What do B2B marketers stand to gain by using Reddit?
Just how effective is Reddit for advertising and organic marketing communication, and what are some of the top tips and advice for B2B marketers new to Reddit or those looking to expand their presence on the social media platform?
Let’s take a look at the answers to these questions and more, including eight things B2B marketers need to know about social news aggregator and discussion platform Reddit, including why more businesses than ever will be using the platform in 2021 and beyond.
While by no means a thorough guide to marketing with Reddit, we’ll explore what it is, who uses it, what it’s doing to help marketers, how some B2B marketers are using it, plus some of the latest news from the social media platform.
1 — What Is Reddit & Who Uses It?
As one of the world’s most used websites and the fifth most-visited in the U.S., Reddit presently counts some 430 million average monthly active users, generating more than 30 billion monthly views of user-generated content in over 130 thousand message board communities.
74 percent of consumers in a joint Reddit and YPulse survey said in a whitepaper that Reddit — founded 15 years ago — is where they learn about the topics they love the most.
Earlier this year our senior content marketing manager Joshua Nite advised B2B marketers to proceed, but with some caution, when considering Reddit, in “6 Unconventional Social Channels for B2B Marketing.”
“If your target audience is on Reddit, it’s worth testing the waters with a few sponsored posts. Just keep it transparent, honest and genuine: There’s a whole sub-Reddit devoted to mocking tone-deaf marketing,” Joshua urged.
In my article “B2B Marketing Mythbusters: Dispelling 10 Common Myths with Extraordinary Marketing,” I used Reddit as an example of the myth that B2B marketers don’t use cool social media platforms, and pointed out that Fortune 500 firms now regularly have social media presences on the more fashionable social channels such as Giphy, Snapchat, Facebook Horizons — the social media giant’s foray into the virtual reality (VR) world — and certainly Reddit.
2 — What Is Reddit Doing To Help Marketers?
Reddit has noted its ability to let advertisers target their audiences, tell their stories, and measure their success, along with the opportunity to reach influential communities where millions of people are engaging with relevant content — all areas that B2B marketers are keen on improving.
Reddit offers a variety of promoted post options that let marketers place ads throughout the platform as well as in the firm’s official app.
To encourage businesses to try advertising on the platform, over the past year Reddit has partnered with three research firms and released report data showing some of the advantages Reddit offers over other social media sites.
In conjunction with Verto Analytics, Reddit has explored how the platform offers a unique path to driving purchases, in “Reddit’s Role in the Path to Purchase.”
The study compared some 1,500 instances of product research on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, and found that Reddit users evaluate just over twice as many brands in up to four times as many research sessions as on other platforms, with the notable exclusion of LinkedIn*, traditionally the leading social media platform among B2B marketers, which was not included in the survey.
The study noted that Reddit users decide on purchases nine times faster than on other social platforms, spend 15 percent more, and are some 13 percent more likely to share positive messages about a brand both online and offline. For B2B marketers dealing with often lengthy sales cycles, some of the speed advantages seen for Reddit could be a welcome experience.
Reddit users appear to spend more time in the consideration stage of the purchasing journey than those on other platforms — with its 32 percent tally versus 20 percent for other platforms, and they also tend to spend less time in the decision making stage.
The study also found that a whopping 90 percent of consumers trust the research they do using Reddit more than other websites or apps, a situation that will appeal to B2B marketers who have been working hard to rebuild eroded trust in marketing, as our CEO Lee Odden explored recently in “In Search of Trust: How Authentic Content Drives Customer Experience.”
Earlier this year Reddit joined with GlobalWebIndex to conduct a study examining Reddit’s increasing role in the online community space, resulting in the 29-page “The Era of We and the Rise of Online Communities” report.
The report offers marketers looking to begin advertising on Reddit a fair amount of background data including what the platform’s users want brands to be using Reddit for, with the leading desired qualities being content that is:
- Trendy / Cool
3 — How Are B2B Marketers Using Reddit?
“We’re using data sets like Reddit, where the depth and the quality of conversation are extremely high in the communities,” Brian Wright, social media listening and intelligence leader at Wells Fargo recently told eMarketer.
Jennifer Heyman, vice president of digital and social media at Wells Fargo, also mentioned Reddit in our annual social media marketing trends article, “13 Top B2B Social Media Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2020.”
“My prediction is that brands will divert spend from large paid awareness campaigns to more targeted authentic conversations found on platforms like Reddit or in Facebook Groups,” Jennifer observed.
“Essentially a shift of paid spend to the channels enabling a more focused and direct conversation with a customer. Personalization will continue to dominate social conversation, as brands emphasize both staying connected and infusing some fun into the message,” she added.Brands will shift social media focus from paid spend to channels enabling a more focused and direct conversation with a customer. @jheyman Click To Tweet
Wells Fargo also mentions Reddit in some of its educational resources, noting that “Sites like Reddit and Quora are also popular options where potential students can talk about applying to schools,” all joining to highlight the social media platform’s increasing presence among large businesses.
Marketers promoting podcasts can connect with specific audiences on Reddit, or in its podcast-specific /r/podcasting sub-Reddit. Outside of that sub-Reddit, podcast marketers can generally find greater acceptance by first becoming known to an audience on the platform rather than posting links — to podcasts or any manner of outside content — right off the bat.
Podcasts have seen increasing numbers of listeners during the pandemic, and we’ve examined the growing success of podcasting among B2B marketers in several recently article including “What B2B Podcasters Need to Know About SEO” and “B2B Podcasting: 20 Stats that Make the Marketing Case.”
4 — AMAs Find A Welcome Home On Reddit
Reddit has also been a popular platform for hosting ask-me-anything (AMA) events, which can be a good way for B2B firms to begin utilizing the service if the interviewee is especially relevant to a particular topic.
Even NASA used Reddit’s /askscience sub-Reddit for a recent AMA event with planetary scientists and astrobiologists, which the organization cross-promoted on its LinkedIn and other social media accounts.
Technology giant Accenture also recently used its /accenture sub-Reddit for an AMA with its managing director Tristan Morel L’Horset, and last year the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity conducted its first Reddit-hosted AMA, featuring the noted festival’s managing director Simon Cook.
5 — Finding Relevant Audiences & Low-Hanging Keywords
In “The Guide to Unbundling Reddit,” Greg Isenberg, growth advisor at TikTok, has examined how Reddit has been affected by the pandemic, and looks at tools such as RedditList.com for finding relevant audiences.
The folks at Backlinko recently explored how to use keyword-finding tools such as those from SEMrush or Ahrefs to find relevant Reddit keywords for marketing efforts, in “17 Advanced SEO Techniques for 2020.”
HubSpot also recently took a look at some of the challenges and opportunities marketers face using Reddit, in “Everything Our Paid Team Learned From Attempting a Reddit Advertising Strategy,” finding the platform’s audience engagement a key advantage.
6 — Reddit’s Penchant For Technology Industry Professionals
With an especially avid cadre of technology enthusiasts, Reddit joins developer communities at GitHub, LinkedIn, HackerNews and others as go-to social destinations for engineers and programmers, making it a good choice for B2B firms in those sectors.
The tech-savvy nature of many of the communities on Reddit may seem merciless and intimidating at first glance, however with proper interactions brands can find valuable communication possibilities on the platform, especially when B2B marketers take the time to understand their audience and the questions they’re asking.
7 — Reddit Helps Customers Vent & Connect
Reddit joined Twitter and Facebook as the go-to platforms for venting about poor brand experiences online, with Twitter typically offering the speediest replies from brands — according to survey data from WhoIsHostingThis?
With enough effort, B2B brands that genuinely care about addressing such concerns can find Reddit a good spot for building goodwill, as we explored in “Wow Your Crowd: How Content Marketers Can Create Powerful Audience Connections,” and “B2B Marketers, Are Your Content Marketing Efforts Sparking Joy for Your Audience?”
8 — What Else Is Up With Reddit Lately?
Reddit is presently running an “Up the Vote” brand marketing campaign — its first — as Adweek’s Sara Jerde chronicled in “Reddit’s Cheeky Marketing Campaign Encourages Users to Vote.”
In May Reddit tapped a former Pinterest and Google advertising leader in a move aimed at bringing more brand advertising activity to the platform, a shift that also saw the firm restructuring its sales team to adjust to changes brought by the global health crisis.
This year Reddit also rolled out its most visible advertising format to date, with “Trending Takeover” 24-hour campaigns that offer prime exposure advertisers, after having tested the format with partners including Adobe* and Spotify.
Adobe previously partnered with Reddit for a unique collaborative global digital canvas, with “Reddit X Adobe,” featuring thousands of artistic layers of imagery from users around the world.
Make Your Reddit High Noon Move Count
While Reddit may no longer be the wild west for B2B marketers, incorporating it into your strategy doesn’t have to be a shootout at high noon if you take to heart the information we’ve explored together here.
When coupled with a powerful strategy such as B2B influencer marketing, Reddit can play an important role in driving successful business and customer communications.
* LinkedIn and Adobe are TopRank Marketing clients.