Quora Ads have existed for a while now but if you haven’t tried its self-serve platform, you’ve been missing out on the opportunity to target high-intent users who are very clearly looking for answers.
The ad platform has quickly evolved and new features and targeting options are being added frequently. B2B marketers who have been early adopters of this platform are benefiting from a low cost-per-click and cost-per-lead as well as a high conversion rate.
Let’s review some of Quora’s targeting options (with some pro tips!), ad formats, advertising terms, weaknesses, and more:
Quora users visit the platform to ask questions, reply to questions, or learn what people are sharing about a specific question or topic. Since introducing Quora for Business, the platform has quickly improved its ability to target users based on the content they are interacting with on Quora (contextual targeting) or based on their behavior (people-based or behavioral targeting).
These improvements have unlocked different targeting options. Below are what I most frequently use when running Quora ads for B2B accounts:
What is it: Identify the interests that are closely associated with your product/service and align with your target audience. These ads show anywhere on Quora but only to people who have recently interacted or browsed content on Quora associated with the interest(s) you’ve selected.
When to use it: This option is awesome for capturing top-of-the-funnel traffic.
Pro tip: Exclude questions that are irrelevant to your brand, product, or service. These ads will appear anywhere on Quora, so try to narrow your focus and group similar interests as you would normally do on AdWords – this will help when measuring success if everything was tagged properly.
What is it: If you want to control where you ad appears on Quora without being too restrictive, topics is the way to go. Are you also running an AdWords program? Copy and paste your top performing keywords and see if the same (or a similar) term is a topic on Quora.
When to use it: It’s ideal for top or mid-funnel strategies.
Pro tip: After selecting your topics, go into each topic page on Quora and analyze the type of questions posted there, exclude anything irrelevant and don’t forget to check the related topics; it can help expand your topics.
What is it: Do you want to personalize your ad to specific questions on Quora? You can certainly do it with question targeting; your ad will show to anyone who lands on a specific question.
When to use it: It can be used to attract middle-of-the-funnel buyers, as well as some bottom-of-the-funnel prospects (with placement on the right question).
Pro tip: I got this one from Joe Martinez: If you use SEMrush you can easily search for Quora’s traffic and then filter for pages that contain your competitor’s name or products and place ads on those specific questions – it is an easy way to gain some market share away from your competitor.
List Match Audiences
What is it: Earlier this year, Quora launched the ability to upload email lists into the platform.
When to use: To incorporate your ABM strategy into the mix and provide special messaging or offers to a high-value segment.
Pro tip: Upload multiple lists to target your prospects with different messaging based on where they in the funnel. Exclude current customers to optimize results.
Quora recently (May 2018) expanded their advertising products to include Image Ads. Previously, Quora Ads were exclusively text ads.
The image ads have some pros and cons but data and time will tell the real story. For example, one of the big advantages of text ads is they were largely inconspicuous; they were able to easily blend in with the answers on the page. In other words, text ads don’t necessarily scream, “I am an ad.” Below are examples of a text ad and an image ad:
With the Image Ads launch, Quora stated that when you create an image ad the system will also create a text ad and the platform will automatically optimize for the ad format that will perform the best. It’s too early to tell how this will affect results.
Quora is very strict with its advertising terms. Ad needs to be clear, well-formatted, and free from grammatical, capitalization, formatting, punctuation errors and unsubstantiated competitive claims.
You might be thinking all platforms have similar advertising terms, but I’ve found Quora will truly test your grammar and punctuation like no other. One common error that will disapprove your ads is unnecessary capitalization, as JD Prater described in this article. This is a departure from other ad platforms, like AdWords and Bing, where search advertisers are used to capitalizing each word in an ad.
There are some specific guidelines for image ads as well. They cannot contain the following:
- Be more than 20 percent text or memes
- Before-and-after images
- Sexually suggestive, tobacco, alcohol, or sensational images
- GIF or other types of animation
Note: You can find Quora’s advertising guidelines here.
In my opinion, the biggest weakness of the platform is its inability to scale and the lack of basic but powerful settings, like segmentation by topic, interest, and devices.
There’s no schedule setting on the platform nor bid modifiers, which could easily improve account performance and health.
Another weakness is the lack of average position or quality score. This makes it challenging to determine why an ad group might be underperforming.
However, Quora is relatively new and has been rolling out new features frequently so these settings could be coming down the line.
While Quora cannot be your only marketing channel, it can be a powerful and high-intent addition to your existing marketing mix. It is a platform that is constantly launching new features and we are looking forward to seeing what they come out with next.
Has your organization tried Quora Ads and have you seen success? I would love to read about your experience via the comments below or connect with me on Twitter to continue the conversation.