Quora: My Pick for the 2018 Top PPC Underdog

Hailing from and still living in the Philly area, I’m hearing the Eagles buzz non-stop.  As a marketer, I can’t help but enjoy watching how local companies are responding to the Eagles’ road to the Superbowl.  A few of my favorites include “lamppost donuts” in response to the “Crisco Cops” and Philly Pretzel Factory’s bone-shaped pretzels for our underdogs.

All the hype got me thinking about which platform would be the underdog of the PPC industry.

While Bing and Amazon can’t compete with Google and Facebook, they aren’t lagging behind enough to be considered a true underdog. They have the means to compete on some level with the big dogs. While there are new advertising opportunities in apps like Snapchat and WhatsUp, they have a skew toward particular audiences, leaving less true potential.

To me, that leaves one obvious pick… Quora.

What Makes Quora the Top Underdog?

A Little Background for Perspective

  • Quora started in 2009 by former Facebook employees but made public in 2010.
  • 5% of users are from the US, followed by 18.7% from India, then 5.6% from the UK.
  • The reported number of unique users is over 200 million (as of June 2017), up from 100 million in 2016 (that’s a huge jump in their fanbase).
  • With total funding at $452 million, Quora is here for the long haul.

Focusing on Who They Are First and Foremost

Quora waited a long time before introducing ads because they kept the focus on the platform and it’s intent instead of capitalizing on it, saying, “we’ve definitely focused more on our users and the mission than on monetization.”

Quora has also embraced the role of becoming the best Q&A platform around by enforcing quality control as well as kind and respectful answers (they have a be nice, be respectful policy – also called “BNBR policy”), coupled with strong algorithms and trustworthy writers.  These have allowed it to escape the ridicule Yahoo Answers has faced.

Willing to Wait For the Right Timing

Quora could’ve introduced advertising earlier. Instead, it took it’s time and developed a fairly solid platform. Agora gives the interface itself a B-, which really isn’t too bad for a brand new ad interface.

My Opinion

One of the biggest advantages of Quora is the personalized feel.You see real people with a picture (usually) and something about them.  It’s not just a laundry list of results. It’s humanized, and conversational, while still factual. Maybe best of all, it doesn’t have that “machine learning” coldness of typical search results.

How All This Translates for the PPC Advertiser

Unique Positioning

Since Quora is loaded with trust-worthy content, that translates to the ads having more trust-worthiness as well. The natural ad positioning (sandwiched in-between respected responses), in sentence case, helps build advertiser credibility.


Advertising on Quora allows you to broaden the reach of your advertising budget by not putting all your eggs in one basket. You’ll get in front of new, qualified and more importantly, engaged audiences.   You can develop a solid strategy by being super selective or really broad in your ad set targeting. Pick from a range of topics, specific questions, behaviors/interests, or your specific audiences.  Audience availability includes remarketing and lookalikes, which remarkable for such a new channel.  

Niche Strategy

Here’s where you can really start to root for this underdog, using the uniqueness of this channel to your advantage. Since users are purposefully reading up on content related to your product or services, you can find creative and relatable ways to put your business in front of them.

For example, the bakery responsible for the lamppost donuts could target any questions surrounding the “intensity” of Philly fans, add location targeting to the surrounding area of the bake shop and potentially bring in a little extra business.  I don’t know about you, but I could definitely see some content about that donut right below this question.What a great way to reach your target audience!

Additional Potential for Small Businesses

Depending on your business and industry, the other platforms might be too competitive and CPCs too high for a decent ROI. Quora might offer that niche environment to help you spread your wings. It’s new, and so a lot of companies who are satisfied with their efforts in the other channels, haven’t tapped into Quora yet. That’s what helps make it the ultimate underdog after all…flying in under the radar.

If you’re ready to get started with Quora, check out our post about some things we wish we would’ve known ahead of time.

Do you agree that Quora is the PPC underdog or would you have nominated a different PPC channel?  Comment below to share your thoughts!