Why Your SaaS Marketing Needs to Include Paid Ads on Quora

July 11, 2017 Andy Beohar

While Google and Facebook are by far the most popular channels for paid ads, there are still others out there that provide excellent opportunities for brands who want to reach their target market online. Quora, a question and answer site maintained by its community of users, is a great example of this. Quora paid ads are particularly effective for SaaS brands. Below, we’ll answer all the questions you may have about Quora ads and how they can impact your SaaS marketing.

What are Quora Ads?

Quora is a question and answer site that was founded in 2009 by two former Facebook employees. The site’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge, which it does by allowing its community of users to ask and answer questions. This is how the company achieves its goal of connecting “the people who have knowledge to the people who need it

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Quora first launched an ads beta in April 2016, which showed relevant ads on a limited amount of question pages. Initial advertisers included Lever, Uber, Wealthfront, and Sunrun. But, over the course of the year, the site had over 300 advertisers using the beta. As of May 2017, advertising on Quora is now open to all businesses with a self-service platform that allows companies to create native, text-based ads that appear on Quora’s question pages.

The Quora advertising platform allows businesses to target their audience based on topic, geography, and platform. Quora ads are based on a cost-per-click (CPC) model that is driven by a real-time auction. Advertisers set their own CPC bid that they can later adjust based on their ad performance.

Since Quora’s goal is to connect knowledgeable people with those who need answers, it only makes sense that companies would advertise on the site alongside relevant questions being asked by real users. There is no better time for brands to provide their solutions to consumer questions than when the answer is actively being asked in the Quora forum.

Though Quora’s ad model is similar to Google AdWords, there is one major difference. With Quora ads, you are bidding on topics instead of keywords. The topics that you choose allow you to display your advertising content to people who are asking or answering questions about the exact topics that best categorize your software product. This helps ensure relevancy, which can improve the quality of your leads.

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Why Should My SaaS Company Consider Quora Ads?

Now that you know what Quora ads are and how they work, you’re probably wondering why your SaaS company should be advertising on this platform. Here are just a few reasons:

1. Quora has a large and engaged audience.

With over 200 million unique monthly visitors worldwide, Quora has a considerably large user-base. In fact, 40 million of those users are in the U.S., which makes up about 10 percent of the population. These users tend to demonstrate high intent based on the questions they search for. Quora’s large active user base provides an excellent opportunity for companies who are looking to expand their reach and target relevant customers.

2. People experiencing the issues your business solves are reading content on Quora.

Quora is a great platform for reaching top-of-the-funnel customers who are just starting to identify and define their challenges. Users will often ask questions or look for content on Quora that relates to issues they are experiencing which your SaaS product works to solve. Quora ads provide a great opportunity for your brand to be visible and help provide more information to these relevant potential customers in their time of need.

3. Potential SaaS customers also have a lot of questions that they look for on Quora.

Not only can you reach top-of-the-funnel customers on Quora, but you can also reach those who are in the consideration stage. Potential SaaS customers often have a lot of questions that they need to be answered before they can move forward and make a purchasing decision. They often ask these questions on Quora, making the platform a great place to connect with them. By delivering targeted ad content to these users in their time of need, you can help answer some of these questions and help them make a more informed purchasing decision.

4. The cost-per-click for Quora ads is lower than that of Google AdWords.

Advertising on Quora can often be more affordable than bidding for keywords on Google AdWords. The is due in part to the fact that there is less competition on Quora. Though Quora has a lot of potential for helping SaaS companies reach their target audiences, the ad platform is still relatively new. While Google AdWords has a lot of competition for the relevant keywords your company might target, Quora does not yet have that same level of competition that drives up cost-per-click.

5. Quora ads display ad content in front of people actively searching for information.

With Quora ads, you are bidding on topics within the platform, which means that your ads are displayed in front of people who are actively looking for information that pertains to your software. With AdWords, you may be serving ad content to people who are just searching around. However, Quora users are interested in increasing their knowledge of a subject and are therefore more likely to be interested in your ad content. For example, let’s say someone wants to find out if they should use QuickBooks or Microsoft Dynamics. Microsoft could deliver an ad with a “Free Word Trial” that allows the viewer to answer the question for themselves by clicking on your ad.

How Do I Get Started?

Getting started with the Quora ad platform is simple. Here’s a quick break down of the process:

1. Create your account and campaign.

Start by setting up a Quora profile. Once you’ve created your account, you will have access to the Quora Ads Manager, which allows you to start running ads. To create your first campaign, click on the blue button that says “+ Create Campaign,” located in the top right corner of your screen.

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2. Create ad sets and develop your ad content.

Next, you’ll need to create the ad sets for your ads:

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Then, to create your ad, you’ll need to fill in each of the following fields:

  • Ad name
  • Business name
  • Headline
  • Description
  • Landing Page URL
  • Display URL
  • Call-to-Action

On the right side of the page, you can see an ad preview with the information that you’ve added to the form fields.

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3. Target your audience.

Now, it’s time to target your audience. If you know which topics you’d like to target, you can type these into the “Topics” field on the targeting form. If you need help finding topics, you have the option to “import and map keywords to topics.” This option allows you to enter keywords from your Google AdWords campaigns and get suggestions for relevant topics on Quora.

The Quora ad platform also allows you to target based on location, right down to the nearest zip code. This is optional, but it may help deliver more relevant leads. After you’ve chosen a location, you can then pick which platforms you would like to deliver ad content on (desktop or mobile). Quora also gives you the option to exclude certain locations or questions that may not be relevant to your brand.

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4. Set a budget.

With a cost-per-click ad model, Quora ads require you to set your desired CPC bid for each ad campaign. The platform allows you to control your budget and adjust bids over time based on your advertising needs. Decide how much you would like to spend on each ad campaign, and then set your daily maximum budget.

5. Go live, monitor, and adjust.

Once you have followed all these steps, you are ready to go live with your Quora ad campaign! After you have gone live, you can use the reporting on the Quora Ads Manager dashboard to help you determine how your ads are performing.

After logging into your account, you will see a “Manage Ads” tab. From here, you can look at Spending Summary and All Campaigns. The Spending Summary displays an interactive graph that shows you how much you spend over time, and the All Campaigns tab gives you an overview of your campaigns, which displays a number of important metrics including delivery, impressions, clicks, cost per click, conversions, conversion percentage, spend, and remaining budget.

Using the Quora ad platform is free, so your business will only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It’s important to monitor conversions, impressions, clicks, and spend for each ad set on the reporting dashboard and adjust your ad content or spending to maximize impact.

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How Do I Maximize ROI?

Like any online ad platform, maximizing your ROI with Quora ads takes time. Through trial and error, you can learn what works and what doesn’t. However, as with any paid ad platform, you are spending each step of the way. Companies that want to see ROI on their SaaS marketing much sooner should partner with an agency that specializes in paid ad campaigns and has experience with the Quora platform. Working with an agency will help you optimize your Quora ads and reduce wasted ad spend.

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