At this point, it’s well-established that big-name online communities like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provide remarkable advertising opportunities for businesses.
But what about the little guys?
After all, promotional costs with the “big three” have skyrocketed in the last few years. For small businesses especially, it can be frustrating to invest hundreds of dollars into advertisements on these platforms only to generate meager returns.
With 250 million users, Reddit isn’t exactly a “little guy.” It might not be caught in the spotlight of mainstream culture, but its specialized focus and features make it an irreplaceable home to thousands of online communities, or “subreddits.”
As a business owner, you might be wondering – so… can you advertise on Reddit?
The answer is yes! But wait, wait – don’t run off to the Reddit homepage just yet!
Because Reddit is a unique platform, it requires a unique marketing strategy. Too often, businesses jump in without understanding the service and sabotage their marketing efforts in the process.
So, what’s the best way to go about it? What works and what doesn’t?
Courtesy of us at Yocale – let’s find out!
Choose A User Name That Represents Your Business
First thing’s first!
Your initial easy marketing opportunity on Reddit happens during user registration, and if you’re not careful, you might miss it!
Because your username will be attached to everything you do on Reddit, make sure to distinguish yourself by choosing a name that best represents your business. Reddit is a large community, so many of your first choices might be unavailable – but play around with what you have and pick something straightforward and memorable.
For example, if your pet grooming business is named “The Paw Spaw” and operates in Vancouver, you’d want to choose a username like “ThePawSpaw” or “PawSpawVancouver.” Note the use of capital letters here – this might seem like a trivial matter, but users tend to skim-read past usernames, so anything you can do to improve readability is worth the small effort.
You could choose a cryptic or anonymous name, but it won’t do you any favors advertising-wise. Carrying yourself in a professional manner right off the bat is the best way to go.
Submit Meaningful, Helpful, And Marketed Content
Reddit’s built-in karma system was created in part to thwart spammers and advertisers, and if you’re too pushy with your advertising, you’ll likely be downvoted into oblivion. These downvotes will reduce your karma and in turn, diminish your visibility on the site, which is non-productive to say the least.
On the flip side, if you remain a positive and upstanding contributor within the Reddit community, you’re more likely to be upvoted as helpful and will remain relevant, ensuring your posts are visible and prominently featured!
Reddit’s karma system works in two parts, and is the sum of your total comment karma and post karma. Essentially, if your content – either comments or original submissions (posts) – receives upvotes from other users, your karma will improve.
So, what’s the best way to engage in Reddit circles in the interest of marketing yourself?
Well, start by engaging in communities that are relevant to your business niche and market yourself by being helpful.
For example, say you run a pet grooming business and stumble across a post of a finely-groomed dog. You see that some users are commenting “where can I get my pet groomed to look like this?”
Although hypothetical, this would be an excellent opportunity to seize – not only as a chance to share your domain knowledge with others, but also as an ample opportunity to promote your services.
In this instance, commenting something like this could prove prudent:
Hey, RedditUser! That’s the Internet Doggo Style of grooming, which is quite popular right now with that breed. You can see other dogs sporting a similar style on our website (link).
All of a sudden, you’re scoring traffic to your site, perhaps even some conversions, and last but not least, Reddit karma – all of which help push your business forward!
Conduct Market Research And Share Insights
Reddit isn’t just a place for cat videos and news headlines – it’s also home to a plethora of community-driven insight. All you have to do is get the conversation going.
To get users interacting with your business and share with them, look into conducting an AMA thread, or Ask Me Anything. There’s a whole subreddit dedicated to these question-and-answer threads, the most popular of which are spearheaded by big-name celebrities or businesses.
But don’t worry – Reddit is an inclusive community, and as such, everyone’s voice is valued. You can find AMAs packed with fascinating back-and-forth discussion about anyone and everything, from taxi drivers to Bill Gates.
An AMA is a great way to engage in the Reddit community by driving discussion and answering intriguing questions. And of course, it also sheds some light on your business and works well as authentic marketing.
Or, if you’d rather flip the tables a bit, you can always reach out to Reddit for their answers. You could post to r/Entrepreneur for general business advice, or a more targeted subreddit with your niche in mind.
Either way – ask away!
Remain Active And Engaged
There’s no point in considering Reddit as a viable marketing platform if you don’t intend to keep the conversation going!
If you’re serious about upping your Reddit advertising game, it’s crucial that you make an effort to regularly check your Reddit notifications and respond or reply to any user questions or comments.
Many businesses focus on the conversations surrounding them on social media giants like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook – leaving Reddit users in the dust. From a marketing perspective, this oversight is a huge mistake, as Reddit is often home to many honest discussions and critiques of businesses, from cautionary tales, to brief recommendations and promotions.
Whether you’ve upset a customer or just have an answer for a Reddit user, make their day by establishing a presence on Reddit and representing your brand professionally and courteously. Who knows – you might be able to earn back any business you’ve lost, or gain more in the process!
The easiest way to get started is by conducting a quick Reddit search for the name of your business. If there are any recent open discussions or questions, they should pop up – and from there, make a point of getting engaged!
Promote Deals And Giveaways, But Only In The Right Places
Remember how we mentioned Reddit users don’t like advertising? Well, while Reddit’s online community frowns upon blatant, forced advertising, they’re a little more tolerant of promotional submissions, so long as they’re relevant.
In fact, thousands of Reddit users regularly browse deals and enter giveaways – the trick is, they do so within the appropriate subreddits.
Take, for example, the Build A PC Sales Canada subreddit. This is a community of Reddit users sharing deals and promotions within the PC components niche, complete with links to various online retailers.
There are dozens of these subreddits, and assuming the moderators don’t mind self-promotion, you’re free to post your latest deals or promotions, complete with links. This is a fantastic way to drive business and score conversions – just make sure you’re playing by the rules.
Once you’ve submitted your links, don’t pack up and leave, either – stay behind and make sure to answer user questions. “Deal” threads on Reddit are usually packed with questions revolving around promotion details and specialized advice.
Take the time to engage politely with these users and build solid customer bonds. Participating in the conversation shows you’re not purely sales motivated and that you care about the broader discussion, which is what Reddit is all about.
There you have it – five techniques for effective advertising on Reddit that will land you conversions, new bookings, or perhaps a few dozen online fans. Either way, score!
Thanks for reading! You can expect new articles covering a broad range of online business tips and strategies right here, five days a week, on the Yocale blog.