Content Marketing
Are Your Quizzes Adding Value? A Quick Guide to Making the Most of Your Content

Are Your Quizzes Adding Value? A Quick Guide to Making the Most of Your Content

August 30, 2016
3 min read

It’s no secret that the Internet loves quizzes. And why wouldn’t we? They’re an easy, fun way to test knowledge and gain new insights into our personalities.

Over at the Content Marketing Institute, Jodi Harris sums up our obsession with quizzes best when she writes, “I know they are designed to artificially inflate the site’s page views and engagement metrics; and I fully realize that the results will likely be vague and unsatisfying. But somehow, I don’t care. In fact, any time a company offers me an opportunity to see a bit of myself reflected in its content, I find myself more drawn to that company, and more willing to explore what else they have to offer.”

And that’s the beauty of a good quiz: it educates the buyer in a fun, sharable package. It’s no secret that quizzes work. Digiday recently reported that 96% of users finish sponsored quizzes. Given those numbers, it’s hard to argue the value of a well thought out quiz.

But lately it seems that a few marketers have taken for granted the fact that users might finish quizzes no matter what, and the content has started slipping. If your quizzes are starting to feel a bit mechanical, here are a few reminders of what makes an engaging, interactive quiz.

Don’t Get Lazy

Ahem, not to call anyone out, but one trend that’s been popping up lately is a slightly less engaging quiz based on word jumbles or “the first image you see says X about you.” Now, there aren’t any hard stats on these, but based on the number of disgruntled comments beneath, it seems like these types of quizzes might be a bit too “snackable” for some, leaving the user feeling as if they’ve engaged without getting a significant return on that engagement.

But Don’t Drone On

However, no one likes to feel like they’re back at the SAT. According to UberFlip, quizzes have a short window for grabbing and holding attention. Too long and your audience could walk away.

“You want to have to have between 6 to 10 questions in your quiz,” writes JP Misenas, the content marketing director and audiovisual technician and engineer for Interact. “This makes the quiz last for about 2-3 minutes, which is just enough time for us to maintain an audience’s short attention span.” I prefer an even shorter quiz, and recommend about 5 or 6 questions per quiz.

Make sure questions are coupled with images to break up text and add curb appeal, since images have proven time and time again to increase engagement.

Make Sure the Insight is Worth the Time
Audiences take quizzes to learn something about themselves, and, very often, to share that knowledge with others. In fact, found the most shared quiz on the Internet over a period of 8 months was called “What Career Should You Have?”

People like to let others know bits about their own personalities while inviting followers to join in the fun, both to include and feel included. New psychological research out of Pamona College and Princeton University has proved what many marketers already know: “Many seemingly intractable social problems come down to a deceptively simple, but quite powerful truth: social perceptions matter,” writes Adam Pearson, psychology professor at Pamona college.

If your quiz isn’t giving users valuable, and in many cases that means sharable, insights and validation about themselves, then it might leave them wondering why they wasted their time, which won’t bode well for your brand.

Don’t Forget Your Own Marketing Goals
Don’t forget that the impact of a great quiz doesn’t end with the results. As JP Misenas writes for the CMI, “Your interactions with your audience don’t end with the results. Encourage them to visit your website or to check out your products. For example, BioLite links three products for each personality type in the quiz results to maintain audience interaction after the quiz.”

Let’s face it, quizzes are everywhere on the Internet, and if they start to get lazy, audiences may just stop engaging. So it’s time to seriously think about what made us start loving quizzes in the first place – the fun!

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Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula", and Founder of Marketing Insider Group. Recognized as a Top Content Marketing expert and Digital Marketing Leader, Michael leverages his experience from roles in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as his leadership in leading teams and driving growth for thriving startups. Today, Michael delivers empowering keynotes on marketing and leadership, and facilitates actionable workshops on content marketing strategy. Connect with Michael today.

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