Content has become the currency of the internet, giving you limitless options to promote your brand, engage with your audience, hit new target markets and provide value to your customers.
That said, content is about more than blog posts. There are many types of content out there to keep your message fresh and your audience interested.
Take a look at these eight effective content types and learn how you can use them to drive growth for your business.
Info + graphic, or infographic, uses graphics and visuals to present information in an easily digestible way for your audience. At a quick glance, a reader can often get all the same pertinent information as they would from a longer blog post, making infographics a popular content type.
Infographics get more views, shares and likes than other content types, mostly because of how easy it is to absorb the information. They also have viral potential and are shared far more often than other content types, and they work particularly well for data, statistics and research.
If you have a graphic designer on your team, that’s the person to recruit to create infographics for you. These creative professionals are experts at creating compelling visuals and organizing information in a way that communicates effectively to an audience.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that simply having an infographic isn’t enough for viral content. To make an infographic that stands out, you still need to apply the same principles of effective content and craft a specific, compelling message.
If you’ve spent even a minute on any social media platform, you’re familiar with memes. By their very nature, memes encourage sharing and have the potential to go viral. They’re also quite funny, in most cases, which automatically gets more attention.
Unlike infographics, memes don’t require any special skills or graphic design talent. Many sites allow you to include your own text in a standard meme format. If you have a funny idea or the mood strikes, put it in a meme to share.
Memes may not be appropriate for your blog, however. Memes are a social media phenomenon, so it’s best to keep them on your social media pages. You also want to be sure that they still provide some value and aren’t overused.
Videos communicate valuable information in a concise, memorable way that is more likely to be viewed by a follower. From music videos to office tours to how-to videos, there are virtually limitless options for how you can use video to promote your brand and attract followers.
Videos are a more expensive content option, but you can start small to begin with and see how they perform. As you learn more about the role of video in your content marketing strategy, you can put more effort and expense into creating professional videos.
Guides are super-sized posts that go into detail about a topic, often far beyond the length of a normal blog post. They typically include advanced information for your readers that’s backed by research as well.
If you want to create guides, you’ll need a good writer, a graphic designer and the right topic. This content should be top tier and deliver the message in an effective, readable way, especially given the length of the post. The graphic designer will need to fine tune the layout and presentation to ensure the post is attractive and readable.
You can also present your guide as a free download for your followers in exchange for email addresses, which boosts your subscriber list.
If your following reads books, a book review is a great way to connect with them and present yourself as a thought leader. A book review can be simple or in-depth, depending on how you choose to do it.
Keep in mind that book reviews aren’t suitable for all industries, so be sure you have the appropriate audience and that reviewing books makes sense for your brand.
A “rant” or opinion piece is a popular content option, mostly because of its light tone and humor. If most of your content is heavily researched and detailed, a rant or opinion piece gives you a chance to express yourself more.
For a business, a rant or opinion piece should be relevant to the industry, such as opinions on recent news or industry trends and changes. With this option, you’re not only addressing popular topics that are of interest to your audience, but you’ll also boost your SEO and shareability.
Keep in mind that a rant or opinion piece should be occasional, since constantly ranting about a various topics can come across as obnoxious. You should also avoid personal attacks or people-bashing, since a rant isn’t meant to be angry or rude. Also, welcome opposing viewpoints to prompt a discussion, rather than being guided by your ego.
Product reviews can help you establish authority and thought leadership in your industry. When you engage manufacturers, developers, service providers and other industry professionals, you gain respect and recognition within your niche.
Product reviews should include brief information about a product, the creator, aspects you like, aspects you don’t like and your recommendation. Complete your review with a call to action.
How-To and Tutorials
A how-to guide is one of the most popular content types, especially in niches that are specialized or technical. With their long introductions, they also offer long-tail search potential.
To plan a how-to guide, you need to identify a problem that’s common in the industry, then draft a post that provides a solution. There’s no limit to the possibilities for a how-to guide, especially for certain industries.
Keep in mind that detailed explanations, diagrams, pictures and videos are all helpful in getting your message across and helping your audience better understand your guide.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Now that you have all these ideas for new and interesting content types, remember that you don’t need to try all of them. Not every type of content is suited to every brand, so if you don’t think that a certain type of content works well for your business, don’t worry about including it.
Still, don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Sometimes business owners will avoid different content types because they don’t know where to begin, they think it will take too long to create or they’re afraid to fail. Many tools are out there to help beginners create all types of content, so take a chance on something new and see how it performs.
Also, once you start learning how to create different types of content, don’t go crazy including something new every day. You’ll likely burn out and exhaust your ideas. Try a few new things each month to see how they perform, then commit to including the successful ones into your content calendar on a regular basis.
There are plenty of effective content types for you to choose from, and the more content you use, the more compelling your marketing strategy becomes. Content must always speak to the audience, however, so no matter what content type you choose, craft a message that the audience will share, listen to and learn from.
Meta description: Check out these eight effective content types to boost your marketing efforts, and learn how to use them effectively as part of your content marketing strategy.
A creative block is one of the worst things to experience when you’re a marketer, especially if you’re working with a tight deadline. Drawing a blank for a creative campaign, or even a creative post, can be disheartening; but we’re here to help.
Everyone experiences a creative block from time to time and needs inspiration, so let’s take a look at these 17 engaging social media posts that are sure to elevate your brand.
Company Blog Posts
If your business has a blog, why not share to your target audience through your own business social media accounts? Your audience is already following you, so it’s relevant; and you may find that your content will be shared among them to generate even more leads.
Company Culture Posts
Internet users appreciate transparency and a more intimate experience when dealing with a business, which is why social media has become such a valuable tool for marketers. The best way to showcase your business is with an image or article that highlights your business, whether it’s recent news, an award, or just a behind-the-scenes shot of an office party, providing your audience with a glimpse into your company culture does wonders for your audience’s loyalty.
News articles tend to be shared more than other types of posts, but most businesses are shifting their focus to in-depth, long-form content. While this is valuable for SEO, the occasional, topical story that relates to your industry can clue your audience in to trends and breaking news.
To get started, make a list of news sources, trade publications or websites that relate to your industry, and follow them on social media. When they share industry news, share it with your followers on a different platform to stand out and to show your audience that you keep up with your own industry trends.
Curated content is just content from other industry professionals. If you want to share topics that have already been written numerous times or you want to fill in your social calendar without taking the time to craft the post, sharing the piece and giving the original poster credit can help you reach your audience and encourage others to share your content in the future.
It’s a common misconception that your entire social media account needs to be filled with in-depth articles and posts. Engagement is a benefit of social media that isn’t available with many other outlets, so take advantage of that by asking your audience a question to encourage interaction.
Taking a poll or asking a funny question for the purpose of engagement is good, but you can also take this opportunity to learn more about what your audience is looking for from you. Ask about content they’d like to see, current problems they’re encountering, or other questions about their needs, which not only gives you an idea for future posts, but also gives you insight about your audience’s pain points.
Videos get a lot of attention on social media and are more likely to be shared than other types of content, so you should be including product or company videos on occasion to showcase a new product or give you audience a peak into your daily operations.
If your business has a lot of good reviews and a dedicated customer base, let your social media followers see it. You can create a graphic with a review or testimonial to post, or share a customer’s post that mentioned your company to show your audience that you have a long list of satisfied customers.
“How-to” posts and tutorials are helpful for your audience, but you can also condense this information into useful tips that are easily digested and quick to read. Make a list of the most important tips and tricks that you think your audience will enjoy, and post them periodically.
Memes and GIFs
In addition to other visual content, such as infographics, images, and videos, memes and GIFs can be used to put a fun twist on the same old post and catch your audience’s attention. This is not only on trend, but these types of fun, quirky content are becoming more and more popular among businesses. Just be sure to keep the message aligned with your brand identity and target audience.
Contests are nearly impossible to resist, so starting a social media contest that’s related to your business will boost engagement and participation among followers. You can also require people to like or follow your page to get involved, leading to more subscribers.
Before posting a contest, however, take care to be clear about your objectives, the rules and how you want your audience to participate. Social media contests are usually along the lines of liking, commenting or sharing a post for a discount or free gift, but the possibilities are virtually endless.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you receive many of the same questions over and over again, share a post that includes an answer to these questions on a regular basis. You can also “pin” these posts on your page so that they’re always quick and easy for your followers to find.
Infographics are quick to catch your followers’ attention, thanks to their visual appeal and the wealth of information they can present. Whether you have a step-by-step guide, statistics, or other complex information, putting it in an infographic to post on social media encourages your audience to stop scrolling and start reading.
Links to Free Resources
If you have white papers, e-books or other downloadable content for your business, offer it for free in a social media post. This will not only show that you want to help your audience solve their problems, but everyone loves free stuff.
Internet users get tired of reading, which is why videos and podcasts are such popular forms of content. Share a podcast that’s relevant to your industry, or start your own and share it on your social media page.
When you have new team members, take the time to introduce them to your audience on social media. Include photos and a little blurb about the new team members, then ask for everyone’s welcome and well wishes.
“On this Day” and National Day Posts
“On this day” posts or articles share information that happened on this day in history, which people love to read. You can choose to share these posts on a regular basis, or only share when you find an interesting fact or article that relates to your industry.
National Day posts work similarly to “on this day” posts. These include “holidays” like National Coffee Day, National Blueberry Day, National iPod Day, and much more, for each day of the year. Find the ones relevant to your industry and post them on your social media
Live videos are popular on most media platforms, making it even easier to include video in your marketing campaign. Using the platform that works best for you and that has the largest following, create live videos each week with a theme that relates to your industry, such as weekly tips or fun facts, to encourage your audience to tune in.
Elevate Your Brand
We hope that this list of engaging social media posts gives you some ideas for how to tackle your creative block and connect with your audience more on social media. While not all may be appropriate for your business or industry, use these ideas to craft your own engaging social media posts that make your followers excited to see what you’ll post next!
Meta description: Check out these 17 creative ideas for engaging social media posts that elevate your brand and give your audience something to look forward to.
Though email marketing has taken a backseat to more “modern” forms of digital promotion, it’s still an effective marketing tool. Despite the age of this technology, businesses still use email to connect with audiences, turn leads into sales and engage followers with promotions, news and other relevant information.
The value that email marketing has above all else, however, is that it gives you an opportunity to connect with potential buyers who visited your site and left. You can target qualified leads with email marketing and get another opportunity to earn their business.
Nurturing leads with email marketing isn’t easy, though. It requires a targeted campaign with personalized communication, appropriate timing and strategic promotions that won’t overwhelm your new leads.
Why Email Marketing?
No matter what you’ve heard, email marketing is quite effective in a modern digital marketing strategy.
More than 80 percent of B2B and B2C companies use email marketing as part of their marketing strategy.
Email opens on mobile devices is around 55 percent.
Marketers have experienced revenue increases of 760 percent from email marketing campaigns.
Email content is six times more likely to get a click than social media content.
Facebook and Twitter are falling behind email for gaining new customers.
Email ROI is 30 percent, compared to direct mail at 7 percent.
6 out of 10 employees recognize the importance of email in their work.
Email for Effective Communication
Email may not be the newest thing, but it’s still relevant in our everyday lives. Unlike social media, which isn’t actually used by everyone and allows messages to get lost in the shuffle, email is almost guaranteed to reach its recipient.
Better yet, email has an incredible reach and costs nearly nothing to send, unlike paid advertising or other forms of digital marketing.
Email to Reconnect with Leads
Emails allow you to connect with your leads in a way that nothing else can. If a visitor comes to your site and doesn’t buy a product, but subscribes to your newsletter, you have a pre-qualified lead. You know this person is interested in what you have to offer, so half of the marketing legwork is done for you, and you’re more likely to put your energy into a lead that will convert.
Now, instead of losing the lead entirely, you can use email to redirect your marketing and nurture the lead into a paying customer.
Email to Personalize a Message
Aside from email’s ability to reach the intended audience, it also allows you to personalize your message and increase the chance of engagement. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and have higher click-through rates as well, so you have a better chance of getting something for your efforts.
Personalizing an email isn’t difficult, but it’s an area in which many businesses fail. Something as simple as using the person’s name and your own name, instead of your business name, can elevate your email above the rest.
Email to Segment Leads for Better Relevance
Email marketing is more effective when the leads are divided into segments based on different personas. Once you have information about your buyer’s demographics, shopping behavior, employment, location, buyer journey stage and problems, you can separate them into segments and tailor your content to their needs.
Here are some ways to customize your emails with segmentation:
Change the language for demographics.
Use customized offers for different buying habits.
Tailor content and topics for different demographics, problems and stages in the buying journey.
Release sales in specific locations.
Offer products or services based on past purchases.
Email for Variety
Email marketing includes many different types of emails that serve different purposes. The emails you send to a longtime customer are going to be different than those you send to a new lead, and rightfully so. Having a blanket email ruins any attempt at personalization and has the potential to scare off a new lead.
In the early stages of the business relationship, you want to send emails that focus on information about your industry, business, products or services or expertise. Subsequent emails can work on the problem the lead may have, or one that’s common for your existing customers, and how you can help.
These early emails are an important part of building the relationship and shouldn’t be skipped or rushed. After you’ve nurtured the relationship, you can carefully suggest the solution your business offers, but it should still be focused more on education and information than overt sales tactics.
Finally, you’re in a position to send offers or reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers to promote yourself. This may seem like a long process, but by taking the time to nurture the relationship before jumping into sales emails will more likely convert your lead.
Email for Promotional Content
After building loyalty and trust with your lead, you can start promoting your products or services in a non-threatening way. This can be with a featured product, exclusive offer or promotion that’s relevant to the lead. If you’re not forceful about it, your lead will be tempted to act.
That said, promotional emails still need a few things to be successful. An obvious and compelling call-to-action is necessary for a conversion, and you want a landing page that’s related to the content in the email. Otherwise, you may not get your lead to act.
It’s also worth noting that the landing page, though not part of your email campaign itself, is a vital aspect of email marketing. No matter how well you develop your emails, it’s all lost if your prospect hits a landing page that isn’t optimized for conversions. Ideally, your landing page needs a clear call-to-action, intriguing headlines, attention-grabbing graphics and other proven methods for conversion.
Together, email and your landing page should streamline the process and guide your lead right through the sales funnel.
Ready to Get Started?
Email has been around for many decades, and though it fell out of favor briefly during the rise of other digital marketing options, it’s poised for a comeback. Now, businesses are beginning to see how email can redirect website visitors and get them to convert, how it builds relationships and how it helps you build trust and loyalty with your customers.
Part of what makes nurturing leads with email marketing so effective is the ability to personalize the content and message according to detailed personas, but it’s important to use it correctly. A general email campaign won’t do anything for your business, so be sure to put the time and effort into your campaign to maximize your chances for conversion.
Email marketing is rising faster than ever and providing opportunities that businesses have never had before, so what are you waiting for?
Meta description: Find out how turn leads into sales with modern email marketing techniques and strategies that harness the power of this reliable technology.
Wondering how you’re going to keep your content calendar full for the rest of the year? Thousands of business owners struggle when it comes to coming up with content ideas, and a simple strategy can help them: conduct a study or survey.
Original research provides tons of benefits for businesses seeking content marketing performance gains. They can accompany the release of the study with a recap series, for instance. After that, they can dive in-depth into some of the findings for unique takes or insightful real-world applications of the data. At the same time, they can introduce their study to online outlets that get mega traffic with guest posts.
The beauty of conducting original research is that you don’t even have to do all of the content writing yourself! In addition to the content topic possibilities listed above, there’s also a good chance that someone might cite your data or share your report on their own blog. Well-performed research that answers important questions in your field can receive references and citations for months. You may even get quoted as an expert as a result of your own analysis!
The possibilities are practically endless, and they all start from a single research idea. Here’s how to get your own research project off the ground—and how to spin it into content gold for months to come.
Start With a Burning Research Question
Research tells us something about the world we didn’t know yet. In other words, research answers a question through the data it gathers.
For that reason, all great studies have to start with a great research question. You can quantify something no one’s ever quantified before, such as the costs of never washing your car revealed through the corresponding damage to paint and mechanical components.
Or, you can give a more specific answer to a question that’s already been tackled. A lot of research involves bringing findings up to date, for example. You can also examine how a research question might be answered within a specific geographical location or within a specific demographic. Sure, you might know that a majority of Americans love hamburgers, but how do people in your hometown feel about grilled versus griddle-fired burgers? And would they take a bite out of a veggie burger if given the opportunity?
When devising a research question, keep in mind that it can’t just be something you find interesting. It should also satisfy a number of other criteria, such as:
Would my target audience find this interesting and informative?
Does my research align with my business goals or my unique brand story?
Will this research answer a question that hasn’t been covered yet?
With these criteria in mind, try to approach your research question from the perspective of the unique niche your business occupies. The more parallels the research has with your brand personality and how you approach your business, the better.
Learn Research Best Practices
Research can be hard, especially when it comes time to compile your results! You want your data to tell a story somehow, but you can’t get to that story if your research structure is a mess.
Start by determining what sort of research you’ll conduct. It can be a:
In-depth survey that includes qualitative responses
Review of existing research that combines two or more “knowns” to explain an unknown
Manual data gathering from raw data sources
Field research with data gathering at the source of information
Those study types are listed roughly in order of complexity and effort required. But don’t underestimate how even the simplest of surveys can turn into a difficult process when you neglect to follow best practices!
First, approach your data in layers. The “layers” of your data refer to different qualities of that data.
For instance, suppose you wanted to conduct a study of the types of restaurants in your hometown. “Chain/franchise restaurants vs. independent restaurants” serves as one layer. “Quick service vs. sit down” can act as another layer. You can also organize the restaurants by location, such as “downtown vs. just off the interstate”.
All of these qualities provide details that can be used later in your analysis. You can make observations like “chain restaurants are more common along busy stretches of road except in downtown.” Or, you can be able to say that “the ratio of chain restaurants to independent businesses has shrunk 50 percent in the past year.” Findings like these tell a story, but you need your data to be organized first.
When conducting surveys, you can make this process easier by including a demographics portion in the beginning of the survey. You can then use this information to discover trends among responses, such as “twice as many business owners worry about energy prices compared to non-business owners.”
Come Up with a Hypothesis That Uses Research Layers to Answer Questions
Research isn’t just about gathering data; it’s about using that data to prove or disprove assumptions called hypotheses.
Accordingly, you want to go ahead and come up with a few hypothesis ideas before you start assembling your data. Go ahead and predict your results based on your gut instincts or what you consider common knowledge. If your research aims to debunk a commonly believed fact, you can operate on the hypothesis that the fact will be wrong.
If you’re completely at a loss for hypotheses, you can predict that there will be no trends whatsoever among your data.
Use Your Hypotheses to Come Up With Pertinent Survey Questions or Data Sources
Your hypotheses guide your research in very concrete ways. If you’re conducting a survey, a hypothesis will help you determine questions to ask that can directly answer it.
For example, let’s say that your hypothesis is that “people are willing to spend more money at a local establishment compared to a franchise.” To prove or disprove that hypothesis, you can ask things like:
How often have you visited a franchise business in the past month?
On average, what do you spend within the following ranges: $5-$10, $10-$15, etc.
Do you try to support local businesses on purpose?
Which of the following reasons encourage you to support local businesses? I know the owner, I want the money to go back to the community, etc.
Assign Categories Early on Within Your Analysis
After gathering all the data you need, it’s time to process that data into something people can digest at a glance. One of the easiest ways to do so is to lump datasets into different categories.
Going back to the local vs. franchise question, maybe you think that people who have lived in the town all their lives are more likely to make a choice compared to newcomers. Or, maybe you think that people who make a certain amount in their yearly salary are more apt to make a certain decision?
Consider these assumptions as secondary hypotheses, and test them out as you compile your data. If your hypothesis is wrong, try approaching data from a new angle.
Of course, you should also leave yourself open to discovery! Sometimes just dropping data into bar graphs is enough to have findings jump out at you all on their own.
Use Your Findings to Brainstorm Different Uses for Your Study
Completing your study is just the beginning of a new phase: publishing your results and using those results for related content.
Examples of ways to use your results include:
A summary press release
An in-depth report
Sharable inforgraphics or slide shows
Blogs discussing specific trends you’ve seen
Editorial-style blogs combining your research findings with your own thoughts and other commentary
Promotional materials that use your findings to make a point
Guest posts presenting you as a subject authority where you get to assert your findings with data to back it up
Sort these ideas into priorities, including your “yeses,” “nos” and “maybes.” Then, work your way down the list!
With this method, you can keep chugging along with new content based off the same information for months. You can also always update your research later with a newer, more-current study.
In this way, original research is the gift that keeps on giving! It can help you make a name for yourself, drive engagement on your content, position you as a subject authority, and so much more. At the very least, you’ll never be lacking for new content ideas.
Many business owners overlook Reddit as a social media marketing channel, but recent changes to the platform should have them all reconsidering. A complete overhaul has modernized the look and feel of Reddit’s various niche-focused forums. As a result, community members are engaging even more frequently than ever—with both posts and ads.
According to Reddit’s Zubair Jandali, their VP of brand partnerships, the platform has been engaging users at a rate three to seven times higher compared to before the redesign. Interestingly, ad response rates have also been rising. “Advertising didn’t play a role in the redesign per se,” Jandali told Marketing Land, “but we’re seeing much stronger engagement on ads by virtue of the fact the core organic experience is more engaging.”
Businesses have opportunities to engage directly with community members in ways that build brand awareness and relationships. However, they have to use the right strategy. Reddit notoriously fights against forms of intrusive marketing, and especially accounts that fail to be transparent about their business affiliations.
If you can play your Reddit marketing cards right and treat the community with respect, you can improve your brand image, open new lead sources, and subtly promote your offerings to an audience of millions.
The structure of Reddit combines an old-school forum format from the early 2000s with user-centric social media features of today. Posts are centered around text-based topics of conversation or links to popular content. Users have the option to “upvote” posts they like.
Upvoting increases the chances of a post making the front page for a particular niche forum, a “subreddit.” If a post gets enough traffic or upvotes within its subreddit, it can end up on Reddit’s homepage. The Reddit homepage aggregates posts across a staggering range of topics, which is why the company refers to it as the “Front Page of the Internet.”
After a post is made, anyone can reply with comments, and individual comments can be voted up or down to increase their visibility. Someone who says something clever or interesting, for example, might be upvoted to the top of a post. Someone who makes a bad joke or responds in a rude way to other users will get downvoted, burying their post and sometimes even leading to it getting hidden from view.
When users violate the rules repeatedly, they’re likely to catch the attention of moderators. Mods can ban users from specific subreddit forums or even have their DNS address blocked, preventing them from making new accounts. Each forum has its own set of moderation rules. Rules commonly discourage asking for upvotes, posting promotional comments or links too often (spamming), and posting content that’s irrelevant to the subreddit topic.
Individual users get notifications when they get replies to their comments or posts. They also get points based on how many votes they get, which are called “karma.” Users generally respect other users who have high levels of karma or who are regularly seen contributing interesting posts and responses.
In sum: Reddit is a place where people go to see interesting links and engage one another in productive conversations. Community members are not only highly enthusiastic and engaged, but they also take action when they see something they don’t like. This quality separates Reddit from social media channels like Facebook, where your experience is at the mercy of the platform and the sometimes nasty users that visit it.
Why Is Reddit a Good Social Media Marketing Channel?
Reddit has a reputation for its tight-knit, informed community. It remains distinctive by using community-led moderation to cut down on all the noise other social platforms create. People who don’t abide by etiquette (“reddiquette”) guidelines get “downvoted” into oblivion. This tendency prevents trolls and spammers from stealing attention or derailing conversations.
For marketers, Reddit provides an opportunity for authentic interaction with people interested in your industry niche. There are over a million different subreddits for every conceivable community out there. You’ll find professionals like photographers exchanging advice, dedicated hobbyists like golfers sharing links, and fans of just about every pop culture franchise under the sun conducting spirited debates on opinions and theories.
Business owners have two main opportunities when trying to reach communities related to their industry vertical:
Participating as a user to answer questions, share links, and generally engage with the community
The first strategy runs through Reddit’s advertising platform, making it a business activity like any other. The second strategy poses more complexity and much greater risk of alienating your community. But when brands or employees conduct themselves well and remain transparent about their affiliations, they can reap substantial rewards.
How to Not Get “Flamed” for Marketing Through Reddit
There is an inherent risk with using Reddit as a marketing tool: the community could revolt against you and ban you so fast it will make your head spin.
“Redditors are a particular community,” writes the Dreamgrow blog. “If they suspect you’re there because of marketing reasons, things can quickly turn bad.”
You may wonder: “If marketers get chased off the platform with torches and pitchforks, then why would anyone bother marketing on Reddit?” Well, the truth is that the community isn’t opposed to marketing outright.
In fact, you could easily argue that tons of subreddits are nothing but a grassroots marketing campaign. There’s an Olive Garden subreddit (r/unlimitedbreadsticks) with 8,600 members. The r/blackfriday subreddit has over 31,000 subscribers and is dedicated to giving people alerts about deep holiday discounts. r/gaming, one of the biggest subreddits at 18 million members, is wholly dedicated to discussing products people buy.
What separates the things these communities do from the more loathed version of marketing? A few things:
Product-focused communities are built around the fans’ needs, not the needs of a company that wants to make money.
The actual companies represented in these subreddits understand they have a very delicate relationship with their community.
Companies and their employees must always be transparent with their affiliations. Reddit users don’t like to be deceived even more than they don’t like being forced to participate in marketing schemes.
Each one of these principals reveals an important reality that businesses interested in Reddit marketing must come to grips with. Looking at No.2 above, the lesson is that moderators run the subreddits, not brand employees. The brands themselves only show up to answer questions or reveal information people wouldn’t find anywhere else.
If Patagonia has just started a huge ad push for their new jackets, r/CampingGear probably doesn’t need the company to make a new post telling them what they can already see on TV. Similarly, if people are asking opinions on the Patagonia brand, then Patagonia should be really careful about having someone go in and post “Yeah! The jackets are great!” without disclosing their relationship to the company. People will dig through your account to find proof that you are a “corporate shill” after all.
On the other hand, if a Patagonia rep sees the above thread and notices someone has a question about their repair policy, then they can declare “I work for Patagonia, and here’s how we repair things…” and receive a positive reception. Or, if someone wants to let people know that there’s a sale on specific high-demand items at a particular retailer, the community might appreciate the head’s up.
It’s all about thinking from the user’s perspective. If you are transparent and provide some valuable information or entertaining content, then people will warm up to you. If you try to trick them or post nothing but spammy promotions, they’ll quickly find ways to keep you from coming around.
Reconsidering Reddit Marketing in Light of the New Platform Improvements
Now that Reddit has improved its interface in ways that keep the community engaged, it’s definitely worth a look. You can depend on the platform to build audiences, generate traffic, create leads, and generally elevate your brand image in the eyes of users. You can also advertise under specific, relevant subreddits to earn clicks from people who are eager about your niche.
Be a good user, keep people’s feelings in mind, and always strive to provide value—that’s the key to building a community in Reddit that thinks you deserve all the karma you can get.