Reddit Made Me Buy It! Why Recommendations On Reddit Are Built Differently

Reddit Made Me Buy It! Why Recommendations On Reddit Are Built Differently

Earlier this year, Reddit Global Brand Ambassador, Will Cady, joined us for Cannes in Cairns to help audiences learn about emerging trends surrounding user recommendation journeys, and the opportunities online communities present for marketers. 

In his session, Cady shed light on how passionate communities drive real-world action, impact, and value. Reddit is a microcosm, testimonial to this fact.  An online community of more than 100,000 communities, the discussion-based platform is home to some of the most informed, engaged, and passionate conversations on the Internet. 

Reddit communities cover every topic imaginable, and they are a vibrant gathering place for people who are highly leaned-in and ready to take action (read: spend!). Reasonably new to Australia, the platform is fast gathering steam with a Sydney-based team working with local advertisers and marketers to help brands drive success. We were fortunate to sit down with Cady to talk in further detail about what makes Reddit a valuable alternative avenue for advertisers wanting to meaningfully connect with their target audience and build lasting loyalty: 

One of the main reasons people come to Reddit is to be informed by recommendations they trust. Why are Reddit recommendations from the community so trusted?
Recommendations on Reddit are coming from real people who are deeply informed because these are topics and interests that they have a genuine, passionate interest in. So they’re sharing information based on first hand experiences.   

For example, if someone is looking to buy a car, and has a very specific set of criteria, they may go to Reddit’s r/whatcarshouldIbuy community to seek the insights and advice of the crowd. Here, they can access more than 300,000 people who are all engaging in this community for the same reasons: to seek information on what car they should buy and help others as they make their decision. 

At a time where there is a general decline in trust with traditional influencer models, online communities make for environments of heightened trust because the people behind the recommendations have no secret skin in the game – they’re just passionate and informed, and as a result, deeply influential.    

“The Reddit Recommendation Journey” is different from most social environments, but it presents a unique opportunity for marketers. How can marketers approach reaching their audience at the right place at the right time on Reddit?
Recommendations on Reddit are built differently; People are satisfied with what they receive, they take action as a result, and they are open to new ideas or solutions when they see it on Reddit. 

In many ways, a recommendation on Reddit is a signal to consumers of a vetted and trusted product. So for an advertiser or marketer thinking about the opportunity, Reddit can help brands reach relevant audiences directly where recommendations are being made, and ultimately be part of the recommendation engine themselves. 

In terms of how that all comes together, take the r/fitness community, for example. For years now, visitors to this community would have seen how embedded the MyFitnessPal app has been in its culture, as the de-facto or unofficial health and fitness tracking app. Time and again this app would come up, as recommended by members of the community, when people would ask about the best tools and resources for keeping track of calories or workouts, and tracking them against goals. These recommendations were all organic and there was no financial incentive or other motivation behind them. It was simply a group of passionate people, who had tried a ton of apps for themselves, repeatedly recommending the one they liked best to other like minded people when asked. For a community with over one million members, becoming the number one recommended product is a big deal for any brand, and that’s the power of Reddit communities.  

With over 100,000 active communities on Reddit, you’re privy to data-packed analysis and insights into the latest consumer movements that matter to our industry. What’s your expert take on the latest industry trends in consumer influence? What impact do you see this having on marketing strategies?
We’re seeing a noticeable shift from passion to purpose. While passions like fandoms and hobbies once acted as organising principles for social networks online, we entered a new phase a couple of years ago that started to place a premium on purpose through collective action.   

Marketers have put a lot of thought into what ‘brand purpose’ represents, but now the idea of ‘community purpose’ is taking off. And it’s not surprising, because ultimately if you bring enough people together around shared passions and interests the question, “what are going to do together?” will eventually come up. The most resilient communities are the ones that share a clear purpose. 

For marketers, this brings a level of clarity into which communities are worth investing in while also raising the question about the existing communities for brands. Can you identify a clear purpose for your brand’s communities? If the answer is yes, you’ll see some opportunities. If the answer is no, you’ll see some challenges (but our team at Reddit can help you with that!)  

Finally, you have previously stated: “The question every marketer should ask themselves is: are you supporting consumers or humans?” What human edge does a marketing campaign on Reddit offer that marketers may not achieve from other media avenues?
This is a Reddit ideal at its core. Since I joined Reddit in 2016, we’ve carried the value ‘Remember The Human’ as a north star. We even have big glowing signs that say those words mounted to the walls in our offices. It’s a dynamic phrase that can be interpreted in a lot of ways, just like humans. But what is the edge that gives marketers the most value? Adaptability. Empathy. Resilience.   

To me, ‘consumers’ represents people the way marketers would like them to be. The truth is, people are so much more than their wallets or their words. They have hearts and minds. The human story is much more vast than what we consume. It’s a story written by what we create. 

Reddit is a place where the full breadth of that human story is expressed. If marketers pay attention to that, they will invariably find a part of the story where they belong. Just like the people who join Reddit communities do. 

Want to find your audience where they find community? Check out Reddit for Business and see how Reddit  can support your brand goals today. 

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