If you don’t know about Reddit, then you probably either work very hard during the day, or you don’t smile enough. Forget Facebook, forget Digg, do yourself a favor, and visit Reddit. Not only will you find some of the most interesting articles from across the web, you will find some of the most entertaining and insightful comments on those articles. The phrase “there’s an app for that,” has been said many times, but “there’s a reddit for that” should be equally as popular, because there really is a reddit for everything. Whether you’re into politics, science, pics of hot chicks or kittens, there’s a “sub” reddit where you can find information about the topic.
But enough about reddit, let’s talk about advertising:
The demo of reddit skews heavily male, and most of the posts tend to be satirical in nature. So, when it came to advertising PetFlow.com on Reddit, we first tested a fairly “comedic” approach:
The above ad got us almost no sales, and while we found the ad to be quite funny, many “redditors” did not, and we got quite a few negative comments.
We tested a few more ads, and while the response was “okay,” we really weren’t getting the response we were hoping for, until we realized something. Reddit is not just about advertising, it’s about spurring discussion, and running an ad for just a day or two, is not the way to get reddit to work. So, we decided to just create an ad and let it run.
The above ad ran on reddit for over 30 days, and while it generated almost no sales in the first few days, we all of a sudden started seeing sales roll in. And the more comments that were posted, and replied to by our company, the more likely people were to buy. If you think about it, there really aren’t that many places on the internet where you can advertise, have people discuss your product or service, and then visit your site to buy from you – and reddit allows you to do this.
So, a few pointers about advertising on reddit:
1) Have a compelling product or service to sell – and make sure it appeals to a broad market, but predominantly males.
2) Don’t simply expect sales right away – let your ad run, for at least 7 days. And make sure you respond to all of the questions/comments about the product/service.
Lastly, a note on how reddit self service advertising works: It’s a little different from other places where you might be able to buy media. It’s not CPC, it’s not CPM, it’s not even CPA. The way reddit works is they count up the amount of media spend dedicated for a particular day, figure out what percentage of that amount was contributed by each particular advertiser, and that is the percentage of impressions that the advertiser gets. So, if you spend $1,000 and another advertiser spends $1,000, you each get 50% of the inventory. If, the next day, you spend $1,000 and the other advertiser spends $50, you get 95% of the impressions. It’s a bit of a crapshoot as you don’t know how much others are spending, but it’s worked for us.
Alex Zhardanovsky is co-Founder of Epic Advertising (fka AzoogleAds) and has been in the online advertising space since 1999. He recently co-founded PetFlow.com, an online retailer of pet food & accessories.