Quora. A simple Q&A platform that seemingly came out of nowhere and quickly became the second most sought after tool of choice for people to look for answers to questions (Google, of course, continues to be the first). And unlike many social networks that chose to not let Google index their pages, Quora saw the extent of overlap that existed between the questions its target audience where asking on Google, and the content it could provide. What Stackoverflow did for the world of tech, Quora wanted to do for everyone. Ask a question and get the answer - on Quora - right from your Google search results.
The difference was the credibility Quora was adding to the answers. The answers were borrowing the credibility of real industry experts who you could hope to get answers from. From Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) to Oliver Emberton (Silktide), from Pete Cashmore (Mashable) to Kevin Systrom (Instagram), they were all answering questions on Quora. In the world where expertise is a sought after commodity, this phenomenon was bound to explode, and so it did.
Anyway. Enough with the nostalgia and fanfare. Let us look at how you can and should use Quora to reach out to your target audience.
First of all, do not make the mistake of blindly promoting your product
Using Quora for marketing is not exactly a novel approach. You would have inevitably come across many answers where the answerer is promoting his product or a product/business he works for.
And, there is nothing wrong with someone promoting their product. After all, that is what marketing is.
But like with everything else, there is a right way to do it, and then there is the wrong way. A bulk of these answers where you find someone promoting their product look like a sales ad. And that is not why the person asking the question came to Quora for. Or, anyone who is looking up on that question’s answers, that is not what they would be expecting/hoping to find. That is where the disconnect is. Not understanding the motivation of the end user, and because of this disconnect, such posts tend to leave a bad aftertaste.
When used well, Quora can be a great marketing channel for you.
Talking about your product may get you a few views, but that is where your views will stay at. Since your audience will immediately notice the motivation behind your answer is promoting your product and not actually answering the question, you would always see poor engagement and reception. As a result, beyond a few organic views, the probability of you receiving any further exposure will be extremely low. In contrast, look at how well can a proper answer perform on the platform.
That’s almost 600k people that were potentially exposed to these answers on one day. Even with overlap between the audiences of these segments, the number of unique users that could have been exposed to these answers would be in six digits. In. One. Single. Day.
Quora takes great pride in connecting its audience with relevant content. And their newsletters are among the few that see amazing engagement rate with its audience. You can leverage that.
So, how do you use Quora to gain leverage?
Do what the platform was built for. Actually answer questions. Insightful, honest, sincere responses. If your product or a feature of it is aligned to the topic at hand, and you can organically place that in view without losing context, content and flow, sure - go for it, but promoting your product should never be the primary driver. The primary motivation needs to be helping someone with a question they have. Always!
You can, however, be careful and methodical in the questions you answer. If you are using Quora for marketing, then be on the lookout for questions from the space your product/business caters to, and provide detailed, coherent answers to those. This will fulfil the secondary objective of cementing your position as a subject matter expert and help you gain credibility and domain authority. And by association, this credibility will get passed on to your product and business.
Think back a couple of stories, when we were talking about the content strategy of Shopify. Remember how their content did make an attempt at promoting Shopify’s product and business, but it stayed focused on the primary objective of addressing the user’s search queries? Answering questions on Quora the right way is going to be exactly like that.
Use Quora to understand your audience and their pain points better
If people are asking something on Quora, and/or following certain topics and questions, you can be sure that there are at least 10,000x people who are making similar search queries on Google.
And that is where your real opportunity lies.
Quora gives you a peek behind the curtains. It helps you get a better understanding of your audience. What are they looking for, what are they struggling with, what are the questions popping up in their heads.
The better you understand these, the more helpful it would be for you in deciding your website copy, your landing pages, your product offerings, and your overall marketing communique in general.
When you search for a question on Google, the reason why you see Quora links listed amongst the search results is because of their relevance to the query. If your pages are actually aligned to those queries (and not just stuffed with keywords), you would start seeing the benefits of having done so via organic traffic.
Just keep these few simple things in mind the next time you fire up Quora to market your product and you would be on a good start. How you optimise further from there is something we can always get back to.
Want to bounce ideas off of someone? Used Quora in past and wondering why it didn’t deliver results? Shoot me a message ;-). Let us try to understand what went wrong, and how we can fix it.
That’s it for today, see you tomorrow.
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