Stop Asking Google, Ask People [Podcast]

Ever have a specific question that Google can’t even answer?

Stop asking search engines and start asking real people.

James and Sean discuss the variety of ways to use Quora, from market research to reputation management.

Show Notes:


As a marketer, you’re always looking for answers to niche or industry specific questions.

Quora can help you quickly get the answers you need. Quora is constantly being updated with new, relevant answers and insider information specific to your industry (or even your company).

Don’t see the answer to your question? Ask it and watch influencers and experts weigh in.

Quora doubles as a tool for market research, reputation management, a personal brand builder and a content curation platform. Plus, its fun for us nerds who wonder which Tolkien character was the best with a sword!

Things we mentioned:

  • Quora – A collaborative online learning and information sharing platform. (link)
  • Yahoo Answers – the first attempt at an idea like Quora (link)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien – greatest author ever* (link)
  • 12 Point Blog Checklist (link)
  • What Hiten Shah and Steli Efti Taught Us About Content Marketing (link)

*according to Sean

Social Links:


James: All right. Today we are talking about Quora, Q-U-O-R-A, and Sean, you have used Quora quite a bit so tell us what it is and then how marketers can use it.

Sean: It’s a Google that’s a little bit more specific. Kind of like how Yahoo Answers used to be but it’s actually reliable information. What it is is, basically you create a profile on Quora. You put like what are your skills, what are the jobs that you’ve held, that sort of thing. Then people are always asking questions on Quora. They are trying to figure out what is the most effective way to use Kiss Metrics or something like that. You’ll get the founder of Kiss Metrics to respond and say hey, this is how you use us most effectively or you’ll get some other famous entrepreneur to respond. Basically, a lot of marketing experts, a lot of business experts hang out on Quora.

There’s a lot of community that happens on there and they respond to different topics and give some great quality answers. I’ve looked up different business ideas, tried to validate it with that, tried to find out if there’s any sort of app or service that does this specific thing, looked up different information on schools or colleges. There’s any sort of topic that you could figure out on there. One of my personal favorites is Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien Nerdom, so there will be all of these theoretical questions about Lord of the Rings but that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about today.

It’s a really fun site but overall it’s a great tool that marketers can use for their business. I think that it’s something that every marketer should be a part of for a couple of different reasons.

James: Walk us through, specifically, how would a marketer use Quora today?

Sean: A marketer could use Quora, first of all, for answering and establishing kind of a brand for the company that they work for or for themselves.

James: So you can use it while searching out questions and you can see things that other people have asked.

Sean: Sure and you can be answering them, offering their expertise. That’s one way. The second way would be a reputation management or customer service. There will be people that will go on there and ask about your company or share a problem that they’re having with your company on Quora.

James: They would just go in an type in their company name and it would pull up all of the results?

Sean: Correct. Just like anything, Google, anything like that. The search results will … And you might have to do some digging in some specific areas if you’ve got a really, if you’ve got a smaller company but if you’ve got any sort of reputation that you want to protect or that’s living online now, I guarantee you that there’s probably something on Quora about it. You’re wanting to respond to those, obviously, win those people back. Just serve them in a way that shows that you guys are fuming and that you care about your customers.

A third way would be there’s different topics in different overall, kind of community content curation, things that you can do. Kind of like almost publishing to Linked-In. You can share different articles and create a brand for yourself as someone to follow on Quora, just as much as you could on Linked-In.

James: I’ve heard of a lot of people using Quora, basically repurpose their existing content, so …

Sean: That’s a great way too.

James: One of our most popular blog posts is a blog post checklist that we came up with, 12 Things That Every Blog Post Should Have. If we were to go to Quora and search out maybe the word blog or blog post, we could interject and basically put a link to our content …

Sean: Right, you could do that even in your answers. You can link your content and you could say, if there’s someone that’s asked that question too, hey, what’s a good blog checklist, you could just go on there and answer and say, here’s one that we wrote and link it. So it’s a great way to share your content too.

James: Yup, so from a content promotion standpoint, it’s great. From a content curation standpoint it’s great. I’ve even seen some people that are starting to put together blog content based on Quora threads. You can see, you can do a post something like Three Popular Questions About Your Industry Answered.

Sean: Sure.

James: You could leverage the fact that other influencers are on that platform answering these questions and even piggyback off of their influence by being able to say, we wrote a post the other day What Hiten Shah and Steli Efti Taught Us About Content Marketing. It was because we listened to their podcast and we had one of our writers listen to the podcast, summarize their points into a blog post, so we could leverage that on Quora by going and putting that link into different threads where we see that that would be a relevant value add to the conversation. You, obviously, don’t want to go in and start spamming.

Sean: Yeah, let’s reiterate that part. You wanted to share things, that’s a really quick way to just get yourself down voted and, you know, Quora is based off of this system where things, the best answers get voted on. The best answers rise to the top. If you’re doing that sort of stuff, you’re really just going to be counterproductive to your own goals.

James: Do you get, based on how many times you’ve been up voted in the past, does that put you higher into … If I’ve been up voted on one particular thread, am I more likely to get up voted on and have my asnwers shown at the top?

Sean: I’ve not seen that. Maybe that’s in an algorithm somewhere that they’ve written but from what I see, the answer that’s been up voted the most by everyone is the answer considered the “best” and is first in the list.

James: Alright, sweet so check it out!

Sean Blackburn

Sean is the Head of Marketing for Sweet Fish Media, a done-for-you content marketing solution that writes and promotes blog content for busy teams. Co-host of @TickTockPodcast and lover of all things Orlando, FL w/ @OrlandiaPodcast. He snarks on Twitter @seanrblackburn.

Posted on October 27, 2015 in Time-Saving Tools

Sean Blackburn

About the Author

Sean is the Head of Marketing for Sweet Fish Media, a done-for-you content marketing solution that writes and promotes blog content for busy teams. Co-host of @TickTockPodcast and lover of all things Orlando, FL w/ @OrlandiaPodcast. He snarks on Twitter @seanrblackburn.

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