Why SMBs should make community part of their marketing strategy

Online communities is a marketing trend that is here to stay - learn how SMBs are participating in communities to attract, engage and delight customers on Reddit.

Best Practices
Jordan Cushman, Sr. Manager, SMB Sales
April 12, 2023

Whether you’re a business owner managing your own marketing strategy or a seasoned marketer, building an online community shouldn’t just be a consideration, it should be top-of-mind. 

We’ve all heard the stories of how businesses started before the internet, many SMB’s had little chance to make an impact in a highly competitive market with fierce competition and established brands. While those days are long gone, today’s businesses still have their own unique challenges in the online world. 

With over 300 million people in the U.S. on social media1, having an online presence for your brand is important but it’s not enough, participating in an online community should be an important consideration. 

The pandemic altered people’s sense of community, the physical isolation we experienced as a society and the acceleration of a work- from-anywhere culture changed the way we use the internet. We began to share information, expertise, and advice, and increasingly looked to social media to find meaningful connection rather than just fleeting distraction. Today, 63% of Gen Z and Millennials say online communities are just as powerful as in-person connections2

Find new ways to connect with your audience

This huge shift in the way people are connected online is an opportunity for all businesses big and small to be able to reach new customers on a more even playing field. This is why 90% of social media marketers say that online community building is absolutely essential to success in 20233

This new trend is here to stay, integrating your brand into conversations that are happening in niche online communities is a must. For many small and medium-sized businesses it makes more sense to get involved in a consumer-led online community like Reddit, the advantages to that is having a large captive audience which saves you time, effort and money vs. building one from scratch. 

Reddit ranks as the 6th most-visited website in the U.S., and the number one platform for community and outperforms all other platforms4.

Reddit is #1 for being a place for community and outperforms competitors in all four tenets
89% vs 77% comp avg for membership, 87% vs 77% for comp avg for influence, 82% vs 74% comp avg for need fulfillment, 87% vs 80% comp avg for shared experience.
As established by psychologiest McMillan and Chavis in 1986.
*denotes Reddit is significantly higher than competitive average at a 95% confidence interval

With over 100,000 Reddit communities from wildly popular subreddits about skin health and makeup trends like r/SkincareAddiction and r/MakeupAddiction to deep discussions and honest feedback about subscription boxes on r/BeautyBoxes—there’s a community for everyone. 

Tap into communities with a high-captive audience

An easy way to get started with your community-based marketing efforts is to advertise on an already established platform like Reddit who is synonymous with community. The advantage is having a high-intent captive audience, with shared interests, seeking to learn, share their experiences and where people form opinions about brands, products and services.

Reddit uniquely fulfills all tenets of community
Membership, belonging on reddit based on passions and interests, not social connections. Influence, within the community on reddit comes from one's contributions. Shared emotional experience, as a result of a shared community experience on reddit. Need fulfillment, reddit is additive to users' lives and has a positive impact on mental health.
Source: TalkShoppe, Find Your People US, n=2000, 13-54 year old, social media users, February 2022

Another shift that’s happening with online communities is that social search is becoming more popular than search engines.

Brandwatch consumer data found that almost 30M unique social media authors mentioned “reviews,” “advice on,” “pros and cons,” “alternatives,” and “best option,” on their posts, looking for more authentic sources of information that they can trust5.




Show up where your audience goes to be informed

This is another reason to consider Reddit, the number one reason why people visit is to be informed by content that is specific, authentic and relevant. Research shows that 90% of Reddit users trust the platform to learn about new solutions or products and brands6.

The times of scrolling are changing, people are seeking to be engaged, to take a deep dive into a subject or community. You want your brand on a platform that allows you to engage with an audience who isn’t just looking to scroll, but to learn, form opinions and who are ready to buy. Unlike other platforms, Reddit is where people find their people and where communities are born and thrive.

The #1 reason users come to Reddit is to be informed by content that is specific, authentic, and relevant
Over 100k active communities to join, anonymous pseudonymity makes users feel safer sharing with their communities. Upvoting increases the visibility of the most relevant content.
Source: YPulse, US Power of Community, 2021. Reddit Internal, Global 2021

If you are ready to find your people where they find community, it’s simple to get started: 

  1. First things first is to sign up for a Reddit account, and add your payment information. 
  2. Next, you’ll want to add the Reddit pixel, this is an important step for tracking your ad campaign results. 
  3. Finally, you’ll choose your campaign objectives, and narrow your targeting to your audience or upload a custom audience.
  4. This is the fun part, choose your ad content. When posting on an online platform but especially on Reddit don't post content that feels like an ad or press release. Instead, showcase what makes your brand or product unique. Audiences respond more to content that gives them value, even if it's branded. 9 in 10 community members are likely to purchase from a brand that contributes to their group in a meaningful way7.

Now that you are ready to launch your campaign, explore the other unique ways to engage with your community. If you want to stay ahead of the trends, building an active online community is no longer optional - find your people where they find community today.




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Belinda Neff, SMB Marketing Manager

Sources: 1 Demand Sage, Social Media Users — How Many People Use Social Media In 2023. 2 Social Media users in the world, 2023, Demand Sage. 3 2023 Global Social Media Trends Report, Hubspot x Brandwatch. 4 Semrush, US, February 2023. 5 2023 Global Social Media Trends Report, Hubspot x Brandwatch. 6 AdWeek, Why Brands should be thinking more about community, March 2023. 7 YPulse, Power of Community, US ,2021.