July 19, 2021
“A Quora Marketing Guide: How To Use Quora Questions And Answers In Your Marketing Strategy” is a guest post from Ksenia Larina, Content Strategist at CodingNinjas – a freelance platform that helps businesses hire better developers, and generates up to 90% of their traffic organically.
Over a year ago, when we were just trying to figure out a sustainable marketing strategy for CodingNinjas, we’ve noticed a traffic channel that seemed to be continuously growing without any efforts from our side.
That was the day when we realized that Quora, a question and answer platform none of us has ever thought of as a reliable lead-generation source, is bringing us more clients than any other marketing channels.
What started as a random answer written by our CEO, has become our most valuable acquisition channel. Now, after a year-long journey, we decided it’s time to share the things we’ve learned about generating B2B leads from Quora.
Quora’s main goal is to maintain the high quality of content their community is used to. According to SimilarWeb, Quora is the second place people go looking for information after Wikipedia.
Naturally, the first type of content that’s considered uncompliant with the community guidelines is promotional content. But unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, Quora hasn’t shut all the doors for businesses that generate their traffic from Quora organically, by producing their own content, and engaging with other users.
And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for the past year: we wrote answers which were directly connected to our business and industry, providing links to our home page, landing pages, and blog posts wherever they were relevant.
So, here’s the 1st rule of Quora you need to remember:
“Produce the content you’d want to see if you were the one looking for the answer”
I want to dedicate this post to detecting the right questions to answer, so if you’re looking for tips on writing awesome content that will rank higher and engage the audience, check out CodingNinjas’ guide on lead generation from Quora as well as 11 Ways To Answer Questions On Quora And Generate Leads – where we explicitly cover the topic of content production.
Just to give you an idea on numbers, since we started to post on Quora on a regular basis in May 2018, we’ve been getting on average up to 20 quality leads a week who were coming to us after seeing one of the answers we’ve written.
But after taking a second look at the analytics, we realized that, at that time, some of the answers brought us many more leads than the others. Here’s how the list of our best-performing content looked like:
Yes, there were all revolving around one major theme: websites for hiring freelancers, and the biggest players in the world of freelance developers.
Now, to give you a little bit of context, CodingNinjas is also a platform for hiring freelance developers. But our main difference from the wider known Upwork or Freelancer is that we vet every programmer who applies to join our network based on three parameters: their communication skills, code quality, and English proficiency. So, unlike ordinary freelance websites, we guarantee the quality of work to clients, and clients’ adequacy and on-time payments to freelancers.
I’m only telling you this because those were the main benefits we emphasized on while writing answers to questions like “Who are Upwork competitors?” and “What are the best freelance websites?”, and, at first, we thought, that we were getting so many leads simply because we had the product everyone needed.
Partially, we were right. But after I’ve thought of another explanation, hidden in plain sight, and tried replicating it with my other clients, I realized that the tactic we used for CodingNinjas can be applied to pretty much any business willing to invest time and effort into producing some quality evergreen content.
So, let’s get closer to the real deal. The hypothesis I mentioned above is very simple and lies at the core of every good content marketing strategy, so it worked well for a user-generated platform like Quora too.
I figured that our competitors-related content was bringing us leads that converted better because those users were at the end of their customer journeys, aware of the problem, solution, and even products available on the market.
Customer awareness is a great principle to think about when designing a content plan. Basically, your overall strategy should be to produce content relatable to users at every level of their customer journey.
Here’s the classic representation:
Customer faces a problem they don’t know how to solve.
Example: Jennifer is a single mom who needs to get her two kids to school every day. Usually, she would either drive them herself or they’d take a bus. But this week, her car broke and bus drivers went on strike. Jennifer doesn’t know what to do, so she googles “how to get kids from Weston to Springdale High School”, and discovers that there is no public transportation that would cover that route. Someone suggests, she should either borrow a car or take a cab.
Customer knows how to identify their problem to find a solution.
Example: Jennifer now knows there is no bus her kids could have taken to school, and she doesn’t trust Uber drivers. So, she wants to find a vehicle she could use this week until her car is fixed. And so, she googles “where can I borrow a car in Weston”, and discovers there are many rental companies around, and she also learns about the Facebook group where some of her neighbors offer a carpool.
Customer knows about existing solutions on the market.
Example: Jennifer has considered using one of the carpool opportunities, but then she thought that maybe it won’t be that convenient for her because she’s afraid it might not be too convenient for her to return the favor later on. So, car rental it is! She googles “best car rentals in Weston”, and at this point, she’s ready to make a purchase.
Customer is aware of the products existing on the market.
Example: Jennifer has narrowed down the list of rentals around her town. Two of them didn’t have any cars available, another one only offered limos, which would have been overkill, so there were only two companies left: Mertz and Sevent. Both these options were offering the same cars for the same prices, so Jennifer googled “Mertz vs Sevent comparison” before she made the final decision.
For each of those awareness levels described above, there are certain types of content your leads would be looking for. A good content strategy includes pieces created for each of the stages and a pinch of remarketing magic.
But if you’re only starting out with content marketing, and especially if your company is the new kid on the block, the best way to pick the low hanging fruit is to create content focused on the two awareness levels that are on the bottom of the funnel: solution- and product-aware audiences.
As I explained in the example with Jennifer, those are the people most ready to make a purchase here and now AKA high-converting leads.
Now, when you know what types of questions to look for, make a list of all the questions you find to be relevant, and make a quick-access table with the key stats:
Include the following columns:
Until recently, Quora used to show the number of views each question was getting. That was the way to identify how much traffic the question was getting. But, with the recent update, we can only see the number of followers, which doesn’t show how popular is the question directly, but at least gives us an idea whether someone cares or not.
After all, question stats don’t matter that much if you’re up for answering as many questions about your industry, niche, and competitors, as you can. At CodingNinjas, we use them only to prioritize which topics we want to cover first.
So, on the top of the list go the questions with the biggest followers count, and those which match the 7:1 ratio rule.
The concept of 7:1 ratio was first described in the all-time must-read for content marketers, The BAMF Bible. After heavy testing of different types of content and questions, Josh Fechter has come to a conclusion that Quora’s content evaluation algorithms have higher chances to pick your content for organic promotion if you’re answering the questions that have at least 7 times more followers than answers written.
For example, this question has 27 followers, and only 3 answers, meaning the followers to answers ratio is 9 to 1:
Following this rule increases the chances of getting on the Quora Digest, a weekly newsletter with the content which is automatically picked for every user depending on the topics they’re interested in and the content they have previously interacted with.
It’s a great way to get your content directly to people who might be interested in what you have to offer.
Once we were done with answering the most popular questions in the categories we were most interested in, we decided to also cover the questions that didn’t have any followers or answers. That was a completely blind shot, and we just wanted to see if there would be any return on invested time at all.
And I can’t tell you how surprised we were when we realized we were getting leads from those seemed-to-be-dead questions.
Turns out, if you’re answering a question which was asked a week ago or later, you get a chance to address directly the author of the question who might be in urgent need of a solution.
Over the time, once you establish your expertise in your key topics, you’ll start getting invitations to answer the fresh questions on similar topics, and I advise not to ignore them, because those are likely to be the exact type of tiny questions you should be hunting for.
*Disclaimer: The time you spend answering the tiny questions is only worth it if you have a high-ticket business. In case CodingNinjas’ Quora marketing, our writers time can be considered well-spent, since we’ve acquired customers with LTV up to $100 000.
It’s best to come up with a way to A/B test your content on different topics. For example, with CodingNinjas we’ve discovered that answering questions about our competitor Toptal brings us more converting leads than answering similar questions about UpWork or any other websites where people hire freelance developers.
If you’re used to tracking your URLs with UTM parameters, I recommend that you do not do this with Quora, since their ranking ranking algorithm may consider such links as spam and either ban your content or give it lower rankings. Both options are not desirable. Instead, I recommend either using different landing pages, or to set up Google Analytics to show Referral Path as your secondary dimension:
*Bonus Resource: How Google Analytics Can Improve Your Content Marketing
Quora is an incredibly easy to pull off lead-generation channel. You get to create native content while basically directly addressing people’s search queries. If you use the concepts we’ve developed for choosing questions and writing answers (see 11 Ways To Answer Questions On Quora And Generate Leads), you’re very likely to see the first results within the first couple of weeks after you publish your answers.
So why don’t you go and try doing these simple things right now?
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