Taking Risks—The Key to Successful Reddit Advertising

Taking Risks—The Key to Successful Reddit Advertising

As we reported last month, the niche-for-everyone network Reddit has focused much of 2015 on building an advertising business foundation.

This includes its sponsored-post-supported site Upvoted, and branded videos via a partnership with Google. But the very vehicle that offers such vast opportunities for marketers—36 million user accounts and counting—can also provide some landmines.

As AdWeek writes, campaigns on Reddit run the risk of “getting flamed or trolled by anonymous users.” It’s taking that risk on, however, that could be the key to successful Reddit advertising. One of those bold strategy changes is “unbranding,” according to Ghost Influence founder Brian Swichkow.

Such a tactic involves learning the style and voice of a community like Reddit’s. Offering ostensibly exclusive information to that community fits with its intimate environment (there are more than 850,000 subreddits).

Because those niches of talk are viewed by users as “their own,” Swichkow says, “they are much more likely to adopt the info as their own,” and carry it across social media.

Even brands who have found themselves under the thumb of some angry users (like REI, whose CEO’s recent Ask-Me-Anything thread was flooded with critiques of their “hyperfocus on selling memberships”) are not ready to write off the platform just yet.

Signs of effective content marketing on Reddit keep popping up: from the $120,000-per-month revenue generated there by Beardbrand to a thriving community of fans for GoPro.

It appears that adapting to an audience—even one as kaleidoscopic as Reddit’s—is a worthy job for those marketers seeking a broader reach.