Reddit Ad Targeting And Relevancy

Effectively targeting ads in reddit is primarily dependent on finding the subreddits that are most relevant to your product and ad. The following post explores reddit ad targeting variables and methods, with the intention of maximizing advertiser-user relevancy.


1. Reddit Ad Targeting Variables

2. Finding Relevant Subreddits

3. Skepticism Toward Default Subreddits

1. Reddit Ad Targeting Variables

Currently, targeting variables for reddit ads are limited to

  • site location, which determines whether an ad will appear on the reddit front page (i.e. homepage) to all visitors, or rather within specific topical subreddits to both subscribers and visitors of that subreddit; and

  • user geographic location, which is still in beta-testing and unavailable through the self-serve system. Advertisers debating geographic targeting value should consider that over half of reddit’s visitors are outside the United States.

An October 2013 post on the reddit blog hints at potential future targeting and delivery options: “we want to add features of other robust self-serve systems, like enabling discount codes for redditors, A/B testing, or geotargeting — but we want to design it in a way to serve the reddit community’s own particular needs.”

2. Finding Relevant Subreddits

Because redditors subscribe to subreddits whose content they want to receive more of, and because subreddits are topical, it’s safe to assume that an advertisement that is topically relevant to a subreddit will outperform an advertisement that is not topically relevant to a subreddit.

For example, an advertisement for a computer game will likely perform better in r/PCGaming than in r/Politics, because the audience of r/PCGaming has a much higher probability of being interested in computer game products than the audience of r/Politics.

This said, advertisers seeking maximum user-relevancy should exhaust available impressions within topically relevant subreddits before even considering the broader front page targeting. Ahead are some tools and methods to assist searches for relevant subreddits.

1. Subreddits often display lists of related subreddits within their right-side meta spaces. Thus, knowledge of a single relevant subreddit can often lead to other relevant subreddits. The below image shows the related subreddits displayed within r/Technology.

2. The tag explorer section of metareddit is a useful tool for finding subreddits on a certain topic. Larger font sizes indicate more associated subreddits. The below image shows all subreddits tagged “gaming”.

3. Randall Olson created an interactive subreddit cluster visualization, which clusters subreddits that are highly engaged by similar audiences. Node diameter reflects PageRank, which is closely related to the probability of that page being visited. His methodology for creating the visualization is available in this report.

3. Skepticism Toward Default Subreddits

New reddit accounts and logged-out visitors are automatically subscribed to 24 default subreddits, which are determined both by popularity and quality. However, advertisers should be wary when targeting these default subreddits, because their audiences are probably not as relevant to advertisers as the audiences of smaller subreddits on a similar subject.

For example, a computer gaming brand will likely find a more relevant audience in r/PCGaming than r/Gaming, because the former’s audience has opted-in to specifically receive that content, whereas the latter’s audience includes anyone who has recently joined reddit, regardless of whether they’re particularly interested in video games or not.

As mentioned in a  July 2013 post on reddit blog, the current default subreddits are

  1. AdviceAnimals

  2. AskReddit

  3. Aww

  4. BestOf

  5. Books

  6. EarthPorn

  7. ExplainLikeImFive

  8. Funny

  9. Gaming

  10. GIFs

  11. IAmA

  12. Movies

  13. Music

  14. News

  15. Pics

  16. Science

  17. Technology

  18. Television

  19. TodayILearned

  20. Videos

  21. WorldNews

  22. WTF

  23. Announcements

  24. Blog

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