Successful marketing research: how brands use Reddit

You have all explored Reddit at some point in your entrepreneurial journey because everyone keeps talking about ‘community outreach’. The thing is — Reddit is a great community platform, but only a few make full use of it. Most fail to realize its true potential. In this article, we will share how companies have used Reddit for marketing research and got success. 

Why Reddit for market research? 

In his book Embedded Entrepreneur, Arvid Kahl mentions that as a business, one needs to embed themselves in the community. This helps one understand the voice of the consumer and create a customer-first solution.

Source: Embedded Entrepreneur on Kindle

Reddit might feel ‘odd’ as a social media platform to you. But interestingly, Reddit is one of the most popular social media platforms in the US. 

Every day millions of users share their opinions about products, ideas, problems, etc. You can get a lot of insight into the voice of customers using Reddit. Here’s why you should think about it: 

Successful Reddit market research campaigns.

For market research, an active community is a boon, which Reddit promises for every industry. Here are a few real-life examples of how brands are using Reddit for research, marketing, and improving their reach: 

Noosa used Reddit for polls & finding popular flavors.

noosa, a popular yogurt brand, used Reddit Polls in the form of a Back to School Campaign. They set up an engagement post on Reddit, asking people to upvote their favorite noosa flavors in the comments section. 

noosa Yoghurt x Reddit | Case Study

As Redditors love polls, they started sharing their favorite flavors, giving the company deep insight into the most popular flavors. Also, the user-generated content (UGC) by Redditors led to an increase in organic brand engagement and recall.  

The company then used the results to create a custom infographic and ran it as a promoted post on Reddit. This led to a multiplier effect in terms of engagement. All this led to the following: 

  • 49% increase in brand engagement and recall 
  • 30% increase in brand favorability 
  • 15x increase in purchase intent 
  • Clear insights into the most popular flavors from the brand, leading to focused targeting in the future. 

Nissan x Amazon used Reddit to create hype.

Nissan had a pretty bad relationship with Reddit. Its CEO, Carlos Ghosn, had a disastrous AMA on the platform, but the brand turned the tables by using Reddit to promote one of its products based on what customers wanted to see. 

Here’s the whole story. 

So, Nissan asked its community managers to be as human as possible and ‘get out there’ to turn things around. As the community managers had some Reddit experience, they posted a question on the r/promos subreddit — If you could have one thing from Amazon, what would it be? 

The company managed to get hundreds of comments. It was like a giveaway for the Redditors by the brand. 

The brand ended up buying and shipping a lot of stuff based on random comments — roller stakes, books, masks, shirts, etc. But Nissan cleverly used the opportunity to understand what the audience wants and, in turn, get PR and marketing benefits. There was a large Amazon box delivered in Wisconsin.

Source: AdWeek

Some Redditors caught wind of the ‘box’ and started posting the images on Reddit, which claimed the top spot on the platform soon after. 

The company wanted to promote Versa Note, its new launch and wanted to create hype around it. To remind you, it was back in 2013 when eCommerce was not that big. Naturally, the craze of being delivered a car by eCommerce brought many eyeballs to the brand (and lots of good publicity). 

While not exactly a market research success story, the case study shows how something as simple as a research poll can be used for guerilla marketing and get the spotlight right at you. 

Beardbrand used voice of customer on Reddit for growth.

Beardbrand is an online grooming products company that sells beard care products like oils, trimmers, combs, brushes, mustache wax, etc. They wanted to start marketing their product back in the day and turned to Reddit for rescue. 

A natural fit was the r/beards subreddit. But as Redditors don’t like being sold to, they took a totally different route — an approach that would supercharge their marketing with real problems.  

The subreddit had a lot of questions about beard oils, something the company already had in its product portfolio. 

So, instead of just plugging in the links, they posted a clear, precise, and informative post about Beard Oils (with no backlinks). 

Then they started interacting with valuable comments —  answering user questions about applications, composition, and more. 

Imagine the value of real, community-backed queries and pain points and how much the brand would have leveraged it to optimize its landing pages and improve conversion rates, marketing, and positioning. All they had to do was hear the voice of customers (queries about beard oil), be helpful, and everything else fits into the picture.

That’s what happens when you keep an eye on what potential customers are saying online about your brand, competitors, or industry in general. 

Scraping Bee used Reddit to find their product market fit.

ScrapingBee is a web scraping API that allows you to speed up your web scraping efforts. Interestingly, the idea for ScrapingBee came to the founders after their success with a similar product that got a great response on Reddit. 

The founders, Pierre & Kevin, launched a side project, ShopToList, on the r/frugalmalefashion subreddit. The product was a universal wishlist for multiple eCommerce platforms. It got almost 1000 upvotes and 600 users, giving them a taste of market validation.  

But they were not keen on taking the product idea ahead, despite the Reddit success, as it would mean a lot of work to even break even. An analysis of their users (and usage patterns) gave them a critical use case, and product development insight — users were using their product to spy on their competitor’s pricing. 

So, they pivoted and launched a price monitoring app for eCommerce platforms. But that was little success either due to conversion optimization problems. Basically, they had validated their idea but didn’t have the fuel to turn it into a cash cow. 

They didn’t feel defeated and combined learnings from their previous ideas to build and launch Scraping Bee — a tool that would help business owners quickly scrape data online without limits or blockades.

Their community-backed research approach and close interaction with redditors helped them decide on features faster, stay lean, and achieve success in a short time. Their product, Scraping Bee, registered a $3000 MRR within just four months. 

Had they not pivoted based on the voice of the customer, they would have been able to perfect their conversion strategy. Sometimes, all you need to do is be patient and listen to what your audience wants. 

Dig deeper into marketing research insights with GapScout.

Businesses worldwide have been trying unique ways to get inside the heads of their customers — from Reddit interactions to full-fledged voice of customer programs. Sometimes, all they need is just a solution that can bring audience insights to their inbox on autopilot, like GapScout. 

GapScout scans all online reviews around the internet and brings real audience insights about your brand, your competitors, or your products in real time. 

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Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol Sachdeva
Anmol is an independent content marketing consultant who loves to write actionable pieces on small business growth, marketing automation, market research, and growth as a solopreneur. Reach out on Twitter.

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