Reddit Ads 101: The Ultimate Guide to Reddit Advertising

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Reddit Adds 101

As a retailer, you’ve likely dabbled in Facebook advertising, researched your options on Snapchat or even signed up for a business account on TikTok. But did you know you could also advertise on Reddit and even achieve performance-driven results? A community-based online platform that houses over 430 million monthly active users, Reddit is a goldmine of opportunity for advertisers. In fact, Reddit is the third largest forum (after Google and Amazon) that consumers go to research products before purchasing. Interested but not sure where to start? Let’s get you briefed on the significance of Reddit ads.


What is Reddit?

Reddit is a network of communities based on people’s interests. These interests may include beauty, gaming, sports, celebrities, crypto, science research and every other topic you can imagine. 

Reddit is also a content contribution site. Anyone can share content on these themed communities text, links, images and video which creates a constant flow of content on the platform. Redditors react to the posts by voting, which gives an “upvote” that increases visibility (vs. “downvote” that decreases visibility). As users share the content they like, this gives them a sense of ownership in the community and increases interaction.

What makes Reddit different? Reddit is considered a social media platform, but what makes Reddit special is its focus on community (i.e., subreddits) rather than people. Subreddits cover a mainstream topic like nutrition to something more niche like “SkincareAddiction” and “CryptoCurrency.” In January 2021, 59,586 subreddits were added to Reddit.

What Do People Use Reddit For?

72% of US Reddit users report that they use Reddit for entertainment purposes. Other common reasons for using Reddit include following the news and staying up to date with brands and companies.

Here’s a breakdown of why people use Reddit:

Source: Statista.com

Other reasons include the following:

  1. Great source of information: Ever heard of the quote “everything you can imagine is real?” This also applies to Reddit where every topic has its designated forum on the platform.  
  2. Genuine conversations: Subreddits are the basis of Reddit, ensuring that conversation and connection is at the heart of the platform.  
  3. Community-driven: Spending time on Reddit is more than just browsing and reading subreddits. To be an active user of the community, you have to be engaged as well by responding to posts with relevant responses and not just self-promotional commentary. This way, you can develop relationships by interacting and engaging with other users on the platform.   

Reddit Ads: Everything You Need to Know

Paid Advertising

Why should you advertise on Reddit? Other than the fact that Reddit houses millions of passionate and dedicated users, subreddits means one thing for advertisers: advertisers don’t have to guess what users, or “Redditors”, are interested in. 

With user’s interests shared freely on the platform, advertisers can target their ideal audience with relevant offerings in sponsored posts. Now, all advertisers have to do is find the right interests (i.e audience targeting) to promote their product/business. The bulk of Reddit’s targeting scale is in fact audience targeting using interests as triggers. For example, you’re finding someone interested in sports wherever he or she is on Reddit.

Reddit also helps retailers to extend reach, capture attention and drive clicks. 

This includes: 

  1. Mindset: Reddit has passionate communities that can’t be found elsewhere where users have relentless curiosity and are constantly seeking information. 
  2. Authenticity: Users turn to Reddit for honest advice from real people.
  3. Relevance: Redditors are already talking about their Home, Sporting Equipment, Fashion and Beauty needs and retailers can be a guiding voice in those conversations.

Audience Demographics: Who’s on Reddit?

There are 52 million daily active Reddit users worldwide. Reddit’s audience is highly engaged and offers a higher retention rate than other platforms. For instance, unlike Facebook users who may be on the platform to view their home feed, Redditors are actively researching the platform for new content. 

When it comes to the platform’s gender breakdown, Reddit is more popular among males. In the U.S, 56% of men and 44% of women use Reddit with 18-34 (58%) being the most popular age group, followed by 35-49 (28+) and 45+ (19%). Reddit’s audience is also leaned-in and unduplicated, meaning that 23% of U.S Redditors are not on Facebook. 

However, remember that Reddit’s demographic vary based on the subreddit’s topic. For example, there are subreddits largely targeted towards women like AskWomen and GirlGamers.  

Similar to Pinterest, Reddit is a gateway to other content –  62% of the posts on Reddit link to another website. This makes Landing Page Views as an objective a natural action for the Reddit community and an additional support to Click-Through Rates (CTR).

Reddit’s Campaign Objectives 

Reddit promotes two approaches to their advertising: Brand and Performance. Performance advertising on Reddit focuses on driving efficient ROI at scale while Brand engages key communities at scale. With Reddit ads, you can convert communities into customers, track conversions via Reddit Pixel and drive mobile app installs across key audiences through promoted posts, conversation ads and pixel retargeting.

Reddit offers five objectives: Brand Awareness and Reach, Video Views, Traffic, Conversions and App Installs. 

Source: Reddit

Brand Awareness and Reach is ideal for advertisers looking to generate interest in their product or service. The traffic objective is ideal for driving traffic to a URL such as your website’s landing page or a blog post. Conversions focuse on prompting valuable action on your website like purchases. App Installs is optimized to encourage people to install your app and generate app events, and the Video Views objective gets you the most plays of your video ad. 

Here’s some additional metric breakdown: 

CTR benchmarks:

  • Desktop-Static – .15%
  • Desktop-Video – .1%
  • Mobile-Static – .22%
  • Mobile-Video – .18%

VCR (Video Completion Rate):

  • ~10% for mobile
  • ~12% for desktop

Ad Formats

Available on auction (CPM,  CPC or CPV), the following ad units are available on Reddit: 

  • Promoted Post, Video and Carousel 
  • First View
  • Takeover 

Promoted Post, Video and Carousel

With promoted ads, you can promote a brand, products and services using Reddit’s primary ad unit with text, images or video. Promoted carousel is Reddit’s newest post type that enables you to share multiple images or gifs in a single post. This ad format includes all elements of a standard Reddit post (upvotes, downvotes and comment threads) which makes it feel and look native to the platform, providing a better experience for your target audience.    

Source: Reddit

Promoted Post 

Key Features

  • Image or Text
  • Call-To-Action button (optional)
  • Multiple bid types (CPM, CPC)
  • Ad Placement in Feed and Conversations (Beta)

Promoted Video

Key Features

  • Auto-play video in Feed, click-to-play and expand in Conversations (Beta)
  • Multiple aspect ratios (1:1, 4:5, 16:9) 
  • Call-To-Action button (optional) 
  • Multiple bid types (CPM, CPV)

Promoted Carousel 

Key Features

  • Up to 6 Cards (Images, GIFs)
  • Call-To-Action button (optional)
  • Multiple bid types (CPM, CPC)
  • Ad Placement in Feed only

First View

With First View, your brand will be the first one users see on Reddit’s most visited real estate – Home (feed of all the communities a user joined) or Popular feeds (the feed of the most popular posts on Reddit). This way, you can reach the most engaged Reddit users efficiently. 

A mockup of Reddit's  first view ads
Source: Reddit

Takeover 

Similar to Twitter’s trending feed, Reddit’s Trending Takeover ad unit amplifies your trend for 24 hours across Popular and Search, where people discover the most popular topics on Reddit. 

A mockup of Reddit's Trending takeover ad
Source: Reddit

Takeover ad units include:

  • Category Takeover
  • Front Page Takeover
  • Trending Takeover
  • Reddit Takeover

Category Takeover 

Own top communities in your selected category for 24 hours 

A Category Takeover ensures your brand is the first seen in top communities in a category of your choosing across 9 verticals. When anyone visits those communities, your brand will be the first ad they see. 

A mockup of Reddit's category takeover ads
Source: Reddit

Category Takeover includes: 

  • Promoted Post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (300×600 or 300×250)
  • Sticky banner (300×250)

Front Page Takeover

Own the Front Page for 24 hours

Your brand will be the first to be seen on the most visited real estate on Reddit, the Home and Popular for 24 hours, where your brand will hold the top slot. 

A mockup of Reddit's Front page takeover ad
Source: Reddit

Front Page Takeover includes: 

  • Promoted Post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (300×600 or 300×250)
  • Sticky banner (300×250)

Trending Takeover

Amplify your trend across Popular and Search for 24 hours

Be the only brand seen in Trending Today where people discover the most popular topics on Reddit. When anyone visits Popular or Search, your trend will be the first they see. 

A mockup of Reddit's trending takeover ad
Source: Reddit

Trending Takeover includes:

  • Trending unit on Popular
  • Trending unit on Search
  • Trending landing page

Reddit Takeover

Maximize your impact with Reddit’s widest-reaching package

Be the top brand seen when a user visits Home, Popular, or Search for 24 hours by leveraging both the Front Page Takeover and Trending Takeover.

A mockup of Reddit takeover ads
Source: Reddit

Reddit Takeover includes: 

  • Promoted Post (first in-feed ad placement)
  • Top banner (Above the Fold Banner)
  • Sticky banner (Sticky Below the Fold Banner)
  • Trending unit on Popular 
  • Trending unit on Search 
  • Trending landing page
Reddit takeover ad options
Source: Reddit

Ads from other social channels can be re-purposed. Reddit recommends using humor and question-based posts to engage your audience in your ad. Lucky for you, Reddit users pay x2 more attention to ads on social media vs. non-reddit users. 

Targeting Capabilities

With Reddit’s focus on community, it’s no surprise that their targeting capabilities are interest-based as opposed to demographic or age-based like the other social media platforms.

Community targeting delivers ads to users based on topics they engage with via subreddits. Reddit targets subscribers and visitors of a subreddit, showing ads to these users either while they’re browsing the targeted subreddit or exploring other subreddits.

Reddit offers five different ad targeting categories:

  • Locations
  • Interests
  • Community
  • Device
  • Time of day

Creative and Copy Best Practices

To best reach Reddit’s audience, keep the following performance creative best practices in mind: 

  • Highlight special promotions or deals: If the campaign is focused on a deal or promotion, highlight the incentive in the copy and front load the creative with the deal messaging. 
  • Use specific and pointed copy: Communicate a clear value proposition with pointed copy. The more product details, the better!
  • Showcase the product: Lead with product image and clearly showcase product features. 
  • Add a call-to-action (CTA) button: Leverage Reddit’s CTA button at the bottom of the ad and at the end of the video to drive users to your desired action. 
  • Variety is key: Use at least 5-6 creatives per ad group to take advantage of ad level optimization on Traffic and App Install campaigns.
  • Humanize your Copy: Copy is oftentimes the easiest and most effective way to customize creative for reddit and the most influential brand copy speaks to redditors as real people vs. the targets of marketing buzzwords.
McCafe coffee ad on Reddit

Ready to Use Reddit Ads?

If you’re looking for a young and highly engaged, growing and passionate audience with a variety of interests, Reddit is for you. As one of the most used social media platforms in the world, Reddit sets a unique opportunity for brands looking to advertise on a platform that has relatively little competition. Happy advertising! 


If you are interested in taking your Reddit ads to the next level, let’s chat. We’re here to help!

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