Content marketing is a highly effective method to increase your SEO standing, establish expertise in your field, drive traffic to your site, and even drive leads and sales. It’s no surprise that there are an endless number of high-performing tools that are designed purely to help you write better content and get more results.
The vast majority of these tools, of course, don’t come cheap, with the most affordable options costing $100-200 per month for their base plans. While plenty of these tools can be valuable and I’ve used many myself for research purposes, there’s one free tool that small businesses on a budget should never overlook: Quora.
In this post, we’re going to take a close look at exactly how you should and shouldn’t use Quora for content marketing, with all the best practices and use cases that you need to know.
Why Quora is So Valuable for Content Marketing
For those unfamiliar with the platform, Quora is a wildly popular question-and-answer site, not unlike and insanely high-quality Yahoo answers. Plenty of questions and smart and intriguing, and users are providing strong, insightful, well-written answers. Even though it’s not a content marketing platform, it can be dead useful for your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing isn’t the easiest task for businesses to undertake, and I say this as someone who does nothing but content marketing. Coming up with interesting blog posts on a regular, frequent basis that are interesting, original, and valuable to the target audience isn’t an easy task. And in many cases, it’s the idea generation that’s the hardest part.
That’s why Quora for content marketing can be so valuable: It’s an outstanding idea generation and content research tool if you know how to use it. You’re able to see what information people are actively looking for, where the need for new resources falls, and how you can step up to the plate to create them.
1. Use It As Content Discovery Tool
As we mentioned before, content idea generation is downright difficult, especially over a long period of time. Quora, however, is an outstanding content discovery tool even though it wasn’t created for that purpose.
You can follow different topics and different users on the platform, helping you keep an eye on what discussions are happening in your particular industry.
On my account, for example, you’ll see that I follow topics closely related to online marketing and writing, which is my profession: Behavioral Economics, Social Media Marketing, Journalists, Newspapers. (There are also random topics of interest like restaurants and Florida, just ignore those). This helps my feed to stay up to date with relevant questions in the industries that I’m following, which can give me new ideas on a regular basis.
It’s common for people to ask questions about breaking news, for example, which can alert me to potentially-trending topics that people would be interested in reading about.
Going through and reading the questions, I also might have a great idea for a blog post that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I once saw a post about “what colors work best on Instagram,” for example, that sparked the idea to write an article on the color of psychology in marketing.
There’s no hard and fast rule on how you should use Quora for content discovery, just read the questions and answers and see if the inspiration strikes.
2. Find Questions That Users Need Answered
I’m an enormous fan of using question-based keywords in content marketing. These will always be long-tail keywords that legitimately ask a full question, like “how do I know if I can trust my lawyer” or “how do I keep my houseplants alive without sun?” (I didn’t see all the questions would be great, did I?)
Questions are so great for content marketing for two reasons:
- They signal an immediate need for information, which you can provide.
- Their search intent is clear.
Someone searching for “engagement ring” might be looking to purchase a ring, or they might want to find out about engagement ring care, or customs, or to figure out how much they’re supposed to spend. “How much does an engagement ring cost,” however, is incredibly specific, meaning you can create content that is guaranteed to deliver exactly what they’re looking for.
Since Quora is a question-and-answer site, this is an incredible place to go to discover what questions your target audience has and what sorts of information they need. You can then create content centered around these questions.
Keep in mind that your customers likely have questions you’ve never even considered. You’re an expert, so things that are second nature to you may mystify them. These topics in particular can create super easy-to-write posts that your audience will love and almost certainly be looking for.
If you’re unsure if you want to base an entire post around a single question, you can do keyword research first. Use a tool like SEMrush or even Google’s Keyword Planner and see how often the question in mind or those similar to it are being asked. If it doesn’t have a high search volume, you can always lump the question into a larger post about something else.
3. Ask Questions to Find New Information For Your Content
About six months ago, I saw a psychologist ask a brilliant question on Quora. He was creating a resource explaining to people why therapy was beneficial and overcoming objections. He wanted to ask why people hadn’t gone to therapy if they felt like they may have otherwise benefited, and what roadblocks were in the way.
This is an outstanding use of Quora. Plenty of users answered within a day and a half, sharing all sorts of reasons that he may have never considered otherwise. He was able to take that information, I’m sure, and work it into his content, which would then be more useful to more members of his target audience.
Ask questions that can benefit your own content marketing. Go ahead and ask what people’s favorite resources are in your industry; use that for competitor research. Ask what they struggle with, their pain points, and what questions they have, and create content to solve these problems and answer their questions.
4. Look For New Insights
Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in our own bubble, and that isn’t always helpful once we’re on month six of content marketing and running out of ideas.
By reviewing questions and answers on Quora that are relevant to your field, you might come across new insights that you hadn’t considered before.
When I worked in jewelry, for example, we always encouraged users to purchase white gold rings, explaining that it was malleable, easy to work on (meaning easy to repair and size), and didn’t scratch as easily. But then I heard about how platinum heads on an engagement ring were less likely to bend, protecting the center stone. There’s debate back and forth on whether or not this is useful, but this was a change in insight that could better help our customers.
Look at new ways of thinking. At the very least, it could give you insight into what you want to argue against in your post, strengthening your argument. And hey, you may even find pain points you’d never considered, like this one:
As a note: Never make a direct quote or copy information from Quora answers, and you should give credit for original thoughts. A quick link back is all you have to do if you want to quote someone directly.
5. Share Resources… But Only When Relevant
I want to flag this right now: Quora has strict rules about logging into the site and plugging your own blog posts and web site, especially when you do it often. They will catch you (speaking from experience in my early days where I worked for a marketer who threatened my job if I didn’t do this), and they’ll suspend your account if it’s a repeat offense.
That being said, there are ways that you can promote your content on Quora in ways that align with their guidelines and that don’t feel like spam. We cover this in our in-depth Quora marketing guide here.
Quora and content marketing may not seem like the perfect pair at a first glance, but the question-and-answer site can be a huge wealth of potential information. As a note, though, you should always verify information that you find on Quora before you use it in your content; though it’s relatively reliable, there is no vetting for correctness, and we all know that plenty of people like to think they know more than they do.
Want to learn more about how you can use Quora to promote your content, drive leads, and even make sales? Read our full Quora marketing guide here!