There is definitely no shortage of Q&A sites in the internet space. And while it can still be considered a newcomer, Quora is one that has managed to stand out from the crowd. Slowly but surely, the service has been introducing new features that bring innovation to an increasingly crowded market and further establish itself as one of the key players. A while back, Quora introduced its credits feature as a reward system of sorts. More recently, it rolled out promotions, a new feature that allows those credits to be used to their maximum potential.

The Quora Economy

With the introduction of credits, Quora essentially created a small digital economy and currency that can be used to promote content on the site. Users can earn credits by receiving votes on their questions, answers, posts on boards, and other activity, as well as having other people specifically ask them to answer their questions. Quora’s new system calls for users to have a minimum of 50 credits to ask questions, but the good thing for regular users is that all their past activity carries over, meaning they probably have already accumulated a decent number of credits to play with.

Quora’s promote feature ties everything together. With this new function, users can spend their credits and help increase the visibility of a given piece of content. In simple terms, they are enabling a question, answer, or post to reach a larger number of people. Promoted Quora content can be distinguished from regular content by the little grey icon that accompanies it in the upper-right corner. As far as actually promoting content, a user simply has to refer to the Promote Answer box to the right of the page, and decide how many people they want to see the content. The number of credits required will depend on the number of people they want to reach.

Payoff for Marketers

Quora has already proven pretty handy as a marketing tool as professionals from a broad range of industries are using it to showcase their expertise and drive qualified traffic to their websites. Thanks to the newly created economy, the marketing value of Quora has just increased big time. By using a combination of credits and the promotion feature, the community can play a huge role in getting your content in front of the eyes of the people who need to see it. The more valuable it is, the more people will want to promote it. It really is as simple as that.

The economy Quora has developed with credits and promotions has undeniable potential, but then again, potential is merely that. In the end, the true value of this system will be determined by adoption of the user community. Quora needs people to use their credits to promote content in order for this thing to work. So far, so good it seems.

Francis Santos is based in the LA area and an up and coming writer for Benchmark Email. He graduated from Cal State Long Beach and holds a degree in Journalism. In addition, he is also an email marketing software and technology advocate.