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Reddit updates self-serve ad-buying tool with conversion tracking, audience reporting

Reddit will tell brands how their ads performed with their target audiences and how many impressions led to site visits.

Reddit will give advertisers a better idea of who saw their ads and how many of those people wound up on a brand’s site, even if they didn’t click on an ad.

On Monday, Reddit announced that it will officially update its self-serve ad-buying tool to provide more granular campaign reporting. Among the new additions are performance breakdowns based on target audience and conversion tracking through the conversion pixel Reddit released in August 2017. Brands have had the option of upgrading to the new advertising dashboard for a few weeks, but now Reddit will roll out the updated version as the default interface.

The updated ads dashboard improves upon Reddit’s existing interface that centers on table-stakes statistics, such as a campaign’s average CPC and CPM, as well as top-level performance metrics, including the number of impressions and clicks an ad received.

Advertisers will now be able to see how many of their ads impressions were delivered to their target audiences. For each Subreddit, interest category and location that a brand explicitly targeted, Reddit will list the number of impressions served to and clicks received from that audience, as well as the total amount of money spent on that segment. The dashboard will also report how many upvotes or downvotes — effectively likes and dislikes — an ad received with breakdowns by audience segment. Reddit will also let brands see how their ads performed on desktop versus mobile  (Reddit does not currently allow self-serve advertisers to buy its mobile app inventory).

To be clear, Reddit’s Subreddit reporting is not the same as placement reporting. Reddit does not tell advertisers where exactly their ads appeared on its site, nor does it allow brands to specify which Subreddits are allowed to feature their ads. Instead, advertisers can target their ads to people who subscribe to or browse specific Subreddits, and Reddit will aim the brand’s ads at these people on Subreddits that have been approved by the company to feature ads. In other words, Subreddit-based targeting is akin to interest-based targeting. The Subreddit-based and interest-based audience reporting breakdowns only include the Subreddits and interest categories explicitly targeted by the advertiser when setting up the campaign. That is also the case for the location-based reporting, which breaks down performance by the countries and US Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in which the ad was served (based on the audiences’ IP addresses).

Reddit’s conversion tracking is limited at the moment. Unlike other platforms that provide conversion tracking — such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter — Reddit does not allow brands to track separate conversion events. Instead, Reddit will compile conversions across all the pages on a brand’s site carrying its conversion pixel into a single number for each campaign. So, for example, a brand can’t see the number of people who added a product to a shopping cart after clicking an ad versus how many completed a purchase after clicking an ad.

If a brand wanted to track a specific conversion event, like purchases, it would need to only include Reddit’s conversion pixel on the corresponding pages, such as a purchase confirmation page. Reddit plans to eventually add more features to its conversion-tracking tool, according to a company spokesperson.

Those potential future features may entail extending the conversion pixel’s functionality beyond ad measurement to include ad targeting. Currently, brands cannot use the conversion pixel to retarget site visitors with ads on Reddit, the spokesperson confirmed.