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How to Market Amid the Resistance and on Reddit

Reaching the right audience, via the right medium, at the right time is the goal of every marketer. Here are some helpful hints on how to reach your intended audience on Reddit and how to market amid the age of resistance.

RedditReaching Amid the Resistance

Consumer want more than products from companies they frequent—they want action. This can create tricky situations for companies who may be reluctant to step into the fray on particularly polarizing issues.

A recent Harvard Business Review article offers these 5 tips:

  • Don’t just talk about it, be about it
  • No on-off statements
  • When apologizing, do it without excuses or caveats
  • “Listen, process and validate”
  • Step beyond the perspective of just your company

In this digital age, your company’s history and past statements are easy to find. Therefore, when you say something, mean it. Not doing so can come back to bite you.

For example, Amazon released a commercial thanking its heroic employees at a time when those employees were striking because of the company’s failure to address their safety concerns. “This is not a time for companies to share generic, hollow, or hypocritical sentiments… it is a time to be humble, own up to any mistakes, and express a desire to grow,” according to the article.

HBR also said firms should not create campaigns in a vacuum—firms can turn to people outside the organization to avoid group think. Further, when customers voice concerns about a topic—say a firm’s response to COVID-19 or racial injustice—don’t just listen. Rather, work to “process it critically” and do not overinterpret it. Take it at face value.

Making Your Mark on Reddit

Digital Marketing News notes that “Reddit can be seen as a website that also works as a news site… Reddit users post their original content via links, videos, or photos on Reddit. People can comment on these posts. Audience members then either 'upvote' or 'downvote' the original content and the comments. This way, whatever is buzzworthy, or whichever comment is more impactful (usually funny) gets popular, which means that more people get to see it. And, whichever Reddit posts get enough downvotes, drown in the daily increasing original content.”

Then there are millions of subreddits—pages that built enough of an audience to warrant its own community. There are also niche subreddits—groups with niche Reddit content. Some of these subreddits can have surprisingly large audiences.

One of the biggest challenges for marketers on Reddit is that this audience does not appreciate traditional advertising. You shouldn’t just borrow a campaign your firm prepared for Facebook or Twitter and roll it out on Reddit.

Many Reddit users believe you shouldn’t promote your business to the community without giving anything back. Some subreddits even prohibit marketers from content marketing advertising within the group. “You need to win your followers” the article notes, adding that a smart approach is to find users who would “be genuinely interested in your products.”

Despite those challenges, marketers shouldn’t shy away from the platform—instead they should take a deliberate approach, provide quality content, avoid spamming at all costs, and let Redditors “speak for themselves.”

A smart strategy is to identify subreddits that are relevant to your firm’s brand. Observe them and learn more about the audience. Watch what Redditors are saying about your competitor and see what you can learn. Watch what’s being upvoted… and what’s not.

The article notes that the best advice for anyone trying to market on Reddit is to support your customers instead of trying to sell to them all the time. “Reddit users really appreciate brands that engage with the community and support them. It is also not uncommon to come across several Reddit accounts of famous brands that are specifically created to support their customers. The idea behind this social media strategy is that it cuts any middleman out. You get to communicate with your customers directly. What’s better is that you won’t just be addressing one customer, many users with similar doubts will upvote your comments,” the article notes.

Finally, use the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) feature. You can allows the community to ask you questions. It allows brands to directly engage with customers and show off your brand image and smarts.

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