Today, businesses don’t really need to pay for TV ads or hand out flyers to get noticed.
One of the most cost-effective strategies is online marketing. Creating your own blog or nurturing a social media account is ultimately cheaper than paying for ad campaigns.
In fact, a 2014 survey found that most millennials are just streaming content from Hulu, Netflix or Amazon instead of subscribing to cable. If these are your target market, it’s important to think of clever ways to reach them.
However, simply vying for their attention on social media sites like Facebook may not produce expected results. There’s too much noise. So, how do you stand out?
Don’t wait for your consumers to find you—go to them instead. With Q&A sites such as Quora, you can connect with your target market faster and easier.
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Founded in 2009 by former Facebook employees Adam D'Angelo and Charlie Cheever, Quora aims to be an open question-and-answer community where people all over the world can share their knowledge.
- Unlike similar websites, Quora prefers detailed, well-researched answers to questions.
- Would-be members are encouraged to register with real names.
- Verified users are people who linked other accounts (like their LinkedIn profile or Tumblr blog) to prove their authenticity.
- People can follow topics that interest them.
- Users can follow one another, just like popular social media platforms.
- One can also create blogs and ask particular individuals for answers.
- Quora has introduced Stats to help users see which of their questions/answers/content are popular with the community regarding views, upvotes, or shares.
Active members will find that Quora’s algorithm adjusts to your actions. The more you upvote or answer certain topics, more of similarly relevant content would appear on your Feed.
Why Try Quora?
People are naturally curious by nature. They will continuously seek answers to almost anything under the sun. That’s the reason websites like Quora won’t easily fall out of trend anytime soon. Here are other advantages that make Quora an ideal online marketing platform:
- Quora is mobile. Its app, which is available on Google Play and the App Store, makes your brand visible on users’ pockets anywhere they go. According to a Quora spokesperson, 40 percent of their traffic comes from the mobile app.
- Quora works great for reputation management. Whether you own a small business or manage a huge enterprise, one of your biggest assets is your online reputation. Answering members’ questions on Quora about your brand should give people an insight into your corporate goals, mission, vision, and culture.
- Quora syndicates content to authoritative sites. Content syndication is the process of distributing content to relevant websites. It’s a clever way to get your work out there without much effort or money. Quora has content partnerships with Slate, Forbes, and BBC to name a few.
- It’s easy to track progress with Stats. Quora has its own analytics system, called Stats, to help users track their development.
What businesses should be aware of is, like social media sites, Quora requires a different approach. While Facebook and Pinterest may come off with clichéd content, the Q&A site gives brands a chance to tell their side of the story directly to users.
Key Concepts To Follow
Say you have decided to try Quora to promote your brand. Again, this is not like marketing on major social media sites like Facebook or Twitter! Direct promotion that’s done in bad taste could lead to a permanent ban on your account. The main thing to remember is to use Quora as a platform to 1) connect straight to your target market and; 2) build your online reputation as an authority in your field.
1. Complete your profile. It’s best to use your REAL name instead of your business name. People tend to respond better to faces than corporate accounts because they are more approachable. Don’t forget to upload a picture of yourself. Use the profile biofield to showcase your profession or business (i.e. CEO, Founder, Entrepreneur, etc.). Underneath that, you can tell more about yourself OR even put in the URL of your website or social media accounts for exposure.
2. Follow topics in your industry. If you own a food business, you can follow topics about Food in general, Entrepreneurship, and Business Strategy and Management. Once you have added your areas of expertise, describe your experience with them in one sentence (ex: “Started my own local café two years ago.”) by going back to your Profile page.
3. Once you’re finished with your Bio, and you have somehow familiarized yourself with Quora features, remember to search for your brand, product, or service to see if anyone is talking about it. If you found a discussion thread, you can just join in on the conversation.
4. Don’t forget to interact by asking and answering questions. Quora is a thriving community of people who want to learn from each another – so have fun and use it as a medium to get to know various subjects!
5. Add your own content. Quora now let members have blogs directly on its platform. This is a great tool for content syndication and repurposing. Do you have a popular blog post on your website? Wondering how to get the word out about your podcast? Reach interested audiences by re-posting content on your Quora blog. The best thing about content on Quora is that you hardly need to promote it. As long as you used relevant keywords and tags, the right audiences should be able to find your work.
6. Expand your network by following people and brands. You never know who’s going to be talking about your business!
7. Remain updated with Quora’s trending topics. You will find this on the left-hand side of your Feed. Participating in these discussions would help boost your authority.
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Brands and People on Quora
Since its launch to the public in 2010, it has expanded to include top discussed brands like Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s, each with more than a hundred thousand Followers. As the community is active and highly engaged with one another, it has also prompted A-listers to jump into discussions. Verified users even include President Barack Obama, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, as well as famous Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher.
A digital visionary like Jimmy Wales, Founder of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, is also present. Two other active community members include Evan Williams (former Twitter Chairman and CEO) and Robert Scoble (American blogger and author).
In Quora, you never know WHO you’re going to meet or WHAT brand you’ll stumble into.
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Today, it’s not enough to simply have an online presence – businesses need to be trustworthy, genuine, and an authority in their respective industries.
Although social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are popular digital marketing platforms, niche sites like Quora provide a more personal space for active engagement that goes a long way.
You can’t please everyone in your target market, BUT you can strike a good balance between sales and human connection. Quora may just be the medium you need to show consumers that you are more than a faceless brand.