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This is an update of our post of advertising on Digg and Reddit.

Online advertising has traditionally sat between a Cost Per Click model that charges advertisers based on the number of times their ad is clicked on by the target market, or a model where you pay per thousand impressions (CPM). The former method was pioneered by Google Adwords, and has become a favourite of online marketers who can use Analytics to assess the exact value of those clicks. The CPM method existed from the very beginning of the web, and has traditionally always been favoured by major newspapers and media outlets as a way of charging advertisers in the same way they always have, based on the number of eyeballs the advert receives.

With the advent of Social Media, and the explosion of blogging, advertisers now have a wide range of options at their finger tips. Depending on your budget and your target market, you can advertise to a small group of people, or to the entire online population just with a few clicks of the mouse.

The advantages of advertising online, compared to offline, are the massive range of targeting and analysis options available. Most systems have some sort of demographics on who you can target, and where on the site. You can also advertise just with static banners, or more active videos. Advertising on social media has its own unique elements. On Facebook, ads can be connected to a Facebook page, encouraging interaction within a user’s network. One news aggregators like Digg, advertisers can gather feedback about their ad through comments or votes, with engaging ads performing better and receiving favourable positions on the site.

Advertising on social media has its own unique potential pitfalls. Allowing feedback on a campaign can be good, as it encourages engagement. However untracked feedback can result in excessive negative sentiment, which could lead to backlash against advertisers.

We ran a range of campaigns for our clients across multiple media, and we thought we would share some of those results as a sample of what is available to businesses.


Digg.comReddit.comFacebook.comGoogle AdwordsBuy Sell
Startup Cost$20$20$20$10
Cost for the
Sample Campaign
Sample CampaignClick Through.01%6.49%.01%0.06%0.06%
Cost Per
Target LevelCategory Home (50 options)Any “subreddit” (hundreds)keyword targetingkeyword targetingWebsite only is a social news aggregator that allows users to vote on the most interesting news stories. An advertiser can have their own “story” inserted into the feeds in any of the categories on the site. Digg once was comfortably inside the top 100 websites on the web, however it now sits somewhere closer to 500. As with a lot of new media, the audience is mainly 18 to 34 and probably living at home. Whilst the audience is still substantial, it is estimated that it has fallen by about 50% to 3 million unique views per month.

Unlike other media outlets, Digg does not publish information online about its advertising opportunities. Most data we could find indicated that it is VERY expensive to advertise on Digg for the amount of click-through you get

The major benefits and risk to advertising on social networks is you can get a community discussion about your ad or product. On Digg, this is harnessed by allowing advertising costs to come down if your ad receives a certain number of votes.

It may be worthwhile to advertise on Digg as an alternative to TV or online Newspaper advertising, because the audience sizes are similar. Conversely though, it appears, it could cost less to write decent content and submit it to this social aggregator, rather than advertise directly. IDEAL FOR: Book Publishers LESS IDEAL FOR: Toothpaste Manufacturers has become one of the most popular properties on the web, with over half a billion pageviews per month. As another level of customisation, users can create their own public newsfeed, as a “subreddit”.

As another news aggregator, it offers advertisers the ability to promote their own story in the normal newsfeed. Unlike Digg however, advertisers can promote their ads to people who are reading any of the particular subreddits. There are interest groups as diverse as economics, cooking, fitness and money.

Reddit has grown as a community by being open and as transparent as possible. This means that the community are vigilant for scammers and businesses that don’t fit in to their own worldview. By all accounts you are advertising largely to college-going, bacon loving twenty-somethings with little money.

The unique way the site is divided means that if you are advertising a new Star Wars convention, or you are promoting a T-Shirt of a narwhal eating Kevin Rose, you will find an audience. With thousands of subreddits available, you can pretty much name your target. If you want to advertise to the 2000 odd subscribers to the Doctor Who subreddit, then this may be the way to go.

The costing for Reddit makes it particularly attractive to advertisers. A Sydney pub could advertise in the Sydney subreddit for dollars per click, and start their campaign for around $20.

IDEAL FOR: Magic: The Gathering wholesalers LESS IDEAL FOR: Insurance Brokers

Facebook has become the second most visited site on the web, and has one of the biggest user/pageview ratios. The engagement levels are high, meaning that advertisers can draw users into their narrative, and have the potential to hold their interest for a lot longer than other advertising. With several billion pageviews per month, Facebook allows advertisers unprecendented reach.

There is a wide range of targeting options available, based on what the user likes, where they have been before, and information from their profile. Advertisers can use the network to promote their own community on the site, or use their unique applications to encourage users to share and interact with their brand.

The cost for advertising on Facebook is still lower than advertising on Google, and based on a per click basis.

IDEAL FOR: Big brands with a large following NOT IDEAL FOR: Photocopier salesmen


 Google Adwords

The online advertising behemouth is the model on which all other online advertising is measured. The major benefits include targeting keywords and phrases, as well as reaching people when they are ready to buy. You can use Adwords to advertise on most of the popular sites on the web, with Google claiming you can reach 70% of the global online population with their program. The types of ads available range from 30 second videos on YouTube to standard text ads on

The main advantage to advertising on Google is they allow you to target people as they are searching for your topic. Google calls this “relevant advertising”, and is a big focus for their quality control process. The more relevant an ad or advertiser is, the less an advertiser has to pay.

The downsides to Adwords are not so often talked about. Adwords are creeping up in cost in many competitive categories, with Australians seeing a 6% rise in costs last year. Some advertisers expect to spend $5 to $10 per click, which puts some advertising out of the reach of those with a small budget. To get a reasonable return advertisers should be expected to start with spending at least $100 and spread the load into keywords that are less commonly used.

IDEAL FOR: The local plumbers LESS IDEAL FOR: Insurance Brokers is one of the largest internet advertising brokerages. Some of the internet’s most popular blogging websites lease space through this system, allowing advertisers to have access to wide range of interests and readers. Ads come in a wide variety of flavours, from 250  250 ads that can be leased for a fixed fee each month, to banners that are charged out at a CPM rate. The benefit obviously for bloggers is they can sell space on their website, and make money if they have an interesting enough audience. The benefit for advertisers is that they can have large ads displayed on websites that sometimes get a few million pageviews each month.

Advertisers can become a part of communities that are engaged and have a high number of pageviews per unique visitor. This means that as well as being great for targeting niche audiences, this type of advertising is valuable as a branding exercise. For less than $50 a month, a business can advertise on a bundle of websites at the same time.

The only main downside is there is no way to determine where your ad is positioned. On other advertising media, the advertiser can pay more to get preferential placing. On, it is the blogger/website owner that decides what ads get placed where. Consequently we have seen ads placed well below the fold, so advertisers may get the pageviews, but probably not the eyeballs to match.

IDEAL FOR: Design Software Programmers LESS IDEAL FOR: Used Car Salesmen



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