid ads, Google Ads shines in reaching users actively searching for solutions whilst Meta Ads excels at targeting users based on demographics and interests, showcasing ads based on their online activity.

Reddit Ads fall somewhere in between these two; it can target users based on subreddit communities (think niche groups) and interests, similar to Meta Ads, but it also leverages the power of active search, as users often browse subreddits for specific topics.

This makes Reddit Ads ideal for reaching passionate communities with a laser focus, while still capturing users actively seeking information.

Diving into Reddit Ads

The actual set up of Reddit Ads is straightforward and cheap, where the minimum daily campaign budget is $5. Choosing the campaign goals and objectives should, of course, be at the front of mind when creating the campaign as this is how success will be measured.

The most used campaign objectives are conversions (people taking action on a website) or awareness/reach (brand or product awareness). There are other objective types available but, more often than not, awareness or site actions are the main end-goals. Conversions are set up and tested via the Reddit Pixel which is added onto the website directly via GTM or Shopify’s back-end store.

Researching subreddits

Reddit hosts over 100,000 communities, called subreddits, ranging from broad topics to esoteric niche audiences. Using subreddit research tools is vital as it will indicate which audiences line up with the goals of your product or service. It’s important to find that sweet spot where subreddits that have an active audience, but not too broad that the ad is shown to the wrong audience.

Now that the goal and subreddit audiences have been identified, there’s still some work to be done before going live with the assets and copy to hand.

Honestly, this may be a tough pill to swallow, but…

Most Redditors hate ads

True, it’s a bit of a strange heading to have in a “guide to Reddit advertising” blog, but it’s a common occurrence for all advertisers that needs to be considered.

Redditors are wary of blatant self-promotion. Instead, advertisers should focus on creating valuable and engaging content that aligns with the interests of the ad’s audience. Being genuine may sound easy but it’s a skill – especially on Reddit.

Redditors also happen to be extremely good at skewing advertising efforts, especially if the ads in front of them are irrelevant. Addressing the average user on Reddit needs to be more planned out in its execution.

Being genuine

Here are some ways that ads can come across genuine on the platform:

  • Focus on value, not sales: provide informative content, answer questions, or offer solutions to problems relevant to the subreddit.
  • Be transparent: disclose that your post is an ad, but do so in a way that feels natural and informative.
  • Utilise different ad formats: explore text posts, images, videos, and even Reddit’s native “promoted polls” to keep your content fresh.
  • Embrace the lingo: use memes, inside jokes, and the specific language of the subreddit to show you understand the community.
Source: Reddit, AMA advert

When exploring Reddit advertising, remember to stay agile, experiment with different approaches, and be genuine as this really does give the best opportunity to connect with its users and potential customers.

Given the tailor-made and niche appeal of Reddit, it’s only fitting that advertisers match it with a purposeful marketing strategy.

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