Advertising on Reddit

There was a recent post on Hacker News about one person’s results with advertising on Reddit.  I thought I would write up a quick post to share our results as another example.

Designing an Ad for Reddit

The most important thing that we learned is that it is critical that the ad be well suited to the Reddit environment.  It has to fit alongside typical Reddit content, but still stand out enough to receive attention.  Here is a sample of two approaches that we took:

The first is a direct advertisement that used our tagline with the thought being that Reddit users would prefer a no nonsense approach.  We threw in our cat mascot since we all know that Reddit loves cats!  The second is a play on the awkward penguin meme that plays up the negotiating capability of BidKat.  Which do you think was more effective?

Advertising Results

While the direct approach generated more discussion, the awkward penguin meme was more than twice as effective at generating clicks (0.180% vs 0.083% CTR).  We attributed the success to a couple of different factors.  The meme is popular on Reddit and is able to catch people’s eye while the content uses the standard problem/solution format.  Based on feedback we received, it turns out that a lot of people end up taking a lot less money then they want when selling items and so this ad resonated with them.

Once we found the ad that worked, we ran it over a weekend targeting the AdviceAnimals subreddit at $50 a day.  The awkward penguin ad lead to 2222 clicks at a cost of $0.07 per click.

Over 3 days:

  • Cost: $150
  • Total impressions: 1,235,638
  • Total clicks: 2222
  • 0.180% CTR
  •  1.49 pages per visit

Overall these clicks underperformed our site averages, but only slightly.  Our main goal at the moment is to just get the word out about BidKat so that when people have an item to sell, they think of us.  With this in mind, we managed to get a 32.43% goal conversion rate (watched our video or checked out the sample auction) which we are happy with.

Non-Advertising Results on Reddit

In addition to the advertising, I also did an AMA on Reddit.  I really had no expectations, but thought I would give it a try.  It ended up being relatively popular with 132 upvotes and over 150 questions asked.  A link to BidKat in the description brought in 753 clicks with 1.90 pages per visit and a lower 69.32% bounce rate.

This just goes to show that if you can get an organic content about your company to become popular, it will be much more effective at bringing in engaged users than purchasing advertising outright.  The tricky part is that the Reddit audience is pretty fickle and things like this generally happen by accident.  The AMA turned out to be one way to be more proactive about it that worked for us.

Next Steps

Since our three day experiment brought in pretty consistent traffic over the three days, we’re going to try and run Reddit advertising for a month to see what happens.  After the month is up, I’ll be sure to post another update on the results!

In the meantime, try out and let us know what you think!

BidKat ( is a service aimed at helping people sell their stuff for more money with less hassle.  It enhances existing listing services with the ability to do automatic price negotiations and offer tracking. Create your auction, share the auction link, and then sit back and relax while we do the rest!


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