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How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing

Have you ever taken a "personality quiz" and shared the results on Facebook or Twitter?

It seems like every day someone you know is sharing the latest, "What kind of ____ are you?" quiz, and that's because these posts are fun to take, and easy to share. The average quiz gets shared 1900 times on social media, according to research by Buzzsumo, and their popularity doesn't show signs of fading anytime soon.

Even traditional media outlets are now using quizzes to drive engagement on social media - The New York Times' "How Y'all, Youse and You Guys Talk" quiz from a few years ago remains one of the publication's most viewed and shared articles.

Given this, have you considered using quizzes in your own content strategy?

In this post, we'll look at how to use a quiz as a marketing tool - but before that, here are some key examples of brands that have generated significant social attention through the use of quiz posts.

1. Kershaw Knives: "What Knife Style are You?"

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

It may not seem like an obvious fit, but Kershaw's 'Knife Style' quiz asks a series of questions that are related to food, travel, and lifestyle.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

Once users have answered the questions, Kershaw tells them what kind of knife would be ideal for them, and encourages people to share the results with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. When they reveal the quiz-taker’s knife style, Kershaw also takes the opportunity to show off some of the knives in their collection that align with the result.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

This example shows that quizzes can have a place in niches you may not expect. Maybe even your business.

2. Airbnb: “What Kind of Family are You?”

I love the execution of Airbnb’s “What Kind of Family are You?” quiz.

It’s very simple - all you need to do is scroll through a series of images showing different locations, home styles and vacation activities, and then click the heart icon if the image appeals to you, or click the X if it doesn’t.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

Airbnb’s images will have you dreaming about and planning your next vacation long before you reach the end of the quiz - it’s marketing disguised as entertainment (and I mean that in a good way).

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

After browsing through about eight photos, the final image (shown below) reveals what category of vacationer the quiz-taker is. Notice how within the text that describes the person’s vacation style, Airbnb makes recommendations for places to visit? 

This quiz gives Airbnb the opportunity to learn about the preferences of their customers, and prospective customers, and also to market directly to them a variety of homes available via Airbnb where people can book instantly.

By the way, I was looking at the quiz purely for research, but before I even realized what I was doing, I was clicking around to check out homes for rent in Moab and thinking about a family trip to Costa Rica, a place I never thought I’d visit. Airbnb hooked me.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

3. Degnan's Kitchen "Yosemite Adventure" quiz

Degnan's Kitchen is a restaurant at Yosemite National Park. The restaurant was recently closed for renovations and, in anticipation of the upcoming spring and summer seasons, Degnan's wanted to let people know about its reopening. Degnan's combined a quiz with a giveaway (the prize is a gift certificate to use at the restaurant).

Of course the quiz takers are also encouraged to share results with their friends. By gating the quiz and combining it with a chance to win a prize, Degnan's was able to collect email addresses to use for future marketing.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

In the Yosemite quiz, visitors were asked a series of questions about their favorite Yosemite sites and activities. After they'd answered the questions, they learned about a meal from  Degnan's menu that will help fuel their Yosemite adventure.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

4. Survivor: "Which Survivor Game Changer are You?"

It's hard to believe Survivor has been a television staple for more than 15 years, but that's a fact. There have been some seasons with contestants who are hard to forget, which inspired Survivor to build their quiz around these well-known players in the lead up to their latest season. 

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

5. Nintendo Tomodachi Life: “Mii Personality Test”

If you’ve ever played Wii or any other Nintendo game, you know how much fun it can be to build your Mii - or even to build a whole family of Miis. In this quiz, Nintendo asked a series of silly questions designed to help you design your perfect mini Mii for the Tomodachi Life game. You can’t help but notice the “Try it free” message that appears at the top of the screen.

And of course gamers will also want to share the results of their Mii personality test with their friends. The descriptions for the quiz results are all very detailed and really fun.

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

Some of the questions in the Nintendo quiz seem to have nothing to do with gaming, but they’re definitely entertaining. I bet you’ve never wondered how you might tell a friend he has food stuck in his teeth, and what that might reveal about you?!

How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Social Media Marketing | Social Media Today

Creating Your Own Quiz

As you can see, quizzes can offer an engaging, interactive and creative way to generate engagement. What's more, quizzes can take a wide variety of forms, offering opportunity in a range of niches.

If you're considering utilizing quizzes in your own content strategy, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

Use Your Most Popular Content to Build a Quiz

If you're wondering what kind of quiz your audience is most likely to take and share, start by looking at the most popular content you've created.

Have you created a guide or infographic that got a lot of share traffic? Is there a blog post on your site that was wildly successful - or at least brought you a respectable amount of attention?

If the content resonated with your customers, it might just catch the attention of their friends, too.

If you don't have any existing content that fits the bill, think about something you'd like to learn from your customers.

Let’s say you want to narrow down the color palette for next season’s line of products - you could use a quiz to figure out your customers’ favorite colors and build your next line around their preferences. Or, if you want to help your customers choose from a large variety of your products, you could use a quiz to help them figure out which one would be right for them (like Kershaw Knives has done in the example above).

Establish a Goal

Quizzes may be fun but in order for a quiz to be “successful”, you first need to think about what you’re trying to accomplish with a quiz.

You can see from the examples above, the brands all had different goals. Some are obviously used primarily for marketing (Airbnb and Degnan’s) while others are more subtle and seem to be just for fun and brand awareness (Nintendo) and others are somewhere in the middle, perhaps trying to gauge customer interest in products, and also educate people (Kershaw).

Establishing a clear goal is key to ensure that you're not only generating engagement, but you're also boosting your business performance and gathering relevant data.

Don’t Forget to Promote Your Quiz

Since quizzes get 75% of their traffic from social media, promoting your quiz is key.

Airbnb’s quiz was promoted on Instagram and just happened to appear in my feed which is how I found it, but I haven’t seen all that many marketing-driven quizzes on Instagram, which tells me there’s opportunity there.

As with any sort of marketing campaign, getting the word out requires a combination of free and paid efforts. I always recommend posting on social media, promoting in email and on your website and blog, as well as using AdWords and Facebook ads. 

Quiz Creation

There's a number of companies that provide templates for building quizzes, including free templates from ShortStack (where I work) and Buzzfeed, and from companies like Wyng

These templates and tools make the process much easier, enabling you to focus more on the content, and less on the technical implementation.

As you can see, there's a wide range of quiz options, and the data shows that can be an engaging, effective option. Quizzes also go to the hear of what social media is about - being 'social' and sharing your results - which further underlines their relevance in the modern marketing landscape.

Hopefully these tips and examples have got you thinking about the potential of quizzes for your business. 

Thumbnail image via typography images/Pixabay

Join The Conversation

  • danak's picture
    May 15 Posted 2 months ago danak

    This post is about using quizzes for marketing. It includes examples. 

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