The Reddit Marketing Guide

At the time of writing Reddit has almost 450 million active monthly users and is the 7th most popular social media app in the United States (Source: Backlinko). It is full of active communities, known as subreddits, where users share posts and comments on topics they are interested in. Reddit is often a starting point for viral content and trends that you will then see being shared on other social media platforms.

For a marketer, this should be a prime target audience to get your brand in front of. However, Reddit is not like the other social media sites that are popular with marketers. If you approach Reddit with the same tactics as your other social media pages you are going to end up disappointed. This Reddit Marketing Guide should give you a good insight into what the platform is all about.

What is Reddit?

Reddit is the self-anointed “front page of the internet”. It’s one part social news platform and one part discussion forum. Users post content in the form of text, video or images to the site which can be then be commented on by other users. Posts can also be ‘upvoted’ or ‘downvoted’ depending on their popularity. The content is policed by the Reddit community so the good posts will be upvoted and feature on some of the most popular feeds while the irrelevant and spammy content is downvoted.

The site is broken down into community pages known as subreddits. There are over 2.8 million of them on the site and cover almost every topic or interest you can think of. The subreddit r/WallStreetBets went viral earlier this year and now has 10.7 million users all trying to make it “to the moon 🚀”. The impact the users in that subreddit had on the financial markets has helped to bring Reddit further into the limelight and the site has seen a major increase in traffic in 2021. The most popular subreddits are r/announcements, r/funny and r/AskReddit with a combined subscriber count of over 170 million.


Marketing on Reddit

There’s two options for businesses who want to engage with their community on Reddit – organic posting and paid advertising. This is not Facebook or Instagram where people expect to be hit with advertisements while scrolling through an image-heavy feed. People log in to Reddit to look at interesting posts and discuss topics with others.

Brands have to be much more nuanced about how they market themselves on Reddit. They have many rules and regulations around self-promotion and some brands have fallen foul of this before. It’s also very hard to get the balance right between business-speak and the personal touch needed on the site. Reddit is set-up as a peer-to-peer forum and it can be tough for a business account to match the tone needed on the site. In fact, Electronic Arts (EA) have the most downvoted post in Reddit history (-683,000) when one of their community managers replying to a complaint from EA’s official Reddit page.

“It’s perfectly fine to be a redditor with a website, it’s not okay to be a website with a reddit account” – quote from Reddit’s Self Promotion Guidelines.

Posting on Reddit

If you plan on using Reddit for marketing your business, it’s important to understand your audience and how they use the platform. It’s not a place for businesses to spam with links to product or use brand-focused copy. People often visit Reddit to talk about brands and products because they get unfiltered and neutral views from other users. This is not an invite for these brands to push in with their thoughts. Sometimes it is better to monitor and listen to the chatter on Reddit. This will give you a good insight into what people want from your business and how you are perceived in comparison to your competitors.

Reddit Ads

Paid social media advertising is becoming even more important for businesses looking to trade online in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a boom in online shopping and for many consumers social media is their first port of call for pre-purchase research. Reddit is an undervalued advertising platform. It has a wide ranging audience with varying interests. The users on the site skew younger meaning it is a great opportunity to engage a new group of consumers for many brands.

Reddit has a comprehensive list of rules and regulations when it comes to advertising. It’s important to take these into consideration when preparing your campaigns. The main focus of these regulations is that all advertisements need to be of high-quality. There should be a consistency between the ad copy and the information shown on the landing page.

Ad Formats & Targeting

As for the ad itself, you really have two options. Reddit Ads allows either video or image-based advertisements. Display ads are probably the most popular ad types on Reddit at the moment. Your advertisement can be a product advertisement or a customer story with images and copy to support your goal. You can choose between CPV, CPL or CPC bidding for these ad types. Advertisers can also post video content through the Reddit Ads dashboard with budgets here determined by CPM and CPV bids. Finally, carousel ads are also available which gives brands the opportunity to post six images promoting their products or services. The bid types for carousel ads are CPC and CPM.

The Reddit Ads Campaign Dashboard allows you to choose from five objectives. These are:

  • Brand Awareness & Reach
  • Traffic
  • Conversions
  • Video Views
  • App Installs

The targeting also allows you to target by user interest. Reddit includes users who have recently engaged with content around these interests. Advertisers can also target specific subreddits. These are available on a limited basis. Reddit considers a number of criteria before making a subreddit targetable. These include size, brand safety and expected advertiser demand. Targeting can also be broken down by device type. This means you can target iOS or Android mobile users or people who are scrolling through Reddit on their desktop.


As mentioned throughout this piece, Reddit’s advertising platform is underused and undervalued in comparison to other social media sites. Reddit are looking to change this and they have started the process by adding an in-house marketing and creative agency to their roster. This internal agency is known as KarmaLab and is “dedicated to setting brands up for long-term success on the platform.” This move to an internal agency will only strengthen Reddit’s marketing capabilities and also help to make their site more advertiser-friendly.

Internal agencies are something we have been talking about for a while now and we recently produced a guide on How to set up an Internal Agency which you can download here.

Conclusion: Reddit Marketing

Businesses are becoming aware of the value that Reddit can bring to their brand. The growing userbase combined with their unique and engaging layout has seen Reddit surge in popularity over the last couple of years. Reddit Ads has not seen the same growth yet although that is expected to change. Spotify, PlayStation, Netflix, Nissan and many other well-known brands have run successful campaigns on Reddit over the last two years.

There is a great opportunity for brands to build an engaged, valuable following on Reddit. As mentioned throughout the piece, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid too. Reddit can be a ruthless place when you don’t get your messaging right. It’s important to consider who you’re talking to and what they want to hear. From the other side of things Reddit is also a great place to pick up on new trends that you can use to boost your marketing communications in other places.

Brands have to be clever with their content if they want to gain any traction on the site. We have run campaigns on Reddit targeting different audiences and for clients in different industries. In our experience, Reddit can bring a niche audience to your brand with detailed targeting allowed on the Reddit Ads dashboard.

Some guides which may help

Keep up to date with the latest digital marketing trends by visiting our blog.

You can also follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter for more digital marketing related content.