The CMO’s Guide to Quora Ads in Less Than 5 Minutes
Default advertising networks like Google and Facebook are great if you want to stick to the leaders and play it safe. But there are lots of other digital advertising channels where you can find your target audience.
Quora is an up-and-coming platform to watch, and we’ve had success using it with clients as part of their marketing mix. Here’s the CMO’s guide to Quora Ads in under five minutes.
In this guide, I’ll cover:
What Is Quora?
Quora is a social Q&A platform. It allows people to ask questions and get answers from other Quora users, many of which are professionals or otherwise experienced in the subject matter. The platform lets members upvote the answers to questions, and offers features like other social media.
Quora has more than 300 million monthly active users. To put this in context, Twitter has about 330 million monthly active users — though Twitter stopped reporting this metric in 2018.
Quora explains how the platform works:
Quora is organized around Topics, which are a series of questions anchored by a main keyword. When a user enters a search term on the site, a drop-down list of related Topics appears. Users can choose to follow Topics, which means related questions and answers will appear in the Quora news feed. Users can also write answers to questions when they have expertise to offer. Similar to how following works on Twitter, users can follow other users and profiles on Quora to receive notifications and see their content in news feed.
Unlike other user-generated Q&A sites, users on Quora create profiles based on their real identities. Quora has active moderation politics in place to ensure that discourse is civil, content quality is high, and people feel safe sharing their knowledge.
Here’s an infographic from Quora that gives the business opportunity at a glance:
What Is Quora Ads?
Quora Ads is Quora’s advertising arm.
Quora explains how advertising within the platform provides opportunity:
Over 300+ million people come to Quora every month to ask questions and read insightful answers. This includes people looking for reliable information about your company, products, competitors and industry. This gives advertisers the opportunity to influence people during the consideration phase of their purchase process. Quora is a unique, high-intent advertising platform, ideally suited to reach customers as they research a product or service.
- A large base of monthly active users who are “highly educated and primarily live in West and East Coast metropolitan area.”
- On-brand targeting, as Quora promises that “your message will only appear alongside content that’s on par with your brand.”
- Lots of targeting options.
Quora Ads launched officially in 2017 and recently has been gaining ground among agencies and brands as a viable place to advertise. According to the 2019/2020 State of PPC report by Hanapin Marketing (now Brainlabs), brands and agencies are taking note.
For example, the 2018/2019 report found no agencies willing to pitch Quora Ads to clients. But that number rose to 20% in 2019/2020 report.
And, 14% of brands are investing in Quora Ads according to the latest data. While this seems like small potatoes compared to Google, Facebook and others, the opportunity for early adopters could pay off.
How Quora Ads Work
Quora Ads feels intuitive for anyone who’s worked with other digital advertising platforms like Google Ads. To set up a campaign, you choose a campaign objective and set the budget (minimum $5 daily to get started), ad schedule, targeting options and bids (for clicks or impressions). Then you create an ad for Quora with a linked landing page where you’ll drive visitors.
Objectives for a campaign include:
- Traffic to your site
- Conversions on your website
- Downloads of your mobile app
- Awareness of your brand
- Lead generation
Targeting options include:
- Contextual targeting that shows ads that are relevant to certain topics, keywords and questions
- Audience targeting that matches an audience based on your web traffic; matches lookalike audiences based on an existing audience; or to contacts based on an existing list
- Behavioral targeting that shows ads based on a person’s interests, keyword history or question history
- Broad targeting that shows ads widely across Quora
- Location targeting for states, cities, ZIP codes, etc.
- More targeting like device, gender, excluded questions and excluded audiences
- Quora digest email inclusion
Native ad types include text, image or promoted answers:
Here’s an example of a native image ad:
And here’s an example of a promoted answer within a user’s Quora feed:
Why Use Quora Ads
The nature of Quora leads to advertising that allows brands to build credibility as subject matter experts.
Besides branding, audience reach is another plus. People searching internally within Quora form a base, already a large population. But your audience may extend to Google searchers as well since Quora answers often rank in search engines organically.
So advertising on the platform is a way to reach a broad audience with high search intent — for a lot less than you’d probably pay for a Google ad.
Of course, you can view data from third-party studies like this one to see what types of results others have experienced. But there are far too many factors at play to generalize this type of data to every brand and campaign. If you’re interested in branching out with your advertising spend, Quora Ads is worth a try.