Reddit has long confounded marketers. On one hand, it is home to a passionate, engaged group of people who have self-organized into tight-knit communities (subreddits) based on interests.
On the other hand, Redditors (as Reddit participants call themselves) historically have been staunchly anti-marketing and belligerently vocal about what they don’t like.
So, what’s changed? Two things. Reddit has “grown up” and figured out how to support brands that want to participate. And, companies have figured out that if they show up authentically, time and again, they can create a loyal following among the over 300 million monthly Reddit users.
Reddit has aggressively improved brand safety by white listing subreddits, deleting questionable subreddits, and banning ads/”news” from Russia and Syria. They have created new highly targeted marketing vehicles, including autoplay video and sponsored Ask Me Anythings, with more in the works.
Cutting-edge marketers have figured out how to succeed on Reddit. Non-marketing approaches—like quirky group games—have been a hit. Showing up consistently as a true community member also pays off for those with patience. Asking Redditors for input and responding to it with products and services may be the best approach of all.
Sources: AdAge 2017, CNBC 2017, Inverse 2017, MarTech Today 2017