Only a handful of marketers consider Reddit as a valuable channel for driving qualified leads to their brands. To many, this social platform is more or less a digital ghetto—oversaturated with controversial memes and hate speech. But the truth is, beyond the noise and sarcasm over there, Reddit is a marketing channel where you can promote your business effectively (even without having an ad budget).
Reddit, unlike most networking platforms, isn’t one that naturally accommodates marketing of any sort. Reddit users hate marketing. They spot marketing pieces from afar off and never engage with them.
By default, Reddit users (also referred to as Redditors) surf the platform in a quest for humor, rumor, and other things that appear fun. On many occasions, they surf the platform to seek advice on personal issues around relationships, spirituality, and life in general.
So should marketers give up hope for these reasons? No.
With over 400 million monthly visitors and holding an impressive spot among the world’s top websites, Reddit can still serve as a solid ground for marketers to pitch their tent—and attract the right leads.
If you’ve considered Reddit for marketing but have no clue how to play your cards right on the platform, this piece will offer the guidance you seek. Going forward, you’ll learn how to break through Reddit’s noise, transforming it from a regular social hangout zone to a powerful tool for lead generation
Getting Started on Reddit
If you are entirely new to Reddit, then here are few things to do first:
1. Create an account
Head over to Reddit and click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the website:
Now complete the signup process, either via email or the other available options:
On the next page, you will have to choose a username and then set your password:
Although not a rule, it’s advisable you don’t use your full name as your username. So instead of something like JohnDoe, you can choose a name relevant to your service (like JohnCSS or JohnSEO). You can also use a nickname that neither includes your name or has any relevance to your field of expertise (like FlowerTurkeys or QuantumAvatar).
Reddit isn’t LinkedIn, so no one’s out to gauge your professionalism. Just go with whatever interests you.
2. Optimize your bio
Almost no one talks about the need for optimizing profiles on Reddit. But it’s one crucial step to getting positive ROI, in the long run, from your marketing efforts on the platform. So before exploring multiple marketing opportunities, start with completing your profile by adding a bio and a headshot.
Reddit bios are similar to ones on Twitter. So you need not stress about what goes in there. Just mention your business and add other information as you wish. And if you get stuck at this stage, simply lift your Twitter bio and paste it into Reddit. Simple enough, isn’t it?
Reddit profile optimization is essential for marketers as it helps distinguish you from other meme-posting Redditors. On landing on your profile, potential customers will immediately get an idea of what you do and can proceed to visit your website, send an email, or drop a direct message.
5 Strategies For Marketing Your Business Effectively on Reddit
1. Join niche-specific subreddits
Joining relevant subreddits is the first and crucial step in promoting your business on Reddit. And finding appropriate subreddits isn’t tough. You can come up with a massive list by searching for specific keywords related to your industry.
For example, suppose your business is in the marketing niche. In that case, you might want to search for blogging, marketing, online marketing, eCommerce, SEO, advertising, content marketing, B2B marketing, and so on.
You can also find popular subreddits in online databases like Redditlist.
Once you’ve made a list, go ahead and join all of them. For impressive results, you may want to check the level of activity in the groups before joining them. Here are some things I check:
- The number of people in the subreddit
- The number of “online” Redditors in the subreddit
- The frequency at which new threads are created
- The number of upvotes and comments most posts get
I always shoot for subreddits with 100k members, approximately 500 online members at every given time, and a minimum of 100 upvotes on most posts.
Your metrics may differ. But I believe you get the idea.
2. Advertise in appropriate threads
Some niche-specific subreddits have dedicated threads for promotions. Look out for these threads and advertise your products there.
Below is an example of an ads thread on r/Startups:
When marketing this way, ensure you read the instruction on the promo-dedicated post before leaving your comment—so the group’s bots or moderators won’t flag your post as spam.
3. Start a conversation
Reddit is like an online cafe, accommodating different people seeking to start convos on diverse subject matters.
From celebrity gossip to politics, there’s always something for Redditors to discuss. So if you have a question or tip that’s sure to pique the interest of a broad audience, then go ahead and share it.
If you have no ideas to start with, head over to Quora, navigate to the section dedicated to your industry, and then find questions people ask. Or better still, find issues that have attracted lots of responses already, and then ask the Redditors to provide their views.
For example, if you run an SEO agency, you can search for SEO on Quora and find questions related to the subject.
Then go over to Reddit and post the question in an appropriate subreddit.
Once the post goes live, and the comments begin to fly in, respond to as many as possible. Who knows? A few people might view your profile, send a message, and establish a relationship with long-term business benefits.
Apart from asking questions, you can also create an AMA (ask me anything) post—where people can pick your brain and get answers to their most-troubling questions.
Since AMA posts position you as a professional, it’s an excellent medium for landing partnership opportunities, landing consultation/coaching clients, and getting students for your premium classes/training (if you sell informational products).
4. Share valuable posts
Redditors love new, valuable information. So one of the ways to grab their attention is to create a post that provides real value.
For example, here is one of my Reddit posts:
As you can see, the post performed amazingly well. In less than 48 hours, the post attracted over 100 upvotes and a dozen comments.
So how can you replicate this? It’s simple. Create something exciting, but helpful.
To do this, find a topic in your industry, come up with a catchy title (that isn’t clickbait!), and then write a short piece (of approximately 250-500 words). For good results, choose a topic that solves a deep-rooted problem that members of the subreddit encounter regularly.
So if you run a pet food store, for example, then you might write on “ways to train your pets to seize pooing/peeing around the house, tearing up furniture, barking incessantly, etc.”
If you run a web development agency, you can create a piece on “ways to prevent hackers from gaining permanent access to your website (or stealing private files from your database).”
And if you are a relationship coach, you can write on “ways to discuss a bad habit with your partner without fueling a quarrel.”
The idea here is to create a topic that will pique Redditors’ interest in your target subreddit.
Note that you don’t have to promote your services within the piece. Promotions are against the rules of most subreddits, and more importantly, Redditors hate it!
Instead, share your wealth of knowledge and add a short bio below the piece, as I did in mine:
The inclusion of the bio prompts prospective clients to check out your profile (which you optimized earlier) and then contact you (or click the link in your bio) if your products/services sound like something that’d benefit them.
Be available to respond to comments on your posts. Providing answers will help position you further as an expert in your field and increase the post’s reach (since higher comments and upvotes equal more exposure).
5. Contribute to the post of others
Sometimes the fire might not start in your thread. So you might have to join the party in the threads of others. Simply put, one right way to attract customers or build brand awareness on Reddit is to claim the spotlight through your comments.
Here’s how to do this:
Head over to the subreddit of your choice. Use the filter option to arrange posts based on popularity.
Once you find a post, the next step is to leave an in-depth comment. Not just a one-liner like “great post” or any other generic response. But something detailed, like this:
As you can see from the image above, you need not drop the link to your website or try selling your services. When potential clients perceive you as knowledgeable, they’ll tend to visit your profile and then establish a relationship, if your service is what they seek at the moment.
Over to You
Observed I didn’t advise you to promote your services on ad subreddits like r/HireaWriter? It’s because I discovered that these subreddits house more job seekers than buyers. So, in most cases, the chances of driving sales from these subreddits are slim. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give this form of marketing a shot. There are still ad subreddits, like r/hireanartist, that attract lots of potential clients.
And note that the key to succeeding on Reddit, just like other social media platforms, is consistency. That is, continually posting valuable content and promoting your business in the right places. So don’t give up if you see no positive result at first. If you persist, your marketing efforts will pay off over time.
Now you know what it takes to win on Reddit, nothing can hold you back from expanding your client base. So go ahead and market your biz!