When EDGE hosts Erin Sparks (Site Strategics CEO) and Tom Brodbeck (Site Strategics Digital Media Director) talked to digital strategist Ross Simmonds of Foundation Marketing in EDGE of the Web Episode 298 to find out how to use Reddit for digital marketing, the result was a true treasure trove of tips:
- The Biggest Mistake Marketers Make on Reddit is failing to build up their “karma” by first spending time authentically engaging with users in sub-reddits. You simply have to build your credibility first because if you just start posting promotional stuff, you’ll get blocked and then you’re out of the game. And when you think about it, this makes sense because this is your opportunity to really get to know the highly-targeted niche audience you’re trying to reach!
- Make Use of Private Messaging. Reddit does include DM (direct message) functionality, so use it! You could actually end up closing some great deals this way. And if you’re posting really good, high value content, you might be surprised how many people will reach out to you with a DM and each time that happens is an opportunity to build a relationship with someone who might become a very loyal customer.
- Use the Reddit Enhancement Suite. This is a Google Chrome extension that lets you really jazz up your content on Reddit by allowing you to use bold, italics, bullet points, underlining and so on. This will help your content stand out.
- Create a Brand Sub-Reddit. If you have a great brand, create a sub-reddit for it because it will automatically self-populate with people who are and will be your champion customers. Those are people you want to engage with on a regular basis
- Bury the Lead. This is the most important strategy that links directly back to that biggest mistake marketers make that was mentioned earlier. If you march into a sub-reddit with a username that is your brand and start loudly trumpeting your brand, you will be blocked in the blink of an eye. But if you’ve built up some good karma and you provide great content on the topic and maybe one of the points in your content has to do with your specific product or brand, then you’re good to go.
- Ask Questions. Research has shown that asking questions is a big diver of engagement on Reddit. Just wrapping up a post with “What are your thoughts?” can do wonders. Even better is working a question into the title of your post. People on Reddit are very opinionated and take the opportunity to weigh in.
- Have an Engagement Mindset. Don’t go into sub-reddits with the idea you’re going to get a bunch of subscribers or followers. You have to go in with the mindset that what you’re doing is building relationships with individuals, and the beauty of the platform is it lets you do this at scale. The key is that, you have to engage. Comment on other posts, always providing great content. Most Reddit users are passive and don’t engage at all – they just browse. If you engage you’ll immediately be part of the vocal minority that wins big in the digital marketing game.
- Use the 70-20-10 Model. How much should you put into Reddit in terms of time and resources? 70% of what you do in marketing should be very low risk – the stuff that everyone is doing because it does get results. Then 20% should be adding in some things that many of your competitors are not doing, like a podcast or something. It’s a little more innovative without being too risky. But that last 10% should be high-risk marketing strategies, and Reddit probably falls into that category. You wouldn’t want to go all in on Reddit marketing, but start experimenting with it and making sure you do it right, spending a couple hours a week on it, and it could pay big dividends.
- The Occasional Typo Can be Good. People on Reddit, for whatever reason, are highly tuned in to typos. They hate them. But here’s the counterintuitive hack – if your post title has a typo in it, engagement for that post will go through the roof! This falls into the category of how bad publicity can sometimes be good.
- Use the Sherlock Homeboy Effect. When you go into a sub-reddit, sort the content by top or most popular posts. This is a no-brainer because you’ll immediately be looking at the content that has gotten the most engagement. Study it and create new content that is similar but different and better, and then you can use the “bury the lead” technique to put something about your brand or product in there somewhere in a non-spammy way. Your marketing message just has to be surrounded by high-value content and Reddit users will let it pass.
Connect with Digital Strategist Ross Simmonds
Ross Simmonds on Twitter: @TheCoolestCool
Ross Simmonds Facebook: @TheCoolestCool
Ross Simmonds website: https://rosssimmonds.com/home
Foundation Marketing web: https://foundationinc.co
Foundation Marketing FB: @FoundationInc
Foundation Marketing Twitter: @FoundationIncCo
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