Quora is one of the most underrated tools when it comes to organic marketing for your ecommerce business. Learning how to use it effectively can drive organic traffic to your store and boost your brand authority. And the best part is, it doesn’t cost a penny.
So, let’s get started!
What is Quora?
Quora is a question and answer platform founded in 2009 by two former Facebook employees. Users ask questions, and the community of users provide the answers. Users can vote on the answers provided using upvotes, with the most popular answer being displayed first. Additionally, when you ask a question, Quora lets you request an answer from leading contributors – people who are key Quora influencers based on their activity.
How Can I use Quora to Benefit My Ecommerce Business?
As of April 2017, Quora had 190 million monthly active users. This is a community of users that is completely free to tap into. Quora is great for marketing your ecommerce business because it enables you to interact directly with both industry thought leaders and product users.
The main benefits of using Quora for ecommerce are:
- Better understand users in your market segment by asking questions
- Build and increase brand authority on a topic by answering questions
- Get fresh ideas for blog topics by seeing what topics users are interested in
- Drive traffic to organic content by linking from your answers
Let’s look at 20 top tips for using Quora for ecommerce.
#1. Create an Engaging Quora Profile
If you are new to Quora, the first thing you need to do is create a profile. If you’re an existing user then this guide will help ensure that you are maximizing your use of Quora for ecommerce.
Remember: every time you answer, a portion of your bio will be visible. This means it is a great chance to display a little personal branding.
Quora displays roughly the first 50 characters of your name and bio as a tagline above your answer.
If a user clicks on the profile, you can view a little more information:
Here you can see that there is a link to Oberlo’s website. I recommend the following when setting up a Quora profile:
- A detailed About Me section
- Add your areas of expertise
- Include your interests
- Your cities
- Previous companies
- Connect your other social media accounts
As with pretty much any social media channel, this data makes it easier for other users to find you and your business. When a user sees you are active in the industry they are interested in, this adds credibility to your answers.
#2. Follow Relevant Users, Thought Leaders, and Topics
Just like Instagram or LinkedIn, influencers and thought leaders play a big role on Quora. These are authority figures for their area of expertise. Define your areas of interest and research which influencers are active in that space.
Here are a couple of ways to find people you should follow on Quora:
If you ask a question you can actually request a response from key users in that sector.
As you can seein this example, Josh Mendoza was recommended by Quora to answer my question. You can also see how many answers this user has contributed.
Another way to do this is to do a Quora search with your industry or keyword and then hit “Profiles” in the left menu bar.
In this example I searched the term “dropshipping”:
As we can see, Quora actually suggested some different users as compared to when I asked the question. It is always worth comparing both lists.
In this view, Quora tells you how many people are following each user. Check out some of the top profiles, including the answers these influencers provide. Once you have checked the quality of their responses go ahead and follow the top influencers in your industry.
As a side note: when doing this, check out the profiles of top users. What do they have in common? Look and see how key figures in your industry are presenting themselves and how they are shaping their answers to questions. Use this as a benchmark for your own profile and your own answers.
You should also consider following topics that are relevant to you industry. By doing this, you can set up notifications so that you know every time a new question is posted. This gives you the ability to respond quickly.
By the way, if you click on the “Most Viewed Writers” tab from this view, you can find influencers.
#3. Create a Quora Business Page
Quora allows you to create a business page – well kind of, anyway. Oberlo has its own business page where all Oberlo-related questions are discussed and answers. This “business page” is technically a new topic.
To create a business page, first click on your profile icon. Then, under the Knows About section, click on the plus icon.
After you have done this type the name of your company into the search box and click on “Create Topic.”
Return to your profile, click on the topic you just created, and you can then edit the page. Add a logo and a description.
Et voila! You have your very own Quora company page. Encourage users to follow this page and turn it into a centralized place for questions to be dealt with regarding your products and your business.
#4. Optimize Your Answers for Search Engine Results
Some content on Quora actually ends up in Google search results. So make sure you optimize for this. This means at the very least include a link to a blog article or something relevant that you’ve written. Why?
Suppose you have taken the effort of crafting a great Quora answer – it has been upvoted and it lands in Google search results for a similar query. That valuable organic traffic will more than likely go to waste unless you can link them back to the start of your sales funnel. A word of warning though. As mentioned, Quora is a fact-finding resource for its users, not a promotional tool. This means be careful what you link your posts to. Links should lead to informative blog posts that are not highly promotional in nature.
Interestingly, Google has recently started testing displaying Quora answers in carousel results. This is good news for Quora users as carousels display three results initially with the option to scroll across to view another three.
Here is an example:
This recent development indicates that Google values top Quora answers and is looking for new ways to integrate them into the search results pages.
#5. Don’t Over-Promote Your Business
This one is important. While it’s fine to have a business profile and state what industry you’re in – this actually adds credibility to your answers – adding product links and too much promotional content is a surefire way to get flagged. Remember, Quora is all about indirect promotion.
This answer strikes a nice balance between being informative and promotional. Note that there are also links to other useful sources for readers, as well as promotional links.
#6. Pick Queries You Can Actually Answer Well
This may seem a little obvious but many Quora users do commit this sin far too often. Stick to the topics you know inside out.
If you don’t know something, don’t just answer and hope for the best. Only answer questions on topics that you have experience in – this adds credibility.
Take a look at some of the most viewed writers in threads like “Google” or “Microsoft”. You will find that most of the people who make the list either work there currently or are a former employee.
Try to find a niche where you are a credible source/authority on the topic.
#7. Add Personality to Your Answers
If you can, add a little humor to your answers. This doesn’t mean writing an SNL monologue, but instead adding engaging, well-written copy.
Check out this Quora thread on greatest marketing disasters of all time for a little inspiration.
Another example is this funny story about a Google interview. It works because the user actually went on to get the job at Google, which also provides credibility to the answer.
Use your judgement to gauge whether humor will help your case.
#8. Encourage Social Media Engagement
Quora answers can be shared directly on social media. As with all your content, make it engaging, relevant, and most of all shareable.
This example below challenges people to do something. These types of challenges tend to gain a lot of social engagement. Also note how this can be tied in with a brand: there is an ad for Grammarly – an app to help your writing – neatly tied into to a writing challenge.
#9. Maximize Visual Content
Good visuals can dramatically increase user engagement. Quora is no exception.
Check out this simple response to the question, “What are some great examples of marketing?”
This answer included an iconic Tommy Hilfiger billboard from the ‘80s. The answer also included a close-up of the billboard. Although this response was incredibly simple, it really resonated with Quora users, generating more than 50,000 views and 1,000 upvotes.
Check out this guide to making stunning infographics to boost your Quora answers with visuals.
#10. Keep Your Answers Positive
Quora is not a forum for bashing competitors. In fact, there really isn’t any forum where you should be doing this. Try to answer questions in a positive light. There are a couple of good reasons for this: always answering positively creates a positive image of you and your brand among other Quora users; the same is true if you appear in organic search results. Additionally, positive answers tend to generate more user engagement.
This example from Hubspot founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah illustrates how to answer questions about competitors in a positive light:
#11. Focus on Quality Not Quantity
Remember: everything you do on Quora represents you and your brand. How you choose to present yourself can have a direct impact on your business, both positive or negative.
A well-crafted answer is much more valuable than a few mediocre responses. This answer is clearly well written, makes great use of diagrams, and links to appropriate content:
#12. Be Consistently Active
Top contributors tend to be active at least once a day. If we look at the top profile in terms of views in the thread “Content Marketing”, we can see that this user has 12 million answer views, including over 400,000 just this month.
It is best to be honest with yourself about how much time you can actually commit to Quora. If you are busy with other marketing campaigns, then perhaps start slow and build up your engagement.
Set targets that you can actually achieve. For example, you could set a target to answer one question per week. This will ensure you remain active. This is important because if you don’t regularly answer questions your topic authority will decrease.
If you can’t find the time to answer a question, at least ask a question that is relevant to your brand. This is obviously much quicker than forming a well thought out, detailed answer and at least ensures you remain active.
#13. Use Quora for Preliminary Market Research
One of the most vital parts of any marketing or advertising campaign is knowing your users. A great way to get to know your users is by asking them questions.
If you are operating a sports apparel store, for example, you could use Quora questions to get credible product insights. As a dropshipper, more than likely you don’t have the time to test every single product in your store.
By asking a question like, “What are the hottest running shoes for 2018?” you can get insights into products that users – potential customers – are interested in. Taking this a step further, you can search questions and responses that resemble what you wanted to find out. For example, by typing Nike Shoes in the search bar, you can scroll through questions and see what the community is talking about.
Don’t know what questions to ask? Check out our tutorial on market research to get up to speed.
The example below is useful because it is a direct comparison of two products. Here, you can gain genuine insight from users who have tried two products and have a preference. You could potentially include the benefits highlighted by users into product descriptions to resonate with your customers.
Check out this nifty guide to see if your own product descriptions are up to scratch.
#14. Learn From User Feedback
See how other Quora users respond to similar questions in your industry.
Also see how Quora users respond to your answers. If your answers are being neglected and not receiving many upvotes, be objective: Ask yourself if it really was a useful answer. Look at other similar answers, particularly ones that receive a lot of attention, and see what you can improve on. Remember to always check the comment section on high-performing answers:
Here the feedback to this answer is overwhelmingly positive. It also reveals an interesting insight: the author reveals that he took seven hours to write this post. That is quite a large time investment, but shows the dedication needed to craft a top answer.
#15. Answer Questions as Early as Possible
Be quick to answer questions. This will help you answer stay on the first page, which will increase visibility. If you are late to the party, even if your answer is great, you will likely not reap the benefits of being one of the first in a thread.
Top tip: you can actually stay ahead of the curve with email notifications. You can monitor specific questions / areas and receive email notifications. By doing this you can ensure you are always quick to respond. You will find your followed questions under Your Content when you click on your profile picture.
Note: this does not mean you should not spend time creating a thoughtful answer. All of the other tips still apply! Just try and be one of the first three to five people to respond to ensure you maximize your visibility.
#16. Add Clear Formatting to Your Posts
Nobody likes reading a badly formatted Quora answer. Treat a Quora answer with the same respect you would a landing page or blog post on your site. Use headings, bullet points, numbered lists, and paragraphs appropriately.
Without clear formatting, a user will not be able to navigate your answer. This means even if it contains great information, it is not likely to get the upvotes you deserve.
Let’s break down an example of good formatting:
This answer uses bullets, lists, italics, and quotes to make the answer as readable as possible. I strongly recommend checking out the answer in full, as it is a textbook example of a great long-form Quora answer.
#17. Use Reliable Sources to Add Credibility to Your Answers
The same principles apply to Quora answers as good content writing. If you are making a point, link to reputable sources. Double check your statistics. Make sure your information is up-to-date.
If we take another look at the answer from the previous example, we can see that the user has offered a ton of reliable sources. This provides great value to users and inspires upvotes.
Try also to balance your internal and external links. In this context, an internal link is a link to your blog post. An external link is a link to an external source.
#18. Discover New Headline Ideas for Blog Posts
This is something I do regularly for coming up with engaging and relevant headlines for my blog posts. Why?
Well, by doing a little question research on Quora, you actually incorporate the exact language used by your target audience. This means that, if done correctly, your headlines should really resonate with your readers.
To get started, let’s take a keyword and enter it into the Quora search bar. Here, “Facebook Messenger Ads” is my keyword. Filter for just questions by clicking Questions on the left menu bar.
Let’s take a look at the results. The second result, “How do I use Facebook Messenger Ads for Business,” is not bad because it represents an actual target group – business people. But it is a little generic. The bottom result is much better. Why?
It is much more specific. This user has narrowed down their query to one specific type of Facebook ad: Click-to-Messenger. Check out this handy guide to Facebook Messenger Ads.
Based on this we can begin to craft an engaging headline:
How to Get More Impressions for Your Click-to-Messenger Facebook Ads
10 Ways to Turbocharge Click-to-Messenger Facebook Ads
Both of these headlines address the direct need of your target audience. Not bad for a couple of minutes of Quora research.
Give it a try yourself.
If you are struggling to craft engaging headlines, try adding some “power” and “emotion” words – these are words that are particularly strong or emotive and likely to increase user engagement. Check out the full list of power and emotion words.
#19. Repurpose Content Using Quora Blogs
Quora has a blog section. You can use this to repurpose content. For example, if you have already published a few blog posts on a subject, then you can repurpose this content on Quora.
To get started, click on your profile picture, then Blogs.
Remember the goal here is to drive traffic. This means you ideally would like to get Quora users to read a blog post, and for that post to link into your sales funnel. I recommend publishing part of an existing post on Quora, and linking to the full post on your site.
For example, if you have an article such as 20 Ways to Increase Ecommerce Sales, then you could publish five of these reasons as a Quora blog post and then link to the full article on your site.
This accomplishes multiple goals: you provide genuinely useful information to the Quora community, meaning upvotes and Quora authority, and at the same time drive organic traffic. For this strategy to be effective, make sure you include the most engaging tips from your article to leave the reader genuinely wanting more.
Note: if you can, try to respond to questions directly. If you cannot seem to find a niche for your answer, then consider creating a Quora blog post.
#20. Customer Service and Reputation Management
As already mentioned, creating a Quora business page is a great way to interact directly with customers.
You can answer customers directly when they ask specific questions about products. Be honest and straightforward in your answers and try to answer as quickly as possible.
Dharmesh Shah, founder and CTO at Hubspot, answers user queries about his company on a fairly regular basis. In this answer he clarifies Hubspot’s analytics policy – a great example of reputation management. Coming from the founder of a company, it provides users with a definitive answer:
In summary, Quora is a great resource for ecommerce businesses. Follow the tips in this post to drive organic traffic and increase conversions in your ecommerce store.
Here is a quick recap of the main points:
- Create an engaging profile
- Create a business page
- Follow relevant influencers
- Answers questions and contribute to the community
- Refine your marketing research by asking relevant questions
- Drive organic traffic by linking to blog posts in answers
Want to Learn More?
- What is Content Marketing and How to Create Content that Converts
- 15 Ecommerce Statistics You Should Track
- 8 Ways to Optimize Your Ecommerce Customer Support
- Ecommerce Blogging: Everything You Need To Know
Do you have your own Quora marketing strategies? We would love to hear all about them in the comments below.