Content Marketing

How to effectively use Quora to drive qualified traffic to your SaaS website

Traffic. More traffic. More qualified traffic. That’s what we, like countless SaaS businesses out there, think of every single day.

At the end of the day, everything is pure and simple Math. If you have a 5% conversion of traffic to free trials, and a 20% conversion from free trial to paying customers, then every 100 new visitor to your website earns you 1 paying customer. Now, there are three figures in that equation, and improving any one of them will help you increase your revenue.

If you increase the quality of traffic, i.e. make it more contextual, relevant and intent-driven, you would be able to increase the traffic → trial conversion.

If you have a good product experience and your product is adding value to your customers’ workflow, you would have a better free → paid conversion.

And, if you promote your product at places your audience hangs out at, you would be able to increase the traffic.

That third leg is the easiest to improve. It needs least amount of experimentation and optimisations, and making it a much easier needle to move than the other two.

Today, we are going to be looking at Quora as a means to get more traffic to your website, and/or your blog, and what should you do with that traffic. We would begin with answering the most basic question - why you should even think of Quora as a marketing channel. And we would outline some challenges businesses face when using Quora, we would highlight how you can circumvent those challenges.

Why should you even consider Quora as a source of traffic?

We have recently talked a couple of times about conversational search and how your customers are finding answers to their queries online. We have highlighted the contextual importance of conversational search, and how it relays the searcher’s purchase intent. Quora, even though a different medium, is an extension of that search behavior.

Since Quora is a Q&A platform, the platform - by design - is around conversational searches. And as you would have noticed during many of your Google searches, its content is favored well by search engines. This makes it an excellent source of targeted and highly qualified traffic that can help you cut through the noise and get an influx of potential customer that converts better than many other marketing channels.

Look at it this way. Of all the places you consider promoting your content - Facebook, Twitter, Quora - what is the one place where people are specifically huddling up with an intent to find answers to questions they have, or what others have in a domain of their interest? That should tell you why Quora can potentially give you a much filtered, and more targeted and qualified traffic as compared to say Facebook where people are often just browsing around with no specific intent in mind.

But, like it is with anything worth doing, Quora has its own challenges you will need to overcome for it to become a sustainable source of traffic to your business.

Challenge #1. Finding the right questions

On a platform filled with countless questions, how do you figure out the questions that are the most likely to drive massive traffic to your website? It’s like finding needle in a haystack.

Other entrepreneurs will often tell you that they spent quite some time answering a variety of questions, but since it wasn’t driving much traffic, they stopped doing that. The problem essentially is that they feel they wasted crucial man-hours giving long, detailed answers to questions that hardly brought around any traffic to their business.

It is not easy to target questions based on their popularity, or figure out the top ranking questions in google searches. And, even if you could do that, can you imagine the time it would take you to do that. Do you think that is a process you could go through on a continuous basis? Probably not.

quora marketing

Challenge #2. The answers do not receive much engagement

Marketing is all about results. So it doesn’t matter whether you are just trying to help your audience with their questions, the results your efforts bring back to the business would always determine whether you will continue doing it in the long-term or will this initiative dry up and wither away.

Unfortunately, most businesses that use Quora as a marketing channel cut their losses once they see the lack of engagement on their content. But before we try understanding the challenge with engagement, we should understand what engagement on Quora will actually be measured as for your business.

Engagement on your Quora content comes in two tiers:

  1. The engagement your content receives on the platform itself. This would be in the form of views, upvotes, comments, shares, shares in relevant spaces etc. These stats would be visible for you right on the page for the answer, and you’ll be able to benchmark it against other answers on the question as well as the topic in general.

  2. The engagement your content brings back to your website. From time to time, you would be inserting relevant links from your website or your blog in your Quora answers. How these links perform would be an indicator of how valuable your content was found be by your audience, and whether that answer managed to pique enough interest for the readers to want to check out your links for more information. You can measure the performance of these links by adding relevant UTM parameters to them, and monitoring their performance in your Benne Analytics dashboard.

If you are not receiving engagement in the first bucket, that could be an indicator of the question not being extremely relevant or popular amongst the community, and it will help you refine your question-selection process going forward.

If you are receiving engagement in the first bucket, but not the second, then that means that while your content is deemed valuable, it is failing to generate enough interest for further exploration. You can overcome this challenge by structuring your content in a way that presents the impression of a user missing out on further valuable content by not checking out the link. For example, if I am answering a question around email marketing, and I have an email marketing product, I could entice users into checking out a link to a downloadable email marketing performance report, or email marketing examples from 25 leading brands such as Casper, Harry’s.

If my engagement in the first bucket is low, but relatively better in second bucket, this could mean that while the question isn’t very popular, the answer is being found extremely aligned to the question - making it similar to how we treat low volume search phrases in SEO.

Challenge #3. How do you write meaningful and quality answers that brings traffic to your website?

By following the same rules that govern any content marketing initiative you undertake. Putting your users at the front and center and making their needs and expectations the sole priority and focus of your Quora answers. There are a couple of examples at the end of this piece to further illustrate this point.

So. Now that we have some understanding of what the challenges are, what can we do to overcome those challenges?

There are quite a few things you can do to figure out what topics to choose, which questions to answer, and so on. But,

A/ These things would be quite time consuming. You would be spending hours every week analysing trends, looking at reports etc to figure out the best questions to go after. To be honest, that time spent figuring these out is absolutely worth it, but, whether you have the necessary bandwidth or not is a question only you can answer. If you have a small team, and a dedicated person for this exercise, of course you should invest time in doing this research. But, if you are just starting up, and have a lot on your plate, I would rather focus on doing things that make an impact, instead of filtering out the things that will drive the most impact.

The problem I often see is founders trying to optimise these steps one or two times, and eventually they run out of steam. Unfortunately, much like any other content exercise, this is a marathon, not a sprint. So, the ability to put in consistent effort will always outweigh putting in better but extremely sporadic efforts.

B/ The optimisation difference is not as substantial as you would want it to be. Everything you do can be mapped as a chart of effort being put in vs the output it generates. At scale, optimising for even the smallest things can bring by substantial improvement in your results. But in your early days, it is more important to put in the efforts in the right direction to get the ball moving.

C/ Optimising this process the best way often requires you to invest time, money and resources into new tools. The more tools you add to your workflow, the more you complicate your life. Eventually you land in a scenario where you are so overwhelmed with all the tools, dashboards and information surrounding you that you are either spending most of your time making sense of all that data, or you end up ditching them altogether. More often than not, the latter is the outcome.

The reason I am highlighting these points is simple. I want you to follow a process you can actually stick to, thereby generating value to your business. What’s the point of having the best laid out processes if they end up being so complicated and/or time consuming that you don’t use them at all.

So, let us focus on what you can do and the steps you should take to get started with activating Quora as a profitable traffic source to your website.

1. Focus on quality, not quantity

Instead of answering any and all questions that come your way, be picky in your choice of questions. Answer questions that are related to your product/services, the domain you operate in, and other peripheral areas.

The more focused and targeted you are in your selection of questions you answer, the more targeted exposure of your content would be. If you stick by topics that are related to the painpoint your product solves, you are essentially getting exposed to an audience that’s actively looking for helpful content on solving that painpoint. Highly relevant, extremely contextual.

2. Put in incremental effort

It can be pretty discouraging to put in hours, days and weeks worth of work into crafting detailed helpful answers and then not seeing it make even a dent. So, lets be smart about it.

To begin with, keep your answers short, simple, and to the point. Make sure you are answering the question, but do not get into too much detail, such as adding a lot of examples, describing scenarios and usecases, or using too many screenshots. Eliminating each of these components will save you significant time it would have otherwise taken you in completing that answer.

Next, keep an eye out for the answers that are performing well. You can do that in two ways - (1) Using Quora’s engagement metrics for your answers, (2) Using relevant UTM parameters in any link you add in your answer, and the tracking performance of those links in your Benne Analytics dashboard.

As an answer sees more and more engagement, or drives traffic and conversions to your website, go back to that answer and edit it to make it more detailed - examples, usecases, screenshots etc. This will ensure that an answer that was already found useful by the Quora audience will be found even more valuable, resulting in even better performance.

This also ensures that you are putting in a very small amount of work on each answer initially, and then as those answers start pulling their weight, you are allocating the right percentage of your available bandwidth into improving your most valuable answers.

3. Don’t try to make a sale every single time

It can be a strong impulse to try directing readers to your website with every answer. After all, that is the goal of the whole exercise. You need to fight that impulse.

Any reader coming across the question has an expectation of finding an answer to that question right there. You need to hold true to that expectation, and that should be your first focus - to add value to your audience. Sending this traffic to your website is a secondary objective. You shouldn’t use your answers as clickbaits to direct traffic; that just leaves a bad customer experience, and it could even lead to your account getting suspended or banned by Quora.

The same principle holds true when you are answering questions that are related to your competing products. It is only natural that you may want to use these opportunities to tout your own product, but you have to remember - that is not what the question is about! Sure, you can offer a link to your product at the end of your answer as a better alternative the reader can look into, but as far as the primary intent behind the answer goes, it remains the same - you are helping the reader with his/her query.

4. Be sincere. “Being helpful” should be your primary objective

Customers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. They also understand that there is nothing wrong with a business trying to make a sale. But there is a time and place for everything. And Quora, as a platform, is a place where its users go to find answers to the questions they have. So unless you are meeting up to that criteria, any sales pitch just comes across as insincere.

Focus on addressing the matter at hand, and if your content/product/business organically fits within the answer to that question, sure go ahead and plug it in. But never lose sight of the primary objective.

As long as your answers match the level of expertise, quality and value expected out of them, you will find your audience clicking on the relevant links within your answer on their own to know more about the topic being discussed.

5. Be patient

At the end of the day, this is a content marketing exercise. And like any other form of content marketing, it is going to take some time. So be patient in reaping the benefits, and while you wait, continue delivering value via your answers to questions that are relevant to your space and your target audience. Once the results start coming in, they will start piling on real fast.

6. Cast a wide net

Answer as many questions as you can, provided you do have what it takes to address the question being asked.

This bit is much like targeting the long tail keywords for your SEO. The more questions you ask, wider of an audience you will be able to reach. It also helps the chances of some of your answers being the most upvoted answer on their questions - which means they will gain most of the visibility that those questions enjoy.

Wrappin’ Up

Other than these, the basic rules of creating engagement worthy content still apply. For example:

  1. Use images. From product screenshots to illustrate your point, to funny gifs to add some personality to your answers, images make your content more engaging, less dry, and more interesting. So, feel free to use them.

  2. Focus on writing skimmable answers. We live in a world of instant gratification. That’s what readers of content have come to expect as well. So, structure your content in a way that makes it easy to just scan and skim through. Smaller paragraphs, short sentences, bulleted lists, multiple sections with formatted headings are just some of the ways in which you can make your answers easy to read.

etc.

At one point in time, I used to be quite active on Quora. It has been a while, but it was an incredibly rich experience. And till date, I keep on getting messages from people who came across some Quora answer of mine or another. I plan to start again. Come say Hi, and let’s formulate our strategies for marketing our strengths on Quora.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.

Cheers,

Abhishek

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