Using Quora Ads for B2B User Acquisition

Learn How To Use Quora Ads for B2B User Acquisition

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Rodrigo: Hey everybody, I’m Rodrigo Fuentes from ListenLoop and I’m here with Jaime Getto from Vettery, and this is a session of Marketers Teaching Marketers. Jaime, please introduce yourself and tell us how to use Quora Ads for B2B user acquisition.

Jaime: Thanks so much Rod. So, I’m Jaime. I run User Acquisition here at Vettery. Quick background: Vettery is a hiring marketplace that connects top tech and business talent with growing companies. We’re currently operating in New York, San Francisco, and just launched in LA and DC as well. So what I’m focused on here is pretty much all of our paid user acquisition  — so that’s anything from paid social, search, display, retargeting, and direct buys. I handle this for both sides of the marketplace: acquiring new candidates — job seekers and new employers as well.

Vettery’s Marketing Team

Rodrigo: To give context for our audience, tell us about your marketing team. How many people are on your team and how is it structured today?

Jaime: Our marketing team is made up of a combination of email marketing, ops, analytics, and then, as I mentioned, what I focus on is the paid user acquisition.

Rodrigo:whyWhen you look at the different ways in which marketers go after user acquisition, it seems that more and more people are being very metrics driven. I’m sure Vettery also has a strong metric focus.

What kind of metrics are you using to track the results of your user acquisition marketing funnel?

Jaime: Absolutely. To keep it simple, I’ll focus on the candidate side here of our marketplace, and quite similar to probably any product or service analyzing leads to marketing qualified leads, things like that. Day to day and weekly, I optimize on total registrations: the number of candidates that applied to our platform, and then the qualified registrations. And then, of course, for a longer term analysis, I analyze revenue generating events that occur down funnel. For my day to day and weekly breakdown, I’m looking at those two key top of funnel metrics.

Rodrigo: So I imagine that as you’re looking for channels where you want to reach these prospects, these are the metrics that you’re looking at across channels so you could really compare apples to apples. Is that correct?

Jaime: That’s correct.

Rodrigo: Yeah, and as marketers, I know we’re always hunting for a good channel, better channels, and I heard you’re a big fan of Quora for advertising. I’d love to hear more about that. Tell us why.

Why do you like Quora for advertising to business prospects / leads?

Jaime: Absolutely, yeah. Definitely, as a marketer, I’m always looking to scale the existing campaign that I’m running and the existing platforms, but also with scaling, you always want to check out new platforms as well. So it was super exciting last year to find out that Quora released their ad platform in beta. That was something that I applied to join pretty early on. I thought it would be great to test out given the nature of our user base and the level of engagement that Quora has. I was really eager to test. The format of the ads were also interesting to me. They kept it super native. I mean, in fact, it’s just a simple text ad headline and the ad copy itself below it, and they’re pretty strict about the rules for the formatting of that. You can’t have any exclamation marks or all caps. It’s very natural. So we did a small test there and I’d be happy to walk through how you set up a campaign on there and how the targeting works, and things like that.

Rodrigo: That sounds awesome. I would love to see how it works.

Walk us through creating a campaign using Quora

Jaime: In terms of creating a campaign on Quora, it’s pretty straightforward. We use the conversions objective. So in that case, we put their pixel on our site and set the conversion event we wanted to optimize. Pretty cool they also rolled out App Installs as well for mobile advertising. So we can walk through a quick test campaign here. So here, we’ll just name the campaign, and it’s at the Campaign Level that you set the daily budget — let’s put in $100. Again, you want to have your pixel set up first. Similar to any other social or app platform, you can start advertising right away or set a fixed timeframe. At the Ad Set level is where you’re going to do your targeting — we’ll name this Ad Set 1. I like to break out the targeting by geo at the Campaign Level, and that’s because that’s where we’re setting the daily budget, and if I want to scale something up or down, I can do so at the Campaign Level. But in terms of the targeting, this is pretty much where you can go in and select your topics.

What’s pretty cool is that when you’re selecting a topic on Quora, let’s say, Software Engineering, it will show your potential weekly impressions. You probably would want to layer that with the geography. So let’s say, New York. You can choose desktop and mobile, and again, it will show you the weekly impressions. But what’s cool about being able to drill down in terms of finding the topic is that, if you were just to go into your personal account and look at the topic Software Engineering, you can see the content that people are actually engaging with, questions that people are asking, who’s answering those questions. I feel that it’s a bit more transparent than some of the other paid social networks, where they have interest-based targeting and it might be someone interested in software engineering, but it’s a little unclear as to what that entails, right? Like does that mean they liked the page or followed someone that had that interest? So here, it’s quite transparent and this is the first time, I’d say, that I would recommend doing the sort of topic-based or interest-based targeting. So as far as setup, it’s quite straightforward. You choose your topic and you can import them as well. Then the locations: you can filter them in the Quora UI and set your bid based on your acquisition model. We’ll just put in $4 here, above the range that they suggest. This is some copy that they just put together. So that’s pretty much what this format looks like. It will show “promoted by your company name.” Again, full disclosure, this is not an ad that I put together. This is just a preview that they’re generating. And then, the way that will appear in the actual feed is that if someone is in a question or thread that is tagged Software Engineering, the only topic that I chose for this example — if they click that, then obviously if our ad gets served  and our CPC is on point. It’s actually getting picked up. It will be shown directly below the bolded question and description area. Again, it all feels very native and there is nothing that’s jarring about it. It’s very highly targeted to the topic itself, as long as you as a marketer are obviously doing your research and choosing your topics appropriately. So it’s pretty easy to go in and edit. That’s a feature that I actually really like because you can carry over the headline sentence from the body text, but it allows you to edit the landing page url. So if that’s something that you’re using UTM codes or some sort of tracking codes and you want to stop that out, you can easily do that. You know, that’s the complaint I have on some other platforms, where perhaps you can copy an ad, but you can’t actually edit the link. So here, that’s a feature I really like. That’s pretty much it. You publish it, it runs that works quite well.

Rodrigo: I wanted to let you finish but I have so many questions. You made an interesting distinction between topics versus Facebook interested in categories. What do you feel is the granularity that the topics-driven approach allows you to achieve? Is it granular enough for you? Have you run into cases where the topics perhaps are too broad?

What is the granularity that the topics-driven approach allows you to achieve?

Jaime: That’s another area for experimentation, right? It all depends on the objective of your campaign. If it’s a branding campaign and you want to go for those broader topics, that makes sense. I mean, also from a really good testing perspective, if you do want to see more direct ROI, like a direct response campaign, you need to go for the targeted ones, then obviously, that sometimes leads to a smaller audience size and it’s harder to get impressions, things like that. But that’s where you can break out the different ad sets and test out different CPCs for the broader versus the more specific topics. I’d say though, they’re quite relevant. Like you can get pretty detailed with that, and again, if you’re doing your research properly on Quora — like let’s say you’re in this thread and you can find a trend about how people are tagging things and apply that to your campaign, you can do quite well. Something that’s definitely missing from the Quora platform now, and I’m quite sure that it’s on their product roadmap as they plan to launch for the full roll out to the public, that would be reporting that is by topic. So that’s something that would be super helpful to the marketer, being able to see which topic has been most effective and that’s no different than keyword level reporting on AdWords, right?

Rodrigo:I wonder if selecting topics allows you to select questions. Essentially, it is possible that your ad will appear under any questions tagged under that topic. Is that right?

Jaime: That’s correct.

Rodrigo: Okay. It’s not as if you get to choose which questions you’ll advertise against?

Jaime: Correct. I mean, at this moment in time, you are unable to do a specific question. And I know you know about something we’ve actually chatted about, right? Possibly having like a boosted post type situation or perhaps that’s on the roadmap, shout out to our friends at Quora. But definitely, I could see the product going in that direction, but right now, it’s strictly topic based and you don’t have the option to get that granular.

Do you ever worry about the kind of questions that are being tagged under?

Rodrigo: Let’s say, Software Engineering, which perhaps are inappropriate to your audience?

Jaime: We haven’t run into that yet. We’re having like a suppression list, it’s kind of like site block when we have retargeting display campaigns that is something we have to be mindful of. I think, Quora as a whole, does a very good job at maintaining the quality, like of the platform themselves. So we haven’t run into any instances of that being an issue because I feel like outside of the ad platform, just the actual operations and functionality for the social network itself, it handles quite well. So that, again, could be another great feature to be added in it if they are able to suppress ads based on certain keywords within the chosen topics.

Rodrigo: It also makes me wonder about where Quora lies on the spectrum between targeting consumers versus targeting business users, right? Let’s say, on the right hand of this spectrum, targeting business users — LinkedIn targeting parameters and sponsored update ad network — seems to be very squarely on targeting business users. And let’s say on the left hand of the spectrum, we’ve got advertisers like maybe Instagram through Facebook, very squarely B2C, business-to-consumer type targeting and advertising. Where do you think Quora falls on that spectrum?

Where does Quora lie on the spectrum between targeting consumers versus targeting business users?

Jaime: I would say it’s somewhere in the middle. It definitely feels very B2C right now. It just depends on how you’re using it. I think, it’s definitely a broader play for B2B and B2B is a bit trickier too just with any sort of direct response campaign when you’re doing something that broad and not necessarily account-based. I can see it definitely fitting into businesses’ digital strategy, whether it’s complementary campaigns that they have running, but I guess it would err on the B2C side.

Rodrigo: I’ll have you play consultant. Now, you’re Jaime the consultant at “Extraordinary Marketing Agency.” I’m going to play the part of the B2B marketer at Salesforce selling CRM and marketing automation software. How do I think about Quora ads in this context?

How do I choose my topics and whatever other targeting parameters perhaps are available to coordinate a campaign that’s going to help me drive results?

Jaime: Alright, so you’re trying to market marketing automation software from Salesforce. There’s a ton that you can do that’s even just topic based. I mean, one, again it’s doing your due diligence and seeing what users are talking about — just the same way you would go about growth hacking and doing that organically to either participate in the threads, right? The same sort of thread you would want to, let’s say maybe like a sales rep goes in and engages with those conversations. Those are the same exact areas you want to target. So at the very basic level, you could include Salesforce like the topic itself, CRM, things like that in your broader-based Ad Set that has these very large audiences but also not super highly targeted. What you probably want to do is, I would imagine your ideal customer profile is a growing company. So maybe a company that just got funded – Series A or seed stage – and they’re currently using MailChimp. There is no automation and they’re asking the question on Quora, “We just raised our first round. We’re starting to implement our sales team, marketing, and operations software. What tools do you recommend?” That sort of dialogue and you back into it that way, see how those questions are tagged. It could be, again, startup marketing, marketing automation. These are the broader-based terms that you would probably include in that first Ad Set. And then, for the more granular ones, you can kind of do some competitor targeting as well. So if you’re looking at some of the other platforms that are out there that are on par with Pardot, right? Marketo, Hubspot, things of that nature. You can back into it that way.

I would say that the approach you take with your research is the same process you’d be taking to engage with the Quora platform organically. That’s how you can extract the value.

Rodrigo: What is it about Quora’s audience that you like?

Why do you feel it’s better to reach people through Quora as opposed to when they’re on Facebook or while they’re browsing the web generally?

Jaime: Yeah. It’s definitely important to have some context there because the ad will only be served when they’re in that specific topic, and if their mind is, let’s say on answering a very specific question about engineering or things like that, like that’s the mindset that they are in, so you’ll also have to take a psychological look at the user’s behavior and what they’re doing at that moment. Obviously, we see success outside of that on more display and other paid social channels, but the added bonus there is that it’s not just for engineering, right? It could be relevant to whatever product or service you’re promoting on there, but [the user is] very engaged in that specific topic. Like that is the topic that’s on their mind at that time, so that extra level of relevancy can only help drive the clickthrough.

Rodrigo: That’s a great point. Well, my last question for you here about Quora and your journey with using Quora advertising is whether you have been measuring the impact of the ads as we discussed at the beginning.

How is Quora performing relative to some of your other channels?

Jaime: It’s definitely performing well, given that it’s part of our strategy and as I mentioned, I had just started using them as a test and I’ve been able to scale that out quite well, and again, that’s all related to the metrics that I outlined earlier in terms of customer acquisition cost, that has been scaling quite nicely, and I’m excited to see as they launch to the public, I believe in June, what features they’ll be including, things like that. It’s definitely has a great start.

Rodrigo: Is this a channel where you say, “I want to allocate a new budget for this” or is this a situation where another vendor in the advertising space is going to lose a part of your budget?

Jaime: That definitely depends on the situation of whatever the company’s marketing budget is, whether it’s here or elsewhere. Basically, for us, it’s something that’s working really well. We’ll scale that if it fits into the budget appropriately that’s like I’ll have this very defined metrics and look at them cross channel. As we expand into new cities, I would definitely include Quora as part of that strategy without having to take budget away from other platforms, but it’s pretty much all performance based, and right now, it’s doing quite well for us.

Rodrigo: That’s a great note to leave on, but I can’t help myself. You mentioned performance based.

Would you recommend Quora advertising for a brand awareness type campaign?

Jaime: Absolutely. Breaking out the different Ad Sets of the broader topics versus the more highly targeted ones, I would say it would be worthwhile to set up an Ad Set with those broader-based topics. Have that set up with obviously a lower CPC set and give that a test because the weekly impressions are obviously going to be much higher if it’s a very broad topic, and then back into those numbers, whatever makes sense in terms of your company’s budget and what you can allocate towards branding on that. But yeah, definitely worth a shot.

Rodrigo: Awesome. Jaime, thank you so much for your insights. This has been another episode of Marketers Teaching Marketers. We’ve been here with Jaime from Vettery and she has been sharing some of her wisdom and experiences on the Quora ad manager in beta, which will soon go into public release — it sounds like June 2017. So for everyone out there, give it a shot and let us know what you think. Jaime, do you have any final words for us?

Jaime: I agree. It’s definitely worth giving it a shot, to my fellow marketers out there, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

Rodrigo: Thank you so much, Jaime. Alright, take care and we’ll see you on the next one.

Jaime: Alright. Bye guys.

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