How brands can use Reddit to engage with a valuable audience
Social media platforms have largely evolved into places to consume content, instead of sharing content. With the rise of bots and negativity on social media, more users have turned towards online communities, such as those on Reddit, as a safe haven to express themselves. Reddit is thriving with 50M+ daily active unique users, and over 100k active communities. People use these communities to seek trusted peer-to-peer recommendations, advice, opinions, and guidance from fellow members. Reddit allows users to be unabashedly themselves and helps them find online communities with shared interests, whatever those may be.
In a study done by Reddit, they tracked personal interest levels in 52 topics, ranging from eating out to adventure sports. The more niche the interest group, the more highly engaged they are in digital life. For health, wellness, and lifestyle brands, this can be an advantage. For example, in a skiing Reddit, users come to the community to keep the stoke going, to relive the powder days, and get excited about the next season. These users are highly engaged and may be more receptive to hearing about a relevant brand here, in a community that revolves around their sport. In a study by Reddit, 69% of surveyed users said they respect when brands make the effort to be on Reddit, and 61% said they are more likely to trust a brand that participates on Reddit.
These subcultures are receptive to brand interaction, however, authenticity is key. Users appreciate brands that are bold, offbeat, and funny. Successful brand integrations feature casual, human-like tones and authentic personas. Health, Wellness and Lifestyle brands should go with the intention of engaging with users and not simply reposting existing content.
Reddit path to purchase
For Reddit users, the app is an important part of their purchase journey. Compared to non-users, Reddit users spend more of their purchase journey actively researching, and evaluating twice as many brands during up to 4x more research sessions. As a result of this research, Reddit users make purchase decisions up to nine times faster and spend 15% more than the average non-user.
Advertising on Reddit
In order to optimize campaigns, Reddit uses campaign objectives based on the overall goal. This is similar to how campaigns are set up on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. The objectives are:
- Brand awareness and reach
- Video Views
- App Installs
Brands should evaluate what their ultimate marketing goal is, and choose an objective accordingly. At Parallel Path, we’ve had clients with multiple priorities like increasing awareness & driving content downloads (conversions), so have found success in running multiple campaigns with various objectives to help drive all desired outcomes. Once an objective is chosen, the next step is to choose a post/creative type. One of the formats available on Reddit is a text post. This type of ad is effective in that it mirrors the way a large portion of organic Reddit content is posted, as plain text.
- Link (can include an image)
The next step in the setup process is to choose the placements of the ads. Ads can show up in the home feed, the popular feed, individual community feeds, and in conversation posts.
- Home and popular feeds: these are the main areas of the app where users land after opening it. These consist of posts pulled from communities across Reddit.
- Individual community feeds are the pages that host a specific community (Colorado, etc..).
- Conversation posts are individual posts within a community where members can reply to a post.
As with any new platform, brands should start by posting organically to learn what resonates with their audiences. The person in charge of managing the social channel should seek to add value to the conversations they join, instead of defaulting to promoting the brand at every chance. By exploring the platform organically and engaging in relevant communities and conversations, the brand can get an understanding of where to move forward with paid placements.
Once ready to launch a paid campaign, create a list of subreddits that best fit the brand and have large enough audiences to warrant a budget. You can find this by looking at how many members a subreddit has and how many are online on a given day. This will give you an idea of the amount of engagement a subreddit has. Once you’ve found your audience and you’re ready to launch the campaign, test video, and images, as well as a mix of placements. We recommend running campaigns for a minimum of 4 weeks with approximately 3 – 5 ads per ad set to gain as many learnings as possible.
Reddit is not for every brand, but it does hold value for those who are willing to put the work into the relevant communities. Here at Parallel Path, we are ready to help if you are ready to dive into Reddit.