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How to do Reddit ads right: Framing

14 days-long experiment with using different contexts and "hooks" in copy and visuals for Reddit ads.

When I was running an e-comm business we used the concept of Framing a lot. At first, we presumed that visuals and copy that places a product in a relevant context would convert better. Then we ran A/B tests. Which proved that our hypothesis was correct.

  • Products with a framing badge “The top choice” converted 8% better than the same product with the same pricing and description but without the badge.

  • Product pages where we used contextual visuals as a top image converted better than the pages where a product was put outside of the context.

Now, working with startups and mostly SaaS who do a lot of paid acquisition, I started wondering if using the same principles would work for ads. Would using a visual that is highly relevant to the context work better? Would copy that uses frames like "Product of the Day" etc. be more efficient that the one that doesn't use it?

To test it, I ran a 14-days-long experiment. I went on Reddit. Why Reddit? Well, it’s cheaper than Facebook, and as I’m not getting paid for my curiosity, I decided to go with the less expensive option.

The setup

  • I chose one volunteer startup — .

  • I chose 2 relevant subs to place my ads. As Krock is a service for video publishing professionals, I went with r/Videoproduction (5K members) and r/Videography (200K members).

  • I searched for the most popular posts on both to pinpoint the context that would be the most engaging and resonating here.

This was the one for r/Videoproduction

This was the one for r/Videography

Next, I created a bunch of visuals and copy that would represent 4 different scenarios:

1. r/Videoproduction

a) Copy uses a frame, visual uses a frame

b) Copy uses framing, visual does not

c) Copy doesn’t use a frame, visual uses a frame


2. r/Videography

a) Copy uses a frame, visual uses a frame

b) Copy uses a frame but the visual not

c) Copy doesn’t use a frame, visual uses a frame

d) Unframed copy, unframed visual


The results

The campaign was active for 6 days. I had a $10 daily spend limit on each creative. I spent $35 in 6 days and got 354 clicks.

Relatively small subreddit with 5K members yielded almost no clicks. Which is reasonable as I chose the goal of the campaign clicks vs reach. However, the CTR is not that bad meaning people who actually saw the add were more likely to click on it. But 2 is not a relevant number to indicate any outcome so we skip this sub.

But the most exciting part is that the unframed visual and unframed copy turned out to be the champion!

A very straightforward visual won much more clicks than copy and visual more aligned with something that I believed would be resonate with this specific subreddit.

Why did this happen?

Here’s the explanation I have.

There’s framing. And there’s framing.

Meaning, the winning creative actually WAS very contextual.

What I did — I displayed the way the service functions, featuring the most painful part of the video approval process (how to build a flawless communication with a customer who struggles to explain what part of the video should be removed, edited or worked on). This immediately put the tool in the familiar context for video professional. Ouch! This hurts! That what they would think — and click away.

However, the copy ended up having no effect on the campaign’s efficiency. Copy with the framing that would work on the landing page got the same number of clicks as the copy without any “triggers”. Why? Probably because Reddit users pay more attention to the visual than the title of the ad.


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