• 6 Steps to a Sweet Quiz (and How to Make It Viral)

    · May 18, 2015

    A couple of months ago, BuzzSumo and Qzzr got together to talk about quizzes, content marketing, and going viral—and how to use tools from them to do all three. Our one-hour webinar (embedded below) gave a lot of great tips and hints, but the crème de la crème had to be the six steps to creating a sweet quiz from our Chief Qwizard Owen and BuzzSumo’s Stephen Walsh.

    >>Click to Tweet your thanks to Stephen!

    So we thought, why not turn those steps into a step-by-step list in a blog post so you can refer to it again and again when you make a quiz? Let us give you the meat and potatoes—and if we leave you wanting more, our webinar’s always there for a listen.

    Why quizzes- 6 steps to a sweet quiz

    First questions first: why are quizzes the new golden child of content marketing? Sure, they’re a form of media. But why are they more popular than, say, infographics or surveys or a plain old blog post? It’s because quizzes are engaging and nourishing. We can interact with them and—lo and behold!—they interact back. They feed us by telling us things about ourselves. As humans, we are our own favorite subjects.

    So to all the brands, marketers, and publishers out there: make us feel good about ourselves, make us laugh, and give us something to brag about. And when you do, we’ll interact like crazy—to the tune of 82% conversion rates.

    The 6 Steps to a Sweet Quiz


    1. Do your research

    The best quizzes come from content that gets shares—content that resonates with its readers, spawns controversy and questions, or is easily misunderstood. So making a great quiz comes from understanding the content. Look at your old content with a fresh eye. Lists, infographics, posts with lots of comments—why can’t they be turned into quizzes?

    This is also where BuzzSumo comes in. Using their tool, you can search topics and websites (even adding “quiz” or “?” after the terms to limit your results to quizzes) and see what’s being shared across the internet. Stephen made a great point during the webinar that recycling content for quizzes from checklists or how-to’s is incredibly easy. Get an idea of what’s out there—and how you make it even better.

    2. Choose your quiz

    There are two types of quizzes: graded and outcome. Your graded quizzes have titles like “How well do you know ___“ or “Are you a ___ expert?” and outcome quizzes are more along the lines of “Which superhero are you?” and “What color is your personality?”

    Graded quizzes are about making people feel good about their score and educating as you go along. Assign outcomes like “You got 90%! You’re a genius!!” rather than simply “You got 90%”, and use the feedback option in Qzzr when you’re creating a quiz to throw in more interesting facts.

    Outcome quizzes, on the other hand, need shareworthy resolutions. They should be designed with results that make people feel good and look good by helping people define themselves, invoking awe or laughter, or helping people share how they want to look to their friends.

    Something surprisingly often overlooked in quiz creation is the importance of the title. It’s the first thing your potential quiz taker will see—so make it good. Good content always needs to have a hook, and that hook for a quiz is the title. BuzzSumo can help by showing you the most popular quizzes (hint: a lot of them have “hardest” or “ultimate” in the title).

    We’re big on interactive content here at Qzzr, so we want to ask you: do graded quizzes or outcome quizzes sound more appealing to you? Take the poll (made with our sister tool Pollcaster) and see what other people chose.

    3. Strategize your call to action

    People use quizzes in content marketing for lots of reasons. So what’s yours? Are you trying to generate leads? Make a sale? Gain more newsletter subscribers? Get more traffic? Defining your reason for wanting a quiz determines the call-to-action, which in turn helps you design your quiz.

    First, understand the persona of your audience. Use BuzzSumo to look into the space you’re targeting and find topic ideas. Always focus on what your audience cares about or what both you and your audience care about jointly—otherwise you lose them.

    Next, define the outcomes of your quiz. Make it something that people are proud to share. And make sure your call to action, whether that’s putting in an email address or linking to another blog post, is related to that outcome.

    4. Make your quiz

    Unfortunately, we don’t have a secret recipe for the perfect quiz (don’t worry—we’re working on it). But in the meantime, here are some guidelines for you to follow in your search for virality:

    > Show me something cool.

    Keep me engaged by asking me interesting questions (quality over quantity)

    > Show me something meaningful. And convince me it’s meaningful.

    Make me feel sufficiently assessed. I won’t believe that you really know who I am or who I should be if you’ve only asked me three questions.

    > Feed me and give me something to brag about.

    Give me feedback. Tell me if I’m right or wrong and then give me something else interesting. And in the outcome, tell me more about myself.

    > Make me laugh.

    This quiz is a perfect example of making people laugh. We usually suggest people make positive outcomes—this quiz went the opposite direction and made the outcomes hilariously offensive. It worked—it’s been taken over 200,000 times and people love sharing their [sometimes painful] results.

    > Make me an offer I can’t refuse.

    This ties back into the call-to-action. Basically, tell me who I am and then tell me why I want what you have to offer me, whether that’s another blog post to read, an offer or newsletter to sign up for, or a drawing to enter into.

    How do you make a sweet quiz? Use these tips

    Make sure to use images. We’re visual beings and we want to be shown things. Equally important, images need to be licensed to be legal for commercial use. So if you’re a bit short on pictures, you can do a Google Image search and filter using Advanced Search to only find those labeled for reuse. For more info, see our post on Images and Qzzr.

    5. Share your quiz

    Now that your quiz has been made, share it with the world! Put it on your blog and social media. BuzzSumo can also help you step up your game here too. Search your topic (or even rival quizzes on your topic) and click “View Sharers” for a certain piece of content. Find the influencers with high domain authority and retweet ratios who shared those pieces and ask if they’d be interested in sharing yours too.

    6. Learn, adapt, and improve it

    The best part of using Qzzr to make a quiz is the analytics that come with it. Test different quiz titles, questions, and outcomes to see what appeals to your target customer.

    There you go—that’s the distillation of our webinar in partnership with BuzzSumo. Good luck going viral and merry quiz-making! We’ll leave you with a few last surprising facts we learned from Stephen and Owen:

    • Generally, five influencers with a retweet ratio of 2 or higher sharing something is what it takes to make it viral.
    • The average quiz gets 1,900 shares and 84% of those shares are on Facebook.
    • The #1 NYTimes article in 2013 was a quiz. And in case that’s not recent enough for you, nine out of ten of the most shared stories on Facebook in January 2015 were quizzes.

    For more great tidbits you probably didn’t know (and to hear some of Owen’s terrible puns), listen to our webinar with BuzzSumo in its entirety.