How to get your content on Reddit: 6 tips for digital marketers
If you’ve not heard about Reddit, where have you been?
Just kidding. In a nutshell, Reddit is a user-generated content aggregator and discussion board where the audience ‘votes’ on the posts they like. When a post receives enough ‘upvotes’, it appears on Reddit’s much coveted front page, driving hundreds of thousands of views or clicks to a website or video.
Not only that, but huge publications such as Buzzfeed are constantly trawling Reddit for content and news hooks. If you’re lucky, they’ll pick up on yours.
Sounds pretty good, eh?
Here are a few practical tips I’ve learned in my six years as a Redditor combined with five as a content marketer on how to make your content work for the platform.
Choose your subreddit wisely
Reddit is divided up into thousands, if not tens of thousands, of different sections – created by its users – called ‘subreddits’. There’s a subreddit for almost anything you can think of, from funny cat videos to enjoying a beer in the shower.
Some subs are enormous, with millions of subscribers, such as /r/funny (for funny stuff) and /r/videos (for videos).
For our recent video for sat nav and wearable tech brand, Garmin, it was tempting to try and get our video with comedian Joe Wilkinson onto one of these enormous subs. However, the branded nature of the video and the sheer volume of posts every single second meant it could easily get lost, with one lonely upvote.
We did our research to find the perfect section of the site and found it with /r/panelshow – a subreddit for people who love comedy panel shows.
Although the audience there is relatively small (28,000 people) they embraced the content due to familiar panel show faces such as Joe and Fabio.
The feedback was extremely valuable, with the comedy savvy community acknowledging although the content was branded, it was still a legitimate piece of comedy.
Reddit ended up being the biggest driver of traffic to the video on Garmin’s YouTube outside of the company’s own channels.
Create an account – and use it
When an account is created solely to plug a branded website or video, it is blindingly obvious. Users can click on your profile, see how long you’ve been a ‘Redditor’ and the content and comments you’ve posted.
Setting up your own account and using it to upvote and comment on things that interest you marks you out as a genuine user. That makes people more likely to trust what you post.
However, be sure to ask around the office to see whether there are any established Redditors lurking who’d be happy to help. Just ensure their usernames aren’t too weird or offensive first…
Think about your title
With our Garmin video, we tailored the title to our audience by making it intriguingly odd (much like Joe himself). This, along with referencing Joe, enticed people to click to find out what on earth was going on.
Write your title as if it was from an outsider. There’s an important distinction between “Joe Wilkinson goes in search of the UK’s largest Scotch Egg” and “We sent Joe Wilkinson…”
People will tolerate branded content on Reddit to a degree, but certainly not if it’s clearly been posted by the brand itself.
The best mindset to adopt is “If I randomly found this on the internet and wanted to share it with Reddit, what would I say?”
Create content with Reddit in mind
Much like you would if you were planning on selling in a piece of content to a news outlet or content aggregator, keep branding as minimal as possible and tell a story that appeals to a specific audience.
Look through the subreddits you’d like to target first to ascertain what kind of content works the best.
Get to know your audience
Due to the vast range of interests on Reddit, from makeup and cycling to watching people squeeze their spots (yes, really), you’re guaranteed to find your audience on there.
By looking at their discussions and gauging how they react to other content, you can learn how to best communicate with them.
You’ll also find tips and nuggets of information as well as pictures and videos you can share with your followers (as long as you ask the original poster for their permission).
No, really – make sure you ask their permission:
Reddit is not just about ticking all of the boxes. It’s a fast paced website and living community with thousands of things posted every second. A lot of it is luck and persistence, posting at key times and hoping the right people see it amongst everything else.
That’s why it’s important to manage expectations, pitching Reddit as a great way to amplify content but not necessarily as the core of your strategy.
By Helen Gradwell, Senior Content Executive