Redditors are good at spotting marketers, so you better be prepared to provide serious value.Click To Tweet
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Reddit Marketing Guide to Driving Targeted TrafficClick To Tweet
Why Use Reddit for Marketing?As a content marketer, becoming a redditor can benefit you in a number of ways:
- (As mentioned) It can help drive massive amounts of targeted traffic to your blog or website
- It can help you expand your audience base
- It can point you toward trending topics and areas of interest within your niche
A Traffic InfluxThere’s no shortage of content marketers’ success stories with using Reddit to drive traffic to a specific website. Eddy Azar’s website went from 41 to 4,266 visitors a day overnight after he posted a single link to a post on his site. (Source / Caption: Can’t argue with results.) Ryan Stewart discovered how to leverage Reddit to grow his traffic numbers by over 1,000 visitors (an increase of about 33%). And Travis Levell also gained almost 1,000 site visitors after posting a link to an article he’d written—and he posted it pretty much on a whim. But there’s more to these examples than just traffic stats. After posting on Reddit:
- Eddy’s Medium following grew from zero to over 14,000 in one month
- Ryan now uses Reddit to generate the majority of his traffic
- Travis earned over 600 signups for a brand new offering in the two weeks after posting
Reddit Makes It Easy to Target Highly-Qualified Audience MembersReddit is made up of thousands and thousands of “subreddits”, which are forums dedicated to a specific topic or idea. Subreddit topics can be fairly general (such as /r/science or /r/gaming), or they can be ultra-specific (“Squirrels eating unconventional things”). Yes, we’re serious. Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/SEUT/. There are also subreddits dedicated to educating the community in some way or another. On /r/explainlikeimfive/, members share simplified explanations of complex topics. On /r/todayilearned, people discuss interesting factoids they had never known before. What this means for you as a marketer is you can almost certainly find at least one (and, more likely, numerous) subreddits full of individuals who align perfectly with your ideal customer personas. As mentioned in the previous section, seeing an influx in traffic is one thing. Knowing that the new visitors to your site are champing at the bit to engage with you is another.
Reddit Uncovers Industry Trends as They HappenIf something worth knowing is happening in your industry, you can bet Reddit’s members will be on top of it. Even if you’re just lurking through subreddits and not actively looking to generate traffic at the time, you can still glean valuable insight regarding:
- Your customers’ pain points
- Validate market demand for your product or service
- New technologies in your industry
- News and events that could change the way your company operates
Can You Build Instant Karma?We mentioned earlier that using Reddit to generate traffic is a fairly involved process (that’s totally worth the effort, mind you). So before we dig into the nitty-gritty of how to leverage Reddit to grow your business, we need to discuss karma. Reddit’s karma system essentially measures your reputation as a redditor. You can gain (or lose) karma in two different areas: the links you post, and the comments you make on posts. It might take you a while to reach this level of Reddit epicness. Source: http://www.karmalb.com/. While the number of upvotes and the timeframe those votes happen in a major part of how Reddit’s ranking algorithm works, karma is an important aspect of achieving success on Reddit. Basically, you can think of karma as a means to an end. The higher your karma level, the more respect you’ll gain from the Reddit population (Also, some subreddits won’t even allow you to post links until you reach a certain level of karma). The more respect you have from the population, the more likely they are to trust you when you eventually begin posting your own content. The more you are trusted, the more likely Redditors will give you an upvote (assuming whatever you are posting is epic), even if it’s self-promotional.
#Reddit Tip: The more you are trusted, the more likely Redditors will give you an upvote:Click To Tweet
- Posting valuable content, providing insightful commentary, and offering an overall positive experience will result in good karma.
- Acting selfishly, being rude, trolling, and begging for upvotes or clicks will lead to bad karma.
Do NOT use #reddit solely to promote your own content. Do this instead:Click To Tweet
Using Reddit to Drive TrafficOkay, now we’re ready to dive into the actual process of using Reddit to drive traffic to your site. In this section, we’ll discuss the following:
- Picking the right subreddits to focus on
- Becoming a valued member of the community
- Posting your content
- The logistics behind posting on Reddit
- Advertising potential on Reddit
Picking the Right SubredditsAs we’ve discussed, there are literally thousands of subreddits to check out. Of course, not all of them are relevant to your industry. But there are likely dozens (at least) that are. But, even if a subreddit is relevant to your industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the best place to focus your efforts. An incredibly small sample of the list of Reddit communities. Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/ListOfSubreddits/wiki/listofsubreddits. Before you begin actually browsing through possible subreddits to join, ask yourself the following questions:
- What, specifically, are your areas of expertise?
- What value are you aiming to provide your audience?
- What are your target audience members interested in?
- How many subscribers each subreddit has
- The most talked-about topics and types of content that have been posted within the past month
- How active the community is in terms of posting and generating discussion
- Popular opinions held throughout the community
- Specific etiquette and rules for that subreddit
#Reddit Tip: Actions or comments acceptable in one subreddit may not be well-received in another.Click To Tweet
Getting “In” With the CommunityOnce you’ve joined a good amount of subreddits, and have learned as much as possible about the nuances of each, you’ll be ready to get involved. But this doesn’t mean you should start posting your own content just yet. Instead, begin by joining in the major discussions being held in the comments sections of the more popular posts. But don’t just offer canned responses. A run-of-the-mill comment might not necessarily result in bad karma. But it won’t get you any positive points, either. In other words, if your comment is boring and cookie-cutter, you might as well not say anything at all. On the other hand, an insightful comment full of facts, examples, or links to further reading will not only earn the respect of the community, but it will also keep the conversation flowing. Go out of your way to be helpful for good karma. Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheoryOfReddit/comments/18r63h/does_reddit_protect_your_karma_totals_from_mass/. If you happen to disagree with a comment someone else posted, that’s fine—as long as you’re respectful about it. Not only should you be respectful, but you also should back up your claims with (as mentioned above) facts, examples, and other documentation. Again, the point of commenting is to further the discussion, even if that means offering counterpoints and rebuttals. Another thing to consider when putting yourself “out there” on Reddit is the hivemind aspect of the community. Essentially, this refers to the fact that a good percentage of redditors in a community will blanketly agree or disagree with you based on whether or not you’re “going along with the herd.” In other words, be careful when posting counterpoints (even when justifiably warranted), as you might end up getting down-voted for reasons other than the quality of your comment. Whether you agree or disagree, it never hurts to give kudos to others for voicing their opinion (and working hard to back it up). This extra bit of generosity can go a long way toward earning you a positive reputation within a subreddit, making it easier for others to trust that you’re there for the good of the community as a whole. Once you’ve interacted with other community members enough to start gaining some karma (and possibly making connections), you can then begin actually posting content. But not your own. Instead, share resources such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics that will contribute to the on-going conversations in the community. By sharing content which you have zero stake in, you’ll further the notion that you’re there to provide value to the community, not just gain publicity for yourself. Note that you should only share content if it will truly provide value to the community. In other words, don’t post dozens of links hoping a handful will resonate with other members. In the same way you (hopefully) don’t share every meme you come across with your friends on Facebook, be prudent when it comes to sharing resources in your targeted subreddits. Also, stay away from controversy as best you can. Yes, you want to get noticed within the community, but you don’t want to be known as a rabble rouser. Even if the content you’re thinking of sharing is insightful and possibly valuable, if it’s too opinionated you run the risk of alienating a good amount of the community. Once you’ve become a valued member of the community, it’s time to start sharing your own content and generating traffic to your site.
Posting Your Own Content on RedditNow that you’ve built a reputation for yourself as an active redditor who cares about your industry and community, you can start sharing your own content. Regarding the actual content you share, follow the tried-and-true rules for creating epic content you’ve (hopefully) always followed. At this stage, the importance of sharing incredibly valuable content of your own is essential. Of all the content you’ve shared during your time engaged with the community, you want your own to be the absolute best of the best. The content you share could be posts you’ve written previously - as long as it’s in-line with currently-trending topics in the subreddit. If the discussion steers toward a topic you’ve already written about (and your post meets the highest standard of quality), toss it out there for others to check out. You can also leverage the on-going discussions within your community and create new content that goes along with it. Use the skyscraper technique to transform a so-so post into an absolute masterpiece. Provide information that supplements another user’s epic content. Or go against the grain and offer up a longform rebuttal. You might be wondering if it’s acceptable to post the same piece of content in multiple subreddits. The answer is “yes, with a ‘but.’” Begin by posting the link to the most appropriate subreddit (i.e., the one that prompted you to think of your content in the first place). Then, when posting to similar subreddits that would also get value from your content, include the phrase “[posted from /r/originalsubredditname]” in the subject line. Without this addendum, your multiple posts will look like spam to anyone who sees them in more than one spot. Now that you’ve begun sharing your own content, there are a few things to note:
- Don’t force it. You have a much better chance of gaining traction by posting articles that relate to the current topic than you do by posting something that came out of left field.
- Don’t stop posting other people’s content. The community will figure out your intentions if you start posting links only to your own site.
- Don’t beg for upvotes or clicks. The other community members don’t owe you anything. If they like your content, they’ll check it out.
Logistics Behind Posting Content on RedditThese last pieces of advice will probably sound pretty familiar: When posting content to Reddit, make sure it’ll get in front of the most eyes as possible, and make sure the title begs to be clicked. Because Reddit’s massive community is active throughout the world, there’s no single optimal time to post your content. However, you can use Later for Reddit’s Subreddit Traffic Analysis tool to figure out the best time to post on a specific subreddit. This tool requires you have a ballpark idea of how many upvotes you believe your content will get, assuming you post at the best possible time. For example, if you think you’ll get 50 upvotes, you might want to set the Vote Threshold at around 20-25. The best time to post on /r/science seems to be 8:00am on Wednesday mornings. Source: https://www.redditlater.com/analysis/#/r/science. While it’s possible to post at a less-than-optimal time and still see your fair share of upvotes, it’s best to get your content out there when you know the most people are looking - for two reasons:
- The human factor. The more recent the link, the fresher (and more-clickable) it will appear in the eyes of your audience.
- Reddit’s ranking algorithm. Newer stories are inherently scored higher than older ones. If your subreddit sees more than a few dozen posts per day, your content will easily get buried if you post at an inopportune time.
What About Advertising on Reddit?All throughout this article, we’ve made it a point to drill home the fact that coming across as a marketer on Reddit is all but a death sentence for your company. So how are you supposed to get away with actually posting paid advertisements on the site? Well, the reason we left this for last is because you need to make sure you’ve done everything else right up until the point that you begin thinking about posting ads on Reddit. Once you’ve been accepted into a subreddit community, you at least have a bit of leverage when it comes to selling your products or services to other community members. (Who would you trust more with your money in the real world: a long-time town resident who you’ve known and respected for years, or the new guy who just moved in last week from parts unknown?) As long as you’re fully confident that you won’t face backlash from posting an ad to your most-frequented subreddit, it’s worth giving it a go. The three ways you can go about advertising on Reddit are:
- Sponsored Posts: These will be pinned to the top of the subreddit of your choice at a cost of $0.75 CPM (with a minimum purchase amount of $5). You can choose to either post link to external content, or to a full-length text post on that subreddit.
- Display Ads: If your advertising budget can handle it, display ads on Reddit work just as they do on any other site - with one addition: users can seamlessly upvote and downvote your ad, and even generate discussions about them, as well. To post these type of ads, you’ll need to speak directly with the Reddit team (rather than simply fill out billing info).
- Sponsored Q&A: Similar to Reddit’s famous (or infamous) Ask Me Anything sessions, sponsored question and answer forums allow you to set up a specific time in which you’ll provide answers to your target audience’s burning questions regarding your product, service, or industry as a whole. Again, to set up a sponsored Q&A session, you’ll need to collaborate with the Reddit team to determine how long you’d like the session to last, and which subreddits the session will be posted to.
- Provide ultimate value: As we’ve said time and again, redditors hate marketers - unless you can truly provide them something that will drastically improve their lives in one way or another. If there’s ever a time to share the absolute best you have to offer, this is it.
- Be real: Be honest with your intentions: you have something of value to sell, and you want your community to know about it. Also, be personable and true to your audience. If you truly are a part of the community, others will likely be more than happy to share their hard-earned cash with you if they trust you’ll give them something incredible in return.
- Learn from the experience: If you take the leap into advertising on Reddit and it doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped, don’t turn tail and run. Address your audience’s concerns, respond to negative comments, and figure out what you can do better the next time. Redditors want to know their voices are being heard; if you tweak your campaigns to fit their needs, they’ll most likely forget all about the negative experiences of the past.
Ready to Start Driving Traffic With Reddit?If you’ve never actually used Reddit before, you might be under the misconception that it’s all memes and silliness. While it certainly has its fair share of ridiculous content, Reddit can also be an incredible source for marketers and entrepreneurs in terms of generating traffic and staying up with current industry trends. Now, all that’s left is for you to start building up that karma.
#Reddit can be an incredible source for marketers. Are you on there?Click To Tweet