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The Reddit Advertising Playbook for 2024

Reddit, a social news aggregation and forum website, isn't just another online platform. It's a thriving network of over 100,000 active communities, also known as "subreddits," where millions of users ("redditors") connect daily around shared interests, hobbies, and passions. Users can join these communities, which foster a sense of belonging, engagement, trust, influence, and discovery. Comments are threaded and ordered by both time and user voting, and 91 percent of Reddit traffic from search engines lands on conversation threads. 

How does Reddit advertising work? Each year, our performance media team buys hundreds of millions of impressions across every major social media platform, including Reddit, and we’ve distilled the best practices from our tests as well as the platform’s own recommendations.  

The Heart of Reddit: Deep Dives and Authentic Conversations

Reddit fosters a unique environment unlike any other social media platform. It's known for its open and authentic conversations, building a strong sense of belonging and fostering trust among its users. This deep engagement fuels influence and discovery within these communities, making Reddit a powerful platform for businesses looking to connect with a highly targeted audience.

Who Uses Reddit? Understanding Your Target Audience: Reddit boasts a diverse and engaged user base, making it a valuable platform for reaching a specific audience. Here's a breakdown of some key demographics:

  • Age: Reddit skews younger, attracting a large portion of users in their 18-34 age group.
  • Gender: While traditionally seen as a male-dominated platform, Reddit's audience has become more balanced in recent years, with women now accounting for roughly 45% of users.
  • Location: Reddit has a strong global presence, with a significant user base in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
  • Income: The median household income of Reddit users is reported to be $115,000, indicating a generally affluent demographic.
  • Tech-Savvy: Reddit's user base is known for being mobile-first, comfortable with technology, and actively seeking information online.

Understanding Reddit Culture: To truly connect with your target audience on Reddit, understanding some key terms and cultural aspects is crucial.

  • Front Page: This is the heart of Reddit, a constantly updated feed showcasing popular content curated from across various communities. Getting your content featured on the front page can significantly boost your reach.
  • Karma: Reddit uses a reputation system called "karma." Users earn karma points for upvotes on their posts and comments. A high karma score signifies a trusted and engaged user within the platform.
  • Subreddits and Mods: Content on Reddit is organized into smaller communities called "subreddits," each with its own focus and set of rules enforced by volunteer moderators ("mods").
  • Flair: Subreddits often use "flair" as a way for users to categorize their posts, making them easier to find for others. (For example, r/science flair options include Biology, Chemistry, and Environment.) 
  • Cake Day: The anniversary of a Reddit user’s account creation.
  • AMAs: "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions are a unique way for brands to engage with relevant communities. Public figures or industry experts can host AMAs to directly answer questions from interested users.

Demystifying Reddit's Advertising Formats. 

Understanding Reddit advertising options is crucial for crafting an effective campaign. 

Promoted Posts

The cornerstone of Reddit advertising. Promoted posts mimic standard Reddit posts and support text, image, video, or carousel formats. They can include optional calls to action (CTAs) to drive conversions. Let’s break down the different types of Promoted Posts: 

  • Free-Form: The most flexible format, allowing text, images, GIFs, and videos within a single ad. Supports a range of content from product guides to thought leadership pieces to immersive brand experiences. To maximize Free-Form Ads, consider these essential pro tips: 
    • Descriptive Text is Key: Leverage the power of text to tell your brand story and engage users. Reddit's Smart Editor empowers you to customize your text formatting with features like bold, italics, underlines, and more. You can also create bulleted lists, numbered lists, headings, and even spoiler text for a dynamic reading experience. Additionally, the Smart Editor allows you to seamlessly integrate links and emojis, further enriching your ad content.
    • Visual Storytelling with Images and GIFs: Images and GIFs are powerful tools for grabbing attention and breaking up text. Utilize high-quality visuals that resonate with your target audience. Consider adding captions to your images and GIFs for improved accessibility and to provide context for those who might not immediately understand the visual content.
    • Bring Your Ad to Life with Video: Elevate your free-form ad by incorporating engaging video content. Reddit allows you to upload videos directly through drag-and-drop functionality or by selecting a file from your device. Leverage the power of video to showcase product demonstrations, share customer testimonials, or tell a captivating brand story.
    • To Comment Or Not To Comment: Free-form ads offer the unique ability to enable comments on your ad. This can spark valuable discussions with potential customers and provide real-time brand insights you won't find anywhere else. Consider your brand's comfort level with user interaction and the potential benefits of fostering a conversation around your ad before enabling comments.

GRAPHIC: Reddit’s Free-form ads

  • Image: Simple and versatile, leveraging high-quality visuals to grab attention.
  • Carousel: Showcase multiple images or videos in a swipeable format, ideal for product collections or storytelling. 
  • Video: Optimized for sound-off mobile viewing, prioritize 4:5 or 1:1 aspect ratios with text overlays and closed captions for maximum impact.
    • Autoplay In-Feed: Capitalize on Reddit's autoplay feature. All native video ads automatically play within the user's feed, grabbing their attention as they scroll. (Users have the option to turn off this setting.)
    • Multiple Aspect Ratio Support: Reddit offers flexibility in video format, allowing you to choose from 1:1 square, 4:5 vertical, 4:3 classic, or 16:9 full landscape. This allows you to tailor your video specifically for mobile viewing or leverage a cinematic experience depending on your creative goals.
    • Mobile Hybrid Landing Page (Watch + Load): Provide a seamless user experience by utilizing Reddit's mobile hybrid landing page feature. This innovative feature allows you to split the screen, showcasing your video ad while simultaneously loading your target website in the background. This eliminates the need for users to click away from the ad, potentially increasing video completion rates and driving higher click-through rates to your website.
  • Reddit Product Ads: Now in Beta (reach out to Gupta Media for access), these ads showcase and promote your products directly within Reddit's browsing experience. Leverage eye-catching visuals, clear product descriptions, and CTAs to drive product discovery and purchase intent.

High-Impact Ad Placements

Available only by reservation—through Reddit’s managed services or through an agency—Reddit offers a handful of high-impact ad offerings that combine several ad formats and placements into immersive experiences. Dominate prime real estate across Reddit with your ads, including the home page, top feed positions, search results, popular feeds, and more.

  • Reddit Takeover: Maximize your impact with the widest-reaching package, ensuring your brand is the first thing Redditors see when browsing Reddit’s Home Page, Popular, and Search pages. It includes:
    • Promoted post: The first in-feed ad placement in a user’s experience.
    • Top banner: A banner ad prominently displayed at the top of the front page.
    • Sticky banner: A banner ad that stays fixed at the top of the page even as users scroll down the page. 
    • “Trending” unit on Popular, Search, and Trending pages: Featured placements on the site’s highest-profile pages
  • Front Page Takeover: For 24 hours, you’ll get 100% share of voice for premium placements on Reddit’s Home Page and Popular page — “the first places everyone checks when they visit the site,” according to Reddit. It includes:
    • Promoted post: The first in-feed ad placement in a user’s experience
    • Top banner: A banner ad prominently displayed at the top of the front page. 
    • Sticky banner: A banner ad that stays fixed at the top of the page even as users scroll down the page. 
  • Trending Takeover: For 24 hours, advertisers can be the only brand seen on Trending Today (where users can find the most popular topics on the platform) and be front and center whenever a user visits Popular or Search. 
  • Category Takeover: These ads allow you to “brand a subreddit’s page with your ad,” capturing 100% reach of the top communities in your selected category for 24 hours. It includes: 
    • Promoted Post: The first in-feed ad placement in the selected category 
    • Conversation placement: Allows brands to engage authentically within community discussions by staking out the first conversation ad placement.
    • Top banner: A banner ad prominently displayed at the top of the front page. 
    • Sticky banner: A banner ad that stays fixed at the top of the page even as users scroll down the page. 
  • First View: Own the first ad impression on Reddit’s Home and Popular pages for 24 hours

How To Buy Reddit Ads: Building A Winning Campaign

Crafting a successful Reddit advertising campaign requires careful planning and execution. Here's a step-by-step guide to navigate the key elements:

1. Define Your Campaign Goals

Depending on which stage of the funnel your campaign is targeting, you’ll want to lean into different capabilities of Reddit advertising.

  • For Awareness & Reach: Think about Takeovers and Video Ads to maximize brand visibility and reach a broad audience within your target demographics. Ideal for launching new products, generating brand awareness, or promoting thought leadership content.
  • For Consideration: Spark deeper engagement and encourage users to learn more about your brand or product. Effective strategies include hosting AMAs (Ask Me Anything) sessions or utilizing engagement prompts.
  • For Conversions: To drive direct actions like website visits, purchases, or app downloads, invest in Promoted Posts with clear CTAs (calls to action) are well-suited for conversion goals.


2. Target Your Audience

These options define who your ads are targeted for:

  • Community Targeting: Reach users actively engaged in specific subreddits (communities) relevant to your brand. This laser-focused approach ensures your message reaches highly interested audiences.
  • Interest Targeting: Tailor your ads to users who have shown interest in particular topics based on their browsing behavior on Reddit.
  • Keyword Targeting: Leverage Reddit's contextual signals to place your ads within relevant conversations where your target audience is actively discussing related keywords.
  • Engagement Retargeting: Reach redditors who have previously interacted with your ads. 
  • Customer Lists: Target your most qualified consumers by uploading your customer list.
  • Pixel-Based Targeting: Retarget users who visit or take an action on your site. 
  • Lookalike Targeting (BETA): Find people with similar traits to your most qualified audiences.

3. Select Your Placements

These options define where your ads are displayed.

  • Feeds: Ads appear within users' browsing feeds, including Home, Popular, and Community feeds. (Default selection)
  • Conversations: Ads are strategically placed between the original post and the first comment in relevant threads. Ideal for contextual targeting and reaching users engaged in discussions.


4. Set Your Bidding Strategy

Before launching your Reddit Ads campaign, it's crucial to define your specific goals and choose the appropriate bidding strategy to achieve them. 

How Much Do Reddit Ads Cost?

Reddit Ads utilize a second-price auction system, where you set a maximum bid you're willing to pay for each impression or action (click, conversion, etc). In 2024, Reddit ads require a $5 minimum daily spend, and we’ve seen rates as low as a $0.20 Cost Per Click (CPC). To compare real-time CPM costs across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, sign up for Gupta Media's free Social Media Ad Rate Dashboard

Here are the main bidding options for Reddit ads: Manual bidding is available across all objectives, but only a few objectives support automated bidding strategies. 

  • Maximum Bid: Set a fixed maximum amount you're willing to pay for an action (e.g., click, conversion).
  • Target CPA (Cost-Per-Action): Optimize your campaign to achieve a specific target cost per desired action.
  • Maximum CPM (Cost-Per-Mille): Focus on maximizing impressions within your budget at a set maximum cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

Traffic campaign example:

Choosing the Right Bidding Strategy:

The optimal bidding strategy depends on your specific campaign goals. Here's a general guideline:

  • For Awareness & Reach campaigns: Utilize Maximum CPM to maximize impressions within your budget.
  • For Consideration goals: Consider CPC to optimize for engagement actions like clicks or website visits. We like this option because it allows for greater cost control. 
  • For Conversion goals: Maximum Bid or Target CPA can be effective depending on your budget and desired cost per conversion. Reddit recommends implementing automated bidding wherever possible to make sure that you’re maximizing your advertising budget.  


5. Set Your Campaign Budget

Setting an effective budget is crucial for any advertising campaign. Here's a breakdown of Reddit Ads' budget options to help you determine the best approach for your goals:

Budget Types:

  • Lifetime Budget: Ideal for campaigns with a consistent average spend throughout their entire timeframe. Reddit will distribute your total budget evenly across the campaign duration.
  • Daily Budget: Provides more flexibility for campaigns with expected fluctuations in spend. You set a maximum amount you're willing to spend each day, offering greater control over daily costs.

Important Note: Be aware that ad groups may overspend your daily budget by at least 20 percent. This is because Reddit Ads utilizes a second-price auction system, where the final cost per impression or action (e.g., click, conversion) can be influenced by real-time bidding dynamics.


Optimizing Your Reddit Ads Performance

Extracting maximum value from your Reddit ad campaigns requires continuous optimization. Here are some actionable tips to keep your ads fresh and performing their best:

  • Pinpoint Low-Performers: Identify and pause your bottom 1-2 performing ads within each ad group to optimize your budget allocation towards high-potential creatives.
  • Maintain Ad Group Variety: Consider running 3-5 ads per ad group to test different variations and identify the most effective combinations.

Headline Optimization: A Low-Hanging Fruit

Start your optimization efforts by focusing on headlines. Tweaking headline copy is a "low-hanging fruit" because changes can be implemented more quickly compared to modifying images or videos. This allows for faster testing and iteration cycles.

Plan for Creative Fatigue

Over time, users can develop ad fatigue, leading to decreased effectiveness. To combat this, plan to reassess your ad creatives within each ad group every two to three weeks. Headline tweaks are a quick way to refresh your ads, but consider updating graphics and ad formats as well if resources allow. Once you make changes, give the new creatives at least seven days to generate statistically significant results.


Harness the Power of Automated Ad Creation (AAC)

Automated Ad Creation (AAC) is a time-saving feature that streamlines the ad creation process. Here's how it works:

  • Effortless Ad Variations: Upload sets of headlines and media assets. AAC will automatically combine these elements to create various ad variations, offering increased efficiency compared to manual creation.
  • Testing Made Easy: Leverage AAC to explore different variations of your ad creative elements for effective testing.
  • Performance Optimization: AAC automatically optimizes ad delivery, prioritizing the combinations that perform best, ensuring your budget is directed towards the most impactful creatives.

Getting Started with AAC

Before you begin using AAC, here are some key points to consider:

  • Supported Variations: AAC currently allows for up to five headlines and five images or videos, automatically generating up to 25 unique ad variations.
  • Campaign Objective Compatibility: AAC can be used with any campaign objective, providing flexibility for your marketing goals.
  • Consistency Across Ad Groups: URLs, calls to action (CTAs), and tracking parameters remain consistent within all ads created using AAC for a specific ad group.

Unique Ad Naming with Macros

When utilizing AAC, consider using naming macros to automatically add details like numbers, dates, objectives, headlines, or media names to your ad names. This enhances organization and simplifies identification of AAC-generated ads within your dashboard and reports.


Creative Testing Best Practices

Testing different creative elements is crucial for optimizing your ad performance. Here are some best practices to ensure effective testing:

  • Learning Period: Allow a learning period of approximately 1-2 weeks for each creative test to gather statistically significant data.
  • Noticeable Differences: When testing, ensure there are clear distinctions between the elements being tested. For example, if testing headlines, choose three vastly different styles with varying approaches (e.g., promotional, humorous, informational).

Common Static Imagery Tests:

Common Video Tests:

Common Headline Tests:



Capitalize on Seasonal Moments with Reddit Ads

Reddit offers a unique opportunity to tap into seasonal trends and connect with users during key moments throughout the year. Here's why Reddit should be a part of your seasonal marketing strategy:

  • Reddit as a Holiday Shopping Inspiration Source: Research reveals 1 in 3 Reddit users turn to the platform for reviews and product recommendations when making holiday purchases, and 3 in 4 who did gift research on Reddit made a purchase based on that research. This presents a valuable opportunity for targeted ad campaigns that showcase your offerings during critical shopping periods.
  • Extended Seasonal Conversations: Unlike traditional marketing strategies that often focus on single holidays, Reddit fosters extended conversations around seasonal events. For example, discussions related to the Super Bowl might begin weeks in advance, and Halloween conversations can initiate as early as July. 

Pro Tip: Leverage Reddit Ads' targeting options to ensure your seasonal messaging reaches the most relevant audience segments. This can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your campaigns.


Mastering the Art of Reddit Ads: A Guide to Creative Best Practices

Reddit boasts a highly engaged user base with a strong sense of community. For advertisers, this presents a unique opportunity to reach a targeted audience with creative and effective ad campaigns. But what makes a Reddit ad truly successful?

The best intelligence comes directly from the source: Reddit itself. Here’s how Reddit thinks about advertising on Reddit.

For Maximum Impact: Build Mobile

In today's mobile-first world, optimizing your Reddit ad creative for smartphone and tablet viewing is crucial. Here's what you need to consider:

  • Aspect Ratio: Focus on 4:5 or 1:1 aspect ratios for your video and image assets. These formats take up more real estate on mobile screens, maximizing visibility without requiring users to scroll excessively. Research by Reddit indicates that 4:5 video specifically can lead to a significant 54% reduction in 28-day cost-per-acquisition (CPA).
  • Sound-Off Viewing: Recognize that many users browse Reddit with the sound off. Prioritize clear and concise visuals to convey your message effectively. Utilize text overlays, graphics, and on-screen messaging to ensure your ad is understood even without audio.
  • Closed Captions: Closed captions enhance accessibility and ensure your message reaches everyone, including users who have sound enabled but may be in noisy environments. 
  • Words Matter: Image and video assets with a text overlay have been shown to drive 32% higher click through rate (CTR) 

Build Trust: Be a Brand

Redditors value authenticity. Here's how to establish trust and brand recognition with your Reddit ad creative:

  • Don’t try to fool Redditors: Prioritize clear branding on all assets. Referencing your product or brand name in the headline copy reinforces that you’re a brand bringing value to the platform. 
  • Strategic Logo Placement: Brand logos should be visible in the top left corner of images to maximize effectiveness across objectives, particularly in upper-funnel objectives.
  • Video Branding: Follow the industry standard 3-second rule: showcase your brand within the first 3 seconds of your video ad to capture attention quickly.
  • Don’t Be Sneaky: Redditors don’t dislike ads; they dislike “sneaky” ads. While native and user-generated ads often serve a strategic purpose, more professional/polished creatives that clearly communicate your brand message are more likely to resonate and drive results across all campaign objectives. 

To Convert: Show & Tell

By explicitly showing the product—and telling redditors more about what’s good, what’s new, or how it helps them—you can build consumer confidence, improve the memorability of the message, and drive performance across objectives. Here's how to strike the perfect balance:

  • Explore Longer Video—But Not Too Long: Advertisers should experiment with longer videos—up to 60 seconds—to find your sweet spot. Analysis indicates that videos over 60 seconds are less effective at driving lower funnel conversion objectives, particularly mobile installs.
  • Keep Headlines Brief: Reddit will allow you 300 characters, but shorter headlines for in-feed Promoter Posts perform best. Aim for under 150 characters to ensure maximum readability and impact, especially on mobile devices. Reddit’s research suggests that exceeding this character limit may make it more challenging to achieve a memorable campaign, build lower funnel impact, and result in a less efficient campaign.
  • Experiment with Deal Messaging: Leverage discount codes, limited-time offers, and other promotional messaging within your video ads and headline copy to capture attention—and seed some FOMO—while creating a sense of urgency. Like this:

When in Rome: Reddit Like Reddit

Before you try to repurpose your Meta ads on Reddit, think again—the value of advertising on Reddit comes from authentic engagement with the platform.

  • Reddit is unique, and redditors like to be treated as such. Responsibly incorporating “Redditisms”—platform-recognized acronyms like “ICYMI”, “TIL,” etc.—demonstrate that you’ve done your homework, and are attempting to understand Reddit’s unique culture. It can also lead to performance improvements across objectives, particularly lower funnel ones.
  • Properly speaking the language of Reddit has been shown to lower 28-day view CPAs on static image and video assets by 70 percent.

Clear Calls To Action: Be Prescriptive

  • Don't be shy about telling users what you want them to do. Redditors are leaned-in, so you can be very transparent with who you are (a brand), what you’re selling (your product), and what you’re asking them to do. Reinforcing those CTAs in copy and creative assets is essential!
  • Reddit research shows that reinforcing your CTA in video assets leads to a 1.4x higher likelihood to drive a lift in Brand Attributions.

The Reddit Pixel: Everything You Need To Know

The Reddit Pixel is a valuable tool for insights and retargeting, offering a seamless way to track user behavior across devices. This snippet of JavaScript code, placed strategically on your website, enables you to:

  • Boost Click-Through Rates (CTR): Research indicates that advertisers leveraging retargeting through the Reddit Pixel experience a significant 40% increase in click-through rates compared to non-retargeted campaigns.
  • Attribute Conversions: By tracking user actions on your website after clicking on your Reddit ad, the Pixel helps attribute conversions directly to your Reddit campaign, providing valuable insights into its effectiveness. The default attribution window is set at 28 days.

Effortless Pixel Integration

There are two primary methods for implementing the Reddit Pixel on your website:

  1. Direct Integration: For developers comfortable with code, the Pixel can be directly integrated using in-house technical resources.
  2. Third-Party Integration: For a more streamlined approach, utilize a third-party tag management platform to easily place the Pixel on your website.

Pixel Implementation and Event Tracking

Once installed, the Reddit Pixel empowers you to set up various tracking functionalities:

  • Standard Events: These predefined events track user interactions on your website, allowing you to attribute conversions to your Reddit ad campaigns and demonstrate the platform's value as a marketing channel. Examples of standard events include page views and add-to-cart actions.
  • Custom Events: Go beyond the pre-defined options and create custom events tailored to your specific needs to track unique user actions on your website.

How To Leverage Reddit AMA's for Authentic Brand Conversations

Reddit's Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions offer a unique opportunity for brands to connect with the community on a deeper level. The #1 reason people come to Reddit is to be informed. These informal, text-based Q&A sessions allow redditors to directly engage with brand representatives, fostering an environment of information sharing, open dialogue, and authentic interaction.

Key Considerations for Hosting a Successful AMA

Before embarking on your Reddit AMA journey, consider these essential questions:

  • Open Dialogue: Is your brand prepared for an open and transparent conversation with Redditors? If you're hesitant to answer tough questions, a one-way communication approach through traditional advertising might be a better fit.
  • Time Commitment: Can you dedicate at least an hour to actively respond to user inquiries? Successful AMAs thrive on host engagement, demonstrating genuine investment in the experience for both the brand and the Reddit community.

Choosing Your AMA Platform: Profile vs. Community

Reddit offers two primary hosting options for AMAs:

  • Profile AMA: This format takes place on a brand-moderated Reddit profile, providing greater control over brand messaging and question moderation. Ideal for advertisers prioritizing strict brand safety measures.
  • Community AMA: Conducted within a relevant subreddit and moderated by community moderators, this option fosters wider organic reach and fosters engagement with specific communities.

Essential AMA Logistics

  • Proof of Identity: Reddit requires all AMA hosts to provide verifiable proof of identity. This can be a simple selfie holding a handwritten sign displaying the date of the AMA, your name, and Reddit username. Get creative! Humorous elements like pets or props can be a great way to break the ice.
  • Crafting Compelling Content: Create a clear and concise AMA headline that introduces yourself and your purpose for the session. Follow this with a brief introductory statement expanding on your expertise and why Redditors should be interested in engaging with you.
  • Active Participation: Aim to dedicate at least one hour to actively answering questions. Reddit users participate in AMAs to gain valuable insights, unique perspectives, and the chance to connect with someone they wouldn't typically have access to. Respond to questions authentically and directly, addressing even the challenging ones if possible. Consider potential tough questions beforehand to avoid getting caught off guard.
  • Responding to Inquiries: Utilize Reddit's comment sorting options ("best," "top," "new") to ensure you're addressing a diverse range of questions throughout the AMA.
  • Sign-Off Message: Once the AMA concludes, update your original post with a closing message to acknowledge your audience and prevent the perception of ghosting.


Congratulations! You've embarked on a comprehensive journey into the exciting world of Reddit advertising. This guide has equipped you with the essential knowledge and best practices to navigate the unique landscape of Reddit and craft impactful ad campaigns that resonate with its highly engaged user base.

Remember, the key to success on Reddit lies in authenticity, transparency, and a genuine connection with the community. Embrace the platform's culture, prioritize valuable user experiences, and leverage the powerful tools and strategies outlined in this article. By continuously testing, optimizing, and fostering open conversations, you can unlock the exceptional potential of Reddit advertising and achieve remarkable results for your brand.

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