Nearly 60 percent of B2B marketing executives name “positioning our company as a thought leader” as one of their top marketing objectives.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by establishing the company's leaders and subject matter experts as authorities in their field. And one of the best places to do that is Quora.
A Global Platform for Thought Leadership
Quora is one of the 100 most-trafficked websites and one of the top social media sites in the world, with more than 300 million monthly active users -- up from 200 million just three years ago. About 35 percent of visitors are in the U.S. and 22 percent in India, with no other country representing more than 5 percent of visitors.
Quora is distinguished by its question-and-answer format, which is the basis for all engagement on the site. “Quorans,” as members are known, have asked and answered tens of millions of questions on topics ranging from personal to politics to business. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 new questions are added to Quora daily. The most popular writers on Quora receive millions of views, upvotes and shares of their content.
Interactions on Quora are demand-driven: people ask directly for your expertise and guidance. This includes millions of B2B decision-makers who turn to the platform to self-educate. Quora provides opportunities to interact with buyers at all stages of the funnel, from high-level awareness to mid-funnel and product evaluation stages.
B2B marketers can leverage each of these marketing tactics with Quora:
Thought leadership. Quora helps you gain authority and visibility in your industry when you answer questions and participate in conversations;
SEO. Quora answers can rank very well on search engines, particularly for long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business. For evergreen topics, this means your answers will continue to attract visitors and interest indefinitely;
Content marketing. Quora allows you to answer questions about your product and competing products, including explaining features and overcoming objections;
Advertising. Quora’s advertising options enable a full-funnel strategy through various types of audience targeting.
Creating Your Profile
The best way to start building authority on Quora is to fill out your profile. Providing relevant credentials and a detailed biography tells visitors that you are a credible resource in your field. It also helps you to be found by visitors seeking experts to answer specific questions.
Your profile should include:
A short summary of your credentials in your areas of expertise;
Your job title, company, bio and interests;
Highlights of your background and expertise;
Links to your company’s website, a personal blog or other resources;
Keywords to optimize for search within Quora and for Google;
Pinned answers at the top of your profile to showcase some of your more popular answers.
In general, you might think of a Quora profile as similar to a LinkedIn profile, but a bit more informal and focused on what you know rather than where you’ve worked.
Getting Started on Quora
The key to being successful on Quora is to enjoy the experience. Quorans can tell when you are answering questions in a perfunctory way, to check a box as part of your company’s marketing plan. They can also tell when you are truly passionate about a subject and enjoy sharing your expertise. Being personal and authentic are the keys to gaining a following, becoming a thought leader and growing your business with Quora.
Some specific tips when getting started:
Actively search for questions that you want to engage with and set them aside so can work on them;
Use topics and keywords to aid with your search;
Don’t just answer work-related questions; if you find a topic that relates to your hobbies or interests, answer those, too;
Answer questions in an informative way that is not self-serving or salesy. Be helpful and contribute to conversations;
Mind your grammar, but keep your language casual and approachable;
It’s fine to ask and answer your own questions, especially if it’s helpful information that showcases your expertise;
Link within your answers to your blog, other social profiles, or company page where appropriate, but don’t force it;
Answer a mix of popular and niche questions to expand your audience while reinforcing your areas of specialization;
Quora prides itself on fostering more civil discourse than other social media sites. You can delete comments on your answers if they are rude, irrelevant or inappropriate;
Upvote, share and comment on the answers of other Quorans to build a network of members with similar interests;
Make your answers stand out by using images, videos, variations in font and other techniques that Quorans use to make their answers visually appealing.
Every person’s and company’s goal is a little different, but whatever your objective might be, Quora offers helpful, intuitive analytics to track your progress.
Give it a try. It's a great way to build trust -- and it's fun.
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Scott is founder and CEO of Idea Grove, one of the most forward-looking public relations agencies in the United States. Idea Grove focuses on helping technology companies reach media and buyers, with clients ranging from venture-backed startups to Fortune 100 companies.