Content Marketing at its core just comes down to solving the same problems that your product solves through 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 as of lately though 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 a lot 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 are posting questions and are answering 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 a reputation of someone who knows her or his stuff.
In this blog post, we’re going to run you through the works, from starting a Quora account to building your business and getting more customers.
According to Quantcast, Quora reaches around 29 million people each month in just the United States, which is a huge audience full of people who are all searching to get 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 for you
- You can learn from others in your industry, influencers, customers, etc.
- People are also potential questions about your product that you can help them with, or people 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, there is also one other advantage that happens not on Quora but other websites.
By writing on Quora, you’ve got a good chance of being featured on major publication sites like Forbes. The reason for this is that a lot of major publications are starting to source content directly from Quora, and using certain answers straight as content on their website.
In other words enough reasons for you to not miss out on this great opportunity and start leveraging this Q&A social network right now. One final remark before we dive in though, just like any other form of content marketing where you’re trying to solve the problems of your customers, Quora is the same. 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: Creating an account
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 for ending up with a full 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 always is so much more than just the basics of course. The real beauty comes after you’ve signed up and you can start optimising your profile.
Optimising 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 to always get visibility for it.
Next, to that, 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. In the right column, you’ll see a list of “Knows About” topics. Next to each topic is a link to “Describe your experience.” Clicking here will let you set the topic-specific bio.
Just like on LinkedIn, your bio or headline is a fantastic opportunity to optimise for certain keywords relevant to your industry. Be aware of the 50 character limit though; you don’t want it to end up with a bunch of ellipses.
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 into 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 a 1000 questions on Quora, but if you don’t end up generating leads, all your work is for nothing. That is why you need to optimise 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 a 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 appear on your public profile straight away, and it shows that you’re active on the site, without investing too much into it already.
Build a Quora page for your business
Quora organises 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 a lot of cases, these keywords could also be your brand name.
Just like Wikipedia, all pages can be created and edited by any member of the platform. 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 customise 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 customise the topic page with your correct logo and description of course.
Step 2: Finding & Following Topics
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 are of interest to you and your business.
Since there are so many questions asked every day 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.
What you need to do is start setting up a small process to identify the “hidden gems”, the best questions that will help you get the most traction. There are a couple of ways to do this, but let’s discuss the way we’d like to identify the best topics and questions.
It all starts with reading a lot of different questions and their answers on relevant topics to your business. One way to identify more different verticals to start targeting is looking for the profiles of the people you always see coming back answering questions in your basic set of topics. When you visit their profile, click the “topics” link on the left. This will give you an overview of all the topics they are following as well.
If you look at the above example image of the profile from Noah Kagan, you can see the topics that he is following, and we’re not following yet. By following the same type of topics we know we will be getting potentially excellent questions which we can start to answer as well.
If you then go to a topic, select the “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 there are a lot of questions 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 to answer questions that in the end don’t bring any value to you. So what are good questions that deserve an answer of 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 than there are answers the moment;
- Have a lot of followers, but most answers are terrible, this will help your answer 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 to 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. Afterwards, you can click on “Answer” at the top of your screen, then click “Answer Later” on the left side to access all the questions that you saved.
If you want you can ask a virtual assistant in the process of identifying 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’re responded to 20 or 30 questions on the same topic, you will then be surfaced as an expert about it and be invited to respond.
This leads to a snowball effect where you’re actually getting in front of the right type of people who are actively wanting to know more about your company or products. And now, they are looking to you for the best possible answers.
Step 3: Start answering questions and start posting questions yourself
You’ve got a profile, you’ve 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 that have the most upvotes are the most important ones to focus on here of course. 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 maybe completely incorrect and do you’ve got the proof to show so?
If you’ve 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
Just like this article, people like to read step-by-step answers; it guides them through a process that they could quickly follow. It also makes the content accessible to quickly skim through and to only stop at the most relevant parts for the reader.
Just like writing your paper for a university, the best answers always provide statistics, sources, and references; in other words concrete, specific details that support what you’re saying. For each fact, or figure that you’re stating be sure to link back to the source material where you’ve got it from.
If you’ve maybe written a blog post or a white paper where this info can be found, even better, as this will help you drive traffic back to your site. As soon as you create a link within Quora, you have the option to include the link as a footnote or like 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 providing 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 the platform like that will you start to enjoy the benefit of its and getting more upvotes that will eventually result 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 of the writers never include an image in their answers.
Be sure always to use a relevant image in the answer you’re writing. Quora than takes the first image it can find in your answer and uses it in the preview of your answer in their “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
Which brings us to the next point, using storytelling, 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 that talk about tragedy, struggle and own 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, 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 optimise 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
- Utilising most questions
Our last tip for writing an answer? Go deep! When you see a question, and you start to formulate an answer be sure to try 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 answer 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: Start using 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 for 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.
Type in your keyword in Quora search, filter your results to only show questions, and there you go. You’ll end up with a result page of real phrases used by people asking their questions using the keyword of your choosing. User-Generated Content, like on Quora, gives you a small advantage, because it reveals how people perceive your keyword and the way they talk about it.
Using Quora for competitor research
As you’ve seen you can easily create a brand page on Quora page, and the Quora community is not just discussing what is the best way to do X, but 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 neighbouring 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 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 be present on the platform even before you created your account. Using the search option on the site, you can quickly find them and start helping out your customers.
Follow these threads, demonstrate your expertise, but again, the goal is not to sell directly. Help your current and potential future customers and as a side result influence your brand image in a positive way.
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 some solid answers and established your profile you can then start to promote 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 left a raving review of your business in an answer or left 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 is 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 own 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 then click on “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 behavioural targeting based on what people have engaged with in the past and targeting based on keywords and specific 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 your advertising. 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 mostly 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 organisation 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 that you share will be tied to your business, to your brand, and not to individual people within your organisation who may come and go.
If you want to create a business account for your organisation, go to https://www.quora.com/business and click on “Business Profile (Beta)” in the top right corner.
From there just follow the steps, 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
Analyse 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.
Analyse your traffic in Google Analytics
The other place where you need to monitor your results is the place where you’re normally 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 make sure that 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 simply 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 helps you to track what percentage of visitors take an 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 with the goal of providing 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 are most helpful for your business?
We’d love to hear what you think on the topic of using Quora and the strategies discussed. Feel free to leave a comment below to let us know!