When talking about online advertising, most of us immediately think of the dominant ad platforms, Meta and Google.
But, with costs and competition levels on those platforms seemingly ever increasing, what about alternatives?
One such alternative is the question-and-answer platform, Quora.
You might not even be aware it offers advertising options, but the platform offers advantages such as potentially more cost-effective ads, intent-driven users and lower levels of competition.
So how do you get started? Let’s find out! But first…
What Is Quora?
Quora was founded by Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever in 2009, who previously worked at Facebook.
It's a platform where anyone can ask questions and provide answers on a wide multitude of topics.
The site invites everyone to share their knowledge, from people with basic experience about a particular topic to authoritative experts, and even celebrities.
Behind the scenes, its algorithms work in a similar way to mainstream social media sites to surface questions likely to interest you, based on what you have shown interest in previously, and try to keep you on the site for as long as possible.
Like other advertising platforms, and with advertising their main source of revenue, the longer they can get users to stick around (and keep coming back) the more revenue they can generate from advertisers.
Reports of its annual revenue levels vary widely, but at the time of writing a potential IPO is on the cards with a potential valuation of up to $4 billion.
What Is Quora Advertising?
Businesses advertise on Quora to promote their products and services.
You’ll see some examples of the types of ad on offer soon, but their ads can show in different places on the platform, such as within the answer feed for questions.
The targeting is relatively sophisticated, with the ability to target specific topics, keywords, questions, custom audiences, and user behaviors.
Why Advertise on Quora?
People come to Quora to learn, ask questions, and find answers, so they're already engaged and curious.
By placing ads on Quora, you can target users interested in specific topics that are relevant for your brand, enabling you to reach an audience that you know have a potential interest in the value your brand provides.
But let’s look at some specific pros and cons of advertising on the platform…
There are several advantages of advertising on Quora, including the following.
Highly Targeted Audience
Quora enables you to focus your ads on a highly targeted audience interested in specific topics, or who exhibit particular interests or behaviors.
Reaching the right audience leads to more relevant clicks from people likely to be receptive to your offerings, and thus higher conversions for your business.
Users are often on Quora because they have specific questions for which they are looking for solutions and answers.
As an advertiser, you have a powerful opportunity to present something that provides exactly what they are looking for.
Although the ads on Quora are clearly labeled as such, they are designed to look exactly like the rest of the content on the site.
This means that, with a well-designed ad, users are more likely to engage with it and potentially not even realize it was an advertisement.
But before deciding to advertise on Quora, it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks too…
Quora's user base, though still substantial, is of course less extensive than the major ad platforms. So even once you’ve optimized a campaign and it’s generating a healthy ROI, it won’t reach anywhere near the numbers available via other platforms.
There’s a certain art to creating ads that work well on Quora. The type of ad that might work well on Facebook for example won’t fit well on the platform.
So it might take a while to find the right format of ad for a successful campaign. If you’re not that familiar with the site, spend time on the platform first getting to know how it works and the type of content that performs well with users.
Then craft an ad that aligns with your target audience, provides value, and adds a level of curiosity that encourages users to click in order to find out more.
If you’re used to the kind of robust and granular analytics that you get on major online ad platforms, you’re likely to find Quora’s analytics more limiting.
Plus, you’re unable to take advantage of third-party analytics tools as you might when advertising on say Facebook or Google.
Quora Ad Types
Quora offers three main ways to advertise. Let's take a look…
1. Text Ads
These are pure text ads that fit into Quora's usual question-and-answer style.
You'll find them on different parts of the site, like the home feed and on topic pages, and they appear on both computers and phones.
2. Image Ads
Image ads are like text ads, but with the addition of an image to help grab attention.
As a largely text-based site, these ads can attract more engagement. They appear in the same places as text ads, with the image displaying different depending on where the ad is shown.
3. Promoted Answers
Ever write an answer you wish more people could see?
With Promoted Answers, you can do just that, effectively paying to give your answer more reach.
It will be labeled as an ad, but it’s otherwise no different to a normal answer, with users still able to like, share, comment and otherwise engage with it as normal.
7 Steps to Create Your First Ad Campaign on Quora
It’s easy to get started with Quora advertising. Here are the 7 steps you need…
1. Create a Quora Ads Account (or Sign In)
Before you can start advertising on Quora, you'll need an account on the Quora Ads platform.
If you don't have one, you'll need to create it.
Create an Account…
If you're new to Quora Advertising, register by providing some basic information about you and the business in question.
Or Sign In
If you already have a Quora Ads account, simply login to access the advertising dashboard.
2. Create a New Campaign
Click one of the buttons provided in the Quora Ads to start a new campaign.
3. Choose Your Objective, Budget and Schedule
Determine the purpose of your ads, otherwise known as your campaign objective. Options include:
- Conversions—suitable if your goal is for people to buy something or sign up on your site….
- Awareness—help spread the word about your brand and the value it provides…
- Traffic—attract people to your website…
- Lead generation—for generating names and contact information from Quora users who are interested in your products or services.
- App installs—for encouraging downloads of your mobile app.
We’ll assume for the purposes of this tutorial that you picked the Conversions option—enabling you to effectively track conversions and the ROI from your campaign—but note the options available will differ depending on the chosen objective.
For Conversions, you’ll need to select a “conversion event”.
Follow the instructions provided or consult your developer to install the pixel.
Decide on your budget, namely how much you want to spend overall or per day to run your campaign.
Set the schedule by either having it run continuously, or by choosing when you want your campaign to start and end.
4. Define Your Target Audience
Next, decide who you want to see your ads. Various targeting options exist as follows…
Set Demographics and Interests
Target Quora users based on factors such as:
- Age, gender and location…
- Interests and topic areas…
- Questions they are looking at…
- Keywords they are searching for…
- Behaviors they exhibit…
- Their Quora search history.
You can even create custom audiences based on visitors to your website, lookalike audiences, or uploaded contact lists.
In addition, you can choose to exclude people who are looking at specific questions, or who are within one of your audiences (such as people who took a particular action on your website).
5. Create Your Ad
Create the ad itself, starting with picking the format of the ad you want to use, and then filling in the rest of the information requested. The process is very similar to other ad platforms, but be careful to craft your ad to specifically suit Quora.
6. Choose Your Payment Method
Enter the details of the card you want to use to pay for your ads.
7. Review and Launch
Finally, review everything and ensure the details are correct before launching your campaign.
Following Quora’s review process, assuming there aren’t any issues, your ads will start showing on Quora.
Optimizing Your Quora Ad Campaign
As on other platforms, launching your campaign is just the start.
Tracking the data and optimizing it accordingly is where you take your campaign and make it successful. Here are the three basic steps you need to follow…
Step #1: Regularly Check Performance
Use Quora’s analytics features, along with analytics on your website (such as Google Analytics), to keep your campaign's performance under regular review.
Understand what's working and what isn't so you can make the necessary adjustments, trying to continuously improve your performance.
Step #2: Make Adjustments Based On Data
Make adjustments to your campaign based on what the data is telling you.
At the same time, be careful of acting too hastily. You need enough data for a particular result to be statistically meaningful, otherwise a particular result will be an inaccurate representation of what’s actually happening, and you can end up making changes that damage your prospects of a successful campaign.
Tip #3: Test Different Approaches
When running any ads, you should always do A/B testing, running one version against another to find the strongest performer and then using that as your new control.
Over time, this can significantly impact the results your campaign achieves.
And don’t just test the ads. Also run A/B tests on your website, sending traffic from the ads to a specific landing page and improving how it converts over time.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
These common mistakes can upset your chances of running a successful Quora advertising campaign…
Target your ads carefully. Think about who your ideal customer is, and use appropriate targeting to show your ads to them.
Avoid poor targeting that’s too broad or that targets an audience with little interest in what you are offering.
Ignoring the data that Quora provides will have a negative impact on your campaign. You need to review your performance metrics regularly, because what it tells you is invaluable, helping you to make data-driven decisions that drive up the performance of your ads and grow your ROI.
Lack of A/B Testing
Without testing, you’re relying on guesswork, which nearly always means lower performance and missed opportunities.
With A/B testing, you discover exactly what resonates best with your audience, based on hard data.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Target My Ads To Specific Topics or Interests?
Yes, Quora allows you to target your ads based on topics, interests, and even specific questions. This means you can reach an audience with a high level of precision.
Is There a Minimum Budget Requirement?
No, Quora allows you to start with an amount that suits you.
It’s best to start with a relatively low daily budget, start gathering data, and as you begin to optimize your campaign and see results, increase your budget accordingly to reach more of your target audience.
Can I Track My Campaign Performance?
Yes, Quora provides tools to monitor and analyze your campaign's performance. These analytics help you understand how your ads perform and where you can improve.
As we’ve seen, while not as big as some online ad platforms, Quora advertising provides valuable opportunities to reach a targeted audience that has a potentially high level of interest in what you provide and that is likely on the platform looking for solutions.
In addition, there’s lower levels of competition from other advertisers, and potentially cheaper costs.
And it’s easy to get started. Use the seven steps outlined above to create your first campaign with Quora, adding an additional (and potentially lucrative) customer acquisition channel for your business.