Reddit + Video: A Comprehensive Guide for Video Marketers
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- September 17th, 2014
Proclaiming your website to be the “front page of the internet” takes some chutzpah, but in the case of Reddit, there is a lot of truth in that assertion. Founded in 2005, Reddit attracted 135,017,412 unique visitors in Aug 2014, and is arguably, the source for everything shiny-new, and popular on the internet today.
But what is Reddit? In its own words, it’s a “type of online community where users vote on content”, and what may appear to be an impenetrable maze of disparate micro-sites, is in fact thousands of active communities, each passionate about their chosen subject. Users visit the social platform in their millions for a range of content, including news, images, memes, and of course, videos. Reddit has the ability to send a significant amount of traffic to your YouTube Channel or website, even if you never make it to the ‘Front Page’.
A Detailed Guide to The Power of Reddit for Online Video
Experienced video marketers know that they shouldn’t put all of their eggs in one basket when it comes to distribution (and that includes YouTube), but Reddit could prove to be a valuable source of visibility if you play it right.
Reddit: The Stats Every Marketer Needs to Know
The user stats for the site are beyond impressive and are showing little sign of slowing down:
- The site generated 135,017,412 unique visitors in Aug 2014
- Those visitors viewed over 5.5 billion pages
- There are over 3.2 million active Redditors, and over 8,000 active subreddits (Sep 2014)
- It’s the 18th most popular site in the U.S. (Sep 2014)
- 190 years worth of embedded video content is watched on Reddit each month
How Reddit Works: A Guide and a Glossary
Reddit is a site based on user-generated or submitted content. A Redditor can upload a text-based post, or an image or video, and other Redditors ‘vote’ on those posts using the infamous up and down arrows to the left of the entry. The most popular posts rise to the top of page they are posted to, while the posts that attract the least attention slowly disappear from view. With around 4.5 million unique visits per day, the amount of information would quickly become overwhelming, so the site is divided into subreddits, or mini-communities, each with its own focus and band of subscribers.Some of the most popular subreddits, like /AskReddit attract mind-blowing amounts of traffic in their own right each day. With 6.6 million subscribers to that subreddit alone, it’s no wonder that some of the sites-within-a-site drives an average of 17 million unique visits per month.
Reddit also comes with a healthy dose of inside-jokes, written, and unwritten rules, and its own lingo. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular terms:
- Subreddit: A community of like-minded Redditors who come together to discuss different subjects. And by different subjects, we mean every subject under the sun. These communities are independent, and heavily moderated by a team of volunteers. They can be open to the public, or private, accessible only after consideration by a mod. There are around 440K subreddits recorded, although only 8K are believed to be currently active.
- Redditor: A user that is active on Reddit.
- Reddiquette: The Reddit rules about user behavior. Ignore at your peril.
- FrontPage: The newsfeed, or FrontPage, is the curated content which has been ‘upvoted’ the most by each of its respective subreddits. This is the cream of the crop, the most interesting, poignant, cute, fascinating content of the day.
- Karma: Karma is the basically the total of upvotes a user gets for their post, minus downvotes. Karma comes in two flavors – link and comment. Link karma is earned when a user votes on on the opening post (OP), comment karma is earned by other users up and downvoting a user’s comment. Karmawhores post content that they know will do well and earn them extra karma points. Shameless. 5 of the most popular subeddits make up 40.5% of all of the Karma earned on Reddit and these are; r/Funny, r/Pics, r/Advice Animals, r/Aww, and r/Gaming.
- Upvote/Downvote: Reddit is nothing if not a democracy and Redditors will vote with their mouses to determine which content gets pushed to the top. Users can either vote a post up or post it down using the arrows to the left of the thread. Upvotes and downvotes cancel each other out, so if one post gets 1,000 upvotes and 100 downvotes, it will do better in terms of rising to the top then a post with 1,000 upvotes and 250 downvotes.
- AMAs, Cakedays, NeckBeards, and FTFY: And the rest of the terms you need to know.
Need more info? Take a look at this incredible informative, and hugely entertaining overview from ReelSEO favorite CGP Grey:
How to Discover Video Content on Reddit
/Videos is the 10th most popular subreddit on Reddit with just under 6 million subscribers. It also has 1.29% share of the traffic on the site, and the graph below shares the rise in popularity of the subreddit over the years. As you can imagine, thousands of video links are submitted (and resubmitted) every day, but its a good place to start to see what kind of video content is proving to be popular.
Last year, Reddit updated its Reddit.tv feature to help users sort through all the video content on Reddit – and beyond. This tool aggregates video content from a link-sharing network including Reddit’s own r/videos, and other subreddits with the most video submissions. You can add your own channels to Reddit.tv from any chosen subreddit, or external website, and you can also curate content from other sources like PBS, VICE, NYT, YouTube etc.
Even if you’re not a Reddit user, it’s definitely worth setting up this feature to make life a little easier for you when it comes to discovering new videos. You can’t search by keyword, but you can add the subreddits closely related to your interests, and the tool will automatically pull through the newest video content from that community.
You can search by keyword on Reddit itself though – and so can Redditors who want to find information regarding the types of products or services YOU offer. Hint.
Reddit as Part of Your Video Marketing Strategy
Many marketers dismiss Reddit as it can seem very cliquey and overwhelming if you are not used to the format. There is absolutely no question that there is a very steep learning curve to the platform, but if you take the time to find out how it works, it can offer huge benefits, both to video marketing, and to content discovery.
A Word Of Caution: On other social sites, charging in like a bull in a china shop may result in a few jeers or perhaps complete indifference. On Reddit, the wrong marketing approach will attract the wrath of thousands of users, and your efforts to spam the community may actually end up going viral, not your video content. Redditors are pretty intolerant to being sold to, but Reddit has issued awesome guidelines on self-promotion to stop naive marketers from getting so badly burned that they never return.
Now the good news:
Video is wildly popular: 190 years of embedded video are watched on Reddit each month, and Redditors watch an average of 50-80% of total play time (Click to Tweet)
Video content uploaded to Reddit by users is often picked up on very quickly, sometimes within minutes, by other online publishers. Those viral videos and images that appear on your Facebook and Twitter feeds often originated on Reddit, and snapped up by and syndicated by other sites. If you have a video that you believe will do well because of its content, its appearance on Reddit will often be the starting point of it being picked up elsewhere.
Around 6% of U.S. based adults visit Reddit, with males aged between 18-29, perhaps unsurprisingly, the biggest demographic. 88% of users are male. 88% of Redditors visit the site multiple times every day, and spend around 16 minutes per session. The average sales order revenue generated by a Reddit referral is $53, so it’s worth at least considering a video marketing strategy that includes this site.
How to Post to Reddit
When you sign up to Reddit, you are given two clear options regarding your account handle. You can either set up an anonymous account with an hilariously wacky name which you can hide behind, or you can create a legitimate account moniker. There are pros and cons to both, but consider the long-term options of posting video content as /SuperNaziKitten when you are trying to build up credibility as a user or brand……However, setting up an anonymous account alongside the more mainstream one will allow you to comment on posts and subscribe to subreddits that you may not want to be associate with your public account.
Bear in mind that if you post video content that does somehow make it to the Front Page (in a good way), it’ll be the wacky user name that gets the credit and the karma – neither of which can be transferred to another user name. OK, so let’s go through the process:
#1 Set Up A Reddit Account
Go to Reddit.com and click on the ‘login or register‘ link in the top right hand corner. For the sake of this post, we’re going to assume the persona of a cupcake maker, so we choose the most appropriate use
#2 Submit a Link or Post
Now you’ve set up your account, it’s time to jump in and post something to Reddit. You have two options here. You can click on ‘Submit a new text post‘ on the right hand side of the home page, which allows you to post a statement, or ask a question.
We want to submit a video, so we need to use the ‘Submit a new link‘ option which will allow us to post a link to a video. This option also allows you to link to an article, an image, or another URL you want to share with other Redditors. (Note: You can also post a link within a text post, and you can also change the post options before submitting. Only link posts are eligible for karma points so take this into consideration if this is important to you).
Choose a Compelling Title: There is SO much content uploaded to the site every hour, that Redditors tend to scan each title quickly. Just as you need to craft an engaging blog post or video title, take the time to do the same on Reddit. Create a title that captures the eye, and stands out among all the other links. Remember, the title of the post is what the majority of Redditors see first, and as with any other digital content, the CTR of the post will depend on how engaging the title is to readers. Avoid generic titles, and be as descriptive as you can.
Submit the URL: Reddit is incredibly efficient at filtering out spam before it reaches the site, but some links do get through, much to the disgust of Redditors. Always, always use the full URL when posting to Reddit because nothing will turn users off more a shortened URL. Post the full URL of your video so that a) users know it’s a reputable link, and b) it’s from a reputable source like YouTube.
Choose the Right subreddit: We’ll go into more detail about the merits of various subreddits but we will say please post your link to the most appropriate one. If you are posting a how-to video about cupcake decorating, or you want to show off a new frosting technique that you have captured on film, then /Cupcakes, /Baking, /CakeWin, or even /ArtisanVideos are the subreddits that will be the most welcoming.
Then fill in the CAPTCHA box, and click ‘Submit’. There may be a delay in your post appearing in your chosen subreddit while it goes through the spam filtering process.
Where Do Users Go From Reddit? YouTube!
YouTube is the one of the top 2 exit sites on Reddit, after default image site Imgur. If you upload your video content to YouTube in the first instance, and then post a link to Reddit back to that video, there is every chance you could drive some excellent traffic your way.
Don’t forget to use strong call to actions on your YouTube video via annotations, and also on the Watch Page via the description field.
Subreddits: Your Video Marketing Goldmine
Subreddits, the individual communities on Reddit, are an absolute goldmine for marketers as they give you the ability to target a very, very specific set of users. Often, a subreddit is home to the largest group of target audiences on the internet, so no matter how niche your product or service is, the immense number and variety of subreddits available should mean that you have a way to reach your specific audience.
Subreddits are micro-sites that consist of links that either send readers to an external website (YouTube, Buzzfeed, own Domain etc.) or to an onsite text post. Each link option comes with its own comment section for readers to discuss the post, and upvote or downvote it, and the comments posted on it. (Hope you are keeping up).
Become familiar with the subreddits so you understand the most appropriate ones to post to. Depending on your market you may not have a choice but look for the communities that have a decent number of members, say over 15,000. If you are going for the maximum amount of visibility then posting to a subreddit with a handful of members isn’t going to get you anywhere. Unless that subreddit is built around your niche market which could provide a decent conversion rate if you are active enough.
If your video content is unique, exciting, relevant, or even opportunistic, there is every change that other Redditors will upvote it so much it reaches or the FrontPage, or gets reposted to a huge subreddit like /Foodporn. So, be flexible and test the waters in a variety of communities first.
Takeaway Tips to Get the Most Out of Reddit
Turn the most engaging parts of your video into GIFS , upload to Imgur and submit that link to the most appropriate subreddit. Imgur is the most popular image host platform for Reddit users, and if they like your GIF, it has the potential to do very well indeed. Think of it as a mini trailer for the full video.
If you are prepared to hear some harsh truths along the way, Reddit is the perfect place to gather feedback about how your brand is doing. Tune in and listen to what your audience wants from you in terms of content. Think of it as market research – and don’t forget to read what people are saying about your competitors too.
It takes some time to understand how Reddit works. You should never leave your social marketing strategy in the hands of the inexperienced or indifferent, and this is never truer for Reddit. Get it wrong on this site and your reputation will take a bashing. Ideally, find someone in your organisation who cares deeply about your brand and your message, and who is passionate about Reddit. You’ll fare better with this approach than handing this off to someone who doesn’t ‘get’ the platform.
Run keyword searches on the site to find which subreddits you should be interacting with – as a user and a brand. For our cupcake maker, there are an enormous range of subreddits they can post to, and literally hundreds of thousands of Redditors they can reach. Make a comprehensive list of subreddits and use them for competitor research, ideas for content, and for feedback on your particular industry.
If you want to use Reddit for marketing purposes, your goal needs to be that you offer a valuable contribution to a subreddit community. If you offer that value – in terms of genuinely helpful, entertaining, meaningful content, then you’ll do OK. Always think about the user and what they want/need rather than what you want to sell/promote.
You can also take the paid advertising route, for building up brand or product visibility across the whole of Reddit, or just across a few select subreddits of your choice. More info on Reddit ads here. Reddit ads start at a $1.00 CPM, and there’s a $5.00 minimum spend.
The best way to get the most out of Reddit is to become part of your community, or even better, several communities on it. Post great content, comments on others’ posts and upvote them if you like them, ask for feedback, answer questions, and be active and involved.
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