"On Reddit, you can find passionate, engaged communities discussing just about any topic you can think of. It's a goldmine for market research and customer insights."
For many SaaS marketers, Reddit is an untapped resource. It's a place where you can get a ton of insight into your product, industry, and audience. But it's also a place with stringent rules about how marketers are expected to behave in the space.
It's not for everyone. But if you have a SaaS product you're looking to market, it might be time to give it another chance.
We've put together this list of five ways you can use Reddit to market your SaaS product without breaking the rules—so you can get the most out of this community without getting banned!
Be a Redditor first.
Reddit is a social networking site that combines web content, social news, a forum, and a social network into one giant beast of a platform.
Once you've created your account, you'll need to find subreddits (sub-sections of Reddit) that match your audience demographics and interests. An excellent way to find these subreddits is by searching for keywords related to your target audience on Reddit's search page.
Once you've found some relevant subreddits, it's time to build up your karma points! Karma points are sort of like internet cred—they show other users that you're a trusted member of the community who consistently contributes excellent content. The more karma points you have, the more people will pay attention when posting links in discussions or sharing something new on your subreddit.
Karma points also allow you to create new subreddits if none currently exist that suit your needs, so if there aren't any related to what you do and who you sell it to—get posting! Once again, this is where participating in existing discussions comes in handy. Even if it isn't directly related to what you do or sell, engaging with people who may be potential customers down the line helps build trust and eventually gets them interested in seeing what else you have to offer.
|Large, highly engaged user base||Strict rules and regulations for marketing|
|Wide reach and targeting options||Decreasing organic reach and paid advertising costs|
|Quick and easy to engage with users||Limited character count and fast-paced nature may make it difficult to fully showcase product|
|Visual platform with high engagement rates||Limited links and difficulties tracking ROI|
Don't be a marketer—be helpful.
The key here is not to be spammy and self-serving. As a community member, you need to ask yourself, "How can I help?" Give advice and provide feedback without expecting anything in return. By helping others out, you'll get noticed. Soon enough, your name will be associated with helpfulness and expertise on that subreddit. You'll build credibility as someone willing to lend a hand because you don't have an ulterior motive—you just genuinely want to help others.
Make sure you're helping people authentically by providing value and being honest about your own experiences (whether good or bad). The most important thing: engaging in selfless contributions will distinguish your brand from other SaaS companies that are focused more on their own marketing needs than on nurturing the community they serve.
Focus on the community.
To be successful on Reddit, you need to focus on the community. The way to do that is to help your fellow Redditors and be a part of the community, not just a marketer.
So how do you do that? Here are my favorite tips for helping you be part of the community:
- Be helpful! That’s number one. If someone asks a question and you have an answer, give it to them!
- Contribute to conversations by giving your opinion—not about your product or company, but about topics related to what you do. For instance, if I am a marketer for an editorial calendar tool, I’m naturally going to talk about marketing and content creation. I might also discuss how we use spreadsheets in our content planning process. But I wouldn’t discuss why my product is better than a competing tool.
- Create content that is of interest to the community by running contests or creating resources for members of that community. For example, Curata, a content marketing platform, creates a social media holidays calendar for marketers looking for inspiration for their social media posts each month.
Try AMA sessions.
When you're marketing your product, it's important to know your target audience. Then, when you've figured out how to reach them in a natural, engaging way, you can start talking about what you have to offer. Reddit's Ask Me Anything (AMA) feature allows users like you and me to post a thread where others can ask us questions about whatever we want. Famous people will do AMAs all the time while they're promoting movies or albums—but doing an AMA on Reddit is just as helpful if you're publicizing a SaaS product instead of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
You don't have to be Elon Musk or POTUS to conduct an AMA session. When user moshix did one dedicated to workwear, his post was upvoted over 3000 times and had more than 400 comments. He answered questions on everything from zipper issues and materials that are good for warm/cold weather climates to whether or not he prefers jeans over slacks (he does).
Some tips for doing an AMA when promoting your SaaS product:
- Don't be afraid to link back to your company's website if it helps answer a question! Naturally fit those links in; nobody likes someone who's too self-promotional (or at the least, nobody wants that person trying to sell them something).
- You'll get better responses if you regularly contribute first. This shows that you're a real person instead of some random account created with the sole purpose of selling things.
Advertise with Reddit ads.
Ready to get started? Reddit's advertising platform is clean and easy to use. Depending on your goals, you can create ads that encourage users to sign up for your newsletter or download your app, or even just interact with your content.
There are many ways to advertise—promoted posts, mobile app installs, native ads (which fit seamlessly into the Reddit feed), etc. Each one comes with a variety of targeting options. For example:
- You can set up a promoted post and target it by interest, subreddit, age group, and more.
- You can, say, set up an ad promoting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with your company's CEO and target it at people who live in specific cities or who have subscribed to other subreddits related to SaaS (such as /r/saas).
Reddit ads aren't just affordable—they're also less intrusive than Facebook ads. That's because they don't show on the sidebar like traditional advertisements; instead, they appear "above the fold" in user feeds as promoted content that blends in better with other posts.
Reddit is often overlooked as a marketing channel, but if you can do it right, Reddit is a great way to reach your target customer, grow your audience and make your product more visible online.
Reddit's not just for cat videos and budget-friendly recipes. Your customers are there, and your competitors probably are too—they just might be a little more subtle about it than you'd like them to be.
You can't use Reddit like you'd use Facebook or Twitter: you can't do salesy posts, and you can't treat it like a traditional marketing channel. But if you're willing to put in the time, Reddit can help you market your SaaS product by providing your company with valuable insight into what your customers want.
Reddit can help you:
- Understand your customer and learn what they are talking about online
- Make your product more visible online (and increase traffic to your site)
- Grow an engaged community of supporters that can become brand ambassadors.