I’ve decided to do a brief review on Reddit self serve advertising, which allows you to create your own sponsored link and get it published at the top of Reddit.com or on sub reddits. The ability to post on subreddits only, allows for extremely targeted traffic. For example, posting in the Technology subreddit would be a great place to advertise computer components or anything tech related you are interested in selling. However, for my first self serve ad, I choose for it to be ran site wide.
I chose to advertise my Auto News site, in an attempt to increase readership and more importantly RSS subscribers. I was not selling anything directly, so I can’t quite recommend Reddit as a place to get sales…yet. However, I did find that I got some fairly cheap visitors to my site, who were generally interested in my content, using bounce rates as a gauge of interest.
Setting Up Your Self Serve Ad on Reddit
For starters, getting an ad setup is very easy and probably requires less than 5 mins of work. The ad buyer simply needs to choose where they want their sponsored link placed, add a thumbnail image (not required), and add a link Title. The buyer is then allowed to choose whether they want to allow for comments, which could possible make or break certain types of ads on this social bookmarking site. I chose to not allow comments.
After your sponsored link has been created, simply input the amount of money you are willing to spend per day on that Ad being shown. One downside is that sponsored link placements can only be placed 24 hours in advance, no immediate gratification. Then you chose how long you want your self-served ad to run, allowing for the budget you entered previously.
How Reddit Self Serve Advertising Works
Buying a sponsored link on Reddit does not guarantee a certain number of clicks or views. Reddit will take the total amount of self serve ads for the specified day, then break it down by who bid the most. The link views are then shown based on the amount you are spending. For example, if two advertisers picked the same day and both bid $100, each persons sponsored link will be shown 50% of the time. If one buyer would spend just $30 per day and the other spend $70, the first person’s ad will only be shown 30% of the time, regardless of how many click sit actually generates.
Reddit does a good job of showing you how popular certain days are, so it’s possible to get a ton of views for next to nothing on low self-serve ad traffic days. I choose a day through the week which had little advertising, so I feel I got a good value for my money.
My Experience With Reddit Self Serve Ads
I ran my ad for 3 days and spent a total of $60, which obviously equals the minimum $20 per day budget. This self serve ad campaign resulted in 25,708 unique views of my sponsored link and 722 unique clicks through to my site. Again, I wasn’t selling anything direct, so it’s hard to gauge, other than bounce rate, how well these visitors would convert. However, I think it does a good job of showing the potential traffic from such a small investment.
Ultimately I ended up with an extra 40 RSS subscribers and I’ve received return visits from people who most likely bookmarked my site after clicking on my sponsored link. I was happy with the pittance of an advertising investment and look forward to testing out some new landing pages, seeing what converts, and finding out what Redditors are actually buying.
The Future Of Reddit Self-Serve Advertising
My guess is that self-serve advertising on Reddit won’t be around for much longer. Recently they posted on their official blog that they are hurting for money and while the self-serve advertising is nice, it’s not enough to pay the bills and expand Reddit. To be honest, it’s a bit insulting that the engineers of Reddit are holding on their hands for money, instead of going after other viable advertising opportunities. Hell, we already provide all the content, now they want some of our money?
Again, I’m going to try and start another sponsored link campaign, this time with a product for sale. I’ll be back soon to post the results.