MCSMN Blog

May 29, 2019

reddit Advertising: How Not to Get it Wrong and Hurt Your Brand

By Shea Jennings, Communications Specialist

We know our patients are using reddit. We track it as a source of online appointment requests. We monitor it on a daily basis. So when one of my colleagues asked a logical question – why not advertise there? – the wheels started turning in my head.

Advertising on reddit is straightforward: you’re purchasing a top post on a particular topic-specific community (aka subreddit). You can bid per click (CPC), per 1,000 impressions (CPM), or per video view (CPV).

Successful advertising on reddit isn’t so easy. The platform’s offbeat culture, plain interface, and propensity for self-policing scare most marketers away. Get it wrong, and you can hurt your brand.

Pros:

  • Traffic potential is huge: reddit reports 8 billion pageviews from 234 million unique monthly visitors.
  • Audiences are pre-segmented into subreddits, and by clicking on a particular subreddit, they’ve actively expressed interest in your topic.
  • Influencers flock here. It’s the self-declared “front page of the internet,” after all.
  • They want your business. reddit has expanded advertising options, including cost per click ads, significantly in the last couple of years. Performance tracking is easier than ever, and minimum ad spend is only $5.

Cons:

  • redditors tend to spurn marketers. Community-generated content is king—and generally outperforms paid posts in terms of user engagement.
  • Your audience can be elusive. Subreddits vary widely in size and have no naming conventions. (You won’t find any “is Brady the GOAT?” debates on r/Superbowl, but you will encounter some dazzling pictures of owls.) Also, reddit only permits advertising on the top 5000 most trafficked subreddits, so targeting is limited.

With that in mind, here are some tips for effective advertising on reddit.

  1. Ensure you have a solid strategy for engaging with users and organic content before you try advertising.
  2. Create a corporate handle to run ads, rather than using a personal account.
  3. Focus on content marketing, and write the ad like a reddit post.
  4. Find the sweet spot for your audience. Instead of targeting large communities like r/science or even the front page of reddit, it’s more effective—and likely cheaper—to run ads on smaller, more specific subreddits (e.g. r/epilepsy for a neurology campaign). Tools like redditlist can help.
  5. Run short campaigns. Content goes stale quickly on reddit, and you can’t edit a campaign while it’s running.
  6. As always: monitor comments, keep an eye on metrics, and refine ad strategy as you go.

Has your organization dipped its toes into reddit advertising? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Tags: Platforms, Software, & Tools, reddit

“Ensure you have a solid strategy for engaging with users and organic content before you try advertising.”. Great advice. Taking it more broadly, I find that when using social media in healthcare in general there is not a clear call to action either within the social media content or to the organization landing page they are sending people too. There’s tons of great healthcare information out there, but helping people act on that information is a much tougher challenge. often, information isn’t sufficient. ie everyone knows it's bad to smoke, but what action exactly do you want them to take with your organization to successfully help them stop smoking ( sign up for a class, make an appointment to start a medicine, download a checklist, etc)

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