Yes, that’s right 😉
Many marketers don’t consider Reddit in their marketing efforts. In fact, Reddit seems confusing to most first-time visitors. That’s because this site brings you a blend of interesting news, random pictures, cool links, and numerous communities. And this is exactly what makes it so effective for marketers who want to reach a larger audience.
You may be surprised to discover that Reddit is the seventh most popular mobile social networking app in the US, as of May 2018. It also received over 1.6 billion unique visitors from February 2018 to April 2019.
More than that, Reddit has a highly engaged community. It is home to more than 1.2 million communities whose interests range from climbing and gaming to politics and archeology. From local meetups to music genres, there’s something for everyone.
In November 2017, there were 330 million monthly active Reddit users. Compare that to Twitter – the platform that a year later, in late 2018, managed to accumulate only 326 million monthly users.
Over time Reddit has transformed from a link aggregator and funny content consumer to an independent news generator and a trusted user review platform.
With such a massive audience, this popular social site can help you get backlinks and drive great traffic to your website. And all of this contributes to your SEO efforts. However, using Reddit for SEO can be tricky.
Things You Need to Know About Reddit
Using Reddit to blatantly promote links to your website, articles, or products will never work. In fact, it can do your brand more harm than good. Reddit wields huge power that it will use without discrimination both for evil and for good.
Posting non-relevant content or spammy links just for backlinks can get you downvotes.
And it can significantly damage the reputation of your brand…
…or it can give you free publicity and loyal customers.
If you want to get Reddit right, you need to put in real time and effort. It’s a content-sharing community where you can share links, pictures, videos, and anything that you find interesting. Reddit users, who are often called “Redditors,” vote your posted content up or down.
The most upvoted content gains popularity and rises to the front page every day. If your post reaches the front page on any day, you can expect tons of traffic driven to your website.
Redditors can also interact with your post through comments if your post is engaging enough. Many times, the comments on various posts end up becoming more popular than the posts themselves. So you should also leverage comments and interact with posts from other users.
Understand the Reddit Community
“Understand Reddit users before jumping in,” advises Clare McDermott, who is the Co-Founder and Head of Research at Mantis Research. You want to engage with the Reddit community. So it is important to understand the people you are trying to engage with. Let’s take a look at some demographics related to Reddit users:
- Most of them are within the 20 to 30 year old demographic.
- Most of them use the site to find news updates and interesting articles.
- A few of them also use it to interact with like-minded peers.
- 59.7% of them are from the United States. A majority of these users are 18 to 34 years old.
- The community is very strong and hard to break into. They aren’t kind to promotional content.
You can only win over this community by posting content that helps solve someone’s problems. If you share helpful content, people are more likely to upvote it. This will increase your chances of being discovered.
How to Use Reddit to Boost Your SEO
You should focus on becoming a legitimate member of the Reddit community. Once you become one of them, you can use it to boost your SEO in many ways. Here are some of the basic steps:
1. Identify Relevant Subreddits to Follow
Reddit organizes content under various “subreddits” based on topics. Users can post, share links, comment, and vote on posts relevant to a specific topic in every subreddit. For example, r/bigseo is a popular subreddit that intends to foster growth and knowledge about SEO and inbound marketing.
Image via Reddit
You need to find subreddits that are relevant to your brand, niche, or audience. Search for the most popular subreddits in your niche using the search bar and filter options. The following search results show top-performing subreddits in the “fashion” industry. Image via Reddit
Now you have a potential list of relevant subreddits. You should check all of these links to see which subreddits are the best fit for your brand. Read through their descriptions, community stats, and most active posts for help.
You can use the most relevant subreddits to research content ideas, engage with your niche audience, and share valuable content. Sharing relevant content in top subreddits can help you drive targeted traffic to your website and create high-quality backlinks too.
2. Research Content Ideas
There is no substitute for great content. But brands and marketers often struggle to come up with content ideas that people will love to read and share.
You can look for content ideas that tend to perform well with your niche audience using subreddits. You just need to filter subreddits by popularity and time period. This site allows you to look for topics that are hot, new, controversial, top, or rising. Many of these can be turned into engaging blog posts. Image via Reddit
Another popular way to use Reddit for content ideas is to look for problems that you can solve with great content. For this, you need to use Reddit search options again.
Search for terms such as “how do you,” “figure out,” “I’m struggling with,” “tips,” or “biggest challenge” in subreddits.
Then filter results by comments to identify topics with maximum engagement value. When I searched for “how do you” in a subreddit related to social media, here’s what I discovered. Image via Reddit
With such results, it gets easier to identify topics that the community wants to know about. Some possible ideas for content based on the above search results can be:
- 10 Ways to Grow Your Following on Instagram
- The Best Social Media Tools to Help You Manage Multiple Accounts
- How to Stay Organized as a Community Manager
- The Most Effective Strategies to Get Your First 1000 Followers on Twitter
You can repeat this process with various popular subreddits in your niche. Doing so can help you come up with dozens of potential content topics. To get a better understanding, you should also review the comments on each of these posts.
3. Share Videos
No matter which platform, videos are always an immensely powerful tool to create engagement. The immediate question that pops into mind is what kind of videos should you post? On Reddit, you have to be very careful about that. There is a popular 9:1 ratio for sharing content. Only 1 out of 10 posts should be your own.
The same rule applies to videos. Also, Reddit has some basic criteria for posting on popular subreddits like /r/videos. You should have a score of 10 links and 10 comments before you can share your videos there. Image Source: Reddit
Therefore, there is very little chance for you to talk about your brand on a platform like this. But when you do get a chance, you should make the most of it. The videos should be subtle and not an advertisement of your brand. It should look like a problem-solver.
On Reddit, you have no choice but to make your videos engaging. An explainer video is a great way to talk about your product while solving a problem at the same time.
You can make it engaging by making it animated, funny, and/or interactive, in addition to using a style of storytelling that draws attention. Platforms like Yum Yum Videos can help you create such videos based on your requirements.
Apart from your own videos, you have to share other valuable videos too. In fact, most of the time you will be sharing videos from other people. Look for interesting videos on news, comedy, debates, and discussions that the community may enjoy. Make sure that these videos already have good ratings or views before you share them. Try to post content somewhat relevant to your brand if possible.
4. Use the Right Keywords
Any SEO discussion is incomplete without keyword discussion. Picking the right keywords is the key to success for any SEO exercise. The same rule applies when you’re trying to use Reddit for SEO.
Before you select keywords for Reddit, you really need to understand the etiquette and language used on the platform.
Keep track of your audience and their comments and discussions, as well as how they talk. Make sure that they are going to use the same language while searching for a topic.
You could try reading threads on relevant subreddits to get a sense of the language and tone, which can give you some ideas for valuable keywords.
For keyword research, there is no substitute for Google Keyword Planner. Look for high search volume keywords related to your product or services. And find a way to adapt them for Reddit.
Platforms like Keywordit are ideal for Reddit, as it lets you enter a subreddit and discover popular keywords from that subreddit.
5. Participate in the Conversation
Look for relevant subreddits in which people ask questions and brands or experts have a chance to answer those questions. Of course, if you’re going to answer on behalf of your brand, you should add proper disclaimers and backlinks for your benefits.
Be patient because this is going to take a lot of your time and energy. But it’s highly effective and you will get relevant traffic in return.
Find the most popular subreddits relevant to your brand and get involved in popular or trending threads within those subreddits. You could even start your own thread once you’ve gained some notoriety within the community.
And here’s another example where people are asking questions about safe websites and how to know which one is safe on the subreddit /r/YouShouldKnow/. Someone provided an answer by backlinking to a Google Product. Image Source: Reddit
It’s always a good idea to participate in these question-answer sessions before posting anything. This will help you build some credibility on the platform among your audience. They will have an impression that you are not there just to get backlinks.
You have to participate in and engage with posts for at least a month before you post something with a backlink to your site. Count your upvotes to measure the popularity of your comments.
While creating a post, you may want to tag it. This is not like hashtagging, but rather a tag that helps people understand what the post is all about. For some subreddits, it’s not even optional. See the subreddit rules on the side before posting anything so that your post doesn’t get rejected.
Keep track of other seasoned redditors and see how they engage with a post. You should also observe how they are linking to their website if they are doing so.
6. Share Your Content in the Right Places
Once you’ve created a valuable piece of content, use relevant subreddits to promote it. Don’t forget to share your article on the Reddit thread that inspired you to write. Here is a link to top subreddits that you can refer to.
You can also send a personal message to the Redditor who first started a discussion on the topic. If they find your content helpful, they might share it with their audience. That gives you another opportunity to get high-quality backlinks to your website.
However, Reddit is not a place where you will want to share each and every article you write. You need to use it strategically so that it doesn’t look spammy.
You should focus on building a reputation by responding to comments and helping others with your expertise and knowledge.
Conquering Reddit as a Business
Reddit is one of the most influential platforms in the world. Throughout the years it has become an important platform for the biggest brands to build a community and communicate with their most active consumers.
With time, Reddit users created their own lists of sweethearts and hated brands. Sometimes Reddit both loves and hates the same company, though. And everybody else is somewhere in between.
Some Reddit sweethearts are:
- IKEA (they use funny names for their furniture and decor, what’s not to like? If you can make a girl laugh, you’ve almost conquered her heart. It seems the same goes for Reddit)
- Yamaha (users seem to like both their guitars and bikes and often wonder how Yamaha got this strange combo)
- AMD (Reddit loves the underdog, so both Nvidia and Intel are out of luck here)
- Costco (despite what you might think Reddit remembers good publicity as long as the bad one and Costco paying decent wages to their workers definitely earned a place in Reddit’s sweethearts list)
- CD Project RED (Reddit loves indie game developers and especially those that grew up but kept their integrity – and a smart PR team)
- Nintendo (because Reddit is basically 25% geeks and 75% nostalgia for the 90s)
Among the hated you’ll always find:
- Nestle (Reddit craves social justice and drama so this is like the best mix of both. In addition, Nestle does nothing to improve their image)
- EA, Activision-Blizzard, Ubisoft, KONAMI (these giants of the electronic entertainment industry are the opposite of indie developer studios and have extremely poor communication skills)
- Comcast (because of the forced data restrictions in some areas and poor business practices)
- Louis Vuitton and Cartier (apparently, they burn or dump all the stuff they can’t sell at the end of the season)
- Disney (because of the first-hand stories on Reddit how the company is barely paying minimum wage to their Walt Disney World workers)
Building a healthy relationship with the community on Reddit will lead to better customer loyalty and possibly even new sales. But in order to do that, you have to know what makes Reddit community tick and how to do Reddit advertising to them.
Now It’s Your Turn!
You may need to change your mindset a little before you start using Reddit. If you’re on the platform with only your business in mind, it will be a difficult nut to crack.
Reddit can be a great tool to help you drive targeted traffic and boost your SEO efforts. All you need to do is to understand how to engage with this community.
Unfortunately, many brands and marketers miss out on this opportunity. But you should use Reddit, especially when you are targeting specific niches. Reddit users can help you gain better visibility and improved search rankings for your brand.
Have you ever used Reddit for your SEO or content marketing campaigns? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
This article was created by Shane Barker. Shane is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.