Reddit’s been plagued with a bunch of articles that go over how bad their advertising is, and how hard it is to earn any return on investment on them. So, I took $50 and tested 4 Reddit ads over a week. Here are the results…

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39 Replies to “The Reddit Experiment – Spending $50 on Reddit Advertising”

  1. Interesting experiment. I would agree pointing to some content marketing possibly a video with free downloadable swipe file and email capture would convert better for you and offer more value to your prospect.

    1. Good point – will most likely riff on the Dribbble ad and instead point it to a youtube video. Round 2 coming soon!

      Thanks for watching btw

  2. Interesting experiment.

    unrelated: Please try mixing the volume of your voice and the music better. I had to lower my volume every time the music came up. (not a fan of the song choice either, idk if dubstep was necessary or added anything to the video)

    1. +Alex Berman hey man, just lower the volume a bit for the music, thats all.

      About reddit, what do you think they could do to monetize better. I feel like its one of the websites with better communities/discussions and I would hate to see them go (Although that seems HIGHLY unlikely imo)

    2. I gotta listen to the vids across a couple different areas – right now I do it almost exclusively on laptop speakers, which might be the issue

      For Reddit, the problem is that the community hates advertising – in research for this vid I looked through a couple ads and the average number of upvotes for a reddit ad is 0.

      What I’d recommend:

      1) What Reddit could do internally (and what other non-reddit agencies are doing) is sponsoring upvotes or certain posts so that they look like traditional content. Yes, it’s unethical as hell, but it seems like the only way to get Redditors to accept ads is by disguising them as real content, check out the for a good example of these posts already on reddit.

      2) The other thing they could do is expand Reddit gold, add a few higher priced tears and switch to more of a SaaS model instead of being ad supported – but there is a cap on the amount of revenue Reddit could bring using that strategy, so investors would never let them do it, but that would remove all Reddit advertising and allow the hardcore Redditors to support the site directly.

      3) Last suggestion is cutting their team down to the bare minimum – most subbreddits are already run by volunteers, and you could switch a lot of the day to day over by open sourcing the community and making Reddit into a nonprofit like PBS. That will save Reddit as a site, but will kill Reddit as a profit making company.

    3. +Alex Berman I dont think points 2 & 3 will happen but I know that they are already implenenting the first idea which should come soon iirc.

      I dont know how I feel about their approach but at the end of the day they have to find a way to make some profit.

      We’ll see how it pans out.

    4. Exactly – going nonprofit would work, but the fact that their funded and have so many employees makes it harder for them to make sweeping changes

  3. Awesome! Would love to see a followup if you decide to create more ads. Reddit has been the best for me, business-wise, to market test product ideas for free.

  4. What happened at 4:35 ? You budgeted $12.50 and they delivered effectively $94.35 worth of ads (and only charge you $12.50)? I assume you had the winning CPM bid and won all the traffic for a short period over a large collection before they realized they overshot your budget and stopped serving ads?

    I saw a similar thing happen on one of my ads I was playing with. Seems to have blown through my budget in the first hour or so. Any insight?

    1. That’s exactly what I think happened, Reddit rewards engagement over ad spend, so it might have been because a couple of the ads got comments and upvotes

  5. Would be great to see a case study of Reddit ads on Amazon products. I would assume running ads to promote a ad agency will be very difficult to get any leads. Probably less than 1% of people care about advertising with an ad agency.

    1. Nice to see that you replied….
      I’m also trying reddit ads right now.
      0 clicks up to now, trying to get some… (1 day has passed)

    1. Yep. B2C seems like the best thing to promote with Reddit Ads, or low cost B2B. Saw a great ad series recently for business insurance on Reddit.

  6. It just doesn’t seem worth it for the money. You can gain more exposure just printing flyers and posting them on the high street.

  7. I have to keep turning the sound off because of the garish music blasting out (no equalisation in the sound dept.) so I keep missing stuff. Sadly so many people on YT waste so much energy making themselves look dynamic with loud “look-how-cool-I-am” music which wastes time and adds nothing to the so called instruction and I therefore miss the point of their video which I presume is to inform. They rattle off data and their cursor flies around like a fly in a fish shop. Trying to watch where it goes gives me a migraine. Otherwise it would be informative but I get a headache trying to keep up with jargon and “coolness” and which button or link to hit, in the micro second I get to observe it. Probably why so many YouTubers doing this have so few hits. I mean this as constructive criticism and not to be abusive. You really see to know your stuff but I’m have to say, if you’re going to try to inform, then think about how best to accomplish that so that even the slow learners pick it up. Sorry if my remarks seem blunt. You look like the sort of person who could suck it up without taking offence!

    1. i agree i hate those sound effects youtubers like to play and they love to increase the volume for some reason . If you wearing headphones it just blows though yr ears like crazy and even on normal speakers its annoying .

  8. I feel like reddit users would respond better to less direct adverting. Straight up value only content marketing, not direct sales. It could be used well to build a brand, possibly?

  9. idk, you’re advertising for some big digital firm (not exactly sure what the fake company is), and reddit is mostly used by losers in their 20s. this is kinda like advertising a firm at a hedgefund to 4chan.

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