Content Strategy

The Quiz: Your Content Strategy’s Secret Weapon

By 2013, the most popular content on the New York Times website was a quiz, not an article. In January of 2015, nine of the 10 most shared Facebook publications were quizzes. This new marketing format, made popular thanks to easy quiz creation software (Buzzfeed, Playbuzz, Qzzr, Riddle and many others), has the dual advantage of creating engagement and generating shares.

What has made these quizzes so successful, and why should you integrate them into your marketing strategy? Discover why the quiz is the secret weapon of a great content strategy, and learn to create high-performing quizzes.

A Quiz is Not a Study or Survey

It is important to distinguish these different forms of content. A quiz offers users an interaction and an immediate result in exchange for the time and attention that the user has invested, while a survey or study asks for data from users without offering them anything in return. Creating a quiz means collecting data on users in exchange for added value, in a fun and engaging way.

Why Should You Incorporate Quizzes into Your Content Strategy?

1. Quizzes inspire engagement

According to BuzzSumo, among users exposed to quizzes via their newsfeed, 82% engaged with them (in this study, all users who started the quiz, regardless of if they finished it, were counted). This high engagement rate is explained by the fact that quizzes deliver personalized content in real-time. Moreover, quizzes benefit from the fact that users never get bored of learning things about themselves. The top ten quizzes on Playbuzz in 2014 all provided users with information about their own identity. The top 3 were: “Which country corresponds best to your personality?”, “Which song was really written for you?” and “Who were you in your past life?”

2. Quizzes generate shares

The same BuzzSumo study showed that quizzes are shared an average of 1900 times. Of course, the actual volume of shares of any given quiz can vary from zero to several millions. To create buzz, you’ll need a lot of luck, but also a coherent strategy.

Today, PlayBuzz and BuzzFeed (two content platforms that specialize in quizzes) are among the sites that generate the most shares on Facebook. Below, you can see that in January 2015, these two sites came in first and third respectively in terms of Facebook shares, on the level of news sites such as The Huffington Post.

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How to Create an Effective Quiz

A quiz might be easy to create, but a good quiz requires a bit of effort. Platforms like Qzzr, PlayBuzz, Buzzfeed and Riddle ease the quiz-creation process, but developing your questions and results requires research and reflection. Here are a few tips to follow to create a quiz that performs:

1. Define Your Quiz’s Goal

Before anything else, ask yourself: what is the goal of your quiz? Do you want to create a funny quiz to raise brand awareness? Do you want to create a quiz to get an idea of your clients’ needs and propose some solutions? Once you’ve defined your objective, you’ll be able to define the different results and questions. This “reverse-thinking” process will allow you to create a coherent and logical quiz.

2. Choose Your Subject Carefully

Your subject depends on your audience. Ask yourself which content would speak most to your target.

Also, take a look at the quizzes that are working well. What are the subjects that generate the most shares? To figure this out, you can use the BuzzSumo tool, which will show you the publications that are shared the most. Type “quiz” in the search bar to see the quizzes which are currently the most popular.

Finally, you can alternate between subjects following the latest trends and “evergreen” subjects.

Keep in mind that a company in any industry can create an effective quiz. As a brand, the important thing is knowing your target audience and providing the kind of information that they’re looking for.

3. Choose the Right Kind of Quiz

There are two main types of quizzes: graded quizzes and outcome quizzes. Graded quizzes will give you a grade or a percentage of success. For example, “Test Your Level of SEO Expertise” might give you “You’ve gotten 75% of the questions right. You’re on the right track!” You can use this type of quiz if the products or services that you offer can fill the users’ knowledge gaps.

We suggest that you don’t create graded quizzes that are too complicated. 45% of shares for graded quizzes come from users who have gotten 100% correct answers: users will only share their results if they’re proud of them, so don’t make your quiz too hard. Choose accessible questions and only allow one response per question (multiple responses will make the quiz more difficult).
Also, don’t just show your users the correct answers at the end. Give them some additional information so they can use your quiz to learn and grow.

Finally, add a short descriptive phrase to your scores. For example: “You’ve gotten 85%: you still have more to learn, but your SEO knowledge is impressive!”

Outcome quizzes provide results in the form of profiles. For example: “What Type of Leader are You?” “You’re a pragmatic leader!”. Users respond to a certain number of questions, and each of their responses is associated with a personality type. At the end of the quiz, the personality type for which they have scored the highest will be assigned to them.

Once again, users are more likely to share results that they’re proud of. Help users to define themselves the way they want to by creating attractive profiles to share. For profiles that have disadvantages, use humour to play them off!

4. Find a Catchy Title

The title of your quiz should be interesting. Opt for a short title, with a main keyword, and address the user directly. Example: “What film soundtrack are you?” You can find inspiration on sites like BuzzFeed and PlayBuzz that collect some of the best examples of quizzes.

5.  Keep it Simple and Concise

The goal of a quiz is to collect enough information on the user to present them with an insightful result. If you ask too many questions, you run the risk that the user will abandon the quiz halfway through. Nevertheless, a quiz that’s too short won’t have any credibility in the user’s eyes. How could you claim to know someone in just three questions?

We recommend that your quiz contain between 5 and 10 questions, or more if the subject is targeted towards users who are very passionate about it.

In the end, whether your quiz is short or long, the questions themselves should amuse your users. Make them creative and inventive!

6.  Make Sure Your Quiz Will Be Shared

As previously mentioned, make sure all your results are shareable. A quiz hasn’t achieved its goal if it has made the user feel bad about themselves.

7. Test The Quiz

Test the quiz on a few people who are representative of your target market. Observe their reactions, and you’ll be able to see whether the results are satisfactory.

Your questions should both interest your target market and serve your own interests, but it should never be intended solely to serve your interests. Rather than asking which price users would be prepared to pay for a pair of glasses, ask them what their face shape is and, in the quiz results, recommend a pair of glasses for them that would look best on them.

Engagement is Good, Conversions are Gold!

Quizzes help engage users and attract traffic to your site. They also offer also a great opportunity to encourage the user to convert. After having interacted with your quiz and obtained a satisfying result, the user is more likely to convert. Think of including a call-to-action at the end of your quiz along with your sharing buttons. An invitation to subscribe to your newsletter, for example, could be a good way of generating leads. Be sure to not include a call-to-action that’s too far removed from the experience of the quiz.

Which Tools Are Available to Create Easy, Free Quizzes?

Among the various quiz-creation platforms we’ve previously mentioned in this article, we recommend Buzzfeed, Playbuzz and Riddle.

Qzzr is the most popular tool right now. Nevertheless, underneath the quiz results, the free version shows the user “suggested quizzes”, negatively impacting the user experience.  These quizzes often have nothing to do with the quiz the user has just taken, and reduce conversion rates by distracting users.

Result page of a quiz created using Qzzr

Riddle is comparable to Qzzr, but doesn’t have this problem of “suggested quizzes” on the results page and offers a more attractive design.

Playbuzz and Buzzfeed are sites for creating and sharing highly visual quizzes, with the possibility of integrating image results.

Once the quiz has been created, you can copy and paste the code into your website’s CMS (Wordpress, for example). The process is simple; the only effort involved is creating the questions and the results.


There’s no miracle recipe for making a quiz go viral. Virality requires luck, but also consistency. Get luck on your side by creating quality quizzes that are innovative, adapted to your target market, visually appealing and shareable. 

This article was originally written by Fanny Laveau

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