Quora Ads are one of the myriad options for advertising online. Like eBay, Reddit, and LinkedIn, Quora is one of those Web 2.0 properties that feels like it should be dated, but remains surprisingly relevant.
In fact, while Quora is itself has been around since 2009, Quora’s self-serve Ad Platform only rolled out in 2016.
Quora has 300 million active users and some interesting reasons to advertise.
Why Use Quora Ads
First, you have access to both social data and search intent.
Like Pinterest and Reddit, you can reach people based on demographic and psychographic data AND you can reach people who are actively searching for answers OR you can layer both to run hyper-targeted campaigns to people who are both your target customer and actively researching.
Second, you have access to lots of qualified organic traffic. Quora has plenty of internal usage. But their organic search traffic is their secret weapon.
Due to their brand and enormous amount of content, they rank well in Google & Bing for highly qualified search terms. I’ve written how you can use Quora for “barnacle” SEO and content.
But – that approach requires work. With Quora Ads, you can pay to jump to the front of the line. Advertise on pages that rank well for target keywords.
Third, you get to define best practices & deal with lower competition.
Every big brand and agency is on Google & Facebook. Best practices and budgets are well-defined. Quora requires more work and thought to succeed.
I’ll share my experience in this post, but my main takeaway is that there is no “right” answer. Quora is still wide-open and open for testing & experimentation. If you have more time / skills than budget, Quora is a great place to go.
How To Setup Quora Ads
Quora has done an excellent job with self-service. The platform is straightforward and comes with a surprisingly useful email course.
To get started, all you need is some basic business information.
Within your Ads Manager Dashboard, you can Manage Ads, setup a Quora Pixel, manage your retargeting audiences, and setup email reports.
Whether you setup an ad campaign or not, I highly suggest that you immediately implement your Pixel, dabble with Audiences and setup a couple curated Email Reports.
Quora has a the familiar menu of retargeting audiences. Standard setup is for Website Traffic.
In the next step, you’ll setup your Quora Pixel to tag visitors. You can pre-segment your Website Traffic to make retargeting a bit easier.
If you have a lot of educational content on your site, I would start with that segment. Quora is a common research tool, especially with high-consideration purchases. If you can reach users doing intensive research across platforms, you’ll be less likely to lose them.
Additionally, once you’ve built an audience, you can create a Lookalike Audience.
This feature is huge because you can reasonably expand your reach across Quora to reach someone who you *know* is familiar with your brand.
Remember how I mentioned that Quora is hybrid social / search? This is where that power comes in.
For example, imagine you are recruiting entry-level engineers out of college.
You have the ability to tag visitors to your site, and then reach them throughout Quora whenever they are asking career related questions.
Plus – you’ll get insight into the types of questions that you your audience asks. This feeds back into a successful content strategy based on data that *only* you have access to.
Lastly, if you have permission, you can upload a list of current contacts to rebuild your existing customers within Quora.
It’s a lot of work, but for high consideration campaigns, it’s worthwhile.
Like any & all retargeting strategies – Audiences can be creepy, invasive, and sometimes illegal in the European Union without explicit consent.
Most people either consent or live in jurisdictions that do not require explicit consent. These tools do exist and are worthwhile for many businesses. Retargeting is here to stay. The key is to keep it classy. Time, thoughtfulness, and testing creates the best outcome for advertisers, publishers, and customers.
Email Reporting is straightforward. But I would set the settings you like so that you actually view the reports rather than automatically deleting them.
Now you’ll need to set your Quora Pixel, which is the snippet that “fires” on your webpage to track website visitors.
The setup depends on your website, but you’ll need to place it wherever you have your Google Analytics tag.
Now you can get started on a campaign! Head to Manage Ads and select your objective.
If you select Conversions, you’ll need to select a conversion type to pass to your Quora Pixel. You’ll also have to manually tag any actions (like Add to Cart).
Conversion Tracking is accurate and can be worthwhile. But unless you are running large campaigns, some of this Conversion Tracking might not be worth the effort.
For my campaigns (and most advertisers), I use the Traffic objective. But I also tag all of my ads so that I can track conversions within my existing Google Analytics setup.
Once you’ve created your Campaign objectives, you’ll need to set up a new Ad Set.
Ad Sets each have their own targeting and bids. After setting up an Ad Set, you’ll write individual Ads for each ad set.
But Ad Sets are where the fun really happens.
You have 4 primary targeting methods. I’ll cover each below. But the short version is that you can do –
- Topic Targeting – Target content that falls within a category regardless of user interest.
- Question Targeting – Target specific questions on Quora regardless of topic or user.
- Audience Targeting – Target your audiences everywhere on Quora (see above).
- Interest Targeting – Target people who are interested in a topic regardless of content.
After that, you can choose several secondary targeting methods. You can focus your ads by Location or Device. You can also exclude specific questions or audiences (ie, people who have successfully purchased from your site).
Topic and Question Targeting are my favorite options. They both target based on content not the user.
When you are looking to expand reach or target based on intent – this is the option that you should use. Topic Targeting lets you quickly target a bunch of questions quickly.
The key to Topic Targeting is to provide Quora with a relevant but broad set of keywords. There’s a bit of an art to it, but be sure to play around with different combinations before committing to a set of Topics.
Additionally, make sure you go and manually explore those Topics to vet the questions, the likely audience, and and related Topics that you are missing.
But if you have time, the best targeting option is Suggested Questions.
With this option, you can advertise with specific ads on specific questions.
From a purely data perspective, this targeting option is the only place to get Weekly Views stats for Quora questions, which can help your content marketing efforts separate from any paid campaigns.
Interest Targeting targets the user rather than the content that they are looking at. This option is great for casting a wide-net to reach your audience everywhere on Quora.
However, note that you’ll reach them even when they are looking at irrelevant questions. This option is great to layer with other options (like exclude questions). Be careful using it alone though.
There are also options for targeting an existing audience and also a Broad Topic option.
After selecting your targeting with exclusions and bids set, you’ll need to create your actual ads.
Quora provides lots of space and encourages “content-like” ads. They want complete sentences that are relevant to your targeting. They are not great for hard-sells, but pair *very* well with custom landing pages or educational content.
Be sure to add UTM parameters to your landing page URL to effectively track visits throughout Google Analytics.
That’s how you setup Quora ads. But keep in mind that the magic is in customized ads, landing pages, targeting and constantly improving each metric.
That said – how do Quora ads perform “out in the wild”? I’ve run a few campaigns for myself and for clients. Here’s the results of my most recent campaign.
My Experience with Quora Ads
Now – I almost exclusively use Question Targeting for my Quora ads. I also commit to spending probably too much time on research for my small campaigns (although some of that research gets re-used for content campaigns).
The campaign highlighted below was a fairly small content promotion campaign. I had a new piece of content that I wanted to promote without traditional, manual outreach.
I found several questions that aligned with the content. I devoted around $100 to promotion.
This campaign aligned with the common takeaways from my Quora campaigns.
- The impressions were high for such a niche topic – and surprisingly consistent day to day.
- The CTR was uncommonly high for online ads.
- Conversions were solid.
- Cost per click was a bit higher than expected, but nowhere near Google Ads territory.
Additionally, I did not have to filter or account for a lot of spam (I’m looking at you, Google Display and Facebook…).
My numbers in Google Analytics lined up perfectly with Quora. Engagement was high and as I’d hoped.
All in all, this (and all my campaigns) go back to the same general takeaways for Quora Ads.
- Quora Ads are hard to roll out “at scale” but are very effective with the right amount of time devoted to set up & research.
- They are great for high consideration ads and great to reach new, smart audiences.
- You have to have the right website content to provide good, engaging landing pages.
- Often small campaigns are worthwhile simply for the data.
In many ways, they remind me of both Pinterest and Reddit Ads. They aren’t for everyone, but certainly a solid opportunity for the right advertisers.
Quora Ads are not for everyone. There’s not a ton of inventory. To do it well, you really need to spend some time on your research and ad setup.
However, in an increasingly crowded and expensive online ad market, the market represents a solid opportunity.
At the very least, you should go set up an account and grab the Quora Pixel to build an audience.
From there, you can reach you existing users on yet another platform. You can expand your reach based on small tests and the time you have to research interests.
If you found this article useful, please link, share or bookmark. Happy advertising!
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