Quora Ads are one of the myriad options for advertising online. Like eBay, Reddit, and LinkedIn, Quora is one of those Web 2.0 properties that feels like it should be dated but remains surprisingly relevant.
In fact, while Quora itself has been around since 2009, Quora’s self-serve Ad Platform only rolled out in 2016. They have aggressively built one of the most targeted social ad platforms on the Internet. In just the last year, they’ve rolled out 5+ new beta ad programs and dramatically increased their number of advertisers. Their costs & competition is still low compared to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram though.
Why Use Quora Ads
First, you have access to both social data and search intent.
Like Pinterest and Reddit, you can reach people based on demographic and psychographic data AND you can reach people who are actively searching for answers OR you can layer both to run hyper-targeted campaigns to people who are both your target customer and actively researching.
Second, you have access to lots of qualified organic traffic. Quora has plenty of internal usage. But their organic search traffic is their secret weapon.
Due to their brand and the enormous amount of content, they rank well in Google & Bing for highly qualified search terms. I’ve written how you can use Quora for “barnacle” SEO and content.
But – that approach requires work. With Quora Ads, you can pay to jump to the front of the line. Advertise on pages that rank well for target keywords.
Third, you get to define best practices & deal with lower competition.
Every big brand and agency is on Google, Facebook & Instagram. Best practices and budgets are well-defined. Quora requires more work and thought to succeed.
Here’s what Hanapin Marketing says in their State of Paid Social Report –
5% of agencies reported that their clients advertise on Quora, and 31% of brands reported to invest in the platform. Just last year, only 6% of marketers reported to be advertising on Quora. Quora was predicted in last year’s report to be an up and coming platform for advertising, and it sure has proven itself. We saw a huge lift in marketers investing in the channel since last year, and Quora continues to come out with new features and optimizations that keep drawing marketers in.Hanapin Marketing State of Paid Social
I’ll share my experience in this post, but my main takeaway is that there is no “right” answer. Quora is still wide-open and open for testing & experimentation. If you have more time/skills than budget, Quora is a great place to go.
How Quora Ads Work
Quora Ads work by showing text or image ads on Quora to a chosen Audience, a chosen Topic, or a combination of Audience and Content.
Their audience targeting has multiple options including retargeting (your own audience on Quora), a Quora audience (a known group of people interested in a topic), or others.
Their content targeting also has different options including specific questions, keywords that appear in questions or answers, or topics that cover a broad range of questions and answers.
Quora Ads are all self-service that are set up in their ad manager.
How Much Quora Ads Cost
Quora Ads costs vary based on your ad settings. They use a bid auction for either clicks, impressions, or conversions.
Your Quora ad costs is 100% dependent on what topic / audience you are trying to reach and how effective your ads are. For example, my suggested cost per click to reach the Web Design topic in Atlanta, GA is $1.04 even though I could bid as low as $0.31 and still get traffic.
The opportunity for Quora advertisers is that you can run small, targeted test campaigns and rapidly scale them up.
Types of Quora Ads
Quora’s ad types are all fairly basic, but still effective. They have Text, Image, Promoted Answers, and Lead Gen forms.
Text ads are generally seen to be the most effective. Promoted Answers are seen to be the least effective. However, every campaign and topic is slightly different and worth testing.
How To Setup a Quora Ad Campaign
Quora has done an excellent job with self-service ads. The platform is straightforward and comes with a surprisingly useful email course.
To get started, all you need is some basic business information.
Within your Ads Manager Dashboard, you can Manage Ads, set up a Quora Pixel, manage your retargeting audiences, and set up email reports.
Whether you set up an ad campaign or not, I highly suggest that you immediately implement your Pixel, dabble with Audiences and set up a couple curated Email Reports.
Now you can get started on a campaign! Head to Manage Ads and select your objective.
If you select Conversions, you’ll need to select a conversion type to pass to your Quora Pixel. You’ll also have to manually tag any actions (like Add to Cart).
For my campaigns (and most advertisers), I use the Traffic objective. But I also tag all of my ads so that I can track conversions within my existing Google Analytics setup.
Once you’ve created your Campaign objectives, you’ll need to set up a new Ad Set.
Ad Sets each have their own targeting and bids. After setting up an Ad Set, you’ll write individual Ads for each ad set.
But Ad Sets are where the fun really happens.
You have 4 primary targeting methods. I’ll cover each below. But the short version is that you can do –
- Topic Targeting – Target content that falls within a category regardless of user interest.
- Question Targeting – Target specific questions on Quora regardless of topic or user.
- Audience Targeting – Target your audiences everywhere on Quora (see above).
- Interest Targeting – Target people who are interested in a topic regardless of content.
After that, you can choose several secondary targeting methods. You can focus your ads by Location or Device. You can also exclude specific questions or audiences (ie, people who have successfully purchased from your site).
Topic and Question Targeting are my favorite options. They both target based on content, not the user.
When you are looking to expand reach or target based on intent – this is the option that you should use. Topic Targeting lets you quickly target a bunch of questions quickly.
The key to Topic Targeting is to provide Quora with a relevant but broad set of keywords. There’s a bit of an art to it, but be sure to play around with different combinations before committing to a set of Topics.
Additionally, make sure you manually explore those Topics to vet the questions, the likely audience, and related Topics that you are missing.
But if you have time, the best targeting option is Suggested Questions.
With this option, you can advertise with specific ads on specific questions.
Interest Targeting targets the user rather than the content that they are looking at. This option is great for casting a wide-net to reach your audience everywhere on Quora.
However, note that you’ll reach them even when they are looking at irrelevant questions. This option is great to layer with other options (like exclude questions). Be careful using it alone though.
There are also options for targeting an existing audience and also a Broad Topic option.
After selecting your targeting with exclusions and bids set, you’ll need to create your actual ads.
Quora provides lots of space and encourages “content-like” ads. They want complete sentences that are relevant to your targeting. They are not great for hard-sells, but pair *very* well with custom landing pages or educational content.
Be sure to add UTM parameters to your landing page URL to effectively track visits throughout Google Analytics.
That’s how you setup Quora ads. But keep in mind that the magic is in customized ads, landing pages, targeting and constantly improving each metric.
That said – how do Quora ads perform “out in the wild”? Here’s a few examples, starting with an image ad example targeting a broad audience rather than a topic.
Here’s a Quora text ad example targeting a question.
And here’s a Promoted Answer showing up in a Topic feed.
But I’ve also run a few campaigns for myself and for clients. Here are the results of my most recent campaign as an example.
Quora Ads Example Campaign
Now, I almost exclusively use Question Targeting for my Quora ads. I also commit to spending probably too much time on research for my small campaigns (although some of that research gets re-used for content campaigns).
The campaign highlighted below was a fairly small content promotion campaign. I had a new piece of content that I wanted to promote without traditional, manual outreach.
I found several questions that aligned with the content. I devoted around $100 for promotion.
This campaign aligned with the common takeaways from my Quora campaigns.
- The impressions were high for such a niche topic – and surprisingly consistent day-to-day.
- The CTR was uncommonly high for online ads.
- Conversions were solid.
- Cost per click was a bit higher than expected, but nowhere near Google Ads territory.
Additionally, I did not have to filter or account for a lot of spam (I’m looking at you, Google Display and Facebook…).
My numbers in Google Analytics lined up perfectly with Quora. The engagement was high and as I’d hoped.
All in all, this (and all my campaigns) go back to the same general takeaways for Quora Ads.
- Quora Ads are hard to roll out “at scale” but are very effective with the right amount of time devoted to set up & research.
- They are great for high consideration ads and great to reach new, smart audiences.
- You have to have the right website content to provide good, engaging landing pages.
- Often small campaigns are worthwhile simply for the data.
Are Quora Ads Worth It?
Quora Ads are not for everyone. There’s not a ton of inventory. To do it well, you really need to spend some time on your research and ad setup.
However, in an increasingly crowded and expensive online ad market, the market represents a solid opportunity.
At the very least, you should go set up an account and grab the Quora Pixel to build an audience.
From there, you can reach you existing users on yet another platform. You can expand your reach based on small tests and the time you have to research interests.
If you found this article useful, please link, share or bookmark. Happy advertising!
Read my post on how to advertise your website online for other ideas!