Reddit introduces basic interest ad targeting

Dive Brief:

  • Reddit is a tough market for advertisers to break into given the amount of control it provides users over their experience, but CEO Steve Huffman announced in a tounge-in-cheek post late last week that it's starting to provide marketers with user interest data for ad targeting.
  • The move will potentially help the forum-driven site — which has struggled at the corporate level in the past — to better monetize, drawing on broad categories for targeted ads including sports, gaming and music.
  • The targeting is based on user visits to individual forums called subreddits, which are centered around specific topics or fandoms.

Dive Insight:

The challenge for marketers on Reddit is that the site's users are attuned to controlling authentic, community-driven discussion — more so than on other social platforms — and might find ads particularly intrusive in that regard. Reddit providing targeting tools is an essential next step, as the only way for marketers to break into hyper-specific, walled off communities will likely be through serving hyper-targeted ads.

Reddit is also accounting for how ad-averse its core audience is, with a tool for users to opt-out of the targeted ad experience, although they'll still see regular, less optimized spots.

"A targeted ad is more relevant to users and more valuable to advertisers," said Huffman in the post, which seemed to receive generally positive feedback in the comments. 

A big takeaway for marketers is the necessity in taking the time to actually analyze targeting data, and then use it to cater high quality and highly relevant campaigns that will ensure the opt-out option stays unchecked. Reddit has a huge, engaged audience, so it's providing a big opportunity for brands to connect with dedicated fans, but making a good first impression is key. 

Filed Under: Social Media