I like Reddit, and I wish they had a way to do some sort of sponsorship. If I advertise on Reddit, it damn sure better come across as me supporting the site, not me annoying their users.
Funniest thing I've read this week, thanks.
Redditors may be the tastemakers of a small incredibly self-referential corner of the Internet, but have approximately zero influence on the Internet that everyone else uses.
Of course, if you're considering advertising on reddit, then I assume your target market has significant overlap with the reddit userbase (in which case the risk isn't that redditors are tastemakers, it's that they are prone to incredibly catchy herd cynicism).
Some reddit topics/threads were featured on the frontpage of popular German news websites during the last months.
(Spiegel Online, Yahoo News, Süddeutsche)
A better example would be Hipmunk though, it's created by Huffman (later joined by Ohanian) and they advertise pretty solidly on reddit. The comments for the ads are pretty negative despite the reddit history, but Hipmunk is still doing quite well.
I think you'll do fine with a test run advertising on reddit, if you're that worried about it I'm pretty sure you can turn comments off for ads so they won't be able to see that other people don't like them.
But what really gets me is the UI. It's my favorite one out of all the websites I know.
Hipmunk's UI is WAY better for me trying to pick flights. I don't care that I might save $10 or whatever, as much as avoiding 8 hour layovers, or leaving at 5am. You can't easily tell any of that with an interface like Momondo's (which is just a pretty version of every other travel site).
You can put a max on travel-time and choose which part of the day that you want to travel in.
Those sidebar features are the same on every travel website, except Hipmunk. The linear bar graph display of flights is, for me, infinitely superior than a data tabel that I can drag sliders around to change the wall of text. It takes me a glance to see that there are great options or shitty options on a given hipmunk search, even on my iphone. Momondo and basically every other site require significantly more cognitive work on my part to piece apart their text boxes full of information to figure out if that flight is a good fit for my needs or not.
(Monmondo/Skyscanner) 162 vs 177 (himpunk)
And the UI just doesn't matter with these sites.. do search, ignore crazy prices, select the legs that suit you best..
But slightly careful, not terrified.
It just means not stomping in totally ignorant about Reddit culture, which demands a higher standard from submissions (including advertisers) than from regular commenters. It means avoiding sounding like a PR drone, blatant lies, and avoiding coming across too arrogant.
The Harrelson AMA seems to have blown up because a few of his responses were pretty much interpreted by Reddit users as "I am above you peons, be honoured I'm spending time on talking to you about Rampart. Did I mention Rampart? Oh, and Rampart". Which is a bit like walking up to a wild animal and kicking it in the nuts. That it seemed like a PR effort in a setting like an AMA where people expect something else but are also quite wary about the intrusion of marketeers made it doubly bad - ads are different, we know their purpose is to sell a product, and so merely trying to sell the product won't cause a stink, whereas the first time Harrelson tried to steer the conversation to Rampart, he'd already made a grave mistake.
I'd think for advertising on Reddit, a limited run asking for feedback, and being responsive and friendly in comments would be a good start.
Don't approach this as a way to influence and convince users. Advertising should entertian, teach, engross, delight, the full spectrum of the human condition. After all, isn't that what your product is - something for humans? A part of people's actual lives?
I think if you approach advertising correctly you will find that it is your chance to be something more than lines of code or a manufacturing contract: it's your chance to be human.
People with experience with Reddit advertising seem to be confirming some of his suspicion downthread.
(I don't think I am, because there could be another definition of good based only on whether it converts anyone at all - even if 100% of the viewership including the converted can't stand it.)
It's easy to make something reddit likes: start by trying to generate non-advertising content and see if you can get that to float, then move on to advertising.
No one here talks about the general content Reddit likes, because people in this thread don't seem to care. The fact that I had to spell out that "good" means "in the context of Reddit", i.e. "something Reddit likes" rather than some objective artistic assessment of what's good already shows what I'm talking about.
Basically, if I wanted to advertise on Reddit I would start by trying to integrate myself in that community.
Same as HackerNews. If I wanted to advertise here I wouldn't question the prevailing wisdom here - I'd regurgitate it and say obvious things to get modded up.
It's not about "lowest common denominator" - it's about respecting people as people rather than as a captive eyeball.
Likewise if I were making youtube pre-clip advertisements the #1 metric I would care about isn't conversions: it's, "can I be good enough and on the same frequency as my audience that they see I respect them enough for them to continue to watch?"
The Dove advertisements are a good example of advertising done right.
It's not "objectively good" - objectively, it's very, very bad. The before/after pictures don't ressemble each other because they were detailed precisely enough: noody mentions "and her hair is 7 inches long with a part forty-five degrees to the right, and she's smiling" whereas the other one is ""and her hair is 7 inches long with a part forty-five degrees to the right, and she's sad".
But that's exactly what the pictures show. So, objectively it's terrible. It's faked. But in the context we're talking about, it's very, very good. I saw tons of articles written about it, because it's simply that good.
On the other hand, the satire that I play in my head for that clip - where the women's own descriptions result in the guy drawing one giant circle with a downturned sad-face, and the descriptions by those who have met the person result in one giant circle with an upturned happy-face - that is in my opinion an awesome caricature of the Dove sketch artist campaign.
But in the context we're talking about it wouldn't be veyr good.
I've not used the system extensively, but I think if you don't choose one of the most aggressive subreddits and don't do anything really dumb, you'll be fine. Reddit users seem to accept advertising as a necessary evil.
If you are unnerved by 'the Rampart incident', take comfort knowing that it has been 15 months, and no one has committed a blunder of that magnitude since (as evidenced by the fact that we still use it as the go-to example)
Didn't you hear about the Morgan Freeman thing? It was a running joke for about 2 weeks (but it obviously did not affect Morgan Freeman in the least). It eventually died down, but I think the reason people dislike the Rampart thread so much was because it was one of the first of its kind (the archetype of bad AMAs, if you will).
They do, just ask. :) You can get an "ad" that shows up on the side that says "this reddit sponsored by foo", or myriad other options. Just hit them up and they will work with you.
Reddit runs a lot of ads where people will link to Amazon with their own affiliate tag. So they are selling nothing, not really promoting anything, just trying to get their affiliate cookie planted in as many browsers as possible. There is also at least one sales aggregator site (which just scrapes price feeds) which does the same. It is that sort of ad which the sub readers do not like.
A genuine ad from a company would be welcome but as you have pointed out Amazon and others have built their rep without ads so finding a reason for them to suddenly spend is going to be hard.
I wonder how r/HailCorporate (a subreddit that outs PR companies that spam and manipulate reddit) would feel about their layout being changed.
So that second bullet point seems confusing as I've never seen that and the two ads types they are selling don't seem to offer that capability. Has anyone ever seen the sort of ad that slide describes??
edit: I guess they do have that sort of functionality on reddit.tv but that doesn't seem to be what the slide deck is offering to me.
In order to run a successful campaign on reddit it seems you need to engage with the community in the subreddits you're targeting, but engaging with that community can be done without advertising, so the benefit of advertising is somewhat diminished.
Here are the problems with Reddit Ads off the top of my head:
1) either all reddit or one subreddit.
1a) no easy way to advertise on multiple subreddits
2) no way to be an agency. So painful to manage multiple accounts even with RES
3) no API
4) no support
5) limited ad units
In short, I would love to advertise on r/SysAdmin but I can't justify spending $20 a day for <100 clicks. Give me the ability to advertise to all of Reddit or specific subreddits. Seriously, why can't I just advertise on a set of subreddits? They should give it to me for the same price as all of reddit. Why? Because that gives me control of my brand. I don't want to advertise on all of reddit because there are a lot of subreddits I don't want my brand associated with, but if I could bid across multiple subreddits I would use the self-service a lot more.
Admittedly, I haven't looked at the reddit ad units in about a year, and I know they're looking for a softdev to build a new ad platform, but geez, can I get a real ad experience please? Reddit has so many pageviews, let me tap that!
Personally, I think it should be solely by impressions, irrespective of subreddit.
UGC is risky for brands because the content can be very NSFW or generally distateful. Sometimes outright hostile to brands. Reddit knows this, and has no pretense about it. So they're simply playing to their strengths. Some brands will embrace their unique audience, and some won't.
The reason for this is their odd "pay per day" system, which has a $30 minimum.
However, they're moving to a CPM system soon, I'm told, which will make Reddit a very interesting ad opportunity.
Plus, it'd make the site a whole lot better for users if the site's traffic was spread out across more interesting topics.
Check this list here : http://stattit.com/subreddits/
I'm engaging in a LOT of small subreddit and I wouldn't call most of those inadequate for serious advertising.
They should encourage people to create accounts and subscribe to things they're interested in. It makes the site 100x more interesting, and yet most users just lurk or refresh the front page.
Not really. What about the 90/10 rule?
I'd guess that 2/3 of those 234 subreddits are addressable, so maybe 150 is a reasonable estimate.
entirely dependent on what you want to market...
For example, I get calls from all the social scene of Lyon (France) because I own a page with only 4k fans (+ a website). Only students. And that's enough already to advertise.
Take me. Like everyone, I have interests that the greater community of reddit does not necessarily share, but given its size there are guaranteed to be subreddits that would cater to my niche interests. How do I find them?
From there, you'll quickly encounter other subreddits in comments (e.g. 'this should be in /r/penmanshipporn' or 'cross-post from /r/imaginarylandscapes') and in the sidebars and FAQs. Or friends might recommend them - that's how I found /r/cringepics and /r/TIFU.
Over time you curate a list of high-content subreddits and trim out the fat like /r/funny and /r/atheism (pretty much any defeault subreddit, not making a point with my examples). And suddenly reddit becomes useable and doesn't have 1,000 new posts a day!
Finally, you'll find that whenever you get a new interest, you'll look for a subreddit for it - and it's often a very useful resource. For example, /r/LearnJapanese has been amazing for me.
Reddit does not have this type of targeting by platform. I'm not sure why that is. It would probably take me about 24 hours to write an MVP script that would serve a different ad dependent on platforms. I would certainly at least try them out if they allowed targeting by platform like the major advertising networks do. And if I tried them out and I seemed to be getting a decent ROI, why wouldn't I keep using them?
Reddit could build profiles on people or even ask for that information in the signup form but their users will not like that one bit.
In addition I would be worried about the age demographic lowering dramatically (my opinion, not a fact) in recent years.
They could, but by not doing that, I think it makes the users much more comfortable knowing that reddit specifically protects its users from that kind of intrusion.
> In addition I would be worried about the age demographic lowering dramatically (my opinion, not a fact) in recent years.
The median age actually goes up every year. The kids just get louder. :)
I don't quite understand the constraints on the branded subreddits. That seems like it could be effective if done carefully and disastrous if done bluntly.