Pitch deck: How Quora is selling advertisers

Quora has all the answers — and wants to sell ads against them.

Founded in 2009, the question-and-answer site attracts more than 300 million unique visitors per month, according to the company’s pitch deck, provided to Digiday by an advertiser. That’s up from 200 million in June 2017. Over the last couple of years, Quora has been maturing its ad platform.

In 2017, Quora launched a self-serve ad system with topic targeting and a pixel for conversion tracking. In 2018, the company released more targeting functions like looking audiences and question targeting. Last month, Quora introduced question retargeting and keyword targeting.

Duane Brown, founder and head of strategy at Canadian agency Take Some Risk, said his agency began buying Quora ads last year for clients who were interested in more brand awareness. Brown said Quora’s quality audience plus specific targeting is appealing for business-to-business and software-as-a-service clients.

“Quora made sense as we can target keywords, questions and topics within a focused niche. We started to max out Google, Bing and Facebook. We wanted to be on that next channel where people could be a bit more qualified since they are searching for what they need. That search intent was key for us,” Brown said.

Brandon Doyle, the founder of digital agency Wallaroo Media, said his team started testing on Quora six months about for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients.

“Quora operates in a unique space in the customer life cycle. We’ve been liking what we’ve been seeing from the platform so far, as have our clients. We are gradually shifting more advertising dollars there,” Doyle said.

Though, not every advertiser has had success. Morning Brew, a business-focused newsletter which recently reached 1 million subscribers, ran campaigns early last year to see if they could find a platform that could compare to the success they’ve seen on Facebook and Instagram.

“While we actually saw good initial results from a CPC standpoint, quality of subscriber was very bad, and conversion rates were significantly worse than Facebook. We stopped, but we’d be interested to give it another go,” said Austin Rief, co-founder of Morning Brew.

Quora has “tens of thousands of advertisers,” a spokesperson told Digiday. Its pitch deck features Shopify, HubSpot and IBM, as existing brands that advertise on the site. Quora offers several ad units, including text-based ads, image ads and promoted answers. Its real-time auction allows for CPC, CPM and conversion optimized campaigns. The minimum CPM bid is $0.20 and CPC minimum is $0.01, according to Quora, and CPMs range from $1 to $8, according to buyers. The range depends on audience and location targeting along with how much advertisers are willing to pay given the auction.


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