As reddit continues climbing the ranks of the most popular websites, advertisers and marketers alike look to the budding social news and community platform with curiosity.
Any modern marketer has – in one way or another – likely been involved in a social media marketing campaign. Facebook advertising campaigns are the most popular, featuring a variety of ways to select specific audience groups down to age, gender, likes, location, and much more. Other social sites are also offering advertising options.
Back in October, I wrote an in-depth guide on how to advertise on reddit. Since then, reddit has updated the platform with more features – such as location targeting – and continues to upgrade and make great improvements. Many brands are flocking to the platform with creative campaigns.
This month, reddit rolled out another feature that benefits both new and experienced users of their advertising platform alike. If you’re familiar with Facebook or StumbleUpon’s “interest groups,” you’ll quickly pick up on how reddit’s version works. Read the full release, redditAdvertising: Interest Audience Group Targeting.
Let’s explore some of the benefits and how businesses small and large can benefit from them.
As someone considering advertising, you’re probably thinking about how you can target people with an interest in your products or services. If we look at TV ads, we’ll often discover many ads are not applicable to us.
On reddit, communities are known as subreddits and every subreddit is dedicated to its own topic or cause, such as “mechanic advice” or “energy“. Before interest groups were added to reddit, advertisers had two options of creating a campaign:
1) Targeted: pick an individual subreddit the ad caters to
2) FrontPage: ad displays on the front page for users
Interest groups are listed under targeted and basically allow advertisers to target to a bundle of related subreddits instead of just one subreddit. This perfectly meshes with Google Analytics’ affinity reporting:
We already have access to the demographics and interests (affinities) of our current consumer base, so we need only match that among fitting interest groups on reddit. These include:
- Frontpage Influencers – reddit.com is the frontpage of the internet. With more than 80% of reddit visits originating on the frontpage, you’re reaching a large audience of influencers.
- Entertainment addicts – Entertainment enthusiasts care about entertainment, music, movies and television. They follow their favorite shows and genres. They’re looking for new releases, behind the scenes tidbits, connections with other fans, and music.
- Gamers – From MMO pc games to consoles and blockbuster gaming releases, the reddit gaming community are hardcore players. They’re looking for new games, people to play with, insight into professional leagues, and a robust outlet for sharing opinions.
- Trend spotters – From memes to trending videos and jokes, these Internet aficionados are looking for news that will be on blogs later today, morning TV shows tomorrow, Ellen next week, and your grandmother’s Facebook page in 6 months.
- News junkies – Users can find the latest news and thoughtful commentary on world news, local news, and within different verticals like science and politics.
- Technology buffs – From software to hardware, these reddit users are curious about data, manufacturing, troubleshooting, and creating products.
- Lifestylers – Living the good life: eating good food, finding your style, being comfortable in your skin, and providing advice to others on what you’re confident in set apart these users and subreddits.
- Sports & Fitness Fans – From spending hours in the gym to hours watching their favorite teams compete, the sports and fitness obsessed look to reddit for news and recommendations.
- After Dark – The after-hours area of reddit for adult content.
In the re-designed campaign dashboard – which is very easy to navigate for first-time users – we simply select on the interest group we want, such as Sports and Fitness:
Once selected, we can see a list of all the subreddits included in our interest group:
Our ad itself needs to be different then you’re run of the mill social media ad. It’s not surprise that 95% of consumers prefer companies that provide engaging/valuable content. The ad already gives us the spotlight – now we need to deliver with personable copy; language that tells someone we’re human, maybe we have a good sense of humor, maybe we even demonstrate something that shows we’ve been in the subreddit before.
Some businesses may not have as much potential as they would on a different platform; such as a business-to-business operation. These groups greatly favor business-to-consumer operations, but that’s not to say a B2B couldn’t find creative ways to market themselves. They can still individually target subreddits.
Let’s use a tough example like a B2B operation such as APG Exhibits that is targeted at small-large companies who participate at events like trade shows and festivals. The average reddit user most likely does not have an interest in them, but if we think about why someone would participate at one of these events, we can actually find some fitting subreddits such as:
- startups – because many startups participate in demos and live events
- marketing – because marketers work hand in hand with even planners (sometimes there are no event planners!)
- SFEvents – because people post their own events here and may have not considered getting a banner stand or display for their booth
This is just one example of reddit’s advertising platform is flexible. If you’re an author, indie game developer, videographer, podcaster, budding musician, digital fitness trainer, health & beauty product supplier, etc. then interest groups favor you. If we spend $500 on a week of Facebook advertising with interest groups based on “likes”, it can easily under-perform that same amount spent on an interest group on reddit. This is because a “like” is not as big of a commitment as a subscription, which is how redditors connect with and grow their favorite subreddits.