“You have to get on Facebook. Don’t forget about Twitter. Now it’s all about Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Try Quora!” It may seem like your small business is constantly behind when it comes to marketing, especially on social media.
There’s absolutely no reason to be on all of them, but Quora marketing does provide interesting potential for learning about your industry and gaining website traffic in the process. Here’s why:
What is Quora?
Quora is a question and answer website that’s also categorized as a social network. It offers profile management like that of Twitter, but the basis behind the site is to have questions answered by “experts” or at least some sort of reputable source.
It’s not perfect, but you’re typically better off getting your advice about web design, or your financial situation, on Quora compared to the wild ecosystem of Reddit. Many online forums and Q&A sites exist to solve your problems and answer questions, but you could technically be taking legal advice from a 12-year-old on Reddit.
In comparison, Quora asks responders to fill out detailed profiles and state why they’re an expert on a topic when replying. It’s not a perfect system, but Quora at least puts up roadblocks for misinformation.
The topics on Quora
Topics range from industry-specific to the absolutely outlandish. It’s not a news source or a hub for finding friends, but the communities are typically positive, the advice is constructive, and you’re able to receive interesting or experience-based information about a topic.
Thousands of topics exist on Quora. Some examples include:
- Novel writing
- Fine art
- Web development
- Politics of the United States (and specific threads for all countries)
- Armed Forces
- Fan theories
- The history of sports
- Hypothetical scenarios
- Life lessons
- Aging with an attitude
Overall, Quora serves as an opinion and discussion community with a reputation for quality thread moderation. Due to the moderation, users tend to stick to facts when possible and explain their experiences that make them somewhat credible to speak about a topic.
By default, it’s not for marketing. However, ads are shown on Quora, and there typically isn’t any punishment for small self-promotion if your answers are well-thought-out and helpful.
Oh yeah. On Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, and pretty much every other online community, you can berate another user. On Quora, that’s usually grounds for removal from a conversation. Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s at least a more civilized place to chat with other likeminded individuals.
How does Quora marketing work?
The entire point of Quora is to present questions with answers. It’s easy to make a site where users ask questions, but you either need a staff of writers replying to those questions or a dedicated community of experts willing to spend time giving quality answers.
Think of Yelp. You may wonder, why the heck would you ever write long reviews on Yelp?
Guess what? Yelp understands that a regular person wouldn’t do that.
As a result, Yelp incentivizes users by offering Yelp Elite status. In short, the more reviews you write, the better chance you have at gaining status. With that status comes free wine tastings, social events, dance classes, meetings with “influencers,” and more. And of course, this removes all of Yelp’s credibility, but hey, it’s a tech company.
Quora has gone back and forth on its views about writer compensation, but for the most part, all answers come from the uncompensated community.
It’s also turned somewhat of a blind eye towards those answering to market their own website, services, or products.
And this is a big but. Quora has a strict Policies and Guidelines page for a reason. It essentially says that if there’s too much self-promotion, or your answers aren’t good enough to warrant self-promotion, your answer may get removed, or your account banned.
“So how do I go about marketing my business with Quora?”
Making an anonymous Quora account and only posting when you really need a marketing push isn’t going to get you anywhere. In fact, that’s most likely a straight path to a banned account.
Quora is sold as having a mission to expand the world’s knowledge and share that knowledge online. With this, it utilizes AI learning to send specific questions to people who are the best at answering them.
As a thought leader, Quora won’t question your reputation. Users are pleased to hear your input. No one has any problem if you occasionally add a relevant link to your website or blog post regarding the question.
The best practices for marketing on Quora
Create a Quora account and fill it in completely and honestly. Follow as many topics as you can find that relate to your line of work. Begin identifying questions that you know the answer to, then reply with detailed, thoughtful answers. Early on, skip the self-promotion. Aim for anywhere from 100 to 500-word answers. After five to ten answers, make a strategy to include excerpts from your own blog posts. Incorporate links to the full blog posts at the end, stating that additional information about the subject can be found there. Follow up with comments, questions, and concerns.
Here’s how to put all those into practice:
Step 1: Create your detailed Quora account
It all starts by going to Quora and opening an account. On your profile page, several fields and settings are available for you to fill in.
Quora is used to people making fake accounts. Chances are they’ll figure it out if you write under an alias. To become a thought leader, use your real name. Then, upload a clear photo of yourself. Write a description about your work experience, hobbies, and expertise.
On the right side of your profile you’ll see several links to fill in further information.
- Employment – Your work shows you have experience in the field.
- Education – Were you trained on this topic?
- Location – If you answer questions about Chicago, you better have lived in, or currently live in, Chicago.
They ask for credentials since these are the items that make you reputable when answering questions. You don’t have to hold a diploma in literature to answer questions about writing, but users look for this information to figure out if they find your answer credible.
The “Knows About” section is also essential for indicating the areas you have knowledge about.
I also recommend writing a brief “Profile Credential” to sum up all your experience points. Something like “Published Novelist with a Literature BA living in Los Angeles.”
The detailed credential links are there for specifying areas like when and where you worked, what degree you hold, and what location you live in now.
The “Knows About” module allows you to type in keywords that may relate to your experiences. For instance, you could search for “WordPress” or “web development” to get results on which topics are popular in those areas.
Select five to ten of these topics to add to your profile.
Although you don’t need to be as famous as Gary Vaynerchuk to provide thoughtful answers on Quora, Vaynerchuk’s profile offers an excellent example of how to fill out your own profile information.
He touches on all of his credentials, mentions the topics he knows about, and shares pictures and short details from his life.
Step 2: Research and follow the right topics and communities
Once your profile is configured, it’s time to find topics and communities that have similar discussions as your website. Most Quora marketing is structured like this:
- Find a popular question that relates to your brand.
- Write a blog post answering the question in detail.
- Write a paraphrased answer to that question in Quora.
- Add a link to the more detailed blog post in the Quora answer.
You may also find a question that you’ve already written about in the past on your blog. Overall, your website’s blog and Quora go hand-in-hand. Linking to product or service pages sometimes works if that’s exactly what they’re looking for, but it’s far more common (and less spammy) to link to informational blog posts.
The goal is to send users to your blog post. After that, they may convert into a customer by signing up for an email list, buying a product, or calling you for services.
The topic research
Begin by scrolling through your Quora homepage feed. This may render relevant results. In my case, many hobbyist questions like history and human behavior show up. That doesn’t relate to my business, so my feed isn’t all that helpful.
The second step is to utilize the search bar. Type in any word that interests you, such as writing or web development or basketball.
You have three options to choose from with your results:
- Topics – Collections of questions in one area.
- Spaces – Organized communities revolving around certain topics.
- Add New Question or Search – You have the option to add your own question or simply search for the keyword.
After completing a search, questions and spaces with the keyword are listed on the page, similar to a search engine.
For your own marketing, keep an eye on how many people are following the question or topic. You want some traction to make it worth your time.
Some of the results are simple questions, while others reveal detailed activity on the question. Also look at how many answers have been given for each question.
Marketing on Quora is a balancing act. If too many answers are already posted, you may not have a chance at getting yours at the top. However, you still want questions that people show interest in.
Step 3: Choose the right questions for your Quora marketing
Do your best to locate questions with the following metrics:
More than 20 followers. More than one or two previous answers. Questions that don’t have thousands of answers already. Only questions that relate to your brand. Only questions where you plan on writing, or have already written, a blog post about.
Identify questions you can answer
To organize the questions you’d like to answer, navigate to the question page, then click on the triple-dot button towards the right side of the page.
Following a discussion is a good choice, but Quora has a built-in feature for “Answering Later” that works nicely for bookmarking.
Step 4: Paraphrase your blog posts as answers
… with links to more information
The final step to Quora marketing is answering the questions you bookmarked.
Follow these steps to provide quality answers and to keep in line with Quora’s rules:
- Write a detailed blog post on your site that answers the question. Stick to 1,000 to 5,000 words.
- Paraphrase the blog post. Complete rewriting is necessary. Quora removes content duplicated from elsewhere on the internet. Quality answers range from 100 to 1,000 words.
- Paste the answer to the Quora question page.
- Include a suitable link in the answer that leads people to the blog post on your site.
Tip: Put the link towards the end of your answer to remove spamming suspicions.
Furthermore, “scannable” formatting makes it easier for users to read. This includes short paragraphs, numbering, bullet points, and bold text for headings.
Step 5: Reply if the community wants to hear more
If all goes well, be sure to reply to the comments that roll in! It’s not necessary to reply to that many of them, but it helps to show that you’re remaining active.
Is Quora marketing right for your business?
The idea behind Quora is to spread knowledge. That’s what can become so rewarding about creating a presence for yourself in the community.
Sure, there’s spam. There are people who act rude and insult others. You may even run into some trouble with Quora rules and regulations. However, Quora is typically a more professional place to share ideas and bring thoughtful people to your own website.
As a bonus, you’re learning more about your craft on a regular basis!
If you have questions about Quora marketing, let us know in the comments below.
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