Reddit Advertising

December 04, 2018

You Can Now Track Conversions (better) With Reddit Ads – The Reddit Conversion Pixel

Reddit Ads have been a nightmare for analytics data based marketers trying to optimize their Return On Ad Spend. For the longest time Reddit Ads data and Google Analytics Data were not in agreement but the solution then was easy, just track conversions in Google Analytics from Reddit.com, use UTM tracking, or use a special funnel to track leads from Reddit. Then Reddit launched their new design as default in April of 2018. The new design stripped referrer data from all outbound links meaning analytics trackers would no longer be able to tell that traffic was coming from Reddit and all conversion data would be assigned to the “direct” channel, making it far more difficult for marketers to track success. Reddit then introduced a tracking pixel, but that tracking pixel was very basic in what it could do.

That all changed a little today when Reddit announced a new and improved version of their own conversion tracking pixel. Similar to the Facebook pixel known and loved by marketers this pixel can track various events occurring on your website by a user that visited from an advertisement on Reddit.

You can learn how to install the new conversion pixel on this page: Installing the Reddit Conversion Pixel

Here’s a peek at the new conversion pixel shared by Reddit Ads team member h0neybe8r

reddit ads conversion pixel screenshot example

It’s good to see the Reddit Ads team continuing to evolve their offerings. I really wish they would stop using the rel=noreffer attribute so we could at least try and validate the data provided by Reddit Ads, but this new conversion pixel is a huge step in the right direction.

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December 03, 2018

How To Fix Problems With Google Analytics and Reddit Ads

reddit ads google analytics

2018 Update


On December 4th, 2018 Reddit announced major improvements to the Reddit Ads Conversion Pixel. This Pixel allows you to track website traffic and conversions, but that data is only trackable by Reddit and not your Google Analytics or other third-party analytics software such as Adobe Analytics.

New Reddit use the rel=noreferrer attribute on links within ads on the site. This means that you can’t track the success of your Reddit ads inside of Google Analytics or any other tracking program except for Reddit’s ad system by tracking the number of website visits, sales, or lead gen conversions from Reddit.com. This is absolutely terrible and should never have happened. I’ve asked Reddit to fix this but have received no response.

Why Do Google Analytics and Reddit Ads disagree on clicks?

This question pops up constantly. The answer is fairly complex and Reddit hasn’t as of yet offered an official explanation, here is our current understanding. Reddit is a community comprised of some of the most tech savvy users on the internet. Many of these likely block ads on other websites, but not on Reddit. Frequently when an ad blocker is used it also blocks Google Analytics.

This could be the reason that Google Analytics and Reddit Ads do not agree. To help understand how well your Reddit ad performed instead of Sessions or Pageviews as tracked by Google Analytics try these KPI’s and tracking techniques.

How to track your Reddit Ads campaign

1. Install and use AWStats. This software program tracks at the server level and is less likely to be impacted by Adblocking software that blocks or complicates Google Analytics. Look at the referring sites column and examine the “Unique Visitors” and “Bandwidth” used by visitors from Reddit.com. AWStats does track differently than Google Analytics using ip addresses over cookies meaning it could easily double count visitors using dynamic ip addresses or multiple devices using 1 ip address as only one visitor (i.e. a college computer lab). Here;s a really good comparison of Google Analytics and AWStats by UltimateWeb

2. Track Conversions Specific to Reddit Ad Campaign. Reddit doesn’t YET offer a tracking-pixel and given the website users’s aversion of being tracked are less likely to do so than say Facebook, Twitter, or even Tumblr. Even if they did it offer this and it worked well, it would be impossible to validate Reddit’s pixel data with your own Google Analytics due to blocking. Instead if your Reddit Ad is focused on getting Form Fills (Lead Generation) use a form software such as Gravity Forms that tracks entries inside of your desired CMS (i.e. WordPress). Create a form specifically for your Reddit campaign and either use a custom landing page, UTM tags, or referrer data to show the Reddit ads form to Reddit advertisers and track the effectiveness this way.

3. Use Coupon Codes. If you’re running a retail or event operation that relies on making sales use a custom coupon code for your Reddit Ad campaign. This will help you track the effectiveness and ROI of your campaign. Make sure you have AWstats installed and compare the sales data to Unique Visitors in order to calculate an estimated ROI of your campaign and improve your campaigns over time.

4. Track Reddit Engagement. Instead of tracking website visitors track how users engage with you on the social media website itself. Try things like; promote your own Subreddit, Ask questions, Give out Gold (see our Toyota Case Study), Track brand mentions before and after the campaign on Reddit, or Promote a narrative (i.e. the best blank of blank is blank) and track how that spreads across the site.

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July 09, 2018

Reddit Ads Has Launched Call To Action Buttons

Starting today you can now include a Call to Action (CTA) button with your Reddit Ad. CTA buttons have long been the go to way to get users to take an action on a webpage, inside of an app, or from an advertisement. This should allow marketers more flexibility to drive value out of the Reddit Advertising system.

CTA’s are not available for ads running on the “old” design of Reddit or more obviously in 3rd party apps. CTA buttons will show for users on the New Reddit design, Not logged in users on desktop, Official Mobile Apps, and the mobile version of the website.

To find the CTA’s navigate to the bottom of the Ads Creation Page in your Reddit Ads Dashboard and choose a CTA Button from the Drop Down Menu.

reddit ads cta buttons setup

What the CTA button selection looks like on the Reddit Ads Creation page.

Reddit is launching this feature with 13 different types of CTA copy and doesn’t appear to have any plans to allow this featured to be customized. The CTA buttons at launch are:

  • Download
  • Install
  • Shop Now
  • View More
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • Contact Us
  • Get Showtimes
  • Get a Quote
  • See Menu
  • Apply Now
  • Watch Now
  • Play Now
reddit cta button on desktop ad

What the CTA buttons look like on the desktop version of Reddit

reddit cta button mobile app

What the CTA buttons look like in the official Reddit mobile app.

Update: /u/h0neybe8r a Reddit staffer who works on the Product Marketing team responded to questions about Reddit possibly allowing customization in the future: “We will be updating the look and feel of the button as we gather and incorporate feedback. No plans for custom copy, as we want to keep things simple/streamlined and we don’t want to add more time to ad review.”

Discussion: On /r/RedditAds

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July 08, 2018

Reddit Ads Stripping Referrer Data

The new Reddit design has the platform stripping HTTP referrer (referer) data from outbound links on the website. This includes ads. I asked the Reddit Ads staff about this and they informed me that this was added intentionally.

reddit norefferer attribute ads

The “noreferrer” HTML attribute strips away the referral data from one website to the next. This means that a website can look at their server data and know how many website visitors came to their website on a particular day from another website and look for patterns to help those users have a better experience.

There doesn’t appear to be any security or privacy reasons for this change and it only appears on ads using the new Reddit design. On the old design the links send referrer data normally.

If you’re an advertiser this means that you’re likely seeing an ever larger discrepancy between your Reddit Ads reported data and the data in your analytics tracking. The only way to track Reddit Ads data now is to use UTM parameters. If you’re an agency your clients should be noticing a drop in Reddit traffic from both organic and paid due to this change. There is currently no way to improve the tracking of organic Reddit traffic.

For those using the “old” Reddit design you can replicate this by going to Reddit.com using Chrome’s incognito tab, navigating to any advertisement (or any organic post), right clicking on the link included in the ad/post and selecting ‘inspect element’.

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June 12, 2018

Reddit Will Start Running Auto-Play Video Ads Soon

Reddit recently became the #3 website in the USA according to Alexa and now the website is trying hard to capitalize on their popularity by rolling out the red carpet for advertisers with auto-play video ads. This move as reported by VideoInk will most likely prove very unpopular with current Reddit users who frequently complain about such ads on YouTube and news websites.

autoplay video reddit

The auto-play video ads will only be visible to Reddit users who use the new card-based design layout (i.e. the new default layout) and likely won’t be seen by users using old.reddit.com / the legacy design. Currently this program is only open to ‘select partners’ but Reddit plans to open it up to all advertisers as soon as this summer.

VP of brand partnerships Zubair Jandali was cited by VideoInk saying that he thinks these auto-play video ads “[are] adding to the utility that the company offers marketers”

This move is something marketing experts like Joe Youngblood and others have expected from the platform’s recent interests in redesigning the site.

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April 14, 2017

Don’t Buzzfeed My Reddit Please

Today I noticed that Buzzfeed has started taking out ads on Reddit, advertising click-bait sounding quizzes like those I spent so much time banishing from my Facebook feed. With this and Reddit’s recent development of allowing users to write “posts” on their user profile (i.e. status updates of their own), and their hosting of content such as images and videos; I am concerned that Reddit could be becoming more and more like Facebook.

buzzfeed reddit ad

Buzzfeed has started advertising click-bait low-effort, low-value quizzes on Reddit

The user account, Buzzfeedpartner, doesn’t have any post history so at the least it’s not Buzzfeed posting quizzes all over Reddit and has confined them to the advertisements section. Buzzfeed articles do get submitted to Reddit at a rate of about 10-30 times per day according to their domain submission history.

The user account also sounds like it might have been created by Reddit’s in-house ad sales team. This is the team that works to secure placements from much larger brands like the Google Pixel Phone campaign, and the Toyota TV Reddit Ads campaign, among the countless other campaigns from companies like Microsoft, A&E, HP, HBO, and others.

If that’s the case then congrats to the ad team for landing the publisher as an advertiser and thank you Buzzfeed for taking out ads on Reddit and helping fund the site’s ongoing growth and development. But could you not?

Buzzfeed isn’t all terrible, they have some good, long-form, well written content. Why not engage with Redditors in a way that feels more like Reddit with your ads? And less like, well, you treating the users on reddit like a bunch of pre-teens flipping through Cosmopolitan magazine.

Please don’t Buzzfeed my Reddit.

This article is part of the Stuffing series, Opinion articles that are based on and about Reddit Ads and the Reddit website designed to inspire conversations about the platform. These do not reflect the opinions of Reddit Inc, other authors on this blog, or Winner Winner Chicken Dinner the parent company of this blog; and are not exactly useful in your own Reddit advertising campaigns. They are just opinions, if you have your own opinion about the topics brought up in this article please leave a comment below or take the article to your favorite subreddit and discuss it there.

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March 31, 2017

Reddit Will Soon Launch Conversion Tracking

Tracking success with Reddit Ads is currently very difficult. We’ve discussed how to better track the success of Reddit Ads and correlate data from their ad system with traffic and metrics on a website. Now, that all seems to be changing.

Yesterday Reddit made a much awaited announcement of a brand new self-serve advertising system. In the comments section of their announcement a user asked if there were was a ‘Reddit cookie’ yet. Reddit Ads staffer Nwelitist replied that the new system didn’t have a tracking cookie yet, but that they were expecting to release one soon.

reddit ads tracking cookie comment

While you can track Reddit ads with UTM paramters and Thank You pages right now having a tracking cookie that reports back to the Reddit Ads system would be very beneficial to both the advertisers, to Reddit, and to Reddit’s users. This will unlock the ability for Reddit Ads to sell ads on a cost-per-conversion basis giving advertisers better control over where their ads are appearing and creating a better experience for Reddit users who might otherwise get annoyed by the same ad campaign over and over in the subreddit’s they visit.

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March 30, 2017

Reddit Ads UI Update and Feature Upgrades March 2017

Reddit Ads, the self-serve system for advertisers on Reddit has launched a brand new UI and newly-built advertising system.

The ads themselves are the same, but marketers now have access to some much needed new features, better reporting, and a more aesthetically pleasing user interface.

Here are the main changes to the Reddit Ads:

  • Post-pay Billing – Reddit advertisers are no longer required to pre-pay for ads and will be charged after ads run. This is great news as it means advertisers no longer need to deal with the messy and often slow process of getting a refund for unused advertising spend.
  • Better Reporting – Reddit Ads will now allow you set the date ranges for your reporting, has better looking charts, and will allow you to more easily track CTR, eCPM, and eCPC.
  • Multiple Creatives in One Campaign – Up until now Reddit Ads has required advertisers to create one creative per campaign. Now you’ll be able to create multiple different creatives per a single campaign, similar to the Google Ads campaign we recently covered.

.

Check it out.

Sticky
March 10, 2017

Google Using Reddit Ads for Pixel Phone

Google has started using Reddit Ads to promote their new smartphone, Pixel. And it would appear they are running more than one ad to experiment with ad copy and the Reddit Ads platform.

reddit google logo

The First Ad


We don’t have a lot of data to understand how well the Pixel ad running on the front page is doing, but we started tracking it about 2 weeks ago when it had just over 400 upvotes and it now has almost 500 upvotes. Using this we’ve backed up and estimated the ad has run for about 2 to 3 months, or roughly 2 months after the official release date for the Pixel phone on October 20th, 2016.

The ad itself is rather simple and straight forward featuring the new Google icon multicolored G logo many Android and iPhone owners are familiar with. The copy also features a review score from a well known rater of video / camera quality, DxO, stating that Google’s Pixel has the highest ever DxOMark for a mobile device, something the DxO website corroborates.

The ad copy finishes with a display URL typed out, google.com/phone, which when typed in redirects users to: http://madeby.google.com/phone – the homepage for the Pixel phone. This decision is a little perplexing as the url provides no tracking or additional analytics data.

The full ad copy reads: “Meet Pixel, Phone by Google. With a best-ever 89 DxOMark Mobile Score, Pixel’s camera lets you take brilliant photos in low light, bright light or any light. Learn more at google.com/phone”

google's pixel phone reddit ad increased in upvotes

The Other Ads


While refreshing the front page and subreddit’s looking for the Google ad again after a few weeks I noticed what looked like the same ad but with different ad copy on the homepage and across subreddit’s. For example the original ad mentioned the quality of Pixel’s camera but that ad wasn’t the only one showing on subreddit’s like /r/videos that might be more inclined to care about camera quality.

Here are the other two ads I saw running

The Second Ad

This ad’s copy reads: “Meet Pixel, Phone by Google. The Pixel combines hardware and software made by Google, including all of your favorite Google apps, to bring you a fast, seamless, and easy-to-use experience. Learn more at madeby.google.com/phone”

This ad links to this urL: https://madeby.google.com/phone/?utm_source=ads-en-offnet-na-reddit&utm_campaign=pixel&utm_medium=paidsocial-both&utm_term=new-br-pid_143350886-cid_%25ecid!-aid_311020718&utm_content=new-br-pid_143350886-cid_67940415-aid_311020718

google pixel reddit ad

The Third Ad

A yet third version of the ad reads: “Meet Pixel, the first phone with the Google Assistant built-in. Ask it anything. Learn more at google.com/phone.”

This ad links to this url: https://madeby.google.com/phone/?utm_source=ads-en-offnet-na-reddit&utm_campaign=pixel&utm_medium=paidsocial-both&utm_term=new-br-pid_143350899-cid_%25ecid!-aid_311020718&utm_content=new-br-pid_143350899-cid_67940415-aid_311020718

reddit ad for android smartphone

The Landing Page

Google didn’t build out a new landing page for this ad campaign. All three of the ads use UTM parameters to track the success of the ads, but the landing page is the organic landing page anyone would navigate to using Google search.

pixel by google reddit ads landing page

Quick Stats

  • Upvotes: 450-499
  • Length of run: Approximately 2 – 3 months
  • Comments turned on: No
  • Giving away gold: No
  • URL in ad copy: Yes
  • Using custom landing page: No
  • Using UTM parameters: Yes
  • Using brand logo as thumbnail: Yes
  • How many different ads: 3
  • If different ads is subreddit targeting detected: No
Sticky
March 09, 2017

Can I Require An Email To See the Landing Page in my Reddit Ad?

Question: Can I Require An Email To See the Landing Page in my Reddit Ad?

This question was posted to the Reddit Self-Serve Ads subreddit by Reddit Ads user askgeorgealonso after their ad was rejected.

Reddit Ads Policy Article IV, Section 19 seems to prohibt this type of behavior for an advertiser’s landing page. Reddit Ads support team member MyNameIzKhan told Askgeorgealonso that his landing page couldn’t require the email be filled out in order to see the content of a landing page.

My guess is that even with an (X) being added to the modal popup Reddit Ads would still reject the advertisement because it impedes how a user interacts with the content on a page.

The relevant article in the Reddit Ads Policy reads:

“For example, landing pages may not be designed primarily to serve advertisements or contain features that inhibit a user’s ability to interact with or leave the page.”

As I pointed out to MyNameIzKhan that doesn’t quite fit the modal lock on a page requesting an email to see the content since it doesn’t inhibit the ability to interact with the page very much or if an (X) to close the modal was added would allow full interaction. I’ve been told this section should be updated soon to better clarify what is and is not allowed on landing pages.

email modal with no ability to exit

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