Before getting to the meat, let us just make a quick recap.
In essence, it’s a mega discussion board. As many as 330 million unique users spend their time on this 5th largest US website (and 18th larges when talking worldwide).
Reddit is divided into tens of thousands of so-called “subreddits” which is a local term for a specific topic thread. Moreover, all users who rpartake in the discussion can personally receive either an appraisal or disapproval from peer Reddit patrons via score system called “karma.”
Karma is gained and lost when people upvote or downvote your posts, comments and when you engage in other onsite activity (like reposting). It could’ve remained a simple medal system if sometimes it wasn’t required to get into some subreddits (a sort of an entry barrier). Certain types of activity like making your posts with pictures or leaving comments in those subreddits also might have various krama requirements. Naturally, low karma of user’s post may be hidden from other users, which is the main defense mechanism against bots, local spammers and general bad-manner users.
Although using anonymous aliases on Reddit is a common thing (and is expected), these accounts each have a traceable history of posts and replies in addition to gained “karma.” Thus it is super-easy for any reader to assess the general usefulness, sincerity, and attitude of the writer for a preliminary decision of whether to trust what he/she posts. The importance of this transparency for e-commerce marketing on Reddit will be discussed a bit further.
Upon a glimpse of a Reddit from the marketing perspective, two things should immediately come to one’s attention.
One is that this website is in English and US users account for over 50%. Which kind of limits the use of this website for e-commerce of goods that either
Can be delivered online or
Can be physically brought to the US soil at a reasonable price (and with easy logistics for the buyer)
Two is that Reddit is above all else a place where people come the exchange thoughts and ideas on mutual subjects of interest. Not to scroll the fancy pictures like in Instagram or get up to date with the news like in Facebook. Reddit boasts a higher than most websites readers to active commenters ratio (these readers are also called “lurkers”). This is important because not everything an e-commerce website has to offer is in fact worthy of being put to public discussion. The goods that are too specialized (e.g. some industrial tunneling equipment) will thus require copious amount of “knowledge seeding” and attracting rare individuals who are familiar with the subject before anything can be offered for sale. And the goods/ services that are too easy to come buy (like an Alibaba dropshipper) will need some god-like marketing skills for hype generation and building up of anxiety before trying to offer something (without risking your karma). But let us assume that your product (or service) meets the above criteria and you are good to go for the Redditors!
The need for naturally growing one’s credibility in the eyes of Reddit patrons can sometimes be too much for a regular business owner or a marketing manager, even if he/ she did well with other means of social marketing like Instagram. This is why there are a few essay writing service who are experienced at keeping close contact with the Reddit public. These people know how to keep Redditors entertained and sell stuff to them at the same time. But if you feel you are up to the challenge of winning hearts and minds on your own, proceed to the tips’ list below!
1. Sponsored posts
Just like it says on the box: Reddit allows you to engage in paid marketing. Reddit payment system Your ad copy can either be “text ad” or “link ad.” Whichever you pick, it will get displayed for a respective target audience and marked as sponsored.
People who’ve dealt with Facebook or Google paid ads before will find the interface quite familiar. The following settings are available to pin-point you desired audience:
Target users by their interests (keywords and negative keywords)
Choose specific subreddit they subscribe to
Day and time
Device type (mobile or desktop)
All ads are displayed on an auction-based system (you need to set up daily bid starting from $5/day) and CPM (1000 impressions) is the only type of payment available on this platform.
This kind of marketing is treated by Reddit communities pretty much like any other online ads which try to look like regular messages: if your ad copy conveys clear message and is highly relevant to the selected audience you will get some interest. The difference lies in karma score of the account who posts the ads, as accounts with more karma are usually treated by patrons as certainly more worthy of attention.
2. Banner Ads
You will find no self-service banner ads option on Reddit. Don’t bother looking for one. The only viable way to get your banners to be shown on Reddit is direct negotiations with the portal. Which is typically honored from a large and well-established business. So unless it say “Google” on your office, you’d best move to ninja marketing section.
Here Comes The Meat! Ninja Marketing On Reddit
3. Reddit hates spammers and promoters
Simply jumping into a subreddit topic closest to what you want to sell and offer your product or service there is a “highway to hell” with Reddit audience. Believe it or not - you are likely not to be the first person to try and push your goods forward here. And must Reddit patrons are smart enough to see that intention. In addition, unlike Instagram of YouTube Reddit offers them an instrument to quickly downvote your annoying advertising to the point of utter demise.
To be effective with your business on Reddit you should first understand the culture of this community and how to get your point (non-commercial and commercial) through in a most effective manner. There are different posts as well, and you should be prepared nor only for discussion, but for writing a long story to share your experience. You may are thinking right now, that I need someone to write my essay for posting on Reddit, and surely that can be a solution for creating a large number of long read comments. Above all else, you will have to truly and honestly commit yourself to some time of building up your Reddit account image and growing your karma before effectively offering people anything. So think ninja.
4. Where does your audience reside? Do your homework.
To engage efficiently in the ninja advertising on Reddit, you will need first to do some preliminary research. Find out what subreddits (topic threads) address the issues that are in your (and your product’s) subject field. Are you in car repairs? Search car maintenance audience. Are you a massage therapist? Dig into sports or back pain discussions.
See how many people are partaking and what kind of info is most praised by local subreddit audience.
5. Be proactive and build up your karma and professional image
Once you’re done with the research and successfully found your potential customers, you should start working on the rename of your account. Do actively engage in discussion. Answer questions and comment where appropriate. Be polite and be helpful. Bring value to the table. Over time (and sometimes with sufficient karma gain) your contributions will get noted, and your advice on the subject X will start to be recognised as an expert by the community.
Only after this you should attempt to openly offer of a product or service and expect in to be met with enthusiasm and eager by Reddit patrons.
Why bother that much at all you might as at this point? Well, there is a good reason. Reddit is in fact great fo e-commerce shops as it allows you to address very specific needs of customers who you just can't target effectively by any other means. And should you meet their expectations both with a word of advise and a quality product you are likely to get more devoted and trusting long-term customers than anywhere else on the Internet. This holds true to both paid and ninja advertising: the more renown you are amongst Reddi public the more trustworthy your ads will be, regardless if you pay Reddit for it ot not.
6. Ask questions and study your customers
Now, this is the real meat. As Reddit tends to attract a more proactive audience in general (more so than the Facebook or Instagram) you will find some strong and well-grounded opinions here on a wide area of subjects. If so - why now use this feature and ask the people very specific and important questions:
What do they think of your product?
How do they like the new design?
Can we improve it somehow?
What about marketing?
Was our customer service helpful?
Being open and actively engaging your customers in such Q&A activities might help you with some surprisingly deep understanding as to how to make/ sell your goods better. Good advice would be to remain initiative and open a classical AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with your potential customers. Also, remember that whenever a person makes a buying decision, he or she is far more likely to address the salesman they know in person (even in it's on the account name) than a totally strange shop offering of the same stuff. So treat this not only as research but as an extra marketing effort which may yield grade results by itself.
7. Exclusive discounts and offers
When you do decide it’s time to engage your fellow Reddit audience with some selling materials - you may take it a step further. Offer the unique discount right there in the thread. Alternatively, run a lottery for the first five buyers to get some valuable little extra from you. Redditors, after all, are a somewhat unique gang. So why not reward them with a little extra for their trust in you and your product?
8. Keep sticky contact with your customers
Another diamond opportunity Reddit offer to an e-commerce business is that it’s a much more two-way marketing channel than your usual social media with ads due to the nature of the community. It makes a perfect ground for troubleshooting and Q&A sessions with your customers. By no means, you should use it as the only customer service contact point, but rather as a place where you and your customers can get more intimate discussion and create that extra goodwill.
How should you go about it? Make sure you are there when somebody has purchased your good or service. Be bold and ask them if they found their purchase and usage experience satisfying? Did they like it? Did they encounter any trouble when buying or using it? Whom would they recommend it to? Etc.
Do so and not only you will gain respect (and more karma) from fellow Reddit users and those who will find this thread in future.
9. Go for the fans and enthusiasts
While not an all-around advice, if you are into merchandising or a subculture tailored product - go for the fans. This range greatly from Star Trek fans to young mothers. From Linux users to vegans. And many are found on Reddit.
These people would certainly sniff out a bold promoter from a mile (and demise their karma respectively). But if you do give yourself labour to study their subreddits, their culture and values, if you take a genuine interest in the community and to partake in talks and making valuable content… You will surely get praised for offering and selling them something relevant to their passion later on.
10. Keep an eye for market trends
This idea is somewhat similar to point 4, but the results can be used regardless of whether you are about to start ninja marketing on Reddit or not.
All you need is to define the existing subreddits which get visited by your potential customers and scrutiny them carefully. Moreover, if there is not one - than that is also an indication for you.
This tip arguably requires the least effort on your behalf: just gain enough karma to enter the subreddit in question (if it has a karma entry barrier at all) and that’s it. Once you do get inside and you see a living and vivid community - start gathering intelligence for your e-commerce business. Read on what’s hot right now. What are Redditors talking about the most (apart from kittens or sex that is; nothing beats kittens on Reddit). Learn of your potential customers’ pain and how they go about it. Assess your rival by how often they get mentioned and what the patrons find good and bad about them.
While not selling or promoting your product directly, you may still gather a great deal of info about your market niche and make sure that your respective product is up to the mark.
11. Talk with other small-business owners
Would you sell your product to the people whom you find in small business owners subreddits? Probably not. So why is this a tip #11? Well, it because this is how you can get some seriously deep and free advice on things that bother you as a business owner:
How to sell more?
How to keep positive contact with your customers?
How to keep the work-life balance in December?
Reddit is there to help people get in touch, discuss and solve their problems. And rest assured that there were others before you at some point in their business careers who faced and successfully surpassed what you are facing now. Have the courage to step forward and ask their advice or help. And again you may well be surprised by the hidden power of Reddit. And its fellow patron Redditors.