Nobody is quite sure of the timeline. But tombstones line the road of marketing strategies that memorialize the slow yet certain death of the that the heavy-handed sell.
Enter content marketing. Although not a new concept in 2016, its metamorphosis continues to shape our strategies, tactics and messages in pursuit of one goal: providing value to consumers. And not just value – value that spurs interaction, a sense of shared ownership and eventually affirmative action toward a particular brand. Customers transform into co-creators who maintain an emotional “stockholder share” in an organization’s vision, product or thought. Investment begets action, which in turn fuels sales.
Go on. Quiz me.
BuzzSumo unveils the magnetism of one type of content marketing. According to its research, online quizzes receive anywhere fro 1,900 to 4 million shares – dwarfing other content marketing tactics like infographics, how-to guides and the like. Clairemont recently tapped into the power of quizzes to bolster the visibility of the 9th Annual Pepper Festival, now one of the state’s largest chef competitions celebrating local culture, food and sustainability.
Certainly, we all want to know “Which Taylor Swift Song Are You?” or “What Job Should You Actually Have?” We’re just curious. But from the marketer’s perspective, how does one craft quizzes to boost engagement and market an event?
1. Decide your path.
According to BuzzSumo, there are two major types of quizzes: the graded quiz and the outcome quiz. The first measures skills or knowledge in an area of expertise while the second provides less defined results that make implications about a stance or personality trait. Both can be effective if designed wisely.
2. Make it shareable.
To echo Steven Covey, begin with the end in mind. Design quizzes that will, regardless of the outcome, provide positive, shareable outcomes. The Social Identity Theory states that individuals form identities based on the groups with which they identify. People reaffirm their affinities with various groups through sharing — sharing thoughts, actions and (ding ding!) traits that coincide with group behavior. Hence, consumers are more likely to take and share results that positively define their behavior. Here we encourage you to make all quiz outcomes positive, whether you’re a Mild Child or a Flame Thrower.
3. Make it easy and fun to take.
The Control Value Theory recaps the perks and perils of crafting quizzes that are too hard. If too challenging, the quiz will quickly spurn the interest of users and if the quiz is too simple, users will question its legitimacy and likewise lose interest. Provide a level of intrigue by including unexpected questions, keeping the quiz short (approximately seven questions) and including the word “actually” at key junctures. One particular designer uses her teenage daughter as a litmus test. If the tween laughs while taking the quiz, it’s a keeper.
While crafting the quiz for the pepper festival, we included a few fun questions, such as “your getaway vehicle” or “what would you do if your pants were on fire” — humorous queries that tapped the theme of fire and spice while maintaining a playful tone.
4. Maintain a consistent tone.
Speaking of tone, just like any branded endeavor, maintain the same tone throughout the entire quiz. Fun and off-colored? Craft copy and colors to reflect a consistent brand personality, since research demonstrates that consistency fosters trust with consumers.
5. Offer incentives.
…but do so with transparency. Customers can smell a scam a Spam Folder away. Be open about your strategy for building and sharing the quiz, and don’t be afraid to ask for information. Determine which information is vital to craft a viable lead and provide an incentive for users to comply. For example, in the Spicy Personality quiz, we collected email addresses with the overt intention of giving away free tickets to the Pepper Festival.
Track metrics, encourage sharing and promote across multiple mediums. But above all, create an experience that is personal, warm and downright fun.
Want to try it out? See how spicy your personality actually is!