Reddit, the self-proclaimed ‘front page of the internet,’ can be an incredibly attractive opportunity to market your game. With built-in communities of players to address and respond to directly, the benefits for Reddit marketing is obvious. With many Reddit users coming together in their shared interest in a particular topic, many find the platform incredibly useful for discovering new games.
However, despite the benefits, the platform can often be intimidating at first. Many believe that Reddit users are hostile to companies coming into their space, and the staple of the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything, where an individual or company can directly answer the community’s questions), while often useful for marketing, can backfire if it is approached unprepared.
So to get the expert opinion on how best to approach Reddit for your game’s marketing, we spoke with Reddit EVP and president, global advertising, Harold Klaje.
How has Reddit changed over the years, as a potential platform for advertisers and community managers?
Reddit celebrated its 15th year in 2020 and has seen exponential growth over those years. Late last year we reported 52 million daily active users and 100,000+ communities, and are excited to now have an official presence in the UK, with big plans for further international expansion to come.
“Late last year we reported 52 million daily active users and 100,000+ communities.”
The last five years in particular have seen accelerated growth of our ads business with more and more brands turning to our platform to engage with the internet’s most passionate audiences, and with great success. Today, Reddit delivers advertising results across all industries and sizes. From Fortune 500 brands to scrappy start-ups, we believe that if your product aligns with a passion, your brand should be on Reddit.
What are, in your view, the main opportunities available when marketing directly to consumers on Reddit?
Reddit is different from other platforms because it’s made up of all these communities of people who don’t necessarily know each other, but are connecting around the things that matter most to them, their passions. Remember, the number one reason people come to Reddit is to be informed and this has a direct impact on their purchase potential. For example, 73 per cent
of Reddit users find out about new games on Reddit and 53 per cent look for posts on Reddit to decide whether or not they’ll play a new game.
Another key opportunity for marketing on Reddit is the fact that our users are truly unduplicated and can’t be found anywhere else online. In the UK, 15 per cent of Reddit users are not on Facebook, 38 per cent are not on Instagram and 37 per cent are not on Twitter, so in this sense, Reddit represents the untapped internet.
Reddit is also unmatched in terms of the insights that can be gleaned by community conversations and user behaviour. We know, for example, that 45 per cent of UK Reddit users are console gamers and that 43 per cent purchased a gaming console in the last six months – these kinds of information nuggets are just the beginning and go a really long way in informing campaign strategy.
All of this, the actively engaged, leaned in and unduplicated audience brings a very real opportunity for marketers. What we see on Reddit, which really stands out in the consideration phase of a purchase path, is that products and brands that are present in trusted and influential communities can increase customer spend, satisfaction, loyalty and NPS. We recently partnered with Verto Analytics to prove out Reddit’s role in the path to purchase journey compared to other social and digital platforms, which confirmed what we’ve long known to be true: consumers that use Reddit are more informed, make faster, higher-value purchases, and become stronger brand advocates. When it comes to games, we’re really proud to say that 95 per cent of subscribers to a game’s community will go on to purchase the game.
What ad formats are most popular with advertisers on Reddit?
Depending on the campaign objective, there are many different options for brands looking to advertise on Reddit and engage with our communities. Category – like gaming category – takeovers are always a great option for those looking for mass awareness and efficiency. For our DR clients, however, we see great success in additional community targeting beyond the specific interest group. For example, in addition to our gaming communities, targeting those focussed on entertainment, technology and even family and relationships can go a long way to reaching net new unique users.
Promoted posts or videos can also be really strong tools to drive awareness and, for example, pre-orders for a new title about to launch.
In the past year, we have also released a number of new features to better service our performance advertisers, such as Postbacks for app installs and additional functionality for the Reddit Pixel including retargeting. Similarly, we have introduced a number of targeting optimizations, including auto-optimization toward installs, to better meet the needs of our mobile gaming clients.
Do you have any measurable examples/testimonials, which you can share, where Reddit marketing and community management made a big impact to a game’s success?
Our partners at Zynga recently leveraged Reddit to reach gamers and encourage downloads ahead of their CSR2 racing game launch. They leveraged the depth and breadth of Reddit communities by targeting not just gamers, but racing enthusiasts and worked closely with our team on an evolving strategy – with continuous testing of interest group targeting and ad format variations – to help achieve high customer lifetime value. Ultimately, Reddit successfully drove 1.5x higher LTVs compared with other emerging social channels, with retention rates 16 per cent better than other channels and organic installs.
The Reddit community is often regarded as hostile, particularly to businesses. Do you agree with this assessment, and how best should businesses approach the platform?
It’s a great misconception that Reddit users are not welcoming of brands because the reality is just the opposite. We know that Reddit users welcome brands to engage with them on the platform, with around 69 per cent respecting when brands make an effort to participate. What’s more, around 60 per cent say they’re more likely to trust a brand that participates on Reddit, and 66 per cent of our users say brands can have conversations with them on Reddit that they can’t have anywhere else.
“66 per cent of our users say brands can have conversations with them on Reddit that they can’t have anywhere else.”
Moreover, 82 per cent of online community site users say they would be receptive to brand participation in their communities. It is one of the few places consumers look forward to brands being functioning members, contributing and providing value. Engaging in online communities drives brand love, trust and action.
Reddit’s mission is to help everyone in the world find community and belonging online and this means building communities that reflect our values and respect civil discourse and human dignity. Hate, harassment, and calls for violence are simply not allowed on Reddit. Platform and brand safety is built into our platform structure and is something we’ve always put a lot of thought into. It is reflected in our unique, multi-layered approach to moderation, which includes tools, systems and teams to ensure the safety of our users, moderators, and advertisers.
In terms of community management, do you have any advice for maintaining a healthy and positive community on Reddit?
Community moderators are the heart of Reddit and we feel really fortunate to foster a platform of such passionate moderators who are so dedicated to keeping their communities safe and healthy.
As for brands engaging on Reddit, regardless of the industry, we encourage all advertisers to lead with authenticity. We often tell brands to think about advertising on Reddit like they would their own dinner party entrance. You wouldn’t walk into a crowded room and start yelling. Instead, you listen to the conversation and get to know your audience; learn about their interests to find a way to appropriately and impactfully engage; jump into the conversation in a relevant, authentic way and, most importantly, make sure you stick around for the back-and-forth!
Answers in Reddit AMAs can often make headlines in the gaming press – for good and bad reasons. What are the pitfalls to be avoided when running an AMA?
As with all brand engagement on Reddit, we encourage authenticity and transparency. AMA’s are such a fun format for brands to connect directly with their audience, and add real value to a community. They allow brands to showcase their personality, bring a human element to their marketing and give their audience often unprecedented access to the people behind the scenes.