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Down the Reddit Hole: A B2B Marketer Guide

October 29, 2019

A One of a Kind Content Platform

Reddit, founded in 2005, is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website, billing itself as "the front page of the internet". Today, Reddit is huge, with over 33 million users logging almost 1.7 billion visits in July 2019 alone. 

As a refresher, Reddit is divided into subreddits (over 130,000 of them!), with each subreddit dedicated to a different topic. You can join in conversations about literally anything, from B2B marketing to sub-plots in the Game of Thrones series. 

The principle is simple, but the rules are strict. Every subreddit has a moderator who creates their own behavior rules. If you break them, you’ll be banned - possibly indefinitely. But I’m not complaining; the strict rules are what make Reddit such a goldmine for marketers. They stop it from descending into a chaos of spam and clickbait, and turn it into a collection of genuine market opinions. Reddit offers you the opportunity to keep on top of the latest trends, tracking your audience’s newest interests. 

There’s one more big benefit for marketers: paid, targeted ads in the subreddits of your choice. These ads can focus on traffic, conversions, or reach, and be customized according to interest, location, device, and time of day. It’s a glittering chance to place your ads in exactly the right place, for the right audience.

 

Tips to Be Successful on Reddit

Like every marketing achievement worth its salt, it takes time to tap into the full potential of Reddit. First of all, you need to remember that Reddit is not a platform for straightforward self-promotion or capturing leads, like Facebook or Instagram. Achieving success on Reddit means gradually raising your company’s reputation (and followers) in the eyes of your target audience without being pushy and self-promotional. 

It involves consistent and intelligent engagement with your community in order to increase awareness, and that will slowly and organically translate into more visits to your website from visitors who are likely to be highly valuable. 

It can take time to get the hang of Reddit, so it’s best to start by ‘lurking’. Lurking allows you to learn the ropes, but in any case, you have to create an account and upvote or downvote other comments before you can comment yourself. Every time you interact on Reddit, it earns you “karma” points, and you need to gather a certain number before you can post. Generally, you’ll need a minimum of 10 points, but like I already mentioned, every subreddit has its own rules, so you might need many, many more for your preferred subreddits before you can start posting.

Reddit is full of subreddits. Although I share my favorite subreddits below, it’ll still take a while to find out which ones are worth your attention. Just be careful not to get sucked down the Reddit-hole; it’s so easy to find you’ve just spent 6 hours looking at photos of cats! 

The biggest feature of Reddit is that it’s a value-based community. Even upvoting and downvoting comments are a way of helping others find the information - or entertainment - that they seek. Once you are able to post on Reddit, make it interesting. The 33 million users aren’t going to pay you any attention unless you make it worth their while. Ask a question that’s beneficial to everybody, or post insights and information that other Redditors need. Don’t be scared of being controversial; be scared of being boring. 

The biggest tip for success on Reddit is the same as for every area of marketing: keep trying. I got banned from Reddit more than once. Why? I believe I committed two crimes simultaneously: What I posted screamed "marketing" and "self promotional", AND on top of that, I posted the same posts on two different subreddits, which doesn't fly with the Reddit communities and moderators. But I learned from each mistake, and I came back to try again. 

 

What NOT to Do on Reddit

Although many Redditors value their anonymity, they also place great emphasis on being genuine. If you build up a reputable profile and then start promoting your site, you’ll get torn apart and thrown out. You might even get shadow-banned, which means that you won’t even know that no one can see your comments, posts, or up-and down-votes. 

You also won’t seem legitimate unless you’re involved in a few different subreddits, because no one posts on just one. Some subreddits won’t let you interact at all until your account shows activity on several forums.

Don’t be fake. Put time and effort into searching out valuable answers to the questions raised on subreddits. You can’t just jump straight into posting and commenting, because you’ll end up getting down-voted, muted, or banned. A great rule of thumb is submit content that is relevant, informative, and insightful, and respond to other users who engage with you.

The main “do not do” on Reddit is to break the rules, but it can be astonishingly easy to break one. For example, don’t spam. You’d never spam, so that sounds easy, right? That’s what I thought, too. But then I got banned for sharing different blog posts that originate from the same source, even though I posted them over a week apart.

 

Our Favorite Subreddits

To give you a head start on Reddit, I’m sharing my favorite subreddits for B2B marketing. 

 

Digital and B2B Marketing

As you know, my heart is in digital and B2B marketing, so that’s where my Reddit persona is too. I’m following:

 

Tech

I’m always looking to learn more about tech, so that I can better understand my clients and stay up to date.

 

Cyber Security

My passion is the tricky world of cyber security marketing. Here are the subreddits where cyber security aficionados and professionals hang out.  

Other

I don’t like to focus only on tech, cyber security, and marketing, so I also follow subreddits that expand my knowledge of the world, and just entertain me. 

  • r/askreddit 
    With more than 24 million members(!), this is a place for deep, thought-provoking, or plain fun questions, like “What was the weirdest date you’ve ever been on?
  • r/entrepreneur
    A supportive, mind-expanding subreddit with over half a million entrepreneurs asking questions, discussing challenges, and sharing achievement. 
  • r/futurology
    If you want to discover all the biggest, most exciting, and most ambitious tech projects current under way, join the 14+ million members of this subreddit! 
  • r/dataisbeautiful
    13.8 million members who love to share visual data representations of fascinating data, like “Best selling video game consoles 1977 - 2019.”
  • r/awww
    Sometimes, you just need a break. This is my favorite place for a cuteness overload, where over 79,000 people share cute photos and videos. As a proud cat-lady, this subreddit definitely sucks me down the Reddit-hole more than once!

 

Reddit is a Treasure Trove for Marketers

Although you need to take care to obey the rules and the Reddiquette, Reddit is a surprisingly powerful platform for B2B marketing professionals to learn more about your target audience, plumb market trends, and gently position your brand as thought leaders and providers of valuable insights. Most marketers overlook the potential of Reddit, so join the outliers who leverage it to the max. Final tips: be smart and if you fail, rise and try again!

 

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About the Author

Sharon Enkaoua

Sharon is an Inbound Marketing Manager at Marketing Envy. Marketing, yoga and cats are her pet loves, soon to be competing with a fetish for HubSpot certifications.

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