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How Quora Can Enhance Defense Contractor Business Development

With Quora, defense contractors can ask and answer questions, establish thought leadership, build their network and develop more business.

photo credit: jluster via photopin cc

According to Quora’s “About” page, “Quora is a collection of questions and answers that is created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The main goal is to be the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about each question.”

Although there are some other Q&A sites such as Yahoo Answers and Wiki Answers, Quora stands out on one respect by requiring users to provide their real names when answering questions. As a result, the site's answer quality is extremely high. You can ask questions anonymously, however.

The Q&A site was started by two senior Facebook executives, is growing steadily, and with LinkedIn Answers being shut down and Facebook retiring its foray into the Q&A space, the future growth of Quora is very promising.

This short video provides more details on how to get started and use Quora:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9tIgfCN6F0]

Here are five ways defense contractors can use Quora for business development:

1. Introduce and increase awareness of your company to those who are asking questions related to your area of expertise.

Here is an example of a question in the "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)" section which, if your company manufactures UAV batteries, you can provide non-promotional information on your firm and those of your competitors:

Continuing in the UAV section, here's a question that was asked where someone in this industry category could provide a helpful (non-promotional) answer, establish themselves and their company, and grow their network.

Here's a question that is another opportunity to gain awareness, especially for those defense contrators in the UAV open source quadrotor control software business: 

2. Keep an eye on your competitors. You can keep track of who you competition is following, and see the answers they are providing. This can sometimes tip their hand to what is in their pipeline.

3. Develop a reputation of thought leadership and expertise. If your company is pursuing a thought leadership marketing strategy, the answers provided on Quora can help reinforce that effort.

4. Perform product research & development. With the rich and specific dialog on Quora, you can gain insights into customer problems that your products might be able to solve.

5. Have fun. Quora can be a lot of fun, somewhat addictive, and if you're not careful, you can get sucked into the interesting discussions and wonder where the time goes.  Here is an example of a questions that might be of interest to defense contractors. Just the question alone provides an outsider's insight into our industry.

And here's a question that surely every defense contractor has pondered:

What do you think? What has been your experience using Quora?

The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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