3 Keys to Targeting Online Communities


By Win Salyards, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

Targeting professional online communities for your ad campaign through LinkedIn, Reddit, or specialized sites like Stack Overflow can have great success. Still, there are some key things to consider when choosing communities to target as well as how you target them.

Here are 3 key things to consider:

Is it relevant? 

When finding online communities for ad targeting, the first thing to look at is their relevance to your brand. Some communities may have a name that suggests they’re one thing but are entirely about a different topic, or they may in fact be related to your focus area. Still, they may not be frequented by your target audience often enough. For example, the Reddit community r/superbowl isn’t, in fact, about the Super Bowl but instead focuses on superb owls. It may be a silly example, but the point stands–ensure relevance.

Ensure activity

This is maybe a no-brainer. Make sure the communities you choose are active. Communities are born and die every day online, so spend some time looking and checking the activity rate in a community and ensure there are enough people active to see and potentially care about your message.

Make sure it’s well moderated

Finally, when looking at communities for your outreach and campaign, review how they are moderated. Any communities targeted by your brand should have solid safe-for-work moderation policies focused on keeping discussions on topic. This will help to ensure your brand’s messages are seen by the right people and around content that won’t reflect poorly on your brand. 


Online professional and topical communities have great potential as a channel for reaching directly to your audiences. But, they can also be a lemon if you don’t do your research.

Make sure you do research before you launch your next ad campaign.