The King Agency

The REALity of Advertising in the Reddit World

One of the most famous movie scenes plays out in the courtroom scene of A Few Good Men. Those iconic lines about “the truth” when Jack Nickolson’s character, Col. Jessup takes the stand, in part, like this: 

Col Jessup: You want answers?!

LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!

Col Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!

The truth – we all seek it. The truth shouldn’t be hard but in the world of influencer marketing and pay to play reviewed content, transparency and truth in marketing is more important than ever. While some brands like DuckDuckGo, Patagonia and Warby Parker are embracing transparency, finding real reviews online makes looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack easy. Enter Reddit, otherwise known as the “the front page of the internet.” Between the GameStop short in 2021 and their recent IPO, one way or another, you’ve heard of Reddit. 


Reddit is a social networking forum with a community for everyone. It’s not a search engine but these days it is being used like one. Without any sort of verification system, success on Reddit is determined by upvotes (likes) and downvotes (dislikes). The more positive votes a post receives, the wider its audience becomes. 


People have become so disappointed in—or distrustful of—good old Google search results that they now append the term “reddit” to the end of their queries. Maybe that’s why the search giant just announced it’s partnering with Reddit to train its AI models with authentic user generated content. And with more recent news of their IPO, Reddit becomes more of a legitimate player in the truth space, changing the perception and conversations around authenticity. 


So how should brands work with Reddit? (And not against It)

Step 1: Be There


If potential buyers are going to Reddit to learn about your company and its products, it makes sense to follow them there. Create a page for your business and get people talking about your product. Doing so allows your company to engage with similar brands, as well as gauge how well your product or service is being received by the public. In the grand scheme of things, any criticism is helpful and Reddit is a great tool for social listening. 


Be careful, though. Reddit, which is still a largely misunderstood platform, has the potential for many pitfalls. The website is focused more on communal online discussion than specific profile spotlights. There is no verification process for business pages, which opens up the potential for impersonation. 


But don’t be deterred. These communities can be helpful, even if not officially affiliated with a company, as the major draw of Reddit is user discussion. It is one of the most down to Earth platforms, so don’t be afraid to engage with people discussing your output and gauge their interest. Being a part of the conversation only brings a company closer to the action, and lends itself to this open discussion.


Step 2: Introduce and Engage 


Introduce your brand to the Reddit community and engage with people there. Especially if you are a smaller, newer company, it is possible your name has yet to make its way into the Reddit circle. This means it is up to you to get the conversation going. 


Many brands promote posts, which gets content into the public eye rather quickly. Promoted posts are pushed to potentially interested users, and don’t rely solely on public discussion to put it at the top of feeds. 


If paid promotion is not the route you are interested in, then the strategy that might interest you is direct, public engagement. Participate in discussions either about or potentially related to your product. Authentic, non-ad-driven conversation is what Redditors gravitate towards. 


You may also consider starting your own subreddit threads about your product. This opens up user discussion and direct feedback, and is the most effective when an active conversation is being held. If you are going to start a thread, make sure you are responding to comments in order to show you are dedicated to customer satisfaction. A business that starts a thread and simply watches conversation happen comes across as out-of-touch and impersonable. 


Unofficial subreddits, however, open up the possibility of negative or inappropriate comments. Even if you started the thread, you are unable to delete someone else’s comment, so the manner in which you handle the conversation is imperative. These sorts of comments should be addressed quickly by a team member in a way that comes across as firm, but does not feel like a press release. 


Step 3: Be Authentic, Gracious, Humble, and Transparent  


When engaging with users on Reddit on behalf of a company, do your best to act like a person not a company. Address concerns without solely defending a product or service, acknowledge when things can be done better. This website is an incredibly powerful tool to get insight on customer satisfaction and critique, and should be used as such. If your company is posting advertisements with little to no value, it is likely to be down-voted or marked as spam by uninterested users. 


Reddit is renowned for its authenticity and non-fabricated reviews and conversation. Here, an ad does not need to feel like an ad. Advertising on this platform may be in the form of open conversation or a funny quip in a thread applicable to your product, thus building a deeper connection with either current or future customers. 




In this age of influencer marketing, AI-generated content, and airbrushed realities, customers seek the truth. So whether you decide to experiment with Reddit or not, know that success will largely depend on authenticity, transparency and simple human connection. People are what make a product or service desirable, and we would be remiss to deny our customers that simple promise. Keep them coming back with the guarantee of a real, authentic experience and they will find great value in that truth. 

Interested in learning more about how The King Agency can help with your content marketing? Contact us to learn more.

The King Agency is an award-winning marketing agency offering a full suite of communications services including advertising, branding, digital, and strategic marketing, at any scale. Based in Richmond, Virginia, with offices in Atlanta and Virginia Beach, The King Agency has been helping turn businesses into brands for more than 25 years. To learn more visit thekingagency.com or email hello@thekingagency.com