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State of Search 2015 – Brent Csutoras of Pixel Road Designs on Reddit Ads

This content is 6 years old. Please, read this page keeping its age in mind as SEO changes rapidly and while the past is useful to remember and reference, it often doesn't provide the best strategies to apply today.

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Why reddit? Why do you need to be there? Reddit is probably the single source for anything that goes viral. Reddit has has the most consistent growth over time month to month. In March they had 151 million UVs and are now at 208 million in Nov.

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Reddit’s current site is the same as it has been for the past 6 years, it’s very simple and it works, however, they are currently making some changes to focus on a better user experience and have implemented a growth team.

Reddit ads can be a very affordable option for many as the self serve ads start at only $20 however if you are looking for managed ads you’ll need a significantly higher budget as they start at $30,000. The managed ad option does have a lot of extra perks as well though like allowing you to have many different ad types including banners, videos, mobile targeting etc.

Currently ads are all on a first come first serve basis but this will be moving to an auction system very soon though there is no official date on this currently.

Targeting ads:

You options for targeting your ad are “interests” or “subreddits”. Don’t choose “interests”. Your ad has to fit the rules of each specific subreddit so choosing interests can really limit you. However if you want to be on the reddit front page then “interests” is the route to go.

Know your audience:

Write to your demographic! Your ads must be personalized, eg “Hey Redditors …”. Reddit is a community of real people who communicate in a real way. Be on their level and talk to them in a way that is expected within the community.

Engage users:

  • Identify frustration points to solve
  • Invite interactions
  • Ask questions
  • Offer a deal/coupon (“Hey reddit, this is a coupon just for you…”)

Be engaged:

  • Be a human, be personal
  • Answer questions
  • Participate in comments, don’t turn comments off and be sure to participate all the time!
  • Monitor constantly, don’t do reddit if you aren’t prepared to participate, true for all social really, don’t “set it and forget it” Good social marketing takes effort.
  • Don’t be defensive – respond and acknowledge and say “we’re trying, thanks for letting us know” etc.

Be creative:

  • Use witty titles
  • Offer prizes or payment for engagement with your campaign. Maybe offer out some reddit Gold
  • Hold reddit only contests

Misc Tips:

  • Always use a thumbnail
  • Create a custom landing page specific to a reddit user
  • Research (look at other peoples ads to see what’s working and what’s not)
  • Use different ads for each subreddit
  • Test

Focus group examples:


Took the approach that works well with the reddit community of not trying to take users to their site, but rather just being there to talk to Redditors. Made their posts very personal and engageing by asking Redditors what they would like. They mentioned that they have Redditors in their company and included them in the post.

They really personalized for the reddit audience and then personally delivered the answers to the questions that they were asked. They used the subreddit as a focus group for content ideas plus they got feedback and brand recognition. It was a big win for them.


They created an ad campaign that asked people do you “Want to get teleported?” It was designed specific to the reddit community. They spoke to the audience, complimented them and ran a contest exclusive to them however they allowed Redditors to share it with whomever they liked through the use of a hashtag. They created ads that direected people not to their site but back to the reddit post. All the ads were very much reddit specific, made for that audience. There was no link to their site aside from in the main description and still almost 200,000 visitors went through to the contest page on their site. So even without directing people via the usual linking methods they gained tons of visits to their site as well as gaining great brand awareness.

Things to remember:

  • It’s important to get the right person for the campaign
  • Review similar campaigns
  • Be genuine, transparent, and engaged throughout the entire campaign
  • embrace tough questions
  • Identify the right subreddit and target audience – go for where there is more activity (check out
  • Create your campaign for Redditors. Know the right format for your audience

Consider starting an AMA (ask me anything) There is a main AMA but also AMA subreddits.

If you aren’t sold on reddit yet then consider for a moment that really reddit is where stories break, even world journalists go to reddit to get information. Reddit is a place for in-depth discussion which is totally different than social sites like FB and TW, it is far more engaging in that users really get to talk to each other in a way that no other social media sites allow for.

Finally, remember it is so important to stay engaged! This is a key factor in the reddit community and will play a major role in determining if you succeed or fail in this network. And be sure to always remember who it is you are talking to.Use easy to digest titles and post them in the right subreddits.

The slide deck for Brent’s presentation can be found here.


Find Brent at:

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