How to Advertise on Reddit Through CPM

  • by Elna Cain May 25, 2016
    May 25, 2016

    Reddit CPM Primary

    There is such a variety of PPC and CPM advertising options out there today. Big players like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are dominating the market, but some businesses are making their mark by choosing less popular platforms like Reddit.

    Don’t get me wrong, Reddit is far from a small concern. Its Alexa ranking is currently 9 in the US and 33 in the world. With its vast array of concentrated niches and an engaged community, Reddit is a great choice for the marketer that knows how to interact well with their customers.

    Let’s take a closer look.

    A Beginner’s Guide to Reddit

    Reddit was launched in 2005 and today it boasts 36 million user accounts and 5 billion pageviews from nearly 86 million unique monthly visitors. Its popularity skyrocketed when Barack Obama took part in its Q & A series ‘Ask me anything’ in 2012.

    Reddit calls itself ‘The Front Page of the Internet’ because it claims that most viral content and discussions start there. It is basically a massive forum with a huge number of topics being discussed.

    The topics discussed on Reddit are broken down into sections called subreddits. Each subreddit is devoted to a particular topic. Anyone can create a new subreddit. Most are public, but there are private ones.

    Within each subreddit, redditors, the users of Reddit, can post a question or something they would like to discuss and other redditors comment below it.

    Posts and comments can be voted up or down. These votes are used to determine what order the post appears in on the subreddit’s front page. Posts or comments that get too many negative votes are hidden or deleted.

    Each redditor has two Karma scores, one for comments and one for links. Karma is a measure of how popular you are in the Reddit community. It is the difference between the number of up votes and down votes on posts and comments. Some subreddits require you to have a certain Karma level to post.

    Who’s Using It?

    6% of online adults use Reddit and it has over 6100 communities organized around every topic imaginable. The majority of users are young males.

    Reddit CPM, 1

    Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet

    The most popular demographic is 18 – 29, showing it is more likely to be used by tech-savvy young adults in comparison to sites such as Facebook where the age of users has become much more widespread.

    Here’s a breakdown of its demographics:

    Reddit CPM, 2

    Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet

    Males are twice as likely to use Reddit as females. The income of Reddit users is equally spread and the most common education grouping is below high school diploma level.

    Why Reddit Makes Sense as a Marketing Channel

    Reddit is not as popular as some of the big names in PPC and CPM but it is still responsible for 2% of all of the content shared in the U.S. For that reason alone, it makes sense to get a piece of this pie.

    Today, social proof is a factor in every successful online marketing campaign. Gone are the days when people will click blindly on banner ads because they look pretty. Trust and respect sells says Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder,

    Honest discussions from honest people about products and services now spread. Those are the things that tend to shape people’s opinions. And the beauty of advertising on Reddit is that social proof is the driving force behind the entire platform. If you can master this then you should be able to get an excellent ROI.

    6% of online adults use Reddit and it has over 6100 communities organized around every topic imaginable.

    Reddit Advertising

    Advertising on Reddit is unlike any other channel because it is an interactive experience.

    Redditors can comment on all of your ads (even banner ads) and you need to engage with them to make your ad work. If readers like what you have to say they will upvote the ad. The more upvotes you get the more visible your ad is to readers.

    Types of Promotions

    On Reddit, there are two different types of CPM advertising to choose from, but unless you have a budget of many tens of thousands of dollars, you’ll likely be going with either text ads or link ads on Reddit’s affordable self-serve advertising platform.

    Link Ads

    These ads consist of an external link to your website or landing page. If you have a strong headline and convincing offer, this form of ad is easy to create and doesn’t require a lot of copywriting.

    Here is an example of a link ad:

    Reddit CPM Link Ad

    Text Ads

    These ads contain an internal link to another Reddit page, consisting of an expanded text post written by you. You can then put external links within that text to your website or landing page. This type of ad works well if you’re looking to stir some engagement, or have a product or service that can benefit from a Q&A or another discussion.

    Here is an example of a text ad posted by a recruitment website:

    Reddit CPM Text Ad

    And here is some of the text it links to when clicked:

    Reddit CPM Text Ad Landing

    Display ads

    Reddit does offer traditional display advertising but unless you have a big budget, you are better off making the most of the targeted marketing that self-serve advertising can provide. You’ll need to get in touch with Reddit’s ad sales team if you’re interested in running banner ads, and this type of advertising is typically reserved for agencies or large media buyers.

    Here is an example of a display ad for television show:

    Reddit CPM Display Ad

    How to Get the Most Out of Reddit Ads

    Comment, Comment, Comment

    Interact with as many people that comment on your ad as possible – all of them if you can.

    Add Value

    Normal advertising rules apply here. Try to make sure you are adding value the discussion when commenting or replying to comments.


    Make sure you use Reddit’s dashboard to track campaign results. The dashboard is pretty basic so use it in conjunction with Google Analytics or another analytics program to see how many people are visiting your site from the ad.

    Follow Reddiquette

    This is a set of rules published by Reddit to ensure the community runs smoothly. They include:

    • Remember the human – reminding users that there is a person behind the keyboard and to not say anything you wouldn’t say to someone’s face. This is an important tip for online marketing as well as protection from abuse on the site.
    • Browse the new submissions page and vote on it – encourages users to interact and not just be a spectator.
    • Post to the appropriate community where possible – you need be doing this anyway to maximize your advert’s chance of success.

    Following Reddiquette is crucial. Users that don’t follow it get downvoted quickly which leads to bad Karma scores.

    Run a competition

    Competitions are a highly effective campaign to run on Reddit, such as Hostelworld‘s competition to visit three different destinations.

    Offer discounts

    Discounts or Reddit gold – Reddit’s premium membership program – can be the carrot needed to get people to follow your link or read your discussion.

    Kindwave, an online price comparison tool had great success offering Reddit gold to every redditor who left feedback in the comments section of their ad.

    The comments they received helped greatly in the next development stage of their product.



    Reddit has been described as an ‘untapped goldmine’ for getting your content out there. Let’s take a look at why.

    Divide and Conquer

    The biggest advantage of Reddit is its subreddit divisions. Within each subdivision, you have a group of concentrated people who you know are interested in your niche. You don’t have to target people based on demographics or similar interests. Also, the people your adverts reach will be already be actively engaged in discussions on your subject, unlike other advertising mediums.


    Reddit allows you to communicate directly with your target audience. People are already talking about topics in your niche and generally want to contribute to the community and therefore your success.

    Cost Effective

    Reddit’s self-serve advertising platform is constantly evolving, and Reddit is responsive to user feedback – gathered from the comments, of course.

    As of February 2016, Reddit changed their advertising platform from a fixed-rate $ 0.75 CPM to an auction-based model, with a minimum bid of $ 0.20. In this model, the advertiser bids the maximum amount they are willing to pay for 1000 impressions (CPM) and the higher the bid, the more often the ad is displayed relative to competing ads.

    You can also start a campaign for as little as $ 5.00, allowing small business owners to test out a number of campaigns at a time – for little expense.


    Reddit’s community feel can make people more accepting of advertising than other platforms. Reddit general manager Erik Martin, when talking about redditors, said,

    We’ve gained their trust because we don’t show crappy ads. There are people online that you can’t show ads on 99 percent of the sites out there, but you can show them ads on Reddit.


    Self-serve Reddit ads do not require a coder or designer. You can create them yourself quickly and easily. All you have to be able to do is upload a photo or company logo, add a link and write some text.


    Reddit has two options for targeting its adverts:

    Interests or subreddits:

    Reddit CPM Targeting

    The most popular choice is subreddits because you can really narrow down your audience. Subreddits are what makes Reddit different from other mediums so make the most of them.

    Reddit has over 9,000 subreddits. You can use a subreddit finder app or website, but the Reddit site itself has a search bar that is just as effective, showing:

    • The number of readers in total
    • Number of people online in real time


    There aren’t really many optimization features for Reddit ads. But this can be seen as one of the benefits of using them. Keeping it simple allows you to focus on the most important points for success.

    • What you say in the ad
    • How you interact with the comments

    Reddit does provide an ad tester to check how the advertisement will look before publishing:

    Reddit CPM Test Ad

    And it has a basic dashboard to track your campaign:

    Reddit CPM Dashboard

    Reddit Ads Case Study #1: Sumo Jerky

    Ryan Luedecke, the owner of the small business Sumo Jerky, ran a highly successful campaign when he was expanding into home delivery.

    He placed the following ad:

    Reddit CPM Sumo Jerky

    The ad campaign generated $ 2,500 in sales, with a higher conversion rate than Sumo Jerky’s ads on Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.

    Getting personal is definitely the way forward with Reddit ads. The way Ryan wrote the ads increased engagement and there was also a higher CTR for ads with a thumbnail portrait as opposed to a company logo.

    Here are some of the comments the ad received:

    Reddit CPM Sumo Jerky Comments

    Ryan said: “My favorite part is the simplicity of the self-serve Reddit ads. It’s very minimalist and doesn’t require me to have a designer or coder to get started”

    Reddit Ads Case Study #2: Hostelworld

    Travel giant Hostelworld ran a contest advertising campaign on Reddit, looking to drive traffic to their contest’s landing page and increase entries.

    Here is one of their ads:

    Reddit CPM Hostel World Ad

    In just 6 weeks the campaign:

    • Converted 23% of traffic into entries
    • Increased the number of email list subscriptions
    • Increased readership on social media channels

    Here is one of the comments an ad received:

    Reddit CPM Hostelworld Comments

    Hostelworld continues to use Reddit for campaigns and promotions.

    Reddit Ads and Landing Pages

    Reddit advertising is an effective companion for promoting landing pages – a link or text ad can be used to drive traffic.

    PocketDerm (now Curology) had phenomenal success using Reddit to drive traffic to their landing page:

    Curology is an online company specializing in skin care. They set up this Reddit ad to drive traffic to a landing page promoting their new online dermatologist service:

    Reddit CPM Curology Ad

    Thanks to the campaign, they went from an unknown to the go-to online skincare provider among the Reddit community and began spending 50% of their advertising budget on Reddit.

    Reddit Ads and Pagewiz

    Reddit advertising can be a fruitful medium for your business. But the ad itself can only get you so far. If you don’t have a landing page that converts, your increased traffic will be wasted. Also, Reddit verifies landing pages before accepting ads that link to them. If your landing page’s quality score is low, your campaign may not be accepted at all.

    It can be a complicated and time-consuming process to create effective landing pages. Pagewiz provides beautiful templates that can be customized in minutes. They also include unlimited A/B testing so you can be confident in their performance before you even apply to Reddit.

    Wrapping It Up

    The Reddit community is unlike any other social medium out there. People go out of their way to help others and share new ideas. He may be biased but Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, summed this up well, “Facebook makes me hate the people I know, and Reddit makes me love the people I don’t.”

    A community such as this requires a different approach to marketing.

    A marketing campaign using Reddit can reap the rewards, but you have to execute it in a certain way: interacting with the community and following proper reddiquette. If you are looking for a hands-off marketing campaign, this is not for you. But if you are willing to get involved in the community to make your ad a success, then advertising on Reddit is something to seriously consider.

    Over to you ­­­– if you haven’t tried advertising on Reddit yet, have we convinced you to test the platform out?

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