The rise of Reddit: How sticker marketing could grow your business

Everybody knows Reddit as “the front page of the internet” and as one of the most popular websites on the web. With over 36 million user accounts and 169 million unique monthly visitors, Reddit is showing no signs of slowing down as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary.

Whereas most people who have used the internet have come across Reddit at some point, or will at least be able to recognise the alien logo that is plastered across the web, others may not know that the creators of Reddit have only ever spent $500 on advertising, and that a great deal of that money was spent on stickers.

Yep, stickers.

Remember those?

Most of us received stickers when being brave enough to sit in a dentist’s chair without picturing Steve Martin’s demented dentist from Little Shop of Horrors ­and diving out of the nearest window. Others will have received them at school when you did something good in class. Either way, they left you with a good feeling.

The Reddit Sticker Marketing Success Story

The founders of Reddit – Alexis Ohanian and his college friend Steve Huffman – understood the psychology behind stickers and started leaving them everywhere: handing them out at events all over the United States and sticking them on lampposts, walls, other marketing (cheeky devils) and all kinds of other places.

Suffice to say, it worked. Like the graffiti artist Banksy’s works, these stickers became synonymous with the brand and people started to recognise the alien logo and their subconscious would tell them to investigate further. This led to the millions of Reddit users, commenters and sharers that use the site today, and start-ups should definitely consider using the same tactic to raise their profile.

In this day and age, it takes more than simply starting up a profile on every social networking site to make an impact. You have to set yourself apart from everyone else and do something a little different. Sticker marketing is an inexpensive way to meet the eyes of hundreds – maybe thousands – of people in your local and surrounding communities, and create some buzz for your brand.

How to Become a Guerrilla

Guerrilla marketing is a term that means to market your company in an unconventional way that is also cost effective. Sticker marketing costs very little but gets a positive reaction from people because of their association with the form and the sheer fact that it is often something unexpected. Is there anything worse than getting spammed by a company on Facebook or Twitter? Yawn. Do something different, folks.

Here are some tips on how to become a guerrilla with sticker marketing:

Put your stickers somewhere useful, not just anywhere – Go into a bookstore armed by your stickers and slip them into books that are relevant to your industry. Just because The Fault in Our Stars sells more copies than a book from your industry doesn’t mean that the sticker is going to get the required reaction.

Hand them out at networking events and local business meet-ups – Like a business card or a flyer for your business, the sticker will serve as an introduction to your company, and because it is less conventional than a business card, it might actually have a more positive reaction because they haven’t seen something like it before.

Include your URL – There is not much point leaving stickers around everywhere if your logo or mascot isn’t instantly recognisable to people. Your website URL should be added to the sticker so that curious types can take a closer look at it and then be able to follow up to see what you’re all about.

Entice people in – If people find your sticker, head to your website and then shrug their shoulders because there is nothing else of interest there, you have lost that person. Why not give them an incentive to follow up on your sticker marketing? Give them a free consultation, offer them a 10% discount or a free eBook or something that keeps their attention for longer than it took to find you.

Sticker marketing is a superb way for start-ups and small businesses to put themselves at the forefront of their industry and build their business. It’s cheap, effective and an incredibly positive tool. Just make sure that the image you use on your stickers grabs the attention and doesn’t confuse, irritate or offend anyone. Do this and you’ll get the reaction you’re looking for.