A marketer wondering if his money allotted to social media marketing is being well spent.
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Reddit typically isn’t on most B2B marketer’s radar, but maybe that needs to change. With over 330 million monthly unique visitors and over 18 billion views per month, the famed “Front Page of the Internet,” might hold some value for B2B brands.

To find out if our premise has merit, we asked some marketing experts to ascertain Reddit’s role in the B2B marketing space — if it has one at all, that is.  

What Are Reddit Ads?

Reddit ads are also known as promoted posts. The ads look similar to regular user posts, but they're subtly marked as promoted and blend seamlessly with the platform. Depending on your budget, the platform allows you to manage or self-serve advertising. From there, Reddit has a variety of campaign objectives like brand awareness, traffic and conversions to choose from.

Reddit generally puts the ad placement at the top of the subreddit. "This is great because it's above the fold," Jack Paxton, founder of Top Growth Marketing explains, "but at the same time, everyone knows the top two placements are ads." Therefore, you need to add tremendous value to get Redditors to click on the ad.

Related Article: Forrester's Top 10 Picks for Social Media Management Tools and Software

Do Reddit Ads Make Sense in the B2B Space?

"We've seen a nearly 40% increase in page views along with a similarly high increase in goal conversion on Google Analytics," said Michael Sheen of inteliKINECT. His company has focused mostly on ads for targeted blog posts. "As far as engagement goes, it’s been very good, but it’s unclear (or unlikely) that we have actually made any service sales from Reddit." He views the platform as a way to build credibility and a stronger SEO profile.

Paxton mentioned that his company "used Reddit ads to help scale B2B leads." With that said, he sees advertising on this channel as "one of the harder ones to get right for paid advertisers, especially in the B2B space."

It’s also worth noting that many business and technology focused subreddits do exist, creating fertile ground for B2B marketers in the tech space specifically. Examples include /r/sysadmin, /r/webdev.

How to Effectively Use Reddit Ads

Reddit ads are challenging, but worth the effort for many B2B brands. Here are some tips from companies that are using Reddit ads successfully.

1. Find the Right Subreddits

You need to put in the time to find suitable subreddits for your brand, as the site had over 150 thousand active communities at the end of 2018. Paxton recommends you "spend some time searching and googling for the best [subreddits], then making sure they are active." You don't want to target dead subreddits, or communities of hobbyists that have no buying intent.

2. Engage With the Community

Once you've narrowed it down to 3-5 subreddits to target, Paxton suggests, "join those groups and engage for a week or two before you publish [your] ads." Don't just start paying for ads right away, but get to know the community and determine the peak hours when the subreddit is most active.

3. Focus on Upvotes

Paxton recommends focusing on upvotes because "everyone knows what the ads look like on reddit and unless you have the upvotes to show popularity and value, your cost per click (CPC) will be crazy high." Upvotes help your brand establish credibility within a community. "We used [incentives] to get upvotes," Paxton adds, and this "helped us increase our upvotes big time."

4. Don't Hard Sell

Paxton says not to go for the hard sell, as most subreddits downvote or ban direct promotional posts. For this reason, many Redditors will be opposed to the banner ads. He adds, "we advertised a free webinar which had a lot of value and the conversion happened in the follow emails, Facebook group and additional training material."

5. Track Your Progress

You should experiment to find out what works for your brand. Paxton recommends, "Writing 5-10 titles to test and a few thumbnail options," as he believes this is essential for "getting that click-through rate (CTR) up from your Reddit ad." Paxton says to closely monitor your CTR and CPC in the Reddit ads dashboard. He also recommends using UTMs, which are tracking codes added to the end of URLs, and the Reddit Conversion Pixel to get additional insight into your ad performance.

Related Article: 8 Ways to Justify Your Social Media Marketing Program

Are Reddit Ads Right for You?

Reddit ads could be a beneficial lead generation tool for your B2B brand, but the platform isn't for everyone. "Reddit has some of the most engaged fans and will either love you, or hate you," Paxton states, and, "you will want to be in the love column." You need to follow a sound strategy so that Reddit ads don't negatively impact your brand.

"So if you are thinking of running Reddit ads, please [note] that it takes a lot of effort to get it right," Paxton concludes, "but when you do, it can be one of your most targeted and passionate traffic sources."