Quora is a massively popular question and answer site where members share information, engage in topical discussions and work to find solutions. It is a very inclusive concept that allows the community to interact, ask, answer and edit. It features a large membership that trusts the integrity of the site and looks to these forums for answers, advice and suggestions. The receptiveness of Quora users – they are typically using it to find answers, after all – makes it a prime marketing space. However, it is not a sales site and the Quora community is not, for the most part, using it to find products. Quora represents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to build brand awareness, they just need to be careful to do so in a very measured and discreet manner.
Why use Quora?
Besides its popularity and reputation as a free source for high-quality information, becoming a regular contributor on Quora imbues your brand with a certain level of expertise simply based on the information you provide. When people come looking for answers, they are naturally inclined to appreciate and respect the person that provides it. Something as simple as answering questions in your field of specialization demonstrates to those on the forum that you are knowledgeable. In addition, the fact that you are generously using your time to help them out gets the relationship off on the right foot.
Once you have proven yourself, members familiar with your work are going to be pre-disposed to considering any suggestions you may have, marketing or otherwise. Whilst at the same time, you are also gaining exposure to millions of users in one easy location and, within certain parameters, you are allowed to share your business links with the community.
How does it work?
While there is certainly a wide range of information available on Quora, that doesn’t mean it is just a random jumble of questions and answers. They use an algorithm to direct users to the most likely answers they are looking for. Answer rankings are based on voting and “suggested edits” systems that allow them to recognize the most useful streams. When someone inputs a search, the algorithm will try to produce the highest ranked answer that most closely matches the criteria.
Quora also promotes a Top Writers program that rewards prodigious contributors who provide content of a certain level. Content from these members will be favored by the search algorithm.
If you can generate posts that people like, that closely match the search criteria of your target audience, and which qualify for the Top Writers category, you are bound to attract a lot of eyes. And there is going to be an immediate level of trust because you have earned that status through your work on the site.
How to build brand awareness with Quora
Okay, you’ve set up your profile, started browsing and found some key topics that relate to your business and are well within your sphere of knowledge. How do you choose where to focus your time?
Well, first off, it helps to have an accurate and detailed picture of your target audience. This enables you to browse just as one of your potential clients would, envisioning the questions they are likely to ask and studying the answers. Before you ever start posting answers, spend a good deal of time examining the type of posts you want to be involved with. See which ones have generated the most traffic and discussion and try to pinpoint what is different about these posts. These are the ones you’ll want to participate in and possibly emulate.
Then it’s time to start answering questions. Stick to topics you know well – never post anything you’re not 100% sure about. Nothing destroys credibility faster than being called out by the next poster on the thread. Be straightforward, concise and include supporting links if necessary. You can include links to your own content as long as it provides directly relevant information further to the discussion. You definitely want to be very careful not to overdo it, especially early on.
Stick to adding value
You want to avoid promoting yourself, your business or your products too directly. Doing this will make members suspicious of your motives. Overall, you need to show common sense and restraint when it comes to anything that could be construed as advertising in order to avoid getting flagged by Quora moderators.
Make sure you turn on notifications, both for posts you are involved in and for topics you want to reply to. Replying quickly and beating others to the punch helps you look like an efficient and reliable source of information.
The key to increasing brand awareness, however, is to know what you are talking about and to share that information liberally. As members continue to see thoughtful, informative answers from you and your brand, they will begin to associate the two things. Then, when they happen to come across a link to one of your blog posts that is related to their interests, they won’t hesitate to check it out, trusting you to provide accurate and impartial advice. Something that, in the past, was only demonstrated by customers who had done business with you regularly.
Get some inspiration
Finally, one last way that Quora can be used to your benefit is as an excellent source of ideas. If you are at the point where you are researching ways to market on Quora, surely you already employ other marketing methods that require fresh content such as a blog or newsletter. Reading through all the most popular threads in your industry can provide valuable information about your target audience. The questions they ask, the concerns and complaints they make and the answers they like the most. All of this information offers useful ammunition when working on your marketing direction.
Quora is an excellent tool for people to share ideas and information. It’s guidelines and reputation provide the input of its members with a credibility that is hard to find elsewhere on the internet. This offers businesses a great chance to interact with potential customers in a trustworthy and non-threatening manner. Learning how to use Quora to tactfully market your business can do wonders for your online persona and business reputation.