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Aug

31

2012

How to Market on Reddit

Inbound Marketing

The first rule of marketing on Reddit is you do not market on Reddit.

The second rule of marketing on Reddit is you do not market on Reddit.

That’s the way I see it, anyway. As a long time Redditor and someone who frequents the /r/Marketing subreddit, when companies do marketing on reddit and it’s bad it’s really bad. It’s a community based on conversation and learning, and a suspicious one at that. If you try to post blogs in a subreddit that’s largely discussion, your post will be labeled “blogspam” and downvoted to oblivion. You lose face, and look out of touch.

Example: Marketing agencies trying to advertise their services on the /r/Marketing board, which is for questions and learning. Trying to market marketing services to other online marketers is silly. You look like you’re grasping at straws. Learn what the right board is.

The fact is, even if you’re posting in the right subreddit, your advertising is going to fail unless you’re a startup trying to get support for a cool project or you’re in some serious trouble and need crowdsourced help. That’s the sort of stuff that gains traction on Reddit. Not a repost of your blog, not a bunch of copy for your services.

So how do you use Reddit for marketing, if you still really want to?

Use it for education. What, educational content advice from an inbound marketer? Yes. That’s what we do. Reddit is the one community you can’t take shortcuts with. If you want to generate leads from Reddit, participate in the community, become embedded, and have a good time. You have to join in more than a registration aspect. You’re going to be in it for the long haul.

If you want to post your blogs and drive some traffic to your site, 1) make sure the subreddit you’re posting in is extremely link focused and your content is relevant, or 2) when you help educate others through your comments by answering questions, give a well worded, thought out answer and if the opportunity arises do an inline link to a relevant, specific blog post for further reading. I generate a lot of leads this way. I don’t specifically try to, but I do. I understand that my function there is as Redditor first, marketer second, and I don’t try to sell there. Getting leads is just the icing on the cake.

There are of course Reddit ads, too.

Advertising on Reddit actually has some serious potential. Ads on reddit tend to have higher clickthrough because content on Reddit is highly trusted. I haven’t used the platform myself, but I’m eager for the opportunity and the case studies I’ve seen so far look promising. My favorite part of Reddit ads is that users can comment on them and leave you feedback. This holds you accountable as a marketer. If you create a low quality ad, the community will hold you accountable, and if you’re clever you’ll take that feedback and revise as soon as possible. If you create a great ad, you’ll see a great response. Users there are never shy about speaking their mind.

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