How To Get Started On Reddit Ads

Linsey Knerl
November 3, 2022
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Reddit may not be the first place you think of to run ads, but it’s certainly worth considering. With 50 million daily active users and a 47% average higher daily user time than other social media platforms, it has a powerful influence on consumers today. The ad platform has the potential to reach so many, but getting the best ROI requires an understanding of how unique this advertising channel really is.

Here are the best steps to take for a successful launch, along with how to get help along the way to make your ads stand out among the competition. 

Claim your Brand 

To set up your ad account, fill out the basic form, which lets you get your username claimed and indicate if you work with an agency. 

From there, choose the industry you work in; this may be complicated if you are a service provider that serves more than one niche. If you don’t see anything that resonates, picking the “Other” choice is an option. 

Finally, pick the country you reside in, noting that Reddit ads aren’t available everywhere. (There is an option to enter your phone number, but this is optional and only if you want Reddit to call you with offers and advertising promotions.) 

Choose between auction and takeover 

After you create your account and verify your email, you’ll immediately be brought to the campaign creation page, which gives you a few options for ads. Depending on your campaign goals, Reddit provides campaign types based on cost per 1,000 impressions, per click, or per view. (For example, driving traffic is a pay-per-click goal, while video views would naturally be pay-per-view.)

Reddit also offers two ways to buy and display ads: auction style and takeover.

What’s the difference? Auction works much like other display ad types you’re used to, where you pick a target audience and the most you want to spend to reach them. From there, you compete with other advertisers to win spots, and you only pay when your ads are shown.

Takeovers, on the other hand, are assured placements in prized locations across Reddit and work much like Twitter's trending categories. You get amplified reach for 24 hours in the spots you choose, whether it's a banner at the top of a category or a sponsored post in a conversation thread.

Those who plan on spending over $10,000 per quarter and want to advertise sensitive topics such as “Finance, Recreational Drugs and Tobacco, Alcohol, Gambling, Political, Health and Pharma, and Dating” must use Reddit’s managed takeover option, where you’ll get access to an account manager who can help you set up your ads for success.

Takeovers might be best used for a really buzzy campaign where it’s essential to get quick ad wins closely timed around a movie release, book launch, or product drop. The auction-style ads could be a good option for steadier, long-term campaigns and to build recognition over time. 

Choose your audience

With your campaign type and ad type selected, you can choose your audience, and Reddit gives you several options. Reddit emphasizes that you should avoid thinking of your audience in traditional demographic terms (such as age or gender) and instead focus on interest – because that's what makes the Reddit community unique. You can target your ads to specific communities, or subreddits, reducing the risk of having your ad go to unqualified audiences. 

Currently, they offer the following:

·    Reddit audience, which is defined by interest, device, location, and other traits

·    Custom audience, a variation of a known audience on Reddit that is only available to managed service clients. It lets you exclude or re-engage your known audience.

·    Pixel retargeting, like Facebook pixel retargeting, you can use a pixel data collector on your website to build a list of users and then engage them with Reddit ads

You can also tweak your audience segments by adding or excluding audience types. If you add one targeting criterion to another, you are narrowing the audience that will see it, which is considered "subtractive" targeting. When choosing between two audience types, it's considered "additive" targeting and can help you reach a larger audience. 

Create assets 

Assets matter, especially on Reddit, where users may see your takeover ad at the very top of their favorite community page. First impressions must be handled well, so look for the assets that best represent your offering while also speaking to the Reddit community specifically.

If you want to advertise to a gaming community and a vegan community, you should use assets specific to each rather than choose a more generic ad type that may appeal to either. Reddit users come to Reddit for the purpose of being with others that share their very specific interests; embrace this and use it to your advantage through high-resolution graphics, videos, and copy that speak their language. Have a subject matter expert from the community proof your copy or assets, if needed. 

Additional tips include:

  • Make use of text, including headlines, to introduce your product
  • Use humor and references to cultural trends
  • Avoid hashtags and emojis
  • Use video, but get your brand mention into the first three seconds
Utilize reporting 

Reddit has gone to great lengths to make their reporting easy to follow, and you shouldn’t have too many issues figuring out what’s working and what’s not. For those with managed campaigns, the Reddit team should be able to walk you through anything complicated, but the remaining advertisers can get what they need from the various filtering options available. Choose from Date, US DMA, Country, Community, Interest, Region or State, Placement, or Carousel Card to drill down on the info that’s most useful. After you filter or run each report, you can save this “view” to easily pull it again later without having to go through all the steps. 

Bottom line: Reddit is a different kind of audience, where users engage according to interest alone. By figuring out who is most likely to engage with your ads, you have a direct line to the people most likely to buy your products and services. If you aren’t sure which channel on Reddit is most likely to buy (or even if there is one on Reddit), consider reaching out to a managed ad partner, even if you choose to go outside Reddit to do so. 

Linsey Knerl

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