Is Quora Changing the Game for Q&A Websites?


At first glance, Quora looks like your run of the mill Q&A platform following the footsteps of Yahoo Answers and WikiHow before it. But dig a little deeper and Quora has some unique features that make it far more interesting.

What is it?

On a fundamental level, Quora is a user-generated question and answer platform. Users can ask questions, add answers to others and browse the site for interesting topics. What started as a private beta in 2009 has now grown to a site that attracts 300 million monthly unique visits and can name drop users like Steve Case (founder of AOL) and Mark Zuckerberg (who has limited engagement on the platform, granted).  

So what makes it stand out from previous iterations of this idea?  There are several key features of Quora that have made it more lasting others in the same bracket. Firstly, it’s more respectable than other Q&A platforms.  This reputation stems from the emphasis on quality of content for both the questions and the answers. Users can vote for answers they considered good quality.  You can also target specific users with questions to take advantage of their expertise. This respectability makes it an excellent source of information, without being just for academics. Secondly, you can follow interesting topics and tags. This personalised edge means people can easily find content relevant to their interests or field of work, making it a great place to keep coming back to for content generation.  

What are the advertising opportunities?

A platform with 300 million monthly unique views is definitely going to have advertising options and Quora is no exception. The website launched widespread advertising in June 2017. Currently, the purchasing options work similar to those available on Facebook/LinkedIn/Google. The platform offers a variety of ad formats, as well as basic analytics and targeting. Quora recently enabled bulk editing on its ad platform, to save time across larger campaigns. This improvement will no doubt please many of its users.  

What does this mean for education institutions?

As a website that prides itself on its knowledge base, Quora is ideal for educational institutions. Targetting individuals for your physics undergraduate degree becomes a lot easier when you can focus on questions about quantum mechanics. This could be especially powerful for a postgraduate study where interests become highly specialised.  

Quora has plenty of potential independent to its paid ad platform as well.  Education establishments can create organic content in the form of answers that can showcase the breadth of their knowledge in a natural way.  These can be then shared on other social media platforms for a greater reach. Another interesting possibility is setting high ranking academics up as users that can then have questions targetted at them.  An event where a professor of sociology answers questions from prospective students could be a great thing for the undergraduate sociology intake of that year. Looking longer term, a bank of articles created by your education institution can extend the lifetime of your marketing as people can reference back to them as original source content for their own blogs/articles.  This will drive audiences back to the post, and therefore back to your institution, long after the post was originally created.

As with all social media platforms, there are many directions Quora can be taken. Most will work best when linked with other social media to increase engagement, but the power of organic reach shouldn’t be overlooked either.  

Get in contact with Touchpoint Digital for more information.