Advertising on Reddit is one of the most underutilized marketing strategies in today’s digital marketplace. 

Reddit is a discussion website that functions similarly to an internet forum. Reddit receives over 1.6 million unique visitors a month distributed across 130,000 sub-communities called “subreddits.” It is one of the ten most popular sites in the world and styles itself as “The Front Page of the Internet.” 

To learn more about the opportunities available to advertisers on Reddit, Tinuiti’s Group Director of Paid Social, Avi Ben-Zvi, sat down with Reddit’s Erica Haile and M1 Finance’s Bob Armour and Patryk Wlodersky. They discussed the immense value M1 has found in connecting with an engaged Reddit community and shared their top marketing strategies for the platform. 

Today, we’ll share some of the key takeaways from the presentation. But first, let’s cover the basics of advertising on Reddit. 
 

What is Reddit Advertising?

 
Reddit advertising makes it easier for brands to reach their desired communities or subreddits through targeted and promoted posts that engage users in a way familiar to them. Reddit’s thousands of subreddits allow marketers to tap into specific conversations in any given niche, offering a hyper-targeted way to engage with users.

“We decided to go with Reddit because Reddit has a really strong community in anything you choose,” says Patryk Wlodersky, Acquisition Marketing Manager at M1 Finance. “The subreddits are like a nexus for that. We have a really strong M1 Finance community on Reddit, and we take their feedback very seriously.”

reddit-advertising

“They tell you when you’re great, they tell you when you suck; there’s real passion there,” adds Bob Armour, CMO of M1.
 
“Reddit is an established network with a passionate and large user base. They’ve greatly advanced their ad products over the past few years to help bring more value for advertisers. There’s no question it’s a major area of opportunity to reach qualified users and engage them in an impactful way.”

– Avi Ben-Zvi, Tinuiti’s Group Director of Paid Social
 

 

Reddit ad strategies

 
Advertising on Reddit is very different from advertising on other social media platforms. Reddit communities are wary about being marketed or promoted to. If they want their campaigns to pay off, brands that want to advertise on Reddit have to devote more effort to community engagement and think about how Redditors will receive their ads.

“Redditors are smart, and they want to be spoken to like they’re smart. We’re home to thousands of communities that are really dedicated to specific interests, and we can reach users that are really engaged.”

Erica Haile, Senior Growth Partner at Reddit

For the M1 Finance team, advertising on Reddit was more of an awareness play than their typical bottom-of-funnel messaging. “We want people to start talking about us more and recognizing us more,” recounts Wlodersky. The M1 team targeted around 36 different subreddits focused on investing, giving them the opportunity to reach a variety of users within their niche.

“We want to obviously do as much lower-funnel as we can, but there comes a point in time where more people need to know about you, right? A lot of people still don’t know about M1, and you need to feed that bottom of the funnel with different channels where your target audience is,” says Wlodersky. 

Wlodersky also recommends that advertisers test different messaging and activations on Reddit to see what resonates most with the community. 
 

Reddit ad types

 
Reddit offers several different ad types for brands.
 

Promoted posts

 
To all outward appearances, this post looks similar to other posts on the Reddit platform, except for the word “Promoted” above the title.

Key features of this post include:

  • Image or text
  • Call-to-action button (Optional)
  • Multiple bid types (CPM or CPC)

 

Promoted video

 
This is similar to the promoted post, except it allows you to play embedded videos similar to how other Redditors post videos on the feed.

Key features include:

  • Auto-play video
  • Multiple aspect ratios (1:1, 4:5, 16:9)
  • Call-to-action button (optional)
  • Multiple bid types (CPM, CPV)

 

Community takeover

 
Your brand’s ad will be the first brand seen in the top communities from your category. This takeover will last 24 hours.

The category takeover includes:

  • Promoted post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (300×600 or 300×250)
  • Sticky banner (300×250)

 

M1 found incredible success in Q1 2021 with community takeovers in the business and finance category. They paired evergreen Reddit ads with the takeover, leveraging trending topics like the Gamestop stock news to make the most of an engaged community across subreddits.
 

Front page takeover

 
Your brand will be the first and foremost on the most visited page on Reddit. Your ad will be the first post a user sees when they visit Home or Popular for 24 hours.

The front-page takeover includes:

  • Promoted post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (300×600 or 300×250)
  • Sticky banner (300×250

 

Trending takeover

 
Your brand will be the only brand that people will see on the “Trending Today” section. Your trend will be top of the list when a user visits Popular or Search for 24 hours.

Trending takeover includes:

  • Trending unit on Popular
  • Trending unit on Search
  • Trending landing page

 

Reddit takeovers

 
This is the widest-reaching advertising package and allows your brand to be seen first when a user visits Home, Popular, or Search for 24 hours. The package includes:

  • Promoted post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (300×600 or 300×250)
  • Sticky banner (300×250)
  • Trending unit on Popular
  • Trending unit on Search
  • Trending landing page

 

Reddit ad creative

 
Due to the nature of the platform and its community, Reddit ad creatives tend to be much different than their counterparts on other platforms. Reddit users value authenticity and directness more than flash and glitz. Standard marketing tactics and copywriting tricks will not work on Reddit.

 

reddit-promoted-post-ad

 

Reddit has published ad creative guidelines that can help you create effective ads. Here are the highlights:
 

  • Be transparent, direct, and controversial. Speak like a human talking to other humans.
  • Address the community. Bring them into the conversation.
  • Make the headlines and creatives work together in relatable ways.

 

Is Reddit worth it?

 
Reddit is admittedly more work than other platforms, but there is potential for a high return on investment. 

Beyond M1’s success on Reddit, consider the following examples:

 

reddit-promoted-post-ad-type-mobile
 

How to Get Started

 
The process of advertising on Reddit starts well before your actual ad.

Identify which subreddits are most relevant to you and your brand. Your best bet is to prioritize subreddits that have more than 5,000 users.

Once you’ve found those subreddits, create an account, and start participating in those groups. 

Don’t advertise just yet. Start real discussions and give value to other users–like answering their questions about topics you are an authority on. This will demonstrate to Redditors that you are willing to be a part of the community instead of just being an opportunistic outsider. Doing so will also allow you to see which content will resonate the most with this particular group. 

When it comes to actually promoting your content on Reddit, you can either post it for free as part of your contribution to the group, or you can post it as a paid advertisement. Keep in mind, however, that many subreddits forbid self-promotional posts as a rule, so a paid advertisement might be the only effective way to get people to see your content. 

If you invest the right amount of thought and effort into crafting your ad and targeting the right communities, you’ll also be able to generate incredible results for your own brand. For even more insights from our discussion with M1 Finance and Reddit, watch the full presentation: Emerging Social Platforms: Leveraging Upper Funnel Tactics to Drive Conversions.

 

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