How to use Reddit for healthcare marketing: yes, it works!

How to use Reddit for healthcare marketing: yes, it works!

Reddit is a far cry from most other social media platforms because of its tight-knit community and approach to social sharing. Also for the longest time, brands and promotional material were mostly not welcome by the community. However, in more recent years, advertising and brand engagement on reddit has become a lucrative avenue for brands to tap into a new, engaged audience.

Only recently, with the success of a few of our clients have we witnessed firsthand its excellence as a platform for healthcare brands to pull in new patients and brand ambassadors. So, we thought we’d share some best practices for advertising and engaging with a healthcare audience on Reddit so others can start leveraging this impactful platform. Keep in mind, Reddit should be considered it’s own channel for strategy purposes and not lumped together with other social media platforms as it requires a unique approach. If you haven’t used Reddit extensively yet, we recommend giving it a go!

Reddit provides a platform for users to connect and engage in different user-run communities which are organized by interests. It’s essentially a social news aggregator where users post, comment, and up or down vote content. Each community is called a subreddit and they cover any topic you could possibly think of, and then some (seriously!). Users post images, comments, videos, and links and can upvote content they like or appreciate, giving the author karma points. Conversely, users can downvote content they don’t think aligns with the subreddit or is off topic, ultimately hiding the content if it receives enough downvotes.

Why advertising on Reddit should be part of your marketing strategy

Reddit is an ideal platform to reach new patients precisely because it is different and because the competition isn’t as fierce as it is on other social media platforms. There are many other benefits to advertising and engaging on Reddit as well, including:

  • Cost effectiveness – Reddit tends to be cheaper than other social media platforms for advertising, making it a great option if you want to try a targeted campaign without breaking the bank.
  • Highly targeted options – Since cookies have become obsolete, it has been more difficult to build highly targeted campaigns. Reddit gives you the opportunity to get in front of your specific audience through subreddits, areas of interest, geographic interests, and other defining demographics.
  • An already engaged audience – The Reddit community is known for being highly engaged and ready to pounce on interesting topics or disruptors at the drop of a hat. This can go one of two ways for brands looking to advertise on the platform, so it’s vital to complete the proper audience research and post interesting and useful content!

How advertising on Reddit works

Like all other social media platforms, Reddit allows you to create ads that can be displayed on the platform in subreddits, feeds, or targeted to specific groups. Ads come in the form of banner ads, sponsored posts, and video ads. To get started you’ll want to have an idea of which subreddits make the most sense for your brand, so start researching! As mentioned before, the Reddit community does not respond very well to selling or promotional material, so it’s important that you find your brand’s ideal audience and curate content that resonates with them. It’s even better if you can build brand rapport before advertising.

Start by joining a few subreddits and reading through some of the conversations. There are general subreddits for medicine, healthcare, and dentistry, but you can get much more specific if you have a speciality service or product. Honestly, when it comes to subreddits, the sky isn’t even a limit. When choosing subreddits, you want to be specific but not too granular as you won’t reach a wide-enough audience to make the investment worth it. All subreddits will list the number of community members within that group which you can use to judge if it meets your requirements.

Once you’re in, take time to get to know and understand the community. This will make both your ads and your posts that much more impactful and engaging. When you’re ready to start interacting, focus on authentic interactions. Begin your Reddit journey by commenting on posts, sharing valuable resources that aren’t from your brand, asking thought-provoking or feedback oriented questions, and avoiding blatant self-promotion.

It’s time to start advertising on Reddit!

Reddit does a great job of walking you through you ad setup and gives you options to build ad campaigns based on your objectives, including: brand awareness and reach, website traffic, website conversions, video views, and app installs. The payment structure is also tied to the objectives so keep that in mind when you’re budgeting. Beyond that, be sure to create visually engaging ads with concise or insightful content to get the most from your interactions. When completing your ad, you’ll also have the option to add third-party tracking which will hep to measure and validate your campaigns with impression tracking.

We’ve seen success from both ads and brands joining organic conversation on subreddits, so you’ll have to give both a go and measure what works best. It’s an exciting time to give Reddit a try and start leveraging a different social media channel, especially while it is still relatively low cost! Be sure to get in touch with MDG if you’d like more guidance on how to set up Reddit ads or organic posts.