Reddit brands finding content

Since launching in 2005, Reddit has grown to more than 330 million visitors. The site is a destination for anyone to create, share, and discuss online news which are then organized with a kind of voting system. As Redditors are known to be ruthless with brands, the platform should be used with caution and respect for its user base. One content marketer has proven that Reddit is great place to find niche content marketing ideas. We spoke to Daniel Russell, COO of Go Fish Digital, on what he’s learned.

Given that 64% of Reddit users are between 19 and 29 years old, why aren’t more brands using this channel?

Reddit is confusing.  The interface is busy and not clearly laid out.  When you add Reddit’s unique culture and inside baseball humor, Reddit can be intimidating for a lot of brands and feel a little out of reach for most social and marketing teams. Reddit (the organization) has never made a big push to become profitable, so there hasn’t been much courting of advertisers and businesses.

What could more established or luxury brands gain from using Reddit as part of their content strategy?

Reddit may seem pretty out there to some more conservative brands, but its a treasure trove of unique (and even conservative) ideas and concepts that can be leveraged into effective content.  I usually recommend finding a subreddit dedicated to a topic related, either directly or tangentially, to your business and seeing what performs best there.  It might be something as classic as Q&As or informational diagrams, but at least you’ll know it’s content that’s already been verified as interesting by an audience that’s probably similar to yours.

Can you provide a few examples of how you’ve found content direction for brands that want to reach Gen Y & Z?

According to a Pew Research study on Reddit’s user base, the platform’s users tend to be more white, male, and higher educated than the North American population’s average. Reddit users are two-thirds male and one-third female which is definitely something to take into consideration when you’re finding content on the platform.  But if your target market is majority female, don’t despair. There are many subreddits on the platform that are overwhelmingly female (like r/TwoXChromosomes), so you can still get useful insights for your target audience.

42% of Reddit users have a college or graduate degree, and another 40% are in higher education, but not yet graduated.  This puts Reddit’s base a big jump above the average education by population. Accompanying that are many different tastes, including a digital preference for news consumption and a penchant for spending lots of time online (47% stated they used the internet “constantly”).

What best practices should brands/marketers follow to be successful when speaking to the younger demographic on Reddit? And what should they avoid doing?

In general, brands should be very careful about engaging directly on Reddit.  Obviously you can always pay for advertising space on the platform, but Redditors are historically hostile to brands that try to interact with users. Redditors are especially afraid of native advertising or unbranded corporate messaging. There’s an entire subreddit dedicated to digging up accounts and posts created by businesses called r/HailCorporate.  So, long story short, take caution when trying to market directly on Reddit’s platform.

That being said, there are many instances where it makes sense to talk with users on Reddit.  Depending on your business and product, it may make sense to create a subreddit for your community and customers.  Several restaurants, fashion brands, and even software companies have dedicated subreddits where they occasionally interact with fans, run giveaways or promotions, and solve customer support questions.  If you decide to go this route, create an account that matches your brand name or at least matches other public facing social platform IDs (e.g. brandnameOfficial). Never try to slip advertising or marketing into other subreddit’s content.  Instead, use your account to support your existing communities or to provide a discussion platform that you can direct other customers to.

What tactics would you recommend to get in front of the next generation of consumers using Reddit?

Use Reddit to up your digital game across the board.  Take the trending content you see and adapt it to your business.  Push that content out to journalists to generate press and links. Use that content on your social platforms to boost engagement.  And if the Reddit community exists for your business already, think about engaging with them through a community-building (not advertising) lens.  You can use Reddit to get in front of new customers, and to drive existing customers to purchase more.