Question-and-answer platform Quora has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. According to Techcrunch, the reported estimated value of Quora in 2017 was $1.8 billion, which is unsurprising when you consider that it attracts over 300 million monthly users.

Many brands have taken advantage of Quora’s platform to engage potential customers, educate their audience and raise brand awareness. However, it’s also common to see brands getting banned from the platform for various reasons; from spam to blatant and obtuse self-promotion.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen to your company we've asked a panel of experts to share how you can get the most out of your Quora marketing.

What Is Quora Marketing?

Quora marketing is a technique that allows brands to establish authority and thought leadership by answering questions from people in their niche market or area of expertise. Quora itself is a community-led question-and-answer site.

There are many advantages to using Quora as a marketing tool. Not only can you get exposure in front of their 300 million monthly unique visitors, but you can share content from websites, YouTube channels, or podcasts and engage with your audience on a one-to-one basis.

Brian Gill, CEO of Gillware Data Recovery, explained how he uses Quora as a marketing tool. “I [use] Quora to drive traffic to our website. I search for questions that people have asked relating to data recovery, cybersecurity and other topics related to our brand. Then, I provide an in-depth, insightful answer that is beneficial to those reading. I’m able to include supporting links in my answers, which entices curious readers to click and find out more.”

But while there are potential gains to be made from the site, Stephanie Sharlow, chief editor at DesignRush, shared that many brands fail to hit the mark. “[Many brands] use the site in a way that turns their audience off and away from them. And that negativity can have a lasting impression on a brand and its success. But there is a way to use Quora to boost your traffic and increase conversions. You just have to be smart about it,” Sharlow said.Being smart, according to Sharlow, means ensuring that you genuinely want to help the users who are posting the questions.

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The Do’s of Quora Marketing

1. Stick With Answering Questions In Your Domain

When starting out on Quora, first you need to establish a specific niche that you specialize in and answer questions in that area. Doing this will enable you to deliver insightful responses since you already possess significant knowledge in the field. “Figure out what you are an expert in and try to target those industry-specific questions only,” said Kim Smith, content marketing manager at GoodFirms. “The importance of this will be that since you are an expert in your niche; your research-based answers will sound more generous to the visitors and at the same time to the moderator as well.”

Smith added that doing this step reduces the chance of getting downvoted and you can gain insight from other leaders.

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2. Answer Regularly

Once you have identified your area of expertise, brands need to get into the habit of answering questions regularly. “When you regularly share your answers, you are greasing a one-to-one relationship with your readers. Also, indirectly, you are marketing on Quora via answering the queries of your target audience results in greater reach and higher brand awareness,” Smith said.

3. Be Transparent

Marie Lamonde, content marketing and communications specialist at DashThis, highlighted the significance of transparency when using Quora to raise your brand’s profile. “Make sure you're transparent about who you are, and why you think your company could provide a solution. It makes all the difference between looking like a spammy answer, or like a genuine opinion that can be trusted,” said Lamonde.

Learning Opportunities

Quora users should explicitly state what their name is, where they work and what their occupation is. Users can usually set this under profile settings.

4. Be Organic With Links

Quora has become a suitable platform for sharing links to websites or articles. However, Sharlow stated that in order to successfully share links on the platforms, brands should organically weave their links in their answer, instead of having a Call-to-Action (CTA) with the link. “This might sound counter-intuitive, but instead of throwing in a big, flashy CTA link at the end of your post that tells people to go to your website, you should embed these links more naturally throughout,” Sharlow said. “If readers want to go to your site, they’ll click on the links that you provided throughout your answer.”

Sharlow added that from a user experience, this will come across as more “natural” to the reader and “compel” them to visit your site.

5. Use Storytelling

When answering questions on Quora, brands must take their time to construct a well-written response. Jakub Kliszczak, a marketing specialist at CrazyCall, advised brands to provide their answers using stories. “People love stories as it is the easiest way to digest knowledge. Use dialogues, quotes, pictures and references to real life events. This will make it much more likely that your answers get views, upvotes and shares,” Kliszczak said.

6. Keep it Real With This Easy Formula

Kliszczak advised is that having a formula can help you mitigate the risks of being labeled spammy.  “Quora readers (and moderators) will appreciate it if 90 percent of your post's content is informational and only 10 percent of it is promotional,” he said.

The Don’ts of Quora Marketing

There is only one really big don't for marketers on Quora.

1. Don’t Be Overly Promotional

According to Gill, the people who use Quora genuinely want answers to their question. Therefore, brands that choose to self-promote will not do well. “When answering questions, you want to avoid shamelessly promoting your website or brand. If your answer comes across as spammy or overly promotional, it is very likely you will get downvoted. People want real answers and solutions to their problems, so if you’re able to provide valuable insight, the chances are high that your answer will be upvoted,” said Gill.

The other thing to avoid doing on Quora is copy and pasting the same response or sales pitch to several questions. As Lamonde explained, “Don't just go on every question and copy-paste the exact same sales pitch. This is probably the worst thing you can do. Not only will you get downvotes, but your answer could easily get deleted [and be classified as] spamming, and you run the risk of getting banned.”

Lamonde further advised brands that if their product does not answer the question posted, then brands should refrain from answering it.