How to Use Reddit to Generate Leads
Do you know how to engage the reddit community?
In this article I’ll show you how brands can engage on reddit and create a successful lead generation campaign using Reddit sponsored headlines.
Reddit is a website that showcases popular links and information. Reddit’s unique culture can make it hard for brands to navigate.
Redditors expect extreme transparency and authenticity from advertisers. Spam and hard selling aren’t tolerated and using either tactic will damage your brand’s reputation.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your content is. You can’t approach reddit the same way that you do Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. If you jump in and submit content blindly, you could find yourself banned or your websites blacklisted.
How Does Engagement on Reddit Work?
Engagement on reddit takes place in subreddits. Subreddits are niche communities filled with people who are passionate about a specific topic.
Examples of subreddits include:
- http://www.reddit.com/r/frugal discusses ways to save money
- http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc discusses how to build a pc
- http://www.reddit.com/r/whiskey discusses all things whiskey-related
- http://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful shares visual representations of data
As a business, you need to learn the ropes and focus on supporting the subreddits you join, instead of marketing to them. Think more about offering solutions, sharing resources or asking questions, and less about selling.
Subreddits are most often created and moderated by reddit community members, but in rare cases a brand creates a subreddit.
For example, last year, Ford Motor Company created the /r/FordPiDayChallenge and worked hand in hand with the reddit team to run a campaign for Pi Day on March 14.
Every 3 minutes and 14 seconds, Ford posted a math question to their subreddit. Each question included a reference to a Ford vehicle.
Now that you understand the basics of reddit, let’s develop a lead generation campaign.
#1: Find Relevant Subreddits to Join
First, your brand needs to join reddit. When you create your account, be sure to use your brand name as your username.
Now that you’re officially part of reddit, use keywords to search for subreddits that relate to your brand, product or service. The results of each search will show you a list of subreddits like the one below related to a search on “frugal.”
Click on each subreddit to find out if your brand is a good fit. As you look around the subreddit, check out the right sidebar. This is where you’ll find community stats, a description and rules that are specific to that subreddit.
Once you find a subreddit that looks promising, sort its posts by Top and All Time. This lets you easily read through the most active posts, so you can better understand the community’s conversations and what content performs best.
As you identify subreddits that fit your niche, it helps to rank them by relevance to your marketing needs so you know which ones to join.
Create a spreadsheet with the following columns and information:
- Subreddit—Put in the link to the subreddit.
- Avg. Active - Note the number of average active members. To find this number, sort a subreddit by ‘Top’ and ‘links from: Today’. Do some quick addition by adding up the number of comments for each post in the feed. For larger subreddits, it’s fine to round these numbers as your goal is to acknowledge and differentiate subreddits by activity.
- Best Topics—List the top rated and most preferred content. You found this earlier when you sorted the posts by Top and All Time.
- Value—Based on the previous data and some looking around, assign a value (1-10) to the subreddit based on time investment. For example, a 10 might be a subreddit where your product or service would be well received, generate a lot of discussion and drive traffic to your content. A 5 might be a subreddit that doesn’t have too many relevant engagement options, but does have a tight-knit engaged community.
A completed row will look like this:
When you’ve rated each subreddit, subscribe to the ones that are the best fit with your strategy.
#2: Create a Multireddit
To easily monitor and search the conversations in your subreddits, you’ll want to create a multireddit.
A multireddit is basically a custom list of subreddits or subjects you want to have quick access to. Creating a multireddit is very simple.
Step 1: Find and open the left-hand sidebar on the reddit home page (reddit.com). If you can’t find the sidebar, it might be minimized (which is very subtle). This is what it looks like minimized:
Click on the bar to expand it and it should look like this:
Step 2: Click the Create button and enter a name for your multireddit.
Click the Create button again and you’ll be able to set the privacy level of your multireddit and populate it with the subreddits.
In this example, I named the multireddit “socialmonitoring.” To add a subreddit, simply click into the Add Subreddit text field at the bottom and enter the name of the subreddit (ex; for /r/frugal just enter “frugal”). Now it’s added to your multireddit!
Add all of the related subreddits you want to monitor.
For the socialmonitoring multireddit, I populated it with frugal-related subreddits:
Once you’re done, the newly created multireddit shows in the left-hand sidebar on your reddit home page.
#3: Identify Engagement Opportunities
Now you can find conversations to join by using your multireddit to run a keyword search on multiple subreddits at one time.
Click on your multireddit to see its feed. This is where all of the subreddit feeds you added mesh together.
Locate the search bar in the top right corner.
When you click on the search box, the following yellow box appears. Check this box to limit your search to your multireddit.
Tip: Reddit’s search query operators are similar to Google’s search query operators. For example, you can search “savings AND tips AND electricity” for posts that include these three keywords.
Just like with any other platform, set aside 5-10 minutes a day to run searches in your multireddit for keywords that relate to your business. As you search, you’ll find opportunities for marketing and discussion.
Spend another 20-25 minutes redditing—or acting on—these opportunities. Submit appropriate content, provide insightful answers, ask questions related to your industry and respond to people who engage with you.
Remember, engage as a redditor instead of a marketer. Your goal is to align with the community values, social norms and content preferences of each subreddit you participate in.
When you receive comments or respond to users, there’s a little in-box notification, known as an orangered, that appears in the top right corner of your page.
While it’s not vital to constantly monitor your orangered, you should definitely check it every so often so you can respond to incoming comments in a reasonable amount of time.
The entire monitoring process takes a relatively short amount of time (about 30 minutes per day). The exception is if you’re following up with a post or participating in a discussion section. Involved conversations obviously need more of your time.
Tip: Limiting your focus to smaller subreddits lets you reach people with a targeted interest in your niche. Base your content on proper research and the chances of acceptance and engagement increase.
#4: Create a Reddit Sponsored Headline Campaign to Generate Leads
You’ve done your research and vetted your best options for engagement. Now that you’re engaging on reddit, your ads won’t seem out of place when they show up in your subreddits.
Let’s say your business offers something related to frugalness, such as a cheap energy alternative.
After some quick keyword research, you find a recent and relevant post on the subject. In the comment section of the post, you notice there’s a need for an evergreen guide on how to get energy bills as low as possible.
Instead of linking to an existing guide by someone else, create your own. House the guide on your website and use reddit’s self-serve advertising platform to submit it as a targeted sponsored headline to drive traffic to your site and generate leads.
Create Your Sponsored Headline
To create your sponsored headline, head on over to reddit’s advertising page and click on Create an Ad.
The following screen appears, where you can customize your ad.
The promotion is broken into three simple sections:
- Title: This is your headline. You want to tailor it for each subreddit you submit your ad to. For this example, the title “The Eco-Friendly Energy Saving Guide, inspired by /r/frugal” creates a connection with the subreddit I’m targeting.
- Post Type: You can choose to post a link or text ad. To drive traffic from reddit to your site, you want to select “link.” A text post is hosted on the reddit domain, so all traffic remains on reddit. This is useful for sparking discussions or gathering research/feedback/ideas for a product.
- URL: This is where you link to your resource or landing page. I linked to the energy saving guide I created. To capture lead information, gate your content with a form that asks visitors to subscribe to your newsletter as a prerequisite to receiving the download.
After filling out this information, click the Next button to reach the campaign dashboard.
Manage the Campaign for Your Sponsored Headline
From the campaign dashboard, you set the following options for how and when your sponsored headline runs:
- Start: The start date for the ad campaign
- End: The end date for the ad campaign
- Duration: The length of the campaign (For this example, it’s 12 days.)
- Price: The standard CPM price: 75 cents per 1,000 impressions
- Budget: Your budget for the campaign (For this example, I entered $25.00.)
- Impressions: The number of impressions you receive for your budget (For this example, I receive 33,333 impressions for $25.00.)
- Targeting: Reddit sponsored headlines can either run on the default front page of reddit for any user to see or they can be targeted to show in a specific subreddit (For this example, I checked Targeted and entered “Frugal” as the name of the subreddit I’m targeting.)
After you set your campaign options, click the Create button and the campaign dashboard condenses into a table that makes it easy to review your campaign.
The table also shows two additional fields that let you further customize your sponsored headline.
- Look and Feel: This is where you upload a 70×70 pixel image to accompany your headline. Larger images will be resized.
- Options: From here you can disable comments. Remember, your sponsored headline acts just the same as any other submission link on reddit. Anyone can comment and leave positive or negative feedback. Use your discretion, but remember that enabling comments makes your comment versatile and social.
If you’re happy with how you’ve set your options, click the Save Options button and the following screen appears:
You’ll notice the image is now included in the preview. To finalize your sponsored headline, just locate the Pay button under Total Budget and follow the basic payment instructions. After payment, your sponsored headline goes through a brief approval process. Once approved, it’ll run for the specified campaign duration.
As the ad runs, you can easily go back and extend or shorten the length of your campaign and increase or decrease your budget. You can also use the Add New button to strategically target multiple subreddits with the same ad.
Tip: You can also use a sponsored headline to run a contest. For example, for a contest to name your new product, make the sponsored headline a text ad, which opens up a thread on reddit where redditors enter by submitting their entry as a comment. You choose the winning name based on the most upvoted comment/entry. This allows the community to publicly engage with your brand, and lets you easily follow up with an acknowledgment to the subreddit for helping you.
During the campaign, respond to every comment. Demonstrate your expertise by sharing tips and tools and foster a discussion in which you’re seen as a source of reliable information. The result is win-win: You help fellow redditors in a niche community, while driving traffic and leads to your website.
Add “reddit” to your UTM campaigns and you can use your analytics software to monitor exactly how many redditors became leads or completed goals after visiting your website—an easy way to determine your ROI.
Reddit isn’t a social network where brands can post generic ads and churn out propaganda-rich content. It is a place where brands can learn from a targeted community and come away with actionable ideas to generate leads and revenue.
If you take the time to research and monitor subreddits, you’ll find relevant marketing opportunities. Your engagement with redditors drives traffic, generates leads and conversions and increases brand awareness.
What do you think? Have you integrated reddit into your marketing mix? What advice can you offer? Please share below and I’ll see you in the comments!