As of January 1st, 2019, Reddit was ranked the sixth most popular website in the United States and the eighteenth most popular website worldwide. Of the top websites in the world, Reddit has the highest average time on site. This means that users are logging into Reddit and staying on the site longer than on websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Google.
Reddit has a simple structure. Users submit content by either text posts or an outlink (page link, video, gif, or picture). Then other users can comment and vote up or down on submissions. Reddit then uses this information to rank and sort what is the most valuable content and what to keep on the top of the page. The most unique feature of Reddit is how content is organized. Reddit does this with subreddits. These are pages devoted to a particular topic and the community it draws. For example, a subreddit looks like /r/digitalmarket, this subreddit will only contain content that is digital marketing related. Only the most popular content from these subreddits will make it to the site’s front page. Similar to Google, the goal is to show up on the top of the front page of their particular subreddit, their niche market.
The Reddit algorithm prioritizes new posts by placing them on the top of the page, but only for a short period of time to get initial exposure. The length of the time period depends entirely on how active the community is on the particular subreddit. More active means less time and less active means more time on front page. After this initial exposure period ends, the main factor determining where your post lands on the page is the amount of upvotes the post receives.
Once you have found your subreddit that you want to target, it is essential to interact with the community on the specific subreddit. Reddit rewards users that actively engage with the community. Reddit implements what is called a “Karma Score”. Your karma score shows the community how much value you’ve provided to users in the past. One point gained for every upvote on one of your posts or comments and one point lost for every downvote on one of your posts or comments.
Advertising on Reddit:
Reddit offers advertisers cost-per-impression (CPM) ads, cost-per-view (CPV) ads and announced on January 30th, 2019, that the platform will soon add cost-per-click (CPC) ads. This will be the first performance-based ad unit the platform has offered. Reddit has also stated, “CPC ads are the first of several upcoming performance offerings, with enhancements to ad targeting, reporting and campaign management tools to come.” (marketland.com) This is very intriguing for advertising and digital marketing firms. The new CPC ads to go along with the sponsored posts, display ads, and sponsored Q&A will build Reddit a strong base for advertising and marketing on their site. These ads will give advertisers access to the Reddit audience of more than 330 million users worldwide generating 1.2 billion site visits every month.
Historically, the Reddit community does not support ads or individuals/companies who self-promote without getting involved with the Reddit community as a whole. Therefore, to have an effective marketing strategy on Reddit you must first establish yourself as a part of the community and build the trust of other Redditors, which can be measured through your karma score. The first step to a successful Reddit marketing campaign is choosing the right subreddit to engage with. Each subreddit is radically different and each community is unique. When identifying a subreddit audience to target, think about these things: What your company is focused on? What value does your brand offer? What is your target audience interested in? How do you plan on communicating with your target audience?
Once you have selected the subreddits to focus on, it is vitally important that you engage with the other users on this subreddit. Post, comment, upvote, downvote, ask or answer questions, participate in conversations and add value wherever you can. It is important that you don’t just post your content but also share and promote other content as well.
This constant engagement and communication with your audience can be time consuming and may seem slow to start. However, if you are able to capture your Reddit audience, the value you can generate is vast and your business will have access to a market that most businesses and competitors have failed to reach and capture.