Quora Ads: How to Forecast Results and Budget

This is a guest post by JD Prater, Quora Evangelist

Have you ever had to convince your boss or client to test new ad platforms? Or to shift budget from a proven channel to a new one you think might work? It can be a challenge to sell the value because might is a risky word when asking your boss for budget. But not diversifying your ad spend is also risky.

How can you reduce the risk when pitching Quora Ads and get the data needed to forecast results? I’m going outline three steps you can take to forecast ads results and secure that budget needed for Quora Ads.

Step #1 – Estimate Impression Volume and Cost

Similar to Facebook Ads Manager, the Quora Ads Manager provides your estimated impressions based on your audience, location, and device targeting. In order to see those impression estimates, you need to create a Quora Ads account. It takes 2 minutes and you don’t need a credit card.

Next, set up a test campaign, then create an ad set and input your audience, location, and device targeting.

Impressions

After you add all three of those targeting options, the Ads Manager will provide the potential weekly impressions under Summary on the right-hand side.

As you can guess, there’s a lot of variability week-to-week, but that’s the estimated range based on your targeting. From here, you can either take the low number, the high number, or the middle number to start predicting outcomes. For this example, I’ll take the middle number and multiply by four to get monthly impressions.

40,000 impressions x 4 weeks = 160,000 monthly impressions

CPCs

Next, you can see a Suggested CPC based on your targeting. Now you know two important variables, the estimated monthly impressions, and potential cost-per-click. For the sake of this exercise, let’s use the suggested bid of $1.71 CPC for our forecast.

A quick note on Quora’s Ads auction: Our Suggested CPC bid is based on the floor and ceiling of the ads auction. Essentially, we’re showing you what other advertisers are willing to pay to win the auction and earn more and higher ad placements.

Therefore, the CPC you input doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how much you will pay for each click. Rather you’re signaling the maximum you’re willing to pay to enter the auction and earn a click. The actual price you pay is dependent on the result of the ads auction. Factors such as ad relevance, bid price, competition, and the likelihood of a user clicking the ad are used to determine the winner of the auction. Marketers familiar with Facebook’s ad auction should understand this model quite well as we utilize the same VCG auction.

CTR

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I would guesstimate that if you’re using Image Ads and have a 0.5% CTR, you’re doing all right. Anything above 1.00%, you’re doing fantastic. If you’re hovering around 0.25% and below, you’ve got to work on your ad creative.

We now have monthly impressions, a suggested CPC, and an average CTR of 0.50%.

Let’s do some basic marketing math.

Step #2 – Combine Quora Ads Estimates with Post-Click Metrics

The next step is to understand how your audience is responding to your offer. To forecast how many leads or sales you may potentially drive, let’s factor in your average website conversion rate for that offer, product, service, or whatever your advertising.

Let’s say your average conversion rate is 5% for a really good ebook and we’re estimating 8,000 clicks from Quora Ads. That would equal 400 ebook downloads per month. We can now figure out our Cost Per Lead (CPL) by dividing $13,680 in ad spend by 400 to arrive at a CPL of $34.20.

$13,680 ad spend / 400 leads = $34.20 CPL

You are now armed to make some decisions. Is this prediction competitive or is it not to other channels? Is it worth experimenting with Quora Ads? It may not be. It may be. Either way, it’s a really good way to help you understand the potential of advertising on Quora.

What levers would you need to manipulate for it to make sense; the CPC, the targeting, or the conversion rate on the landing page? Of course, optimizing all three will bring the CPL down, but knowing this beforehand will speed up the trial-and-error period on a new ads platform. Who knows it may even help you win that pitch to the boss or client.

Step #3 – Set Up Your Pixel and Upload Email List

One more tip to help you make the case for Quora Ads. Install that Quora Ads Pixel and upload your email lists. The pixel can easily be added to your website using Google Tag Manager or Segment. Once installed you can create audiences based off of your website traffic to understand what percentage of your traffic is on Quora. This is usually an easy win and the first thing I do when evaluating any new ads platform.

Don’t forget to also upload your list of contacts as a List Match audience. Look at your match rate to know how many people you can target on Quora with ads. Keep in mind that most people sign up for Quora with their personal email rather than business email.

Both of these audiences take around 24 hours to populate, so if you do all that today, come back tomorrow and you’ll know if Quora is a good solution for your company moving forward.

Summary

Getting extra budget, a test budget or shifting budget can be tricky. But as a marketer, it’s our job to test new marketing messages, channels, and opportunities to reach our target audience and grow the business. Hopefully, by following these steps you’ll have the data needed to convince your boss or client on the potential business impact of Quora Ads.

And once you get approval, be sure to check out Joe Martinez’s post in Marketing Land, How to use Quora ads for big results in every step of the funnel.

About the Author:

JD Prater is the Quora Evangelist. He’s a performance marketer and digital media strategist with a passion for organizing data into actionable stories. His expertise is in crafting marketing strategies and campaigns that drive acquisition, retention, and engagement across the customer lifecycle.

 

 

Comments (2)

  1. Is that true that the average CTR is only 0.5%? I have some ads for my app targeting topics and keywords, they all have CTR from 0.7%-0.9%. But they have very low install rate, and a pretty high CPI compared with Facebook ads…

  2. That’s correct. That tells me your ad is doing well at capturing demand and the audience is targeting pretty good, but you’re not converting well in the app store. Maybe try some app store landing page experiments?

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