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Reddit PPC: Everything You Need To Know

Reddit PPC: Everything you need to know

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 “I think that’s one of the most unique and potentially powerful things about Reddit – People come for the news, and stay for the community.” 

That’s a quote from Yishan Wong who was CEO of Reddit from March 2012 until November 2014, and it gives digital marketers an outline to understanding the platform, and how to use it for pay per click (PPC) advertising. While Redditors do come to consume content on specific topics, they stay and return often over time to interact with how others feel about what has been shared. This unique aspect is what drives over 430 million active monthly users, why it’s the fifth most visited website in the US, and why you should consider it for your advertising campaign.

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What is Reddit?

Reddit is a social media website and app, where people post content to specific community boards called “subreddits.” It’s social, because people post, upvote and downvote content, and will bash or praise a post in the comments. Content and comments that receive positive feedback will rise in visibility. There are also Reddit coins where redditors reward posts that are exemplary.

What makes Reddit special is its communities around common interests (you can find a community about pretty much anything), and the power of its voting system. The voting system allows only the best (or, at least enjoyable) content to rise to the top. If you have a blog post that rises to the top of a popular subreddit, that post can change your life in terms of traffic and backlinks.

The best way to learn about Reddit is to simply use it! If you are a digital marketer, I’d recommend the following subreddits to get started:

  • r/PPC – Great community for digital advertising tips.
  • r/juststart – A community of redditors who post about what works and doesn’t work with growing an audience online. Members post case studies with actual numbers which are very helpful.
  • r/SEO – A place to get tips and ask questions about search engine optimization.


Who uses Reddit?

When considering Reddit for PPC, it’s important to understand the demographics of the individuals of its users. Understanding the demographics will better inform whether or not Reddit is a good fit for your campaign.

Reddit ranks among the top 10 social media networks according to Pew, has 50 million daily (430 million monthly) users worldwide, and 48% of its users are in the United States. Reddit skews male (61%), white (70%), and younger (64% are 18 – 29). You can check out more stats on the user base here and here

However, if you are planning a PPC campaign with an audience outside these demographics, you shouldn’t be deterred. First, with over 430 million users, there will certainly a pocket of users interested in your offering. Second, with Reddit’s vast number of specific communities, you are absolutely bound to find a number of relevant places to advertise your product or service. 

Related reading: Understanding the Difference Between A Good and Bad Solo Ad

What targeting is available on Reddit?

A social media marketing platform isn’t of much value without its targeting, and Reddit’s PPC targeting is pretty good. See below for a screenshot of the dashboard.

Reddit PPC offers interest targeting, not too dissimilar to what can be found Facebook/Meta ads. These interests are quite broad, and may not be specific enough for a lead generation or conversions based campaign. They also offer standard audience targeting based upon pixel data, uploading customer lists, and retargeting people who have engaged with one of your ads (similar to Twitter Ads). 

What’s more useful is the ability to target specific Reddit communities. These are groups of Reddits actively writing and learning about specific topics. Not all communities are available (I notice some sensitive, health-related  topics do not seem to appear), but there are many that could be winners especially for niche marketers.

A quick example, here’s a community about music marketing, and another about hot tubs. If you are in the business of creating niche sites, you could easily align affiliate products to these communities in your ads (not direct linking, of course). 


Reddit Ads best practices

Reddit PPC is not drastically different than other PPC platforms (we go over a few later in this article), so some best practices apply to PPC in general.

  • Know your audience. To win at Reddit, take a second to learn who are the people on the Reddit community you are targeting, and why they are there. Align your advertising and offering to both. Having as much relevance and authenticity is key. 
  • Reddit is not Twitter. Don’t use hashtags. 
  • Try traffic bidding before conversion bidding. This is often my advice for trying any new platform, particularly for small businesses with a close eye on ROI. Figure out what works with traffic, then scale to conversion.

If you really want to be a boss at Reddit Ads, check out this Copy & Creative Best Practices from Reddit. It’s a 30-minute webinar full of juicy tips. There’s also a handy cheat sheet with goodies.

How to set up a Reddit PPC campaign

Setting up a Reddit PPC campaign is very easy. If you use other self-serve advertising platforms like Meta ads, then it will all be familiar to you.

Step 1: Choose your campaign name, objective, and make sure you have a payment method. I typically start with a traffic-based campaign to test the waters at a low CPC bid. If an audience proves itself, I may scale to a Conversion-based campaign. 

Step 2: Choose your targeting and set your budget. If Reddit is completely new and you are nervous about losing money, you may want to start with a retargeting campaign to website visitors. These are often your most engaged audience, as they are already somewhat familiar with you. Your next best bet is likely a community that’s super relevant to your product. If you can’t find any of those but you are still eager to test, you may just want to go broad at a low CPC (the minimum is $0.10). 

Step 3: Finally, it’s time to create the ads. Before jumping into it, check out Reddit’s guidelines for creating ads. They are pretty intuitive, but perhaps the best point Reddit makes is that your ad really does need to add value to the community to perform best. Reddit is a message board, and people do tend to read posts (consider this a contract to visual social medias like Instagram where the image is paramount). As with all things, make sure to use more than one ad to test and learn what works best.


How Reddit PPC differs from other PPC platforms

While some of the targeting and bidding structure is similar, Reddit PPC is not the same as other PPC platforms. How could it be? The way that Redditors use the platform is much different than Facebook, Instagram, and others.

We already briefly discussed the unique targeting available to Reddit advertisers, but there are other unique aspects. In our experience, the traffic is better than Google Display ads and Native ads (as long as your targeting is aligned with your advertising), but certainly won’t have as high conversion rates as targeted Google Ads search or solo ads. Traffic quality can be comparable to Meta ads, but you shouldn’t expect the reach, or power of Meta ads conversion optimization (though, this has gotten worse with iOS 14.5 changes and cookies becoming less effective). 

Other than the community targeting, you may find the targeting options a bit more limited on Reddit Ads. A huge drawback is the lack of age and sex targeting, which is fairly standard for self-serve ad platforms (except Quora ads, which also doesn’t have age targeting). 


A critical difference to note is that Redditors are vocal, and will call out your ad if you give them reason. Your best bet is to study the communities where your ad will show to ensure your tone aligns, and your ad is relevant. You can also turn off comments, if you are particularly sensitive.

Last thing – Reddit Ads doesn’t have the same advertiser competition as other platforms. So, you might get away with a lower CPC bid than you are used to! 

So, are you ready to get started?

This article has all the info you need to get started with Reddit PPC, from what it is, to who uses it, to how to use the ads in the right way. If you are still on the fence, consider that the minimum daily spend on Reddit is $5 per day, or $150 per month (although if you bid low you will likely not even spend that!). Not too much risk to get your ads on one of the largest websites out there!

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