Marketing Bootcamp

Beginner's Guide to Quora: The Most Helpful Uses for Marketers

Beginner's Guide to Quora: The Most Helpful Uses for Marketers
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The Internet seems full with useful, entertaining, and educational places to spend time, not to mention important places for brands and businesses to connect with their audience.

One site that keeps coming up for us is Quora, the community-fueled question-and-answer site. We’ve mentioned it in a handful of articles on topics like idea curation and content sources.

And it’s had us wondering:

What all can a marketer do with Quora? 

I was excited to research this and find out all that’s available—it’s a lot! From content ideas to establishing authority to content creation and so much more, Quora has a lot to offer—even by spending just a few minutes there each day.

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First off: What is Quora?

Anyone can ask and answer questions.

And the community votes on which answers are most helpful.

It’s a pretty cool place where someone can ask, say, an SEO question and Rand Fishkin can answer, or someone can ask a question about playing basketball with the president and Barack Obama can hop into the thread.

Beyond the simple ask-and-answer setup, there are some advanced parts of Quora, too, that might be good to know before jumping in.

  • You can target your question to specific Quora users, asking them specifically to weigh in with an answer along with others in the community
  • You can publish content on Quora, just like LinkedIn’s publishing platform
  • You can search for specific questions or topics related to your business and follow these to receive notifications of new questions
  • You can spend credits to get your question in front of more people

And why is Quora a smart place for marketers?

Quantcast estimates nearly 775,000 people access Quora each month in the U.S. alone, which is a significant audience of well-intentioned curious knowledge-seekers.

For marketers, there are a handful of really great reasons why Quora might be worth considering. The KISSmetrics and dlvr.it blogs list some of the best:

  1. Gain exposure to Quora’s 700,000+ monthly visitors
  2. Build expertise and authority on your chosen topic
  3. Learn from others—users, customers, industry experts
  4. Answer questions about your product
  5. Find out the questions people are asking about your product or industry

Of course, gaining direct ROI from Quora is not the number one goal—the same as most social media sitesAsh of SmartHustle puts it this way:

However, hustling or selling is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing on Quora. Instead, aim to spread knowledge.

With this in mind, here are 12 quick ways that marketers can get the most out of Quora, in as little as five minutes per day.

 

1. Create the optimal Quora profile

Every time you leave an answer, a bit of your bio is viewable right at the top.

This is a great opportunity to extend a little branding.

Quora shows the first 50 characters of your profile (your name and bio) as a tagline above your answer. 

Mention your brand name as close to the beginning as you can and make the most of your 50 characters.

Your full bio can contain clickable links and even @-mentions of other users.

In addition, you can have topic-specific bios. So you could mention your social media expertise when answering social media questions and your engineering expertise when answering questions about code.

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.

After this, go ahead and complete your Quora profile as much as possible.

  • Add a detailed About Me section
  • Add your areas of expertise
  • Add your interests
  • Your cities
  • Schools & colleges you’ve attended
  • Previous companies
  • Connect your other social media accounts

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.

And if you’re brand new to Quora, spend some quick time browsing the answers and upvoting any that catch your eye. Upvotes appear on your public profilestraight away and can be a good sign that you’re active on the site.

2. Track topics with notifications

One of Quora’s best benefits for businesses is a fun type of market research.

You can learn what people are asking about your industry.

And you can have these questions and answers sent to your inbox every day. 

To get started, simply type into Quora’s search box the topic you’d like to follow. Quora will give you a list of autocompleted suggestions, and when you click through to a topic page, you’ll even see an extra list of related topics to follow along the side.

You can also search for users to follow and be notified of their newest answers.

For blog posts, search for the blog name or author and click to follow the blog to receive updates for every new post.

To make sure that your email notifications are set up properly, go to your Settings page and click on Email & Notifications. Here you can completely customize the frequency and specificity of the email you receive from Quora.

Additionally, each time you log into Quora, your home feed will contain the latest and greatest from the topics, people, and blogs that you follow.

3. Find the best questions to answer

You can answer any question you’d like on Quora, which is a great way to get involved in the community and share knowledge.

If you’re looking for a strategic way to answer questions, here are some things to consider.

  • Search for your chosen topic. This will narrow down the questions significantly.
  • Choose a topic that fits your business, that you’ve written about recently, or that you have meaningful stats for.
  • Find threads with lots of upvotes. The upvotes signal that the questions are viewed a lot. A popular answer here could potentially lead to thousands of views per day (and dozens or hundreds of clicks back to your site).
  • Find new questions. You stand a greater chance of bubbling up to the top of the answers list if your answer comes early.

4. Answer a question with authority

As you spread knowledge, you gain expertise and influence. Perhaps Quora’s most immediate benefit for marketers is being seen as an authority on a certain topic.

Answer a question, provide great value, and your influence will soar.

So what makes for a good answer?

The Crazy Egg blog calls the best Quora answers those that provide statistics, sources, and references—a good and short answer that points to an external resource.

“Good and short” could involve any number of factors:

  • Passionate about the topic
  • Personality
  • Specific
  • Focused
  • Storytelling with takeaways

And then once you’ve written your “good and short” (and valuable) answer, you can add a link to what you’ve referenced, which is particularly great if the info is available in longform on your blog or website.

Here’s a great example of an answer that fits a lot of these qualities—brief, specific, focused, includes a link to learn more (and is well-formatted, which I’ll touch on a bit later).

5. Re-answer questions you’ve answered in your blog (and link to your answer)

Now we’re getting a bit into the realm of repurposing content—making your blog posts and articles provide value long after they’ve published.

Say you’ve written an article with a lot of answers on a common question or problem.

Take that blog post, dig out the questions that you’ve answered, and go find these questions on Quora.

Then you can simply share your answers to the Quora questions, linking back to the blog post for complete details.

6. Build a Quora page for your business

Much like Wikipedia, anyone can create a page on Quora about anything.

This makes for a great chance to build a company page for your business.

To do so, start by searching for your business’s name in Quora.

From the results page, if you don’t see the name listed as a topic, you can look in the right sidebar underneath the “Add Question” box and click the link to “Create Topic.”

This gives you the option to name the topic and add a brief description.

Once your topic is live, you can request for the Quora community to review the topic. This is particularly helpful for people wondering if they should invest in a subscription to a service or otherwise get involved with a company. For you, it’s a great way to add a bit of social proof and testimonials to your brand’s presence on Quora.

7. Perform research on a topic

What are people asking on Quora?

These questions can lead to great blog posts.

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There are a couple of ways to do this.

  1. Flip through the questions-and-answers from the topic that your blog covers. Check to see the popularity of the threads. Are there lots of upvotes? Lots of conversation? These might make great blog posts.
  2. Validate your idea with Quora. If you’ve already got a seed of an idea, search for it on Quora to see what people are asking about it. You might find a particular direction to take or a new angle—or even just the validation you were looking for!

8. Get quick & easy crowdsourced content

Not only can Quora help you come up with story ideas, it can help you come up with entire blog posts.

This idea of crowdsourced content follows a bit in the mold of a roundup post.Ask people their opinion on a topic and collect all their answers into an article.

With Quora, you can ask for stories or experiences that people have had (rather than a specific, closed question with a single right answer). Some great examples of questions like these include:

  1. What is a good social media marketing plan?
  2. How do I get more subscribers?
  3. What is the best email marketing blog?

If it’s a general question where the value comes from any and all answers, you can leave things here. If you’ve got a question that’s quite specific to those who know their stuff in your industry, then you can go through a couple extra steps.

First, make sure your question is unique and categorized correctlyThis will help the right people find it.

Second, invite certain Quora users to answer the question. You’ll see this option after you’ve posted your question to Quora (see below).

Ask to Answer - Quora

Andrei Petrick of Search Engine People has a good way of sifting through the users here. Look for Quora users with the following qualifications in mind:

  • Have many responses in the category your question resides in
  • Good response rate
  • Cost – are they free to ask or will it cost you credits

If you know who the experts in your field are, you can look them up by name and ask them to answer.

Once the answers come in, you’ll have the basis for an excellent roundup post with a good variety of sources and input.

9. Discover new headline ideas

Much like you might do a bit of headline research by typing your keywords into a Google search (autocomplete is a great way to learn how people ask things), you can do the same with Quora.

  1. Type in your keyword into a Quora search.
  2. Filter the results to only show questions.

What you’ll see on the results page is how people ask their questions about your chosen keyword and, therefore, how you can frame your content.

The most popular questions in terms of answers and upvotes can be a signal about the value of the way things are worded. And it can all help with writing headlines for your next blog post.

10. Help with customer support and influence

One of the biggest benefits for Quora is building authority. And right behind that is this:

Use Quora to provide customer support to your users and to provide a positive influence to discussions about your product.

Like all other social media channels, Quora lets you communicate directly with customers. On Quora, they may be asking questions about your product specifically, and what better feeling than to have those questions answered by an employee of that company—or even the CEO.

11. Analyze your Quora stats

Quora provides free analytics for all users, showing you a detailed breakdown of the following:

  • Views
  • Upvotes
  • Shares

And displaying these stats for each of the following categories:

  • The questions you ask
  • The answers you give
  • The blog posts you write
  • All the content you contribute

Crazy Egg has some helpful ways to analyze these stats to best help with your Quora marketing:

Each answer provides stats for the number of times it’s been viewed, and by which users. If you click on “# views,” you can see how readers are being led to your answers. Are they finding your content through your profile, through tagged topics, or through random browsing?

By visiting your personal views page, you can also obtain an overall assessment of who’s seen your answers. A quick glance through these stats will tell you which avenues can give you the most coverage.

12. Start a Quora blog to repurpose your content

One neat way to get involved on Quora—besides the standard question-and-answer format—is to start blogging. 

At Quora, you can create a blog and publish stories.

To get started, click on your profile and navigate to Blogs. You’ll be able to create a blog and customize its name, URL, and description.

Then, add whatever content you choose.

Just like LinkedIn content, these posts get circulated around the Quora network, and you can share your posts on social media to attract readers and followers.

We’ve recommended Quora as a possible option for repurposing your existing blog content. Bloggers like James Clear do this to great results.

13. Format your answers in an eye-catching way

Quora may not be known much as a visual network, which means a there could be a big opportunity if you’re able to include some visuals in your Quora content.

Many of the top Quora users add images to their answers to help support their point. And these images, while first of all helpful, are also great attention-getters. See how they’re included in the Quora answer stream here.

The first photo in an answer will appear as a thumbnail beside the answer when viewed in the question stream.

Beyond photos, you can also add some custom formatting to your answer, helping it be more readable and hopefully gain a few more upvotes. Here are some formatting tips to try:

  • Bolding or italicizing headings
  • Numbered or bulleted lists of points
  • Hyperlinked text
  • @-mentions of Quora users or topics

Recap

I love this recap from KISSmetrics on the best ways to use Quora as a marketer:

  1. Create a great profile so that anyone who wants to learn more about you can do so and be able to click through to your website or other social profiles.
  2. Follow topics in your industry. Become an active participant on these topics by posting thought-provoking questions and valuable answers. When appropriate, include links back to content on your website for more information, but don’t spam.
  3. Find people to connect with on Quora by looking at the top answers and followers of a particular topic.
  4. Create and contribute to boards on topics in your industry. Share content off and on Quora to create valuable information that other Quora users will want to follow.

Over to you

Is Quora something you’ve considered for your marketing strategy?

Which of the above methods do you think might be helpful for you and your business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic and any strategies or tips you’ve come across that have been helpful. Feel free to drop any thoughts in the comments here, and I’ll jump right in to respond!

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