When it comes to news and content aggregation on the internet, there’s a good reason why Reddit uses the tagline “the front page of the internet”.
I should point out this article presupposes existing knowledge of social content sharing and news aggregator site, Reddit. Unfortunately, I would struggle to summarise Reddit in one short beginner-friendly paragraph, so if you’re not sure what a ‘Reddit’ is, it might help to refer to this helpful Reddit marketing field guide for a crash course before proceeding.
Importance of Reddit
You may not realise it, but if you engage with social media, you’re engaging with content that would still be slumped in some deep dark corner of a seldom visited niche message board, had it not been for Reddit. If that single mercurial Redditor hadn’t snatched the chance to re-post that picture of his ridiculously photogenic friend, or a stunning sedimentary sea stack in Ireland – it would never have appeared on your Facebook newsfeed.
My point is, stories break first on Reddit. You may see them first on “The Most Amazing Pics from the Internet” Facebook page, or when your favourite actor/comedian/blogger/author Tweets them out – chances are it’s internet life started on Reddit.
It’s been a while since Reddit shed it’s perception of serving only as a melting pot for the interweb’s geeky underbelly to compare PC builds, discuss the latest Warcraft title, or show off how many jugs of water you can slice open with your new katana.
Nowadays, Reddit’s incredible capacity for content aggregation & sharing, interactive discussion, and education is being utilised by politicians hosting AMAs (Ask Me Anything), chefs sharing recipes on /r/food, and the next generation of astroengineers self-learning over at /r/askscience.
So, how can brands get in on the action?
Surely there is some way for ad-marketers to harness the hive-minded power of Reddit’s user base when next they want to break the news of their latest campaign or generate heat around a new product launch.. right?
Well, it’s important to remember that although technically a social network-of-sorts, Reddit is a completely different beast when compared to ‘traditional’ social media (or second-generation social media as some may know it).
Forget banners, MRECs, and skyscrapers – there is no digital real-estate in Redditland, but they do offer alternatives. In 2013, Reddit began offering brands access to it’s legions of passionate Redditors through a sponsored link system, which caught the attention of advertisers en masse - and momentum has been solidly building since.
They Can Smell You
If you want to reach consumers through this channel, you have to be smart. Redditors are notoriously suspicious creatures, hostile to any form of marketing. If you truly want to capture them in their own environment, you must blend in. Carefully seeded content that takes into consideration the intricate complexities of Reddit decorum can generate impressive cut-through with audiences of a particular subreddit, and – if your post is popular enough and receives sufficient up-votes – the front page (of the internet!).
So, next time you find yourself stuck in the office at 3am because your social content strategy isn’t getting the attention of your hard to reach demographic, consider Reddit – it is after all the front page of the internet.