Do you remember Yahoo answers?
Well, Quora is a similar community made more professional and with more features.
Now, instead of getting your questions answered from random people on the Internet, you will get it from people with certain backgrounds.
Apart from the inherent value of Quora as a community, it can also be an amazing marketing tool, if done right. It has very high quality people, its questions get ranked in good positions in Google, thus driving organic traffic and it has from long tail questions to questions asking specifically about a product like yours.
I have experimented with Quora the past months – year and in this post I will be sharing what I have learned all this time.
Of course it won’t be an introduction guide, like how to fill out your profile etc. I hope you know that already, or you can learn them with a Google search.
Let’s start shall we?
How Quora Works
Let’s lay some foundation on how Quora works as a product so we can better understand it.
First of all, you will never see it as a referral traffic source in your Google Analytics or anywhere else. It will show as (direct) traffic, along with other sources and that’s ok.
You might be able to track it by adding UTM parameters at the end of the links you share, but it will show very promotional and tryhard. Personally, I wouldn’t do it (and I don’t).
Secondly, nobody knows exactly how Quora’s algorithm of ranking answers works, but here are 2 important points:
i) The more high quality answers you give the more authority your profile gets. So, your answer on a question might rank higher from an answer from a lower authority profile, even if they have 1 or 2 upvotes.
ii) You can’t game it. As a part of a test, I drove some upvotes to 2 of my answers but they didn’t end up ranking higher. This means that they protect their system and I don’t know how they do it. It might be IP, profiles and their activity, whatever. Don’t waste your time trying to game it.
Also, not all upvotes are the same, it matters from whom they come from.
Lastly, longer answers tend to perform better in terms of ranking, but usually they don’t get much engagement. I guess because no one is reading them!
However, styling your posts with bullet points etc, improve readability and your rankings.
There is a chance that adding a picture at the end of your post improves your answer’s rankings and the question’s views, but I can’t confirm that. I will be testing it in the following months.
Now let’s see how you can use Quora for marketing purposes.
Yes, you can use it for direct customer acquisition, crazy right?
There are 2 main ways to do it:
A) Search for questions asking: “is there an alternative to <competitor’s name> ?”.
These questions beg for your answer and guess what, it’s totally ok to be self promotional!
Yes, simply go there, tell them that your company is an alternative and what’s different between your competitor and you and then just add a disclaimer at the end of your answer that you work for that company.
Don’t forget to link to your site!
B) Search questions that ask how they can solve a problem your company is solving.
Then simply go and first give them an alternative (like using excel or whatever) and then tell them that if they prefer to use a software, they can use your product. That way you are not too promotional and you also build good karma 🙂
If you have a free plan, just mention your product.
By far my favorite content distribution channel is Quora.
Apart from the fact that you can get inspiration for topics to blog about based on Quora’s questions, you can then also go and answer the questions and give a link to your blog post at the end for further reading.
Some people are lazy and just go and copy-paste their entire blog post. I hate that, it’s spammy and it doesn’t add any value.
I like to give a custom, personalized answer to each question and then if they want to read more they can click the link at the end of my answer to read my blog post.
If you want to see first-hand how I do it, you can follow me on Quora.
Important: if you see a popular question with a ton of answers and followers, go and give your answer too. An email notification will be sent to the followers, so you will get some viewership and your answer might climb the rankings over time!
Providing thoughtful answers to burning questions in a specific domain will give you thought leadership over time.
There is no better person looking for an example of that than Jason Lemkin.
Quora has been one of the main driving forces of his thought leadership and of course he is not always putting links in his answers. I read somewhere that he just answers 4 questions a day, every day (or used to).
Everyone can do that. You can set a number of questions per day, like 1-2, stick to that and answer them on the grocery line, in the subway, at the bank or wherever there is dead time.
You can go to your answer when you go to your laptop and pretty it up if you want to.
If you can’t find a question where you can add value that’s ok. Just try to do it daily and it will add up over time.
I have committed to 1 answer per day.
Quora can also be used for networking, but it’s hard.
It’s very rare for discussions to take place in the comments section of particular answers, but it can be done in another way.
Whenever I find a very interesting answer on Quora, I go check their profile and if it’s full of interesting answers, I will follow them and connect with them over LinkedIn, telling them I really enjoy their answers on Quora.
And then you can take it from there, but it’s meant for networking, not pitching.
To wrap it up Quora is an amazing and underutilized channel that can be used for various marketing goals.
But in the end, its most important aspect is that you can get an answer to a burning problem from people like Jason Lemkin and Hitten Shah…. and that’s invaluable!
So, engage, ask questions for things that you don’t know, provide answers and build or enhance your reputation through Quora.
*Any questions or insights please let me know in the comments below*