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There’s no doubt these days that online quizzes have become quite the popular trend. But why?

You’ve seen them everywhere. In your Facebook feed, your recent tweets and right in the middle of many news articles. It seems to me these days that whenever I hop on a social media outlet I read many results of a quiz some of my friends have recently taken, exclaiming that they indeed are a Gryffindor over the other houses in Harry Potter or that they truly belong in Los Angeles.

To make a buzzfeed style quiz like the ones talked about in this article, head to tryinteract.com

So why are these quizzes so popular? What’s the appeal?

If you want to get philosophical, you could say that these quizzes give us tiny little progressions towards the inward question of ‘Who am I?’ If you want to give a surface level answer, you might just say ‘well, they’re fun!’

This quiz craze might have a little bit to do with both answers. On one hand, we as humans have an innate desire to learn more about ourselves and these quizzes provided a not-so-serious approach to that. And then on the other hand, we just think these quizzes are some easy fun, and take no time at all. But regardless of the reason behind why we have a desire to complete these quizzes, the fact of the matter is that we do.

Even Ellen joked on her show that America has a ‘serious addiction that is sweeping the country’ with these quizzes before taking one herself live on the show. The quiz she took was testing which queen of comedy you were, and she actually got the result of Chelsea Handler rather than herself which was perfectly hilarious given the situation.

What’s the trend?

Well you’ve paid witness to the trend just by browsing the Internet recently, but here are some quick numbers:

-BuzzFeed’s “What City Should You Actually Live In” quiz has tallied over 20 million views, and has been like almost 3 million times on Facebook.

-Red Lobster posted a quiz promoting one of their meal products that gained 200,000 likes on Facebook in the matter of a couple weeks

- Most viewed NY Times article of 2013 was a quiz

- Our company has collected over 150,000 leads through all of our client’s quizzes in the past 6 months

The most interesting study that I read on quizzes was a study that Forbes wrote talking about the idea of ‘displacement.’ The article defines displacement (from Freud) as the idea of unconsciously shifting your energy, effort and emotions away from things that cause you anxiety, and onto something else. So in the case of quizzes, instead of focusing on the task at hand or something on a deadline that may cause us stress or discomfort, we instead move to complete a different mindless task. These other mindless tasks give us the illusion that we’re completing something, when in fact what we’re doing is rather useless but not anxiety causing.

From that point you could go into a study about how this could be the root of procrastination. And perhaps you’d be onto something. Although this makes sense and could lead us into a conversation much deeper about how much information bombards us every day, let’s just keep it on track with these quizzes.

What’s even more fascinating is that Forbes put their money where their mouth is, creating a quiz about which college you should go it, using Interact. When you are preparing college applications, ‘displacement’ sounds quite appealing, and Forbes has been the beneficiary of distracted college students, racking up 146,000 quiz takers and an additional 1,000 per week from people searching for “college quiz”

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So, why are they shared so much?

Well if we were going back to our philosophical standpoint we could point essentially to narcissism. If we weren’t trying to delve into the psychological pleasures we experience from learning about ourselves you could maybe just make the statement that these quizzes are fun, and the quiz takers want to find out their friend’s results and have them post about it as well. People love to learn about themselves, and it almost seems like it’s a currency that acts on a social economy.

Regardless, the shared rates are staggering, as you may have already known just by logging into Facebook today. It seems to me that one in every four posts is some sort of article people are sharing on social media.

Well why should I use them?

So what we have come to in all of this is that quizzes can be used as a highly valuable tool. They can be used to collect emails, create an online media presence, or just give your website some viewership.

Since we’re a company that creates one of these quiz platforms, we thought we’d share some of our own data that might back up some of these claims. When we really got into the nitty gritty bits of our data we’ve collected over the past 9 months and practice our math skills to make sense of it – we obtained some interesting results.

First, let’s take a look at the completions we’ve seen through our quizzes. We’ll take a look at views more in a second, but views can only mean so much in regards to outreach, but the amount of times in which a quiz is completed really tells the truth on whether or not you could call it successful.

To explain the infographic real fast – each darker bubble is a month in the past, and the measurement line to the left represents the number of completions, correlating directly to the size of the bubble. The graphic represents the months between March 2014 and January 2015.

completions_bubble

We’ve seen some pretty crazy growth over the last few months, especially a big hop in numbers over the past month of January. Starting at just around 20,000 completions in the month of March last year, we were able to witness over 300,000 quiz completions this past month. So those are great numbers for growth on completions, but that doesn’t mean too much unless we compare it to the overall views and the completion percentage month over month.

compRate1

This second chart takes a look at the completion rate. This has definitely gone up over time, which we contribute to a few different factors. Firstly we’ve been making some slight changes in the design and usability of the quizzes, which might have a small effect of the overall user experience and could help. But that alone can’t explain the significant jump that we’ve seen since beginning to collect this data, and for that we have to start taking a look at other factors.

Starting out capturing this data, our quizzes averaged only a 26% completion rate, and last month we were able to boast a significant improvement to that number with 59% of our quizzes viewed being completed. We were really happy with that number and the improvement in the data, and we believe this really reflects the success a lot of our customers have been having with their quizzes.

As time goes on, the quiz trend has started to become somewhat of a normal occurrence within the social media community as the posts are all over the place. They’re being effectively used as a marketing tool in different environments and quiz makers are figuring out the best ways of creating exciting, engaging and new ideas for quizzes that contributes to a higher completion rate. The urge that users are finding to finish a quiz that they start has become a tool to keep them hooked – and make sure they stay and complete the quiz all the way through to the end.

Overall, we have found that as time has moved on and with quiz writing, design and creation becoming better and better, there is nothing but more success ahead in using quizzes as a viable marketing tool. Growth comes from learning, and we feel that marketers are learning the ways of this new type of social media connection and how to harness it’s potential well. If you’re working in marketing with your company, it might just be time to see if using quizzes to increase engagement and collect leads is a good idea!

To make a buzzfeed style quiz like the ones talked about in this article, head to tryinteract.com

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