Reddit’s Roxy Young on growing the site’s user base (especially among women)

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Reddit bills itself as “the front page of the internet” with more than 300 million average monthly active users. But from a marketer’s perspective, much of it represents an untapped audience

“We’re very lucky in that we have seen our top-line awareness continue to grow year over year, largely organically,” said Roxy Young, vp of marketing at Reddit. Next comes bridging what she calls “the relevance gap” — convincing people who know about Reddit to browse and join the website.

On this week’s episode of Making Marketing, Young talked about how the company aims to bring some gender balance to its user base, the technical features it’s still catching up on after last year’s website redesign, and her own favorite subreddits.

Here are a few highlights from the conversation, lightly edited for clarity.

The relevance gap
“What we’re working on as a marketing organization and across the whole company is closing what we call ‘the relevance gap.’ You may know of Reddit, but the perception that it’s a product or a service for you, we as marketers need to help people understand. ‘What are people doing on Reddit, and what would make me need to use Reddit on a daily basis?’ Across men and women we can see big differences in the relevance gap. If you’re male and you’re aware of Reddit, there’s a high likelihood that you believe it’s relevant for you. There are topics and communities that are very applicable to the things that you’re interested in. And the gap was larger with women.”

Catching up with embedding
“If you’re a publisher and you are writing about any one of these topics, we need to make it easier for you to embed Reddit content. There’s so much content and great conversation happening everyday on Reddit. And this is just a really basic thing, but we need to make it easier for them to pull content from Reddit, to cite it, to source it. And if people are reading an article in a trusted publication and they see ‘oh wow, here’s a real live example of someone using this product and having a conversation about it. Oh, it’s on Reddit. Fantastic!’ Maybe you’ll click in. Maybe you’ll come to Reddit. Maybe you’ll start engaging in that community. When we’re building out our consumer marketing plan for 2019, we had an explicit goal of impressions across relevant categories, and that team is actually on my team. I said ‘this is a great way for contextually relevant conversations that are happening on Reddit to be in a place people know, trust, and makes sense for them.”

Reddit’s app strategy
“We do spend a little bit to get people to download our apps. Reddit was a little late to the app game. We launched our native apps in 2016, and there were many other ways in which people were consuming Reddit content, and so part of our marketing strategy over the last two years was, ‘Hey, let’s just make sure that when people are searching in the App Store and they’re trying to find Reddit, that we show up and you can download our app instead of another way to consume Reddit content.'”

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