There is a worldwide personal branding trend in B2B marketing. Basically, it can be described as "getting public personally acquainted with company's top-management". More an more entrepreneurs now understand the importance of personal image.
When you hear "Amazon", you instantly think "Jeff Bezos". Bill Gates is a bigger brand than Microsoft. Gary Vaynerchuk is a personal branding phenomenon, nowadays he is able to start pretty much any business and it would not need huge marketing budgets - just because of his personal relations with the public.
There is plenty of data that shows how personal branding influences the marketing and sales process.
So here's the tricky thing for B2B marketers: How are they supposed to elevate clients' personal branding?
Providing LinkedIn Lead Generation services for more than 3 years, we are strongly dedicated to creating a sustainable client's image during the campaign. You can take a more detailed look at how it is done in our LeadGen Case Study.
In our LinkedIn practice, we have tried different tactics to establish a trustworthy image for our clients' profiles. Article writing, well-thought messaging scripts, precisely-targeted networks, active participation in group discussions. We have tried all that.
The results are far from dissatisfying, the campaign is able to provide clients with a constant flow of leads, making ROI immense.
Still, there is a problem. LinkedIn is a business-focused platform, where everyone is trying to maintain a professional image. Besides that, all of LinkedIn users are open for cooperation suggestions, so it is fine for you to send messages that would promote you as a professional.
But how to convince more people that you are a high-level professional without sending directly promotional messages?
Usually, when you need to cultivate your personal branding, you just find a suitable PR consultant, develop a PR strategy, choose content-distribution channels and voila! Your personal brand is being developed.
Needless to say that this strategy is really expensive in terms of time and money. Besides that, it is tightly connected to the area which your media covers. That is why we were looking for a more budget-friendly alternative that would involve social media and online platforms.
We have tried plenty of different social media, starting from big ones like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, finishing with media platforms like Medium. However, the results didn't meet our goals. These platform are great to have extra traffic and engagements, but they won't help you to build a personal brand.
Quora is the solution!
Then we have realized that our CEO has a Quora account, that has been registered in far 2013 but had no considerable activity. So we have thought: why don't we try that? And we tried. And the results were surprising!
Here's a step-by-step description of our Quora campaign:
1. Once you have registered your account, Quora will ask you to choose some topics you find interesting. You better to choose the most relevant to your professional activity. It is definitely awesome if you have a wide range of interests, but a good focus is always an advantage.
Why is it important? Quora will show you topics based on this choice. You will always be able to adjust your preference list, so don't panic in case you have forgotten something.
2. Fill in all the information. This part is extremely SEO-sensitive, so be sure not to skip any of the required fields. Profile description is also the first sign of your credibility, as people will decide whether to believe you on not to based on who you are. Pay extra attention to the "profile credential" field, as it will be displayed next to every answer you write.
When writing your profile description - make sure it is clear and easy-to-read. Highlight the most important information and don't be afraid to express yourself. It is also fine to add some self-promotion here.
3. Add a high-quality photo. Despite how good the description is, people won't take you seriously if you have a cat picture on your profile. Showing people how you really look like is a sign of trust, which will enable your readers to trust you back.
4. Add your education, location, and employment credentials. It will give your profile more "transparent" look, showing you have nothing to hide.
5. Connect the profile with other social media. The nice thing about Quora is that it sends notifications to your network, telling you are open for new questions. By doing that, you are much more likely to receive some relevant questions to answer.
6. Adjust your privacy settings. Quora is extremely well-optimized in terms of SEO. Basically, that means your profile will be on the first page of search if someone decides to Google your name. Make sure that you are displaying only those pieces of information you want to display.
Quora topics are definitely great, but there is a chance that a big chunk of these questions would not be suitable for you to showcase your expertise. Some questions are related to a particular location or particular industry that might not be relevant for you.
That is why you should search some keywords, related to your industry, thus filtering the irrelevant questions. Besides the fact you are able to access the "vox populi" and see how people perceive your industry, it is also great fun!
Writing the answers.
It is extremely important for you to pick suitable language for your answers. Avoid using too much professional language but don't be too basic. Explaining sophisticated processes with a clear and understandable sentences will allow you to find common ground with the audience, thus building credibility.
Maintain a good balance between stating the obvious and writing expert-level content. You can read previous answers and write yours as a reaction to them. Not only it will allow you to write something actually useful, you would also be able to get some extra engagement, having a conversation. It is extremely important for your personal branding to be
In order to hit the top search and reach more people - you would need to have your answers upvoted. Quora algorithms perceive those answers as useful ones, promoting them throughout the platform. We have asked some of our partners to upvote answers they find relevant and it has kick-started our profile immensely.
One more great thing about Quora algorithms is that your answer has chances to hit the Quora Digest, which basically is an e-mail notification with top-trending answers. Depending on the popularity and relevancy of the question, you are able to reach from 1 to 10 thousand people via their e-mails!
Besides the fact that our profile was created in 2013, we have started working on it on at the beginning of January 2018. It took us a couple of weeks to do the research, fill in all the essential information, write some answers, and find a couple of endorsers to upvote them.
Now, it is 4th month of the campaign and we have achieved pretty impressive results. For last three months we were able to hit 16 Quora Digests, reaching approximately 200 000 people via e-mails. Totally, we have received 22.8 thousand upvotes and almost 600 000 views in 3 months. Please mind that these numbers are totally organic, with no paid traffic involved!
Although, there is one serious drawback about Quora statistics, that most marketers will be disappointed to hear. The platform is extremely careful with users' data, so it is really difficult to analyze your audience.
You can find quite detailed engagement reports but there are no audience reports like on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. However, experienced marketers would be able to collect essential information anyway.
We use UTMs to track the traffic from Quora and map users' interest on the every stage of the sales funnel.
We are now facing a strong demand in this kind of service within clients from PR, Real Estate, and Healthcare industries. Some of our clients' campaigns are showing even greater results. Working within the PR industry, our clients' Quora campaign enabled them to reach 25 000 people just during the first week!
To top it off, we would like to say that we already had a couple of arranged calls from leads that have found us on Quora. Basically, you would be able to build a sustainable personal branding, increase your brand awareness and hit top positions in Google search by only running a Quora campaign. By the effort/result ratio, this solution would be a great deal for SMB's (small and medium-sized businesses).