How We Use Quora For Lead Generation and Marketing Software Services
Quora is a big deal these days.
You’ve heard the buzz – it can bring massive traffic to your corporate blog, leverage your authority in the niche and drive qualified leads.
But does marketing on Quora work for software companies?
Indeed, it does.
In this guide, I’ll share the exact tips we’ve used at Romexsoft, plus the results we’ve gotten. And, boy, those were surprising!
On to the practicalities!
Table of Contents
What You Will Learn Today:
- What exactly is Quora and why should you care?
- Why Quora is hot right now?
- Why Quora is great for B2B Marketing.
- How we started using Quora
- How to create an attractive Quora profile.
- How to navigate the platform and use it to your advantage
- How to use Quora for lead generation.
- How to use Quora for content marketing.
- Useful add-ons.
- Things to watch out for.
What exactly is Quora and why should you care?
Quora is a popular questions & answers platform introduced by two ex-facebook employees – D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever in 2009. From that time Quora had its ups and downs from being extremely niche and popular in 2011 and then a slight downfall in 2013 with a steady growth during 2015 up till now. In December 2016, Quora’s co-founder and CEO Adam D’Angelo revealed that Quora hit 80 million unique monthly visitors by simply answering the question on Quora in his monthly session with more than 500,000 topics on the platform.
It’s a cool platform apart from Ask.com and Yahoo Answers, where anyone can ask and respond to questions about basically anything in the world, even things like “What’s it like to play basketball with President Obama?” and, amazingly enough, Obama will hop into answering.
Moreover, Quora is quickly indexed by Google which gives the platform an additional value and increases the chance for searches to stumble on your writings.
There are many discussion and articles on the web how Quora does wonders for thought leadership, helps to raise brand awareness and generates leads. We all already know that using Quora is beneficial in many ways. And it is unquestionable whether to use it or not.
Yet, I’d like to tackle a more specific angle: how we can use Quora for B2B marketing in outsourcing software development niche to attract new leads and enhance our content efforts based on my experience.
Why Quora is Hot Right Now?
- You can build authority in your niche or industry.
- Drive long-term traffic to your website.
- Demonstrate your expertise and reputation on almost any topic.
- Promote your content by sharing topic-focused boards on your profile.
- Get insights from experts in any industry.
- Do market research of your industry.
- Perform competitor analysis.
- Target your questions to specific Quora users.
- Start your Quora blog for content syndication.
- Search for specific questions or keywords related to your domain to stay on top of the industry buzz.
Why Quora is Great for B2B Marketing
For B2B marketing Quora can be the perfect channel to leverage your expertise and offer your knowledge to solve your client concerns and problems.
All questions are answered by real people as Quora requires real name registration and the community is here to vet and react over your answers.
So you have a team. All of them are experts in different fields e.g. design, marketing, testing, etc. with tons of professional tips and secrets to spill. Ask them to create profiles and spend a few minutes a day browsing and answering questions.
This way you can build a trustworthy personal brand, but your name is still tied to your company name, and it gets a certain amount of exposure too.
How We Started Using Quora
We began using Quora extensively for marketing in December 2015 with two employees accounts. Our main goal was to generate leads and promote existing content. As for today, my personal account gained over 6,185 views!
Quora became one of the most quality traffic sources for our website.
Ready to get started with Quora too? Read on!
How to Create an Attractive Quora Profile (In Case You Don’t Have One Yet)
To create your account, you can either login with Facebook or Google+ or use your email to sign up. By setting up your profile, think about interests and topics you would like to contribute to, a snappy tagline and profile content. Quora shows only the first 50 characters of your profile as a tagline above your answer.
Your short bio will appear along with the answers you write. Mention your brand or website name in the beginning, as most of the users will only see your tagline.
Don’t forget to include links to your website/blog and primary social media accounts. In my case, I linked my personal Facebook & LinkedIn, though Twitter is linked to my company account.
Apart from your main bio, you can set topic-related bios. Click Profile page and choose Knows about section, where you can add and describe all the experiences you have.
You can go ahead and complete your Quora profile with additional information by adding your areas of expertises, interests, location, employment, education and so on.
How to navigate the platform and use it to your advantage
Search. Search is the one of the most powerful tools at Quora, and it is the perfect tool for…market research. You can learn the exact things people in your industry look for and struggle with. On top, you can keep track on all the talks relevant to your industry via email by clicking the Settings button and configure your Email Notifications. You’ll get a quick summary newsletter for review daily.
Following Topics. Find and start the following topic feeds relevant to your industry. For example, subscribe to Outsourcing if you are a software development company like us. Start typing in your interest and Quora will auto-provide you with suggested topic feeds and questions to check out. Click the button “search” to see all the existing content for your keyword.
As Romexsoft is a software development biz, mainly in the outsourcing niche, the topics we are mostly interested in are Outsourcing, Inbound Marketing, Startups, IT Outsourcing, Healthcare IT, Healthcare Technology, FinTech Startup, Edutech, Automated Testing, etc.
User search and follow/subscribe. There is an option to look for users, mostly experts in your niche. You can follow them or subscribe to receive notifications about their newest answers. In software development sphere I recommend following other opinion leaders, trends setters and bloggers with useful and interesting content to bring more value to your account and network coverage.
Here’re some great guys from my feed:
- Quincy Larson
- John L. Miller
- Jason M. Lemkin
- Jérôme Cukier
- Auren Hoffman
- And yours truly – Valentyna Zalevska
Blog posts search and follow. For specific blog posts on Quora, search for blog name or author to follow and receive updates for new posts. All your follow actions are tracked by Quora, by logging in – you will receive notifications about the latest activities around the topics, users and blogs you’ve followed/subscribed to.
How To Use Quora for Lead Generation
Answer questions. Quora is not the place to shamelessly self-promote or bring zero value to your answer. Poor answers can get collapsed or downvoted by the community. Always aim to write longer and more detailed answers. Formatting and structure matters as well, especially for easier “scanning”: use paragraph breaks, bullet points, numbered lists, bold or italics highlights, adding relevant images or a video is a plus too.
In search Quora answers will display as a short description with just the first few lines visible and Read more tag. Just like in a blog post, the first lines should be catchy enough for the reader to click through and view the complete answer.
Try to provide a detailed answer as in-depth; educational answers receive more community love and upvotes. Yet do not aim at 1000+ words. Leave those texts for a blog post. Include reference links and data when applicable as in the example above. I linked to the blog article after the key points and conclusion for those, who’d love to know more.
Link-building. You shouldn’t always link your company website or blog. Shameless self-promotion and spamming will not win you any friends. Bring value first. Answer the questions just for the sake of sharing your expertise. Credit and cite others as well as long as the material backs up your tip.
Mentions. Mentioning other Quora writers and users is another good thing to do. You can tag those, who may have more experience on the subject or previously covered the same topics. They will receive a mention notification and check out your answer and profile. This way you can build your trustful network of influencers and connect with amazing peeps in your niche.
Quality answers will have more views and get more chances to be upvoted and shared across the web. Also people, who loved your answer can follow or subscribe to your profile or head straight to your blog for more content. All these actions lead to bigger conversion rate on your website.
Share your answers on other social networks. Most of your prospects look for a solution on your website or elsewhere regarding your processes, services and approach to work. Try sharing your answers on social media. Google will index your answers even better as you accumulate social proof. Quora allows “Auto-sharing” once you’ve connected other social networks on your profile.
Asking questions. Quora is the perfect source to gather all sort of data. You can ask the question you are currently struggling with or researching. As you can see in the example below, I recently asked about automation tools people use in the daily work, because we are preparing a new blog post about automation testing tools and I’d love to hear the community feedback.
Ask to answer feature allows you to request an answer from 15 popular writers on your topic giving you a chance to get the most qualified answer.
Quora encourages to ask questions you want to answer – a “win-win” case to show your competence in certain topics and hear other opinions as well.
Analytics & ROI. On Quora you can see how many people have viewed your answers and profiles of people, who followed your question. You can easily connect with your followers or message them directly with related content offers.
On top, there is a separate analytics section called “Stats.” This free analytics tool provides you with the views, upvotes and shares for all the categories – questions, answers, posts and all the content you’ve contributed.
Views and upvotes are quite vanity metrics for me. The only thing I find useful is to identify the key topics which may be the content candidates by the number of views.
The thing people forget about when starting to use Quora is to track ROI coming from the answers on Quora in Google Analytics. I use GA, but if you are using other tracking tools, please, let me know in the comments below.
It’s quite and easy step a tracking campaign in GA: Go to “Reporting tab”, then choose “Social” under “Acquisition.” Then go to “Network Referrals”. Quora will appear as one of your sources if you already have started your activity there. Furthermore, by clicking on Quora source, you can see which pages are getting the most traffic from Quora and what answers include those referrals. I can quickly see which blog posts turned out to be the most popular and which answers on Quora I gave mentioning this link.
If you are setting your conversion tracking in GA, you can set the funnels and events to track if your customers came from Quora or other sources. For more info on that, you can go to a brilliant piece by Cara Tarbaj at Wishpond blog.
Message prospects and followers. Private messaging is a powerful feature for your lead generation strategy. You can send a message to your followers and prospects if the privacy settings allow doing so. Make sure you choose to receive messages from anyone in your privacy settings on Quora if you’d like to connect with more prospects.
There are two ways to reach your marketing pre-qualified leads as they are already interested in your answer/question/topic.
- send a thank you note to your followers;
- send a direct follow-up after your answer to the question with targeted offers and link to your landing page;
- connect with them on LinkedIn with a Quora reference.
How To Use Quora for Content Marketing
Discover content ideas. Type your targeted keywords in search and Quora will help you discover the top questions asked by the community. You can easily find trending topics for your blog and other content marketing materials. It takes your time to dive in and research what are the most viewed and followed questions on Quora in your niche and how you can plan your content strategy around them. The most upvoted and viewed questions can be a good signal of valuable content to produce.
You can filter your search results by type of questions, answers or posts and also by the timeline.
Quora blog. One of the smart ways to get even more exposure from Quora is to start your blog apart from doing the questions-and-answers thing. Go to your profile and navigate to Blogs, create your unique name, URL and a catchy description.
Add your content, just like on Medium, Facebook Notes or LinkedIn Pulse. In general, Quora posts get higher rankings in search results and more exposure from around the network.
Quick Tip: Repurpose your blog content, either from your personal or your company blog that you contributed to. Review your old content on Quora and give it a second traffic boost.
Create your company page. Use one of Quora features – building a company page, to leverage your brand’s visibility. This feature is particularly useful for product software development companies as your company can track the questions about the product and answer them directly under the company page on Quora. Software outsourcing companies providing services can benefit from this page by creating an additional visibility and also answering basic questions potential prospects may have. Offer customer support to folks who are not your customers….and they are likely to become them!
I advise creating a simple FAQ about your company with the most popular inquiries and ask your current customers to post references. This way, you establish social proof and authority, plus generate a long-term traffic source showing high in search results for branded keywords.
See a Quora topic example below with FAQ about the company itself and customers feedback.
“Top writers.” Quora actively encourages users to answer more questions and receive “Most Viewed Writer” accolade in return. To get this privileged badge, you need to accumulate the highest number of answers views over the past 30 days. The rankings consist of top 10 writers for each topic. The good news is – you can become a top writer for numerous topics.
By reaching more than 5000 views on my answers, I became the most viewed writer in Code Outsourcing. This is a great way for you to get noticed by other users, who can request you to answer their questions and connect with you. The badge indicates the level of your authority on Quora.
Online sessions. The great Quora feature for promotion and knowledge sharing are online sessions. Tech stars, presidents and more, can go live for an hour or two to answer questions on Quora, either personal or professional ones.
The last session I attended was with Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, where she intended to pick the best ten questions to answer. This is a great way to talk and reach out to opinion leaders and influencers in your industry. By the way, in small font below the answer, you can identify the person who asked the question, which stands for a perfect opportunity to think of smarter questions to get noticed by others and even potentially get reached out to by the session speaker.
Quora app. Good news for you – you can keep track of your views and answers by using a Quora app. It is available for Windows, Android and iOS and has pretty neat design and navigation.
Knowledge badge. An experimental feature introduced by Quora is Knowledge Prizes (currently on beta), which aims to inspire experts to answer important questions online and receive a financial contribution for that. Technology topics only are in bet now, which is an obvious sign of their extreme popularity. Some questions are sponsored by companies, who want to get expert opinions and rewards the best ones with a prize. It’s up to a winner on how to spend the money, though. These days Quora recommends transferring the prize to partner charities. You can read more about Knowledge Prizes on Quora blog.
Things Watch Out For
Quora is not the place for self-promotion or heavy promotion of your website, products or services. It has no tolerance towards spam and aggressive link-building to leverage your SEO rankings. Quora was created to help people find the information they need. Up till now it remains free source and doesn’t have a business model to earn profits.
Mention your website in your bio description is more than enough. When people like your posts and content, they can see where are you working and what services you provide. If you blogged about something relevant to the answer on Quora, please, still give the fairly comprehensive answer with a link to Read more in other sources. Quora attractively links external sources by showing up the entire titles.
Sometimes your answer can literally “collapse” and it will not be shown in the main answer thread. It means that either your answer was downvoted, too short, requires improvements or you haven’t passed the real name verification process.
One more tool for your content marketing efforts and lead generation won’t help your business; there is always need to set goals and objectives why you are using Quora. You can limit yourself on how much time you spend on Quora weekly and create a checklist of what are the steps to take.
My strategy is to use Quora three times per week no more than 20 minutes for the following activities:
- search for questions with the most followers or views and answer them;
- follow and answer the new questions in my expert topics by checking notifications, when possible, include the links back to the website;
- upvote and comment the answers I like;
- follow new active people and influencers by searching for the top answers in chosen topics;
- send and respond to messages;
- content repurposing from the company blog;
- constantly improving the profile by adding new info on expert topics and include new targeted links.