How could ads on Quora be improved?

What's wrong with Quora ads? How-to + case study

The way we ask and answer questions in 2017 is fundamentally different from any other point in human history.

Today you will learn what Quora is, how advertising is served on the platform, and what we saw while running Quora ads for WordStream.

What is Quora?

Quora is a publicly delivered Q&A forum that relies on a system of upvotes and community contributions to provide insightful answers to curious seekers. Like some kind of danger, Reddit hits Wikipedia on Cerberus, if you will. Or a more authoritative version from Yahoo Answers.

Most people (at least in my interviews with people in the WordStream office) don't navigate to Quora explicitly. Instead, as is so often the case with Wikipedia, links to the website appear in organic search results (making them an important, if underutilized, part of a website's SEO strategy).

This is especially true when a search is framed as a question that is becoming more and more common thanks to the increasing use of voice searches. Per Quora, the site currently has over 200 million monthly visitors and has recently been expanded to support Spanish and French.

While that's all well and good (anyone can benefit from such a rich resource), it doesn't necessarily mean you should shift part of your advertising budget into a very fancy message board, right?

Keep that thought.

Why advertise on Quora?

Quora is unique in that it allows advertisers to build credibility in the eyes of a prospect during the critical research phase.

An informative keyword in Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) might enable you to serve a relevant ad to a searcher. However, it's only useful if you can trigger a click with your copy. Quora, on the other hand, gives you the option of placing your copy of your ad between revealing nuggets of information that relate directly or tangentially to your product or service. While your ad is on a SERP on links to relevant websites, Quora ads will appear between the actual information distributed, e.g. B .:

When a prospect is looking for information about your company, product, competitor or industry, Quora gives you the unique opportunity to choose between insightful answers (bonus brand value points, if Your team contributed ) and switch to a contextual ad that is exactly what you would see on AdWords.

In the example above, which shows the results for “What is the best Facebook campaign strategy I can use for an online clothing store?” There is an ad for the General Assembly part-time digital marketing course. The non-traditional educator tries to teach a man how to fish, so to speak, using Quora ads. I like it.

According to Quora, Quora offers advertisers ...

  • A large, committed audience
  • Quality content
  • High user intent
  • Measurability

The GA example I just mentioned supports the initial claims. Clearly, someone looking to improve the performance of their Facebook ads is hired. The ad itself sits between insightful responses that are likely to serve to educate the searcher. The user's intent is clear.

Although I wholeheartedly agree with the first three points, I am ready and willing to argue with the bit “measurability”. This is not from lack of effort but from novelty. Facebook, a comparatively old ad platform, offers advertisers just a functional, actionable measurability (provided you implement the Facebook pixel). If Quora continues to innovate in this area (and offer more robust targeting as we could always use more robust targeting), its ad platform will quickly become a staple for online marketers.

Let's start by setting up your very first Quora ad.

How do Quora ads work?

If you've ever dipped your toes in the PPC waters, the process of creating, managing, and optimizing a Quora ad account will be familiar to you.

So without further ado ...

Creating a Quora Account

Visit the "Advertise on Quora" page and click the big blue "Get Started" button:

From there, you will be instructed to create an account name and fill in your business and contact information. Standard procedure. If everything looks kosher, click Create Account.

Install the Quora pixel

Without the ability to measure success or failure, online advertising is frivolous. You can also purchase ad space on the placemats at a rest stop at 95.

It is therefore imperative that you install the Quora Pixel on your website. This lets you do two things: track conversion events and build remarketing audiences.

While I'm not going to go into the latter too much (structurally, remarketing audiences in Quora are built based on whether a particular URL has been visited by a prospect), conversion tracking is the one key .

To place the Quora pixel on your website, press “Quora Pixel” in the navigation bar.

Click on "Set up pixels" there. It's a fun little gray button on the right side of the screen. This will display an overlay describing the pixel installation. All you have to do here is copy the javascript into the overlay and paste it between the tags of each page of your site (or at least the one you're sending traffic to).

If you are uncomfortable with the presence of more than / less than symbols outside of freshman algebra, send the javascript for your Quora pixel to your web developer. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds for them to be implemented on your site.

Create a Quora advertising campaign

As with the Facebook ad account structure, the campaign tier is a shell that contains ad groups. This is where goals, budgeting and advertising planning are controlled. In ad sets, however, the magic happens.

When you click "+ Create Campaign" you will see a screen that looks like this:

Unfortunately (!) Quora still has to implement my helpful comment. Make sure you select "Conversions" as your goal. If you'd rather set a lifetime budget and ad plan (a la Facebook) than set a daily maximum on duration, hit Next and we're at the ad set level.

Ad Set: Targeting & Bidding

As mentioned earlier, the ad rate level is the most important unit of your Quora ad campaign. Here you control who sees your ads. Without investing serious time in improving your targeting (keywords, locations, and negatives), you will undermine the platform's inherent, intentional value.

The first stage in creating ad sets is to come up with (shocker) a name. Make sure you use common nomenclature throughout so that you know what's going on in a particular ad set without digging through its insides (by which I mean simply naming an ad set “ALLEN ROXXX” is stupid when You could call it "US" - content DL startups "or something).

After naming your ad set, scroll down to the Primary Targeting section. Quora offers two levels of targeting: primary and secondary. The former allows you to choose between two options:

  • Topic targeting - In which topics how keywords work, you can choose the type of questions which answers your ads will appear under.
  • Targeting - The Quora pixel allows you to select segments of website visitors and target potential customers when they inevitably return to Quora.

Since this is your first rodeo, stick to topic targeting. Make sure the box is checked (as above) and move on to the actual topic selection interface.

Quora actually recommends entering keywords from a Google Ads campaign to get suggestions for similar Quora topics ( Love Synergy).

Just enter your keywords in this field and click Next. This will create a list of potential Quora topics for you to advertise.

Confused? How about an example?

Suppose I type "Facebook Business Page" in the field and hit "Next". Quora generates the following list of suggested topics:

From here I can sort, select, or deselect the list. If we (WordStream) wanted to deliver certain independent messages on Facebook and Google Ads, I would remove "Google Ads" from this related list, turn off all other riffraffs and import the refined related list into my ad set. Now we can move on to secondary targeting.

As an advertiser, you can adjust the scope of your efforts in the secondary targeting area of ​​the ad set creation UI. Here you can control the location (the geographic regions in which users can see your ads) and platforms (desktop or mobile). However, the most interesting component of Quora's Second Target Level is that Exclusion function .

Exclusions in Quora work like negative keywords in the Google Search Network. If you want people in the US to see your ads but prefer to hide them from our northern neighbors, name it here.

Once you've defined your target audience, simply set a maximum bid on the ad set and move on to creating your ad.

Anatomy of a Quora ad

Similar to Quora ads strong Text ads in Google Ads.

The biggest difference outside of the number of characters and capitalization (Quora ads should be written like sentences instead of titles like those used when writing search ads) is that Quora ads have a pretty cool dynamic CTA button. Your display URL is retrieved and appended to one of a dozen or so sentences - "shop now," free trial, and so on - to create a compelling call to action that gets noticed.

The components of a Quora ad are as follows:

  • Company name - 30 characters
  • Headline set - 65 characters
  • Body of text - 105 characters
  • Show url - 30 characters

In context, these components look like this (albeit with a less convincing copy):

As with any advertisement, try to create an eye-catching headline and support your point by addressing the benefits of your product or service in the "Body" section.

From there, all you have to do is select the most relevant CTA button, make sure your landing page is working (and you have the Pixel installed), and ready to go.

Performance measurement

Quora Ads uses a CPC-based model that is based on a real-time auction (just like most other online advertising platforms). This means that you only pay when someone clicks your ad.

Outside of conversions, how do you know if your ads are resonating with your audience?

With the integrated reporting functions of Quora, of course!

Although rudimentary - currently you can only see impressions, clicks, click rate, CPC, conversion rate, and spend - Quora can give you a pretty good idea of ​​the relative success of your efforts at both the campaign and ad set level.

Are Quora ads working? [Case study]

In August, we decided to try Quora ads for 30 days.

During this time, we achieved 1,135 clicks on 230,604 impressions (at best, these are display-comparable numbers). Of those clicks, 23 downloaded content and another 20 ran the AdWords Performance Grader.

This suggests that our top and mid-funnel campaigns seem to fare similarly (although by implementing audience targeting, thanks to an even better understanding of user intent, we probably got something More valuable might offer to get better results in the future).

From a CPA perspective, qualified leads were about 17% more expensive on Quora than Google Ads, but 31% cheaper than on Taboola and 19% cheaper than on Capterra. We stopped our experiments on both of the other platforms because the ROI just wasn't there. Quora, however, is still alive and kicking.

I reached out to Aaron Doherty, WordStream's Director of Lead Acquisition, who shared the following insights: “I really like Quora. It is a new source of intent. While Google Ads is still the best source of high-intent leads, Quora is in the same stadium. The fact that the content is user generated and the responses are in real time makes it an exciting place for marketers to visit. While we haven't yet fully realized Quora's full potential, I look forward to continuing to advertise on the network in 2018 and beyond. "

When I checked to see if he had had any negative experiences with Quora, Aaron had a single answer: “The user interface sucks. It's worse than Twitter in 2014. "

Final thoughts

While our results so far have not been perfect, they have been promising.

Quora offers a lot of potential as a complementary advertising network. If you have any ad budget to work with, give it a try. If you're still in the process of building your Google Ads, Facebook, and Bing accounts, wait a few quarters.

Who knows, by this point, Quora Ads may have a new user interface and enough targeting options to take your online advertising to the next level.