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How Quora can help in getting authentic brand advocates

The platform has more than 600 million active monthly users looking for relevant solutions

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MUMBAI: Content marketing is the future waiting to take over the world of brands and advertisers and has a substantial claim to their budgets in the present as well. With improving technologies, opportunities, and platforms, content is also getting its edges polished to seamlessly merge into the vast world of communications.

While everyone has been well-versed about the Facebooks, Instagrams, and YouTubes of the world for marketing products, one slightly underrated hero of the chart is Quora. Started in 2009 from the US, this question-and-answer platform has got millions and millions of subscribers, who daily engage in discussions ranging from pop-culture to scientific breakthroughs, and from daily queries of how to use certain products to much intricate questions around the world and philosophy. With more than 600 million people visiting the site a month, it can be a great platform for brands to get noticed.

One-on-one communications among peers have been driving purchase decisions since ages and when a brand joins in with its two cents, helping people with certain problems and showcasing how its products fit in the solution process, its chances of being picked up from the shelves surely increases. On top of that, the site allows you to add hyperlinks to external websites and pages, that can trigger an instant purchase response from the user.

GenY founder and CEO Yashwant Kumar notes, “According to one study, today, on average, 70 per cent of the buying decision is made before a potential buyer talks to the company. People are asking questions and helping out others on platforms like Quora, these conversations end up influencing buying decisions for software, test preparation, books, online courses, real estate, cars, travel, hotels; almost everything that we consume.”

The platform not only gets the consumer to an advertiser’s door, it also gets them a rich source of new content ideas, and helps them curate more personalised and direct campaigns.

Langoor head of social media marketing Biron D’Souza says, “Quora provides a platform for brands to understand their audience and curate ideas by engaging in questions that revolve around brand or industry-related topics. It is also a forum for a brand to display thought leadership and establish authority on topics revolving around their brand, contributing to building the online reputation of the brand.”

A number of brands, primarily those dealing with technology and finance-related subjects have actively been using this platform to reach out to their consumers. They indulge in meaningful interactions with the consumers and lead them to solutions through their products.

Techmagnate founder and CEO Sarvesh Bagla at Content Marketing Summit Asia 2019, shared how his company helped one of the biggest NBFCs in the country—Bajaj Finserve—utilise Quora for marketing purposes.

He shared that brand-neutral content was created for the financial service provider leveraging multiple content formats like videos, images, infographics, and footnotes leading to a 1,028 per cent increase in referral traffic on the site, which eventually led to a loan distribution of worth more than Rs 15 crore.

Despite such great results, brands today are still spending a substantially lesser amount on Quora as compared to other social media channels. While they have started experimenting with the platform, they are yet to make significant investments.

As per Kumar, brands are putting in somewhere around 5-10 per cent of their overall social media budgets on Quora. AdLift co-founder and CEO Prashant Puri projects the number to be anywhere between 2 per cent and 12 per cent.  However, the industry is of the view that when used smartly, Quora can drive substantial benefits to brands, helping them create more authentic advocates.

Logicserve Digital CEO Prasad Shejale explains, “The platform covers a wide range of topics and can help the brands reach a wider audience. Also, Quora questions are listed in Google searches. It can drive the audience back to a brand’s website if the solution offered is relevant and help it in creating real brand advocates.”

He adds, “Quora can also help a brand better understand what their audience is actually looking at especially in the case of a new product launch.”

Puri notes, “Marketing on Quora provides search visibility to brands since the content is SERP friendly. It’s a win-win proposition for brands as it boosts high-quality traffic while also being an insightful beacon for potential customers. Magnifying digital campaigns through Quora is one of the most important milestones for any brand.”

Apart from answering the questions, brands can also leverage the ad opportunities in Quora for better reach.

D’Souza shares, “Quora has introduced ads on the platform, which has now been running for a few years and mimics the Facebook ads manager structure, which makes it easy for those familiar with promotions on digital. Since the audience on Quora is engaged and seeking specific answers, the ads can be targeted based on topics, keywords, and question. This provides a brand to reach a higher level of the relevant audience.”

Though Quora, as a platform, is quite useful in running relevant conversations around the brands and taking users to their websites, there are a few loopholes too, which the advertisers should be careful of while using the platform.

Puri elaborates that Quora offers a limited reach to brands as only educated metropolitan users can access it. Also, the platform has several rules relating to the format of the ad copy, grammar, and punctuation that need to be followed, which can complicate the process for marketers.

He adds, “Since the platform is meant for crowdsourcing answers, it may not be the ideal platform for a brand looking to generate leads. Any marketing push can be seen as intrusive as the very reason the audience of Quora is on the platform is to receive unbiased answers to their questions.”

Kumar reveals that some users can even vote down a brand if their promotions are too aggressive. Hence, it is important to keep a balance between helping the users with real meaningful answers and mentioning the relevant brand and related products/services. He also pinpointed the need for brands to be constantly updated with real-time complaints and feedbacks as any negative response, which is not promptly attended to, can potentially damage the reputation of the business.

The 120 Media Collective chief of staff Rishi Sen adds, “Validation is a big miss when it comes to marketing content on Quora. This is primarily because the consumer comes across multiple opinions on the same topic which may/may not be in sync with the brand's product/service plugin.” 

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