What More Marketers Need To Know About Reddit Before Submitting Content


Marketers are disliked and borderline hated on Reddit.

As a Redditor… And a Marketer…. This entire topic leaves me stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know for certain that there are marketers who have done some stupid, unforgivable and manipulative things on Reddit and, for that reason – they deserve to be blocked/banned/etc…

I get that.

But I also recognize that as a free website – Reddit needs marketers.

Similar to Google, YouTube, Quora, Facebook & Twitter – Reddit exists because marketers and advertisers are willing to pay to reach the people using and contributing to it. Reddit has a slightly more diverse way of generating revenue with things like Reddit Gold, but at its core – it’s advertising that fuels the site’s revenue.

And it’s marketers who make the case to spend money on this site in comparison to the hundreds of other opportunities. I’ve preached for years about how Reddit is an untapped gold mine for marketers, and now marketers are starting to wake up. Here’s a video I put together outlining the opportunity:

Unfortunately, the rise of Reddit on the marketing radar comes with more marketers doing dumb things to drive traffic, generate leads and gain awareness. That’s why I’m writing this blog post – because I want folks in this industry to keep in mind a few key things before they start submitting content to Reddit and ruin it for everyone.

Tip 1: Don’t Submit Your Own Content And Only Your Own Content

Reddit is built on the back of links.

In fact, our team at Foundation recently did a research study on Reddit Content and we found that links generate more than 50% more upvotes than any other format. That’s massive!

But what was even more interesting was the fact that the vast majority of those links were driving to video content:  

Insights like this might lead a marketer to think that the best thing they should do is submit a bunch of their own videos and hope for the best.


The best thing a marketer can do is submit content that they think the various Subreddits (communities) would find interesting, valuable, insightful or funny — whether they created the content or not.

It’s 100% the biggest mistake I see marketers make. They think that they should submit a bunch of their own links to Subreddits where their target audience is spending time and sit back while the traffic comes roaring in. But what actually comes roaring in?

A notification….

You’re blocked. You’re banned. Bye Felicia!

And for good reason. This is the definition of spamming. Don’t do it. Instead, think about the type of content that people would ACTUALLY want to read in this community and deliver that to them.

How can you tell what type of content they want? I’d start with what I call the Sherlock Homeboy approach

It’s when you reverse-engineer the top posts in a community and use that to guide your approach to creating content. How can you find out the top posts in a community?

Go to the search bar in Reddit and type in Site: Domain.com. The “Domain.com” should be any site that you think is generating love via a Reddit community. Typing it into the search bar will show you all the best posts from this site that have done well on Reddit.

Take this result for example… I’ve typed in Site:Hubspot.com and these are the results:

This is valuable because I can uncover some interesting themes that people care about.

Whether you learn about the topics that generate the most upvotes or the best performing formats – all of these insights can add value when coming up with content ideas.

Tip 2: Read The Guidelines Of Each Community Before Engaging

This could very well be tip #1 because it’s another thing that far too many marketers overlook. Here’s the thing: every Subreddit is different.

Some Subreddits are completely open to new members sharing content from day one. Some Subreddits wont let you submit content until you’ve demonstrated that you can be trusted through Karma. And some Subreddits won’t let you share links at all so you better get creative as you think about the role you’re going to play in the community.

The rules for each Subreddit are typically on the right-hand side of the community. You can see below that the rules for the /r/Entrepreneur Subreddit are very different from the rules for the /r/Vegan Subreddit. Here’s the rules from some of the best NFL Subreddits:

Remember this before you start posting the same content to different communities: Each Subreddit is different. And different groups are going to require different messages, formats and stories.

Tip 3: Ask Yourself If The Content You’re Sharing Is Of Value

It should go without saying but a lot of marketers make the mistake of submitting content for the sake of submitting content. For example, this is the definition of a lame post being shared in a Subreddit and the community responded appropriately:

The first comment really says it all.

If you’re going to share content on Reddit, make sure that the content you’re submitting is content that the audience wants. One of the best ways to do that is by implementing what I call the Sherlock Homeboy strategy. It’s the act of reverse-engineering the top posts in a community and creating content that is similar but 10x better than what already worked in the past.

Wrapping Things Up

I’m certain that a lot of organizations are intimidated by Reddit.

It makes sense.

There have been countless stories of marketers and brands trying to use this network to only be met with criticism and attacks. It’s for this very reason that so many marketers have avoided it and, in the process – Reddit has picked up a bad reputation. This isn’t a channel many are willing to experiment with, and that’s wherein lies the opportunity…

If brands are avoiding Reddit, it presents to you an opportunity to capitalize on value that your competitors are ignoring. It gives you the opportunity to capitalize on eyeballs your competitors aren’t targeting. It gives you the opportunity to leverage a channel where millions of people are spending time each day and to use creativity and an understanding of the channel to drive results that your competition has overlooked.

So what are you waiting for? Go get’em…