How brands can thrive on Reddit
After years of minimal ad sales and few advertiser relationships, Reddit is now opening itself up and encouraging brands to target specific communities and start two-way discussions with its users.
Since its foundation over 10 years ago in 2005, Reddit has grown into a household name across the internet. The huge online community is famous for being controlled by a user base that despises self-promotion, laughing in the face of corporations desperate for marketing opportunities. Even behemoth Google has previously found itself on the wrong side of the powerful Redditors as their unfortunately-timed AMA went horribly wrong when Google services suffered a worldwide outage.
Success stories for brands over the past decade have been relatively few and far between. They required heavy investment in the community, building bridges and participating regularly. Financial services company TransAmerica were early crusaders of Reddit when they used a promoted post back in 2014 to have their dedicated team directly engage with the community, providing advice on all things personal finance.
Brands are now able to sponsor a regular user’s post on Reddit, sharing their content elsewhere in promoted slots
Examples like this have remained rare to date with brands struggling to understand how best to tackle the notoriously lukewarm reception. However, as highlighted in a profile of Reddit by Fortune, it appears a new day is dawning for the traditionally non-revenue focused site. After years of minimal ad sales and few advertiser relationships, Reddit is now opening itself up and encouraging brands to target specific communities and start two-way discussions with its users. The platform is not only providing advertising space for brands, it is actively getting involved to help those brands develop the right message and target it at the right audience with the help of new ad targeting and buying technology as well as a newly hired in-house creative team.
This move has encouraged more brands to dip their toe into the Reddit waters. eBay, for example, have run more than 35 placements since last October, according to Adweek. Llibert Argerich, eBay’s Global Director of Social and Content also highlights the amount of traffic eBay gains directly from Reddit thanks to the brand’s increase in visibility on the platform. Coca-Cola’s Superbowl advert thread also proved a huge success when the brand worked directly with Reddit to garner user involvement in their upcoming Marvel tie-in ad, generating more than 17 million impressions on a single thread.
So what next? Reddit is actively encouraging publishers to use the tools they provide to attribute content they use back to Reddit. This should make it quicker and easier to use the potentially brand-related content, and attribute it back to the relevant Redditors. Brands are now able to sponsor a regular user’s post on Reddit, sharing their content elsewhere in promoted slots. There’s also been the launch of native mobile apps and, according to the Fortune interview; keyword and interest-targeted advertising will follow shortly.
It’s clear Reddit has a focus on profitability that can only be a boon for brands keen to benefit from the site’s unique reach. If this is combined with a genuine understanding and investment in the site’s more traditional relationships such as AMAs, community involvement and hands-on brand management then the opportunity for successful Reddit ventures is certainly looking bright.