Content Marketing, at its core, comes down to solving the same problems that your product solves through the media you create and promote. So what is the first thing a lot of people are all doing when they have a problem?
Right, they Google it.
One thing you might have noticed lately is that when you Google a question, one of the websites that always seems to pop up with an answer is Quora. And if you’re seeing Quora popping up and giving answers, this is probably true for many of your customers as well.
So what is this Quora? Well, Quora is THE biggest Q&A platform with more than 190 million monthly active users, and whenever you have such a big platform of people searching for answers to their questions, you know this is a significant opportunity for any marketer.
And the beautiful thing about Quora is that there are a lot of interesting categories where people post questions and answer them, so no matter what type of business you’re running, you can use it to grow your website traffic.
And it is not just traffic, as we’ve already seen earlier. Quora can also help you find content ideas and build your brand. But before you can get anything out of it, just like with all marketing efforts in life, you need to start using it first and grow the reputation of someone who knows her or his stuff.
In this blog post, we will run you through the works, from starting a Quora account to building your business and getting more customers.
Table of Contents
- Why do you need a Quora marketing strategy?
- Step 1: How to create an account on Quora
- Step 2: Finding & Following Topics interesting topics on Quora
- Step 3: How to write good answers on Quora
- Step 4: How to use Quora for your marketing
- Step 5: Measure your results
Why do you need a Quora marketing strategy?
According to Quantcast, Quora reaches around 29 million people each month in just the United States, which is a huge audience full of people searching for answers. For marketers, this brings in a lot of potential reasons why you should consider using it for your marketing:
- Gain exposure to yourself and your brand to over 29 million people
- You can build and showcase your expertise on the topics that matter most to you
- You can learn from others in your industry, influencers, customers, etc.
- People also have potential questions about your product that you can help them with or are searching for solutions in your industry.
- You can use it as a marketing research tool by asking questions yourself
While all of these advantages are on Quora itself, one other advantage happens not on Quora but on other websites.
By writing on Quora, you have a good chance of being featured in major publications like Forbes. This is because many major publications are starting to source content directly from Quora and using specific answers straight as content on their website.
In other words, enough reasons for you not to miss out on this great opportunity and start leveraging this Q&A social network right now. One final remark before we dive in is that Quora is the same just like any other form of content marketing where you’re trying to solve your customers’ problems. Or as Ash of SmartHustle says it:
However, hustling or selling is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing on Quora. Instead, aim to spread knowledge.
Keeping that in mind, let’s get started!
Step 1: How to create an account on Quora
If you don’t have an account yet, it’s time first to start creating an account and setting up your profile. By heading to quora.com, you will be greeted with a welcome page to begin creating your account.
From here, it is just six steps to end up with a complete setup profile. From using Facebook Connect or your email address for signing up to selecting interests, topics you might know something about, other languages, identifying available friends, all the way to seeing the “newsfeed” for the first time with questions you might know the answer to.
However, a good profile is always so much more than just the basics. The real beauty comes after you’ve signed up, and you can start optimizing your profile.
Optimizing your Quora profile
And it all starts by adding your bio to your profile. Quora always shows the first 50 characters of your profile (your name and bio) as a tagline above your answers. By mentioning your brand name as part of those first 50 characters, you’re sure always to get visibility for it.
Next, your full bio can contain clickable links and even @-mentions (like on Twitter to other users).
To make the most of your bio, you can create multiple different ones, each showcasing your specific knowledge around a particular topic. Because depending on the answer you’re giving, Quora allows you to select a specific bio. To set up a topic-specific bio, click on your profile page. You’ll see a list of “Knows About” topics in the right column. Next to each topic is a link to “Describe your experience.” Clicking here will let you set the topic-specific bio.
Just like with marketing on LinkedIn, your bio or headline is a fantastic opportunity to optimize for certain keywords relevant to your industry. Be aware of the 50-character limit, though; you don’t want it to end up with many ellipses.
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Next up is your description, or about me section, while, of course, your description is a great place to talk about your expertise. Your “about me” section can also be an opportunity for you to drive more click to your website, and since Quora is so well indexed in search engines, it will also help you to generate some SEO love.
Think of your description as a good homepage on your website. You could answer 1000 questions on Quora, but if you don’t end up generating leads, all your work is for nothing. That is why you must optimize your “about me” section as a landing page. Include elements like a relevant offer, social validation, links to your other content, a memorable picture, etc.
Complete your Quora account by adding well-written, detailed areas of expertise, interests, cities you know about, schools and colleges you attended, previous companies, and your other social media accounts.
To link your profile to your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts, visit Settings on Quora. Just click on your name in the upper right.
Go to Settings to connect your social media accounts to Quora, so they are displayed on your profile page.
All this helps you get found on Quora and may make it easier for people to seek you out when they’re looking for Quora users to answer their questions.
If you’ve just created an account (or created it ages ago but never really did anything with it, be sure to spend some time browsing the “newsfeed” with questions already and upvoting some answers. These upvotes immediately appear on your public profile, showing that you’re active on the site without investing too much into it.
Build a Quora page for your business
Quora organizes its website around different topics. Topics are discussions around different keywords, and when you start searching on Quora, you will automatically see invites to check out these topics.
In many cases, these keywords could also be your brand name.
Like Wikipedia, all pages can be created and edited by any platform member. That means if you start typing in your brand name and there is no company yet, Quora will suggest that you create a topic around it. The easiest way to do this is by adding your company to your profile on the about page.
After you’ve created your company page, click the link to customize it. You can add your company’s logo and description, and remember, other Quora users can edit your company page, so keep an eye on it.
If your business is already part of a topic on Quora, you can still customize the topic page with your correct logo and description.
Step 2: Finding & Following Topics interesting topics on Quora
Now that your profile is set up and you’ve created a topic for your business, it is time to start identifying and following topics that interest you and your business.
Since so many questions are asked daily, it might feel overwhelming to identify the questions that will get you the most traction. If you’re spending hours looking for quality questions, you’re wasting your time, and you still will not have written any word, not getting any traction.
Quora has more than 400,000 topics ranging from Artificial Intelligence & Tech to Food & Dating. The best marketers can use these collections of topics for inspiration around the content they can create on their own site and then leverage to republish via an answer on Quora. It’s the perfect content marketing remix.
You need to start a small process to identify the “hidden gems” and the best questions to help you get the most traction. There are a couple of ways to do this, but let’s discuss how we’d like to identify the best topics and questions.
It all starts with reading many different questions and their answers on relevant topics to your business. One way to identify more different verticals to start targeting is by looking for the profiles of the people you always see returning and answering questions in your basic set of topics. When you visit their profile, click the “topics” link on the left. This will also give you an overview of all the topics they are following.
If you look at the above example image of the profile from Noah Kagan, you can see the topics that he is following and that we’re not following yet. By following the same type of topics, we know we will be getting potentially excellent questions that we can also start to answer.
If you then go to a topic, select “Questions” on the right side of the page to see all questions related to that topic.
Not all questions are created equal. Now just because many questions are being asked in a topic doesn’t mean you start to answer all of them. You need to be as tactical as possible not to waste time answering questions that, in the end, don’t bring any value to you. So what are good questions that deserve an answer from you?
- Have a high ratio of followers compared to the number of answers provided. When something has six or seven times the amount of followers, then there are answers at the moment;
- Have a lot of followers, but most responses are terrible. This will help your response to stand out better;
- Have the option to add a personal image to complement your answer;
- Are recent if the question is more recent, it means the question will be fresh on the asker’s mind, and they’ll be more likely to upvote your answer or engage you further. Also, the younger the question, the better your chances of sitting at the top of the pile when you give a good answer;
- Are relevant to what you’re trying to sell, or that is in line with your bio;
- Have an emotional pull on them. People love emotions in reading answers, and questions that have an emotional pull make it easier for you to write a genuine answer;
Are good questions that deserve a bookmark using the “answer later” button:
By going through all the topics and questions like this, you can focus on gathering as many different places where you can focus your expertise. Afterward, you can click “Answer” at the top of your screen, then click “Answer Later” on the left to access all the questions you saved.
If you want, you can ask a virtual assistant to identify these hidden gems of questions that deserve your attention.
Let them create a spreadsheet with a link to the question worth answering, with a column for the follower ratio, age, topic name, etc. This will let you focus on answering the questions instead of finding them.
Once you’ve responded to 20 or 30 questions on the same topic, you will be surfaced as an expert about it and invited to respond.
This leads to a snowball effect where you’re actually getting in front of the right type of people who want to know more about your company or products. And now, they are looking to you for the best possible answers.
Step 3: How to write good answers on Quora
You’ve got a profile and identified questions worth answering, so now it is time to start answering questions yourself. As we stated earlier with the quote of Ashwin Satyanarayana, the goal is to spread knowledge and not be too promotional.
Before you start to write down your answers, though, have a look at what the others answered the question you’re about to answer. The answers with the most upvotes are the most important ones to focus on here. When you read through these answers, you need to ask yourself:
- Is there something in the answer that you can expand upon?
- Is there something missing in the answer?
- Is the information provided still up-to-date? Or is it completely incorrect, and do you have the proof to show so?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you’ve got a perfect starting point for you to start formulating your answer.
Now it’s time to start writing your answer. How? There are several ways to do this to make the most impact:
Write step-by-step answers
Like this article, people like to read step-by-step answers; it guides them through a process they can quickly follow. It also makes the content accessible to skim through quickly and to only stop at the most relevant parts for the reader.
Like writing your paper for a university, the best answers always provide statistics, sources, and references; in other words, concrete, specific details support what you’re saying. For each fact, or figure that you’re stating, be sure to link back to the source material from which you’ve got it.
Suppose you’ve written a blog post or a white paper where this information can be found. Even better, this will help you drive traffic back to your site. As soon as you create a link within Quora, you can include the link as a footnote or as a normal hyperlink. Our recommendation would be to use a normal hyperlink. People on the web are more used to this, so it will be easier for them to click on the link.
Be careful linking back to your content, though, as stated, the point of Quora is to provide answers for other people. Quora is a place where people want to learn from each other; they don’t want to get spammed just with links back to your content. Your goal is to bring value to the platform. Only when you create content on a platform like that will you enjoy its benefit and get more upvotes, eventually resulting in more referral traffic.
So what is the best way to insert links to your content?
You should only include a maximum of one link per article back to your content AND only when it is necessary to provide context or proof AND only when it’s natural within the context of your answer.
Lastly, it is also a good idea to include links to other sites as well, this way you don’t come over as a spammer who just wants to generate traffic for personal gain.
Use images whenever you can to support your answer
Buzzsumo did a study of two million articles some time ago. According to their study, an image every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images.
Just look at the success of Instagram and Snapchat to see how visually driven people are. Of course, the same is true on Quora as well. If you’re using an image in your answer will make it easier for you to have your answer stand out from the competition, as most writers never include an image in their answers.
Always use a relevant image in the answer you’re writing. Quora then takes the first image it can find in your answer and uses it to preview your answer in its “newsfeed.” The best images also show a bit of contrast, like before and after pictures. Images like that get a lot higher engagement because it implies there is a story somewhere to be found in your answer.
Write in a conversational tone
This brings us to the next point, using storytelling and writing tangibly. Stories are so compelling that Seth Godin even wrote an entire book about it and why you should use it in your marketing called “All Marketers Are Liars.”
When you hear or read a story, our brain activates the same areas as if you were there yourself. For example, if we were to tell you a story about an amazing BBQ experience out in the autumn sun together with friends, your sensory cortex starts to light up, and you partially live that experience!
For this reason, (personal) stories do so well on Quora. Stories about tragedy, struggle, and perseverance are even better. It takes practice, but in the end, everyone has millions of different stories.
In time you will get better than you can, even turn parts of your routine into a wildly imaginative story; maybe it is something that happened this morning at the train station or something you remember from when you were a kid.
By examining every emotional change and every tiny physical change, then writing about them using metaphors and emotional adjectives, you can bring people into the story. Even specific phrases like “image this”, “then everything changed,” etc. are exceptional writing instruments to help deliver your story.
Lastly, you have to keep in mind that most content nowadays is consumed on mobile as well, so optimize your writing for it:
- A paragraph should not have more than two sentences
- Using bullet points for easy digestion
- Put statements and transitions in bold
- Utilizing most questions
Our last tip for writing an answer? Go deep! When you see a question, and you start to formulate a response, be sure to create the best answer for that question, period.
There is no point in writing a quick answer of around 200 or 300 words on a highly-rated question because you already know upfront that your answer will get lost in between the rest. Your answer needs to be better than any of the current answers out there and be able to stand the test of time. The only way to do this is by spending time writing it.
Do you know the Skyscraper technique? By creating 10x content on Quora, you’re making sure that your answer is the best out there and that people can’t help but upvote and engage with your answer.
Have a look at Oliver Emberton, for example; some people call him the Michael Jordan of Quora. After only answering 127 questions, he already garnered 9.8M views and was named a top Quora writer in 2013 and 2014.
Step 4: How to use Quora for your marketing
Using Quora for marketing doesn’t only mean answering questions to gain authority in your domain and hopefully getting more traffic to your website. 50% of Content Marketers are struggling with the production of enough variety of content.
When you’re creating content, finding new ideas to produce content about is always necessary. And finding ideas and topics is just one of the other examples you can use Quora for as part of your marketing mix. In step 4, we’ll be looking into them.
Use Quora to come up with new content ideas (including headlines)
Remember that Quora is populated by real people looking for answers to something they want? Well, much like you might research coming up with content ideas by typing in keywords in Google (or some more advanced ways, as discussed in another post on content ideation), you can do the same thing on Quora.
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Type in your keyword in Quora search, filter your results only to show questions, and there you go. You’ll end up with a result page of real phrases used by people asking their questions using your chosen keyword. User-Generated Content, like on Quora, gives you a small advantage because it reveals how people perceive your keyword and how they talk about it.
Using Quora for competitor research
As you’ve seen, you can easily create a brand page on the Quora page, and the Quora community is not just discussing the best way to do X. Still, they are also discussing different products and challenges related to these products. As a result, it is an excellent way to perform some competitor research.
By following a topic on Quora, you will get notified about the questions and answers on that topic in your feed. This way, you can stay on top of discussions about the brands in your neighboring niches, partner companies, competitors, and more.
Just be careful when you start participating in a discussion about one of your competitors. Posting something that they should just check out your product instead of your competitor being discussed is a very spammy way of engaging and is not the way to interact with the community.
Help with customer support and influence
Just like people asking questions about your competitor’s products, there will be a high probability that they will also start asking questions about your product or services. You can use Quora to provide customer support to these people and provide a positive influence on those people discussing your product or service.
Specific questions about your product or service might already exist on the platform even before creating your account. Using the search option on the site, you can quickly find them and start helping out your customers.
Follow these threads, and demonstrate your expertise, but again, the goal is not to sell directly. Help your current and potential future customers and, as a side result, positively influence your brand image.
Take your reach to the next level with Quora Ads
From the moment you start to gain some traction on Quora, it is time to take it to the next level. If you’ve proceeded with some solid answers and established your profile, you can start promoting some of your answers for a fee.
Using Quora ads, you can boost an answer that you or someone else has written and put some ad conditions around it. For example, when a customer leaves a raving review of your business in an answer or leaves a great answer explaining your product, you can promote these answers.
If you want to expand the reach of your business, or if you want to single out who is seeing content about you, promoted answers within Quora are the way to go.
You can use the promoted answers for anything from top-of-the-funnel awareness creation to retargeting (don’t forget to install the Quora pixel on your website) and specific targeted engagement campaigns. You can use it to generate a sense of immediacy, generate leads, drive traffic to your site, and much more.
Just like on Facebook, all you need to do if you want to start promoting an answer is to set up an ad account. Go to your profile picture in the top right corner, click on it, and click “Ads Manager.”
You answer questions like your name, the country you live in, etc., and your account is ready to go.
Just like on Facebook, you can define a target budget and promotion period, establish a target audience and location, etc.
Quora gives you a couple of different types of targeting. It allows you to run contextual-based advertising placements. This will allow you to target everyone who has indicated an interest in a specific topic. Next to that, there is also behavioral targeting based on what people have engaged with in the past and targeting based on keywords and particular questions. One thing to note though is that the keyword targeting only works on questions and not on answers to questions.
As you saw in the earlier picture with the Duck Duck Go ad, when you promote answers, the question for which the answer was written is highlighted as well. As a result, it looks like an organic post (except, of course, the word “promoted by,” followed by the brand name or company) in the feed.
Although promoted answers are, in our opinion, the most powerful ads on the platform, you can also create “normal” image and text ads. If you’re using normal text ads, it is always best to stay true to the platform in which you advertise. A great example here is from SignalHire, where they turned their headline into a question to fit more natively within the site’s text-based format.
Quora is primarily text-based, but it does support thumbnail images for ads. Test these out for yourself and see what works best. Native videos in ads are currently not supported, but we don’t think that’s a bad thing since they won’t be looking that native to the platform anyhow and might scare people off a bit.
Set up a Quora Business Account
Quora is currently working on Business Accounts, and you can apply to be part of the beta. Business Accounts allows your company to establish a presence on the platform and assign roles to different people within your organization who could write a response on behalf of your business.
The Business Accounts will allow your company to provide the most knowledgeable answer as your business about your particular industry, service, or tools. This will allow your company to grow as a thought leader in your domain, and the knowledge you share will be tied to your business and your brand and not to individual people within your organization who may come and go.
If you want to create a business account for your organization, go to https://www.quora.com/business and click on “Business Profile (Beta)” in the top right corner.
From there, follow the steps, and supply Quora with some information about your business:
Upload a logo:
And your business profile is ready to use. Don’t forget to include the topics that you know about, and start answering your first questions. Switching back to your personal account can be done by clicking on “Switch Accounts” from the dropdown menu on your profile:
And under settings, you can add different account admins that can answer on behalf of your company.
Step 5: Measure your results
Analyze your Quora stats
At the end of the day, when you’ve done all of the above. You still need to figure out how effective this channel is for your marketing efforts. Quora’s free analytics allows you to analyse the content you put on their platform.
It allows you to anywise your most popular content regarding clicks and sees what works best within the community. They divide their statistics over:
And that for the questions you’ve asked, the answers you’ve given, the blog posts you write, or a combined view.
Analyze your traffic in Google Analytics.
The other place where you need to monitor your results is the place where you’re usually already going to measure the results of your marketing campaigns: Google Analytics.
If you want to measure the results of your Quora outreach efforts to ensure you’re getting any Return On Investment (ROI), you need to be able to track it in the standard way, just like all your other marketing campaigns.
UTM tags are just a bunch of parameters added to a URL to track different types of information, such as the name of the campaign or where the traffic is coming from.
Goals in Google Analytics help you to track what percentage of visitors take action, like purchasing a product, asking for a quote, or signing up for a newsletter.
At a minimum, we suggest you add the “utm_source.” When you set this to “quora” (utm_source=quora), it tells Google Analytics that that particular visitor reading a piece of content on your website first came via Quora.
While we’ve already discussed UTM tags in-depth in another post and how to set up Google Analytics on your website. The idea here is to create a custom URL for Quora links so you can track the click-throughs to your website and see what percentage of those click-throughs are converting into email leads and/or sales.
Quora is a great way for marketers and small business owners to reach a highly-targeted demographic.
Unlike general content marketing, it doesn’t require a large time investment or writing skills, and it can be done sporadically as a way to complement other content marketing efforts.
But as with many digital marketing strategies today, you need to approach Quora to provide real value to your audience. To do this, you’ll need to:
- Aim to help your audience better understand your industry, learn more about the topics they’re interested in, and accomplish their goals.
- Write consistently.
- Fully utilize your profile to tell users who you are and why they should trust you.
- Spend time choosing questions that have the potential to reach the right audience and drive traffic to your site.
- Incorporate links where they make sense and with a context that tells readers why they should click.
With this approach, you’ll be more effective at establishing the type of reputation you want on the site — and more likely to generate real results with your efforts.
Now it’s time for you. Is Quora something you’ve been thinking about using before?
Have you maybe used Quora as part of your marketing mix, and what was your experience?
Which of the above tips do you think is most helpful for your business?
We’d love to hear what you think about the topic of using Quora and the strategies discussed. Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know!
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