Knowledge Markets Add Another Wrinkle to Agency Business Development

Some wise old soul told us that it’s better to give than receive. I can think of a few scenarios where that’s not exactly true.

But when it comes to knowledge markets, data supports the old adage: sharing is overwhelmingly advantageous as a B2B lead generation tool.

What are knowledge markets, anyway?

By definition, a knowledge market is a mechanism for distributing intellectual resources. In the age of Internet, major knowledge market platforms include Quora, LinkedIn Answers and Yahoo Answers. For the sake of this post and personal favoritism, we are going to focus on the newest addition to the flock: Quora.

According to their website, Quora is “a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited and organized by everyone who uses it.” The point is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question, whether they author the query or not.

Essentially, Quora is about the ability to share your personal or company knowledge with the advantage of being viewed as an industry expert.

What does this have to do with B2B lead generation?

Quora is both well-segmented and searchable. This means that as an expert about your given field, be it B2C or B2B, you can head over to Quora and find people who are asking questions that might be a fit for your expertise.

The hypothesis is that when you provide someone with a quality answer, they (and everyone else viewing the question page) will begin to form an opinion of you as an expert. They may share your answer with a friend or coworker, maybe they’ll visit your website, or maybe they will message you directly on Quora to follow up.

Are marketing, PR & advertising agencies using knowledge markets?

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According lonelybrand’s 2011 survey, only 21% of PR, advertising and marketing agencies are using knowledge markets as a lead gen tool.

Take a moment to visit any of these outlets and you’ll find that while they are crowded with answers on the marketing field, the answers aren’t necessarily from top agency executives.

Knowledge markets and lead generation

At lonelybrand we use knowledge markets for ourselves and our agency clients to provide answers about relevant areas of expertise. Great answers take significant focus, time and thought, so measurement is critical to ensure knowledge markets are a valid approach to the B2B content marketing challenge.

According to our data, visitors from Quora spend over twice the time on site as do those who click on a link from LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

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The bounce rate for those who come from Quora is significantly lower than those who come from social sites. This means that Quora-based visitors are less likely to enter and immediately leave.

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As if that weren’t enough, the number of pages viewed per visit was higher for visits sourced from Quora. These visitors viewed an average of 3 pages every time they came, versus a much lower 1.66 for LinkedIn traffic.

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How to get the most out of Quora

The message here is not to head to Quora and drop links to your website under any related questions. Instead, find questions to which you can add unique value and provide a high quality answer. That means having a process to identify appropriate questions, draft answers and assign deadlines to publish. The process becomes more complex when busy executives are tapped for knowledge, but if higher quality B2B traffic is your concern there’s no doubt in our minds Quora is a win.

Have you used knowledge markets like Quora as a B2B lead generation strategy? Share your experience with us in the Comments section below.