to make your own quiz, head to tryinteract.com
On August 1st 2014, independent tv show studio c launched a quiz titled “Which Studio C Character are You?” using Interact to build the quiz. Within a week the quiz had received 100,000 hits and garnered more than 1000 comments on Facebook. It provided a huge boost in both viewership and engagement for the show.
Studio C is just example of a brand benefiting from quizzes lately, every few days another marketing team comes up with a brilliant way to use a quiz and drives huge traffic. Content producers are getting scrambling to get involved, but creating quizzes is not quite so simple as writing an article or recording a video, there is scoring and logic and images that must be placed correctly to maximize the reach of your quiz.
Luckily, the best quizzes have a lot of common themes, and here at Interact we are constantly analyzing our portfolio of over 2500 quizzes to find out just what makes an awesome quiz. Below I’ll show you all the secrets of great quizzes and then walk through three case studies of quizzes that really nailed it when it comes to going viral.
Part 1: The secrets of awesome quizzes
1. Getting the topic right
Before you can even begin writing a quiz, you need a topic – what’s it going to be about? The right topic will resonate soundly with your audience and drive social shares. After reviewing all the quizzes that have been made on Interact, here are some suggestions on getting the topic right.
Go after a small-ish audience. Don’t try to reach all 7 billion people with your quiz, that’s not going to happen (sorry). Instead, find an audience of people who will really care about your quiz and cater to them – even if it’s not a massive audience.
My favorite example of this being carried out well comes from Faquier County, Virginia, a place you’ve never heard of unless you’re from there. The local newspaper created a quiz titled “Where should you live in Faquier?” and shared it with the residents. In the name of transparency, there are only 80,000 people living in Faquier county. However, one week after launching the quiz, 25,000 of those residents had taken the quiz.
To put that in perspective, poll data shows that only 50,000 of the residents voted in the last election. If you make a quiz for an audience who cares, you’ll get traffic.
Speak to one person. Expanding on the last point, you’ll want to craft a topic for one person. Think of someone who will really enjoy your quiz and speak directly to them. This will help you understand who your audience is and what they expect out of the quiz. If you can’t think of one person, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Know your audience. If your primary reader is really into fishing, don’t make analogies about arts and crafts, make analogies about reeling in huge fish. (We have a fishing tackle customer). Knowing your audience means writing a quiz that resonates with what they’re into and the way they talk. If you need a story to tell, tell it to your audience.
2. Crafting a quiz title
A full 80% of people will decide if they want to take your quiz based on the title you give it (no pressure). Since quizzes usually get found on social sites, the title is really the only thing people see before clicking through. Lucky for you, there are a few kinds of titles that consistently perform well, no matter what the industry.
The “Actually” title: “How much do you actually know about the world cup?” this is a knowledge test quiz. You will set up various questions that have one correct answer, and at the end quiz takers will find out how they did. However, the word actually triggers a challenge response from people and they will be more inclined to take your quiz because no one wants to back down from a challenge.
Could you pass the? title: “Could you pass the U.S. citizenship test?” This one’s great fun because while it is once again just a knowledge assessment, it really hits home. For American citizens, we really should be able to pass the citizenship test, but can we? We also had the University of Illinois create a series of quizzes about famous historical documents, stuff like “Could you pass 8th grade history right now?” These quizzes are goofy, but also rooted in real concepts, which makes them awesome.
The “Which (blank) are you?” quiz: This is the personality quiz, adapted to any industry. It can be anything from “Which hookah are you?” to “Which movie character are you?” many of the most popular quizzes are set up in this format, and all you have to do for a quiz like this is come up with various personalities (whether those are products or people) and link your questions to those personalities.
The celebrity comparison title: “Which celebrity chef should cook for you?” there is an innate connection we all have to celebrities because we see a reflection of ourselves in them. You can draw on that connection to gain quiz views by making a personality quiz with celebrities instead of products or personalities.
New! The “Can we guess your?” title: “Can we guess your age?” This title is just beginning to creep up and has had its first few successes. This is once again a personality quiz, but instead of wording the title as “Which are you?” it’s reversed so the quiz seems to be guessing which you are.
3. Writing engaging quiz questions
The quiz questions are my favorite part. This is where you get to hold a full conversation with quiz takers and really get to know them. Until quizzes, no other form of content could really offer this kind of interaction, and it’s awesome. Here are a few ways to maximize your questions to build rapport with visitors.
Be yourself. This is the biggest one to remember – if you are goofy, be goofy, if you are witty, be witty. There’s nothing worse than a quiz that has no personality to it. People like talking to people but hate inputting information into a computer. The biggest difference between a quiz that goes viral and a survey that you have to pay people to take is how much fun a quiz is and that fun stems from injecting personality.
Don’t talk too much. When writing quiz questions, don’t go crazy. We had one customer create a 98 question quiz that ended by telling you what kind of Gatorade you are. Who wants to sit through 98 questions to find out what kind of Gatorade they are? Ideal quizzes have 6-12 questions, that’s enough questions to build a connection with quiz takers but not so many that people get bored.
Be edgy. Quizzes get shared on social media. You know what else gets shared on social media? Cat pictures and the Kardashians. You need to write quiz questions that are going to prevent people from clicking away to look at cat pictures and Kardashians. One effective way to do this is being bold and edgy.
A good example comes from a guy who made a quiz about North Korea. Let’s just say the “dear leader” wouldn’t be too happy with the way the quiz is written, but it’s hilarious and made me want to continue answering questions.
4. Creating share-able quiz results
The results of your quiz present an opportunity to take the quiz and amplify its reach. The quizzes that end up with millions of views all have excellent results that are set up for sharing. I’ll explain what that means by going over the elements of share-able results.
Be kind. We typically share things on social media that make us look good. Give people quiz results that make them look good and you’ll get more social shares. To be kind, pick out the best elements of your result and focus on them. For example, if you tell someone they are like Amazon in the “Which company are you?” Quiz, focus on how efficient the company is.
Don’t lie. It’s painfully obvious when quizzes try to butter people up in the hopes of getting more shares. As per the previous point, focus on what’s actually good about your quiz result instead of just telling people how great they are with nothing to back that up.
Prepare to be shared. There’s a formula for how every Interact quiz gets shared. “I got (my result)(title of the quiz)” so “I got Amazon – which awesome company are you?” When you write your quiz, be sure to name both the quiz and each result appropriately so that when you do get shared it’s an effective share that drives traffic back to your site.
Part 2: Three quiz use cases to boost your marketing
1. Forbes: Use a quiz to provide personalized content recommendations
Publishers spend tons of money producing content that has a 24-hour life on Facebook, gaining thousands of visits, but then struggles to get more than a few new clicks after a week or so, despite a huge investment that went into creating the content initially. That’s where quizzes can really help. You can set up a personality type quiz, and in each result include a link to an article that fits the quiz takers’ personality.
That’s exactly what Forbes did with their college quiz “Which college is right for you?” for each result they included a link to the Forbes college adviser, a tool that Forbes invested a lot of money into but has gone somewhat dormant. Quiz takers are interested in finding out more about their personality type at the end of your quiz, so provide a personalized content recommendation to find out more.
2. Amnesty International: Use a quiz to highlight lesser known parts of your work
For the last 50 years, Amnesty has worked hard to bring world issues into the light for the world to address. They used a quiz to help accomplish that and so far more than 25,000 people have taken the quiz. It’s titled “Which social justice advocate are you?” and is a personality quiz with great world peace leaders as the results.
This method works well for any business that has “characters.” TV shows, movies, books, etc. Just set up a personality type quiz that has one character as each result and watch it run. Make sure to follow the “be kind” rule on this one. No one wants to share a result that makes them look like the dumbest character in your book.
3. Staples: Use a quiz to personalize product recommendations
E-commerce sites can use quizzes to provide personal recommendations to every single visitor. There was a study done which found that providing personal recommendations improves sales but 37%. Setting up personalized products like Amazon is expensive and time consuming, but with a quiz it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is set up a personality type quiz, but replace the quiz results with different products.
Staples did exactly that to promote a suite of apps they’ve released for small business owners. The quiz was “Are you a workaholic” and the personality results ranged from “yes, definitely” to “no, you’re doing okay” Each result included a link to download an app from Staples that would help the quiz taker no matter what position they are in.
This model can be replicated with virtually any site that has a variety of products. We’ve seen it done from everything from Hookah to Clip-on nails. All you have to do is set up a quiz with your products as the results and include links to buy the recommended item.
Conclusion: Get Involved
Because of social media, quizzes can blow up almost instantly and get hundreds of thousands of visits in mere days. It’s happened time and time again, and it can happen for your site too. After looking at more than 2000 quizzes, we pulled out the best elements of each one and shared them with you. Now it’s your turn to take the reigns and create an awesome quiz. To get started, head to tryinteract.com (the first quiz is on us)