10 Tips for Marketing Your B2B Startup on Reddit
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Nowadays, it’s common sense that a Facebook and a LinkedIn profile are must-have marketing assets for B2B startups. I’m certain that you already have presence on all major networks - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram... you name it. But what about promoting your startup on Reddit?
So many marketers still ignore this social media powerhouse, giving those of us who are going the extra mile a huge advantage. Reddit is home to 234 million unique users and boasts 8 billion monthly unique pageviews, ranking #11 most visited website in the US and #25 in the world as of 2016. With most posts linking to external content, Reddit sends tons of outbound traffic to external websites, hence calling themselves the "front page of the Internet".
What makes Reddit an interesting network for B2B marketing is the that it's audience is technology-savvy, news-oriented, young and educated. According to PewResearch Center, the average user is around 35 years old, male American with an average yearly income of $70,000.
So here’s the first step to get you started on promoting your startup on Reddit.
Reddit - it’s a special place. You’ll love it!
Reddit is not your regular social network - it doesn’t matter who your friends are, but what you have to say and share certainly does. In a nutshell, Reddit is a content sharing platform made up of thousands of user-created targeted communities about any conceivable topic, called “sub-reddits”.
Redditors submit links and comments while others vote their submissions up or down. Upvoted posts go to the top of the page within the relevant subreddit. That’s ultimately where you want your content to be.
‘Reddit users don’t like being bullshitted’
– STEVE HUFFMAN, CEO, REDDIT
Despite it’s reputation, Reddit doesn’t hate marketers. What Reddit doesn’t like are users who contribute nothing valuable to the conversation. Redditors are a very passionate bunch, and if you manage to become a part of this tightly knit community you will reap great rewards.
However, if your self-promotion efforts are too forceful, you will be punished for the crime with the dreaded “silent ban” -your content will seem to appear on the platform, but it won’t be visible to anyone but you. Beware!
Reddit is a very unique platform, and therefore it is somewhat challenging for marketers to tackle. But if you follow these 10 tips, you should be fine.
Tip 1. Become a Redditor
Users of Reddit are known as “Redditors”. Once you join the network, take your time to learn the rules, norms, and culture of the community before posting anything.
Your Reddit mantra should be, “add value or perish”. You must engage with Reddit in a way that helps the community by contributing something new to a conversation, expressing an informed opinion, giving expert advice, helping to solve a problem or sharing thought provoking content.
Start out by liking and commenting on other people’s posts. Be on top of the most active subreddits - /r/top, /r/controversial and /r/IAMA. Get familiarized with subreddits that are relevant for your industry. You will reap long term rewards if you consistently contribute valuable insights to subreddits that are relevant to your startup. Later, you’ll use the same subreddits to post your own content, so read them religiously, learn which content is popular and build up your reputation within the subreddit.
Tip 2. Adhere to Reddiquette
As with every community, online or otherwise, Reddit has its own rules of conduct. Take time to read and understand the rules.
Apart from the regular, “be nice” guidelines found everywhere, you will find tips for making your content valuable to the community. For example, Reddiquette advises you to search for duplicates before posting in order to avoid posting content that has already been shared and therefore adds nothing new to the conversation. Other good advice is to consider cross posting in several subreddits, but only if the content is relevant to more than one community.
Tip 3. Locate and conquer relevant subreddits
Reddit has a huge base of over 100 million users and consequently it contains people from all walks of life. In order to target the right audience for your B2B marketing efforts you have to find where the right people hang out, otherwise you’ll end up preaching to the wrong choir.
Subreddits are based on topics and built around interests. There are literally hundreds of thousands of subreddits within the Reddiverse, and you might have to dig deep in order to find the ones that suit your marketing goals the best.
Here are my 2 cents:
- Use the subreddit search feature to look up subreddits directly or use the “content search” feature that’ll browse posts on the site and generate a list of subreddits sorted by the amount of times your keyword was mentioned in the subreddit. You can also use tools like metareddit to find subreddits that you want to target.
- Once you found a relevant subreddit, pay attention to how active it is. You don’t want to post in a subreddit that no one ever visits. You can see the total number of subscribers as well as how many, “users are here now” on the right sidebar menu of the front page of a subreddit. Take note of the types of content that is being successfully shared and when the last post was made. When in doubt, simply subscribe to the subreddit and give it a try. You can always unsubscribe later.
- Reddit is not a monolithic website, and every community is run in its own unique way. Every subreddit will have it’s own set of rules, in addition to the general Reddiquete - read FAQs and rules specific to a particular subreddit before submitting anything. You will generally find them in the subreddit bio on the subreddit’s front page.
- When conquering a specific subreddit it is useful to look into what content the moderators of the subreddits share. Try to get on their good side by sharing content they would find interesting.
- As the name suggests, moderators are redditors who moderate content within a particular community. If you create your own subreddit you will automatically become a moderator. You can also request to moderate content on an existing subreddit from it’s current administrators. On the home page of any subreddit, there should be a box on the right with the names of all its moderators. If you can't find it, just go here.
Tip 4. Comment before you post
It is a good idea to contribute useful insights and opinions before submitting your own content. Commenting on other people’s posts, answering questions and upvoting are all useful in building up your reputation. By the way, reputation is the most valued currency on Reddit.
Avoid commenting excessively- if your comments don’t add anything valuable to the conversation they’ll have the opposite effect of what you are looking for. Comments for the sake of commenting should be avoided.
Tip 5. Submit your own content. With caution.
Don’t be a spammer. Exclusively submitting your own content, not replying or commenting to other people, submitting off-topic or too much, and repeatedly posting downvoted content, are practices to avoid like a plague. A widely obeyed Reddit rule is the golden 10:1 ratio; only 1 out of 10 of your submissions should link to your own content.
It goes without saying that this content should be useful, on-topic and relevant.
Avoid clickbait titles, things like, “You won’t believe what happens next!” are just going to antagonize the community. Titles should be descriptive and provide the context for your submission.
Tip 6. Build up your karma.
Karma reflects your place in the community and is based on how useful your comments and links were to your fellow Redditors. When you post anything on Reddit, people will upvote the content they like and downvote the content they don’t, affecting your Karma. You'll gain one Karma point for each upvote to your submissions received within a certain timeframe. Karma is a good indicator of your rank on Reddit– if your your comments and posts don’t get any upvotes, it is a telltale sign that you are doing something wrong.
The best way to gain karma is to post popular content.The more upvotes your post gets, the bigger audience it will be exposed to, which in turn, results in even more upvotes.
Easier said than done! One shortcut you can use is to dig for old popular content (posted a few weeks, months or even a year ago) and then re-post it with a new engaging title.
Your best bet at gaining massive amounts of karma fast is to post in large subreddits. Image posts tend to get more upvotes, and result in more karma. You won't get karma from self-posts.
Tip 7. Be useful
You can post two types of posts, “Self-Posts” (text) and “Link Posts”(has a link). Utilize both in order to reply to questions, share your knowledge and expertise, and build your reputation as an industry expert.
Self-posts will allow you to start discussions within relevant subreddits. Strategically target your potential readers’ interests and in time you’ll establish a reputation as an expert in the field. A good reputation will help you gain the trust necessary to attract users to your own content later on.
Link posts direct to off-site content. As mentioned above, avoid linking exclusively to your own content. Be selective about what you promote - when sharing a link post, make sure that the content is relevant to the discussion.
Tip 8. Advertise on Reddit
Reddit ads allows you to promote a post at the top spot on any given subreddit.
When you target a subreddit, your ads are shown to users who are browsing it at the time, users who have recently visited, and all users who subscribed to that subreddit.
As with any other marketing campaign, the right targeting is crucial. You can target interests, subreddits and locations.
What sets Reddit apart is that unlike other social networks you don’t target users who have general interests in the topic. Redddit targets users interested in a particular topic precisely at the moment they are served your ad. For example: Building custom PCs might be one of my hobbies and may be listed on my Facebook profile. It doesn’t mean I am interested in reading articles on this topic every single time I open my Facebook account. With Reddit however, I am served the ad when I actively browse through the relevant subreddit. Timing is crucial!
The Reddit Ads platform is an auction-based system. The self-serve ads have a minimum spend amount of $5, and CPM is the only cost model.
Low minimum spend means that you can spread your ads across multiple subreddits even with a low budget. The trick is to find the relevant subreddit that has enough page views to meet the minimum ad spend. Use the stats on the subreddit’s right sidebar “### of users here now” to estimate if the subreddit meets this criteria.
Tip 9. “Promoted User Post” is your friend
Reddit recently introduced a new ad’ type called a, ‘Promoted User Post’. Now you won’t even need to post your own content to promote your startup. All you need to do is find an organic post that you find especially relevant to your brand or product, and then sponsor that post. You will be able to insert your own link next to the, “promoted by” byline.
For example, if your startup is in the cybersecurity space and you find an organic post linking to an article that generated a lot of interaction in the community, it might be a good idea to associate your brand with this content.
Start by visiting Reddit Advertising. And go from there!
Tip 10. Test. Analyze. Repeat
Warning: You ARE going to fail a few times before finding the perfect strategy that works for you on Reddit. You might even get banned once or twice. Don’t get discouraged and try again! It’s worth it.
- Create custom landing pages for Reddit, and test them as well.
- Check Google Analytics to see how the traffic from Reddit behaves on your site. Is it increasing? What is the average time on site?
- Test different titles, content types, topics, subreddits, ad copies, posting at different time of the day- you know the drill.
There is no blanket solution. Your startup is unique and Reddit requires a tailored approach to marketing. Despite its reputation as a hostile place for marketers, the fact is - there are brands who achieve great success with Reddit by giving users the content and information that interests them the most with impeccable timing.
So Test. Analyze. Adjust. Repeat.
Good luck, future Redditors!