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How Reddit plans to win over the small advertisers turning away from its big tech rivals


By Sam Bradley | Senior Reporter

May 19, 2023 | 7 min read

The social media site has been welcoming a few more indie media agencies to the party as it looks to court a different kind of brand.

Reddit logos repeated

Reddit has expanded the number of indie media agencies it partners with / Adobe Stock

Reddit wants to capitalize on the advertising slowdown at Twitter and Meta by positioning itself as a more attractive destination for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

In recent years, the social media site had doubled down on its pitch to big-budget brands and holding companies through major activations at the likes of Cannes Lions (WPP, Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and IPG all now work with it to varying degrees, while Adobe, Adidas and the car marque Mini have made use of it to reach consumers).

An IPA study earlier this year meanwhile highlighted the platform’s potential as a media owner, awarding it a score of 79.5% for quality of service, which was higher than Mail Metro Media and Snap. And although Reddit declined to provide data, the most recent reported figures from Business of Apps (which date to 2021) pegged its annual revenue at $350m, with the lion’s share of that derived from advertising (this figure is expected to have grown considerably).

Evan Wolf, the platform’s head of mid-market and SMB sales for North America, explains to The Drum that advertisers are no longer just testing Reddit. Instead, he says: “They’re finding results. They’re unpacking insights and they’re growing their presence on Reddit year after year.”

Now though, says Wolf, it wants to open up its ad roster – which it launched in 2022 – to smaller, independent media agencies. ”We’ve been scaling up our ad business for several years now and we’re very focused on growing and diversifying the number of advertisers we have.”

Last month, the platform updated its indie media agency roster to include primary partner Tinuiti, alongside PMG, Horizon Media and WPromote. And because independent agencies typically have smaller clients than their network rivals, Wolf says they’re useful in the platform’s quest to widen its advertiser base.

“Redditors are leaned in, they’re engaged, they’re looking for information and really can deliver measurable results. Indie agencies often have a strong focus on mid-market and SMB and they work with a huge wide range of advertisers. It fits nicely with our strategy.”

It’s a decent business for media agencies too. Tinuiti doubled its media investment on Reddit this year (its second on the roster), while Wolf says it is offering indie agencies the same status and opportunities as network partners.

“We’re bringing some of the benefits that were typically reserved for holding companies to indie agencies for the first time.”

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Carly Carson, head of integrated media at PMG, says its inclusion has helped it offer new territory to clients. “We are seeing many brands testing into the platform and we’re excited to see how Reddit can help diversify the digital platform mix and reach an unduplicated but highly engaged audience,” she tells The Drum.

“Reddit has the unique opportunity to drive a truly adjacent ad experience and to attract more advertisers to the platform, where they can find new ways to authentically enter into and engage with Reddit’s communities.”

Carson says PMG has augmented its own API integration with the platform to allow for faster media optimization. ”The marriage of bespoke insights and continued ad experience enhancements can come together to bring to life a more full-funnel experience on the platform,” she adds.

The roster currently only covers Reddit’s core US market but will eventually expand worldwide.

Wolf argues that Reddit, despite its age, is on the right side of web use trends currently in play. “The number one reason people come to Reddit is for information and what we hear is that the information people find is trusted and credible,” he says.

Its position between a search utility and a social network, he adds, provides “a huge value proposition” for brands. “As people search for information, oftentimes it involves a product or service. And, oftentimes the source, person or entity that has the best information is a company or brand itself. So, their participation in the community actually makes the communities and the information on Reddit stronger.”

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