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Reddit Advertising – Technical Analysis and Case Study

Authors Note: This is the second in our “Taveo Insights” series of posts dedicated to interesting and useful things we (and our users) have learned while using Taveo.

 

In our last series we examined non-human clicking of links on Twitter. Today we will be examining Reddit’s advertising platform.

At its core Reddit is a large group of message boards broken down by category or interest, which are called subreddits. There is a subreddit for just about everything one can imagine. For example there is a NFL subreddit, which mostly contains American football related discussion. According to Alexa, Reddit is the 11th most popular site in the US and 25th in the world. If you want to advertise to a specific niche, chances are there is a subreddit waiting for you.

Reddit’s advertising platform itself is a bit basic by some standards. Instead of a real time bidding system everything is a flat CPM (cost per thousand impressions) price. Subreddits cost $1.00 per thousand impressions, Countries $0.75 and US Cities $5.00. If someone has already purchased all of the available impressions for the subreddit you want to advertise to, you simply have to wait and try again at a later date. Also, the cost per view model puts the pressure on you to advertise effectively. Google Adwords and Bing don’t charge you until someone actually clicks on your ad. This helps align incentives. Google doesn’t get paid unless you have quality ads. Reddit gets paid not matter what.

Reddit’s advertising system was one of the inspirations for creating Taveo. To say it is simplistic would be kind. The metrics are very rudimentary and very few filtering options are available If you advertise to multiple subreddits, you can’t even correlate it to a click!  There is no breakdown of device, location, browser, etc. Here is a screenshot of the basic analytics provided.

Screenshot of Reddits Advertising Platform

Reddit Advertising – Actual Test Results

As a test of Reddit’s advertising system, we announced the Taveo beta test to a few different subreddits that I thought might be interested. The ads ran over the course of 3 months, from January 3rd 2015 to March 16th. All of our ads clicks were tracked using Taveo.Unfortunately we did not track impressions, simply clicks. I’m honestly not sure if Reddit allows you to track the individual impressions, that is something we are looking into. Also note that while Reddit allows URL redirects, they must be to the same domain! This means you cannot use tav.so Links, you must setup your Domain with Taveo and use that.

Taveo Geographic analysis of reddit advertising

After our Reddit advertising run was complete, we compared Taveo click stats side-by-side with Reddit. In just about every case where Reddit claimed a click had happened, Taveo registered the same click. Reddit gives hourly breakdowns, so this was tricky to correlate exactly. Overall Reddit registered 76 clicks on our ads, while Taveo claimed 147. On days where Reddit claimed 0 clicks, Taveo did as well. We believe the extra clicks were mostly due to users browsers clicking our ad multiple times (probably to pre-fetch the data, back button, etc.) as well as Google Safe Browse and similar tools that are robots, but masquerade as humans. Overall, we would say that Reddit’s platform does indeed deliver the clicks they claim!

Finally to demonstrate the usefulness of Taveo, we have a few screenshots of how Taveo is displaying the click results. Note that this is aggregate data across multiple ads we had running. Taveo can break it down further, if desired.

Taveo analysis of reddit advertising

Taveo Stats, filtering and graphs


 
 

Raw Data

This is the raw data as captured by Taveo and Reddit.

Date clicks (Reddit) clicks (Taveo) Difference
2015-01-03 4 13 31%
2015-01-04 4 9 44%
2015-01-05 3 2 150%
2015-01-06 0 0 0%
2015-01-07 1 2 50%
2015-01-08 1 1 100%
2015-01-09 1 2 50%
2015-01-10 0 0 0%
2015-01-11 0 0 0%
2015-01-12 1 1 100%
2015-01-13 1 1 100%
2015-01-14 1 4 25%
2015-01-15 1 1 100%
2015-01-16 0 0 0%
2015-01-17 1 2 50%
2015-01-18 1 1 100%
2015-01-19 1 2 50%
2015-01-20 1 1 100%
2015-01-21 4 7 57%
2015-01-22 5 11 45%
2015-01-23 4 5 80%
2015-01-24 1 2 50%
2015-01-25 7 7 100%
2015-01-26 5 11 45%
2015-01-27 1 8 12%
2015-01-28 1 1 100%
2015-01-29 4 5 80%
2015-01-30 1 2 50%
2015-01-31 0 0 0%
2015-02-01 1 1 100%
2015-02-02 0 0 0%
2015-02-03 1 1 100%
2015-02-04 0 0 0%
2015-02-05 0 0 0%
2015-02-06 0 0 0%
2015-02-07 1 1 100%
2015-02-08 0 0 0%
2015-02-09 0 0 0%
2015-02-10 0 0 0%
2015-02-11 0 0 0%
2015-02-12 0 0 0%
2015-02-13 2 7 29%
2015-02-14 0 0 0%
2015-02-15 0 0 0%
2015-02-16 0 0 0%
2015-02-17 1 5 20%
2015-02-18 0 0 0%
2015-02-19 0 0 0%
2015-02-20 1 1 100%
2015-02-21 0 0 0%
2015-02-22 1 2 50%
2015-02-23 2 2 100%
2015-02-24 1 2 50%
2015-02-25 1 1 100%
2015-02-26 0 0 0%
2015-02-27 0 0 0%
2015-02-28 0 0 0%
2015-03-01 0 0 0%
2015-03-02 0 0 0%
2015-03-03 1 14 7%
2015-03-04 1 2 50%
2015-03-05 0 0 0%
2015-03-06 1 1 100%
2015-03-07 0 0 0%
2015-03-08 0 0 0%
2015-03-09 1 1 100%
2015-03-10 0 0 0%
2015-03-11 0 0 0%
2015-03-12 0 0 0%
2015-03-13 1 1 100%
2015-03-14 1 0 0%
2015-03-15 0 0 0%
2015-03-16 1 2 50%
2015-03-17 0 0 0%
2015-03-18 0 0 0%
2015-03-19 0 0 0%
2015-03-20 0 0 0%
2015-03-21 1 1 100%
2015-03-22 1 1 100%
Totals 76 147 52%
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