For many marketers, targeting Reddit is a no-brainer. It’s the 7th most popular website in the United States and gets a reported 10+ million unique visitors per month – a massive audience in rabid search of new content to consume.
"For cybersecurity marketing professionals, Reddit is a slam dunk marketing opportunity." - Click to Tweet
For cybersecurity marketing professionals, Reddit appears to be even more of a slam dunk marketing opportunity. The majority of Reddit users are men between the ages of 20 and 40, a demographic that matches cybersecurity professionals.
Furthermore, cybersecurity marketers have found that in a slow month, Reddit can provide 25% of social media traffic, with Reddit postings more likely to go viral than posts on any other social media platform.
Yet there’s a problem marketers face when it comes to Reddit, and it’s one that can take a lot of work to overcome. The problem is that if there’s one thing Redditors hate, it’s marketing.
So how can cybersecurity companies leverage Reddit for marketing purposes without getting busted? By following a few simple rules…and perhaps posting some cat GIFs.
Rule #1 of Reddit Cybersecurity Marketing: CREATE GOOD CONTENT
This should be the number one rule for all content marketing, but in case it isn’t already, it’s especially important when it comes to capitalizing on Reddit traffic.
Before choosing content to share on Reddit – or before creating content specifically for posting on Reddit – a marketer needs to ask him or herself if the content is either timely or timelessly interesting.
In cybersecurity, timely content may include articles about a recent IoT data breach or Mirai botnet-powered DDoS attack. Articles about recent security vulnerabilities, new essential patches or other interesting or necessary developments would also be considered timely.
Yet as much as Redditors are current events junkies who want to be informed of the latest news, they’re also interested in topics that are quirky and fascinating, regardless of relevance - the kind of topics that can be used as conversation starters.
For instance, how the first public hacking (and perhaps public pawning) occurred in 1903 when a magician disrupted a demonstration of a supposedly secure wireless telegraphy technology to transmit insulting messages in Morse code.
Timely articles that relate to a company’s services will provide an easier gateway to further pages of a company’s website. However, both timely and timelessly interesting content have the potential to go viral and can do great things for traffic.
"Timely and timelessly interesting content have the potential to go viral and can do great things for traffic." - Click to Tweet
Rule #2 of Reddit Cybersecurity Marketing: CONSIDER KARMA
To effectively reach Redditors, a marketer must be a Redditor to gain the community’s trust and respect. Given how easy it is to see the kind of value a Redditor brings to the community, there’s simply no way around it.
When a link is posted on Reddit, other Redditors can upvote or downvote that link based on what they think of it. That score - also referred to as post karma, is forever associated with the Redditor who posted the link.
The same goes for comments – they can be upvoted or downvoted, and the comment karma stays with the Redditor who posted the comment.
Altogether, this provides every user with a cumulative post karma and comment karma score that’s immediately visible when someone clicks on his or her profile. Also immediately visible is everything a user has ever posted - both comments and links.
In order to become a trusted and valued Redditor, cybersecurity professionals need to take the time to not only submit fresh content in the subreddit it is best suited for, but provide valuable information in various discussions and maybe even have a little fun (GIFs/jokes).
Transparent marketers will be identified as such by the Reddit community, and this reputation will be impossible to shake – one that inevitably gets associated with the company behind the marketing.
Marketers also need to be careful to not repost links, either intentionally or unintentionally. This will, without fail, be called out by the community. Link posts should be limited to the one subreddit they are best suited for (more on that below), not posted to multiple subreddits in an attempt to gain more traffic.
Marketers should also take the extra few seconds to paste the link into the search bar and search the entire website for previous postings of that link.
Rule #3 of Reddit Cybersecurity Marketing: CHOOSE SUBREDDITS WISELY
There’s a tremendous amount of information and content available on and through Reddit – more than one can imagine – and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that computing and internet technology is a popular topic.
That means there’s subreddit after subreddit dedicated to cybersecurity, which results in a bevy of options for link posting.
In reality, however, not all subreddits are created equal. So while marketers will want to target a variety of subreddits in order to avoid being marked as a spammer or shill, it’s important to find subreddits that are:
1. Populated by subscribers
2. Have active discussions
3. Are welcoming of the type of content a marketer is looking to promote.
There’s just no point in marketing to an empty room.
Subreddits relevant to cybersecurity marketing professionals include:
For your convenience, I created a multireddit that automatically follows all of these subreddits and more.
However, the list goes on and on - all you need to do is start digging.
Rule #4 of Reddit Cybersecurity Marketing: GET THE MOST OUT OF THOSE WISELY CHOSEN SUBREDDITS
Whether or not a cybersecurity marketer is actively participating in all relevant and active subreddits, he or she should definitely be subscribed and regularly read them.
This not only provides great content curation opportunities, allowing marketers to increase a company’s standing (or their own) by reposting the top-voted Reddit content on other social media platforms, but also enables marketers to see the topics that are popular and write their own content on those topics for future use and success.
Rule #5 of Reddit Cybersecurity Marketing: DON'T BE A REBEL!
Redditors take pride in the various communities they’ve built in the form of subreddits, and the way those subreddits function is thanks to the rules for link posting and discussions they’ve all established.
Every subreddit has its own set of rules which will be readily visible on the sidebar. Marketers must simply familiarize themselves with these rules prior to posting, or else they can count on consequences in the form of downvotes, bad karma, and a distaste for the company associated with the marketing efforts.
Even if a marketer follows all rules to the letter, there’s a good chance that some posts may go down in spectacular flames with insults and downvotes being indiscriminately hurled. Getting toasted like that once in a while is all part of being a Redditor.
There’s really no need to become discouraged, since even a failed Reddit posting will garner more clicks and traffic than the average Facebook or Twitter post, so there’s essentially no such thing as wasted effort on Reddit.
Participating in discussions for a while and building up a buffer between link postings will help any slipups be forgotten by the community. But when in doubt, a clip of a cat playing Jenga is like currency in many subreddits.