The Ultimate Guide on How to Make a Buzzfeed Quiz That Goes Viral
We’ve all had those days.
On a dull Monday morning, with piles and piles of work waiting for you, you suddenly find yourself clicking on the Buzzfeed quiz, ‘The Hardest “Harry Potter” Quiz You’ll Ever Take’. Your inner procrastinating-self purrs satisfyingly and cheers you on.
From one quiz, you jump on to another one and then another one. And before you know it, a couple of hours have passed and you’ve shared your wacky results with everyone on Facebook.
Time to get back to work.
This is the sheer power of Buzzfeed quizzes. They’re addictive. They’re wildly entertaining. And, they’re share-worthy.
According to Buzzfeed, they now have a global audience of more than 650 million users, responsible for over 9 billion content views each month.
And, just one Buzzfeed quiz, ‘Can we guess your real age?’, was taken a whopping 5.9 million times.
After watching Buzzfeed quizzes go viral, several brands embraced this new style of interactive content and saw massive amounts of success.
Barlow Herbal Specialities is one such brand.
When they decided to improve their online marketing sales channel, they focused on quizzes. They created 2 quizzes; a stress quiz and a sleep quiz. The quizzes were a big hit and people had to opt in with their name and email address to receive results. In just 6 months, Barlow Herbal built their email list by 11,660 people.
It's easy to think of Buzzfeed quizzes as "light" content. People spend under a minute answering questions and then forget about them. But this couldn't be farther from the truth. In fact, they boast very strong engagement and a high conversion rate.
According to one study, 96% of participants that start Buzzfeed quizzes finish them. Such strong engagement has brought GothRider a 30% email sign up rate and 75,000 leads from their quiz Which Famous Biker Are You?
As Steve Olenski, Contributor to Forbes, says: “Quizzes currently offer some of the best return on investment that you can hope for in Internet marketing.”
Let us show you how you can sail on the popularity of these quizzes and generate leads through it.
We’ve come up with these 5 foolproof steps to teach you how to make a Buzzfeed quiz of your own.
How to Make a Buzzfeed Quiz - 5 Foolproof Steps
Step 1 - How well do you know your audience?
Buzzfeed’s secret weapon to creating viral quizzes is data.
Dao Nguyen, publisher in charge of BuzzFeed, took unique monthly visitors from 28 million to 200+ million by using the sheer power of data. She segmented their audience and created custom content for each of their groups. And, boom. Their traffic reached new heights.
Buzzfeed article, "27 signs you were raised by immigrant parents", got over a million views within 12 hours. It addressed a very small group of people and was ultra-specific to them. Yet, it received massive amounts of hits.
It all comes down to understanding your audience.
Who are they and where are they coming from? What is their demographic? Which social media platforms do they hang out at? What do they talk about there? Are they more interested in Trump and his absurd policies, or the SuperBowl? Or both?
Conduct a thorough research. Note down everything you know about your audience. Make Google Analytics your ally. You’ll get most of your information from there.
Step 2 - What exactly is your quiz going to be about?
Before you make a Buzzfeed quiz, you need to come up with a topic. It needs to hit home with your audience and be entertaining. People take quizzes because they’re amusing and a great way to pass time. And that is what you need to leverage.
For example, if you’re a dog food brand, your content topics would revolve around dogs. There are hundreds of quizzes on the topic ‘What kind of a dog are you.’ So instead of going that route, you could do, ‘These 7 Questions Will Determine Which Hogwarts House Your Dog Is In.’
To start off, take a trending topic in your niche and offer a humorous\different angle on it.
To find popular news in your niche, you can go through Facebook and Twitter’s trending news section.
Alltop, a news aggregator, is another great tool to find viral-worthy topics. Just enter your niche in the search bar, and you’ll get a whole list of results.
Once the topic is finalized, start thinking of amusing angles related to it. Ask family and friends to help you out. Quora and Reddit are also great at finding humorous angles on popular topics. For example, these are some fun questions you can base your quiz on.
Step 3 - Are the quiz titles irresistibly click-worthy?
How many times did you click on a quiz based on its title?
Every single time.
The headline is the most important part of your quiz. It can make your quiz an overnight sensation, or turn it into a complete failure.
If you had to choose between the following quizzes, which one would you promptly click?
The latter, obviously. Its title is fun and challenging. While, the former has a very meh feeling to it.
Whether we like it or not, people tend to judge a book by its cover. In the case of quizzes, this means that the title is the key element to attract people to visit and do your quiz. As it turns out, 8 out of 10 people will only read your headline - only 2 will proceed to read the content. In the age of clickbait, titles seem to be more important than ever - they can boost your traffic as much as 500%.
In Business2Community’s research, analyzing 100 viral quizzes which had 10,000 or more views each, the results were pretty conclusive. As it turns out, about half of the top-performing quizzes across the board followed the same pattern:
Which ______ are you?
But still, you’ve got to experiment with quiz titles and see what works for you. The team at Upworthy, who’re amazing at creating viral content, create up to 25 titles for each piece.
Peter Koechley, Upworthy’s Co-Founder, says “The difference between a good headline and a bad headline can be just massive. When we test headlines, we see 20% difference, 50% difference, 500% difference. A really excellent headline can make something go viral.”
Come up with at least 10 to 15 titles, and get everyone’s vote on the best one. Test that headline against alternate headlines. Find out which headlines get the most engagement and then use those. Create, test, repeat.
Step 4 - Are your results share-worthy?
While a strong headline gets your quiz clicked, the results get it shared. They’re your ticket to going viral.
When you’re writing the results, keep the following things in mind:
- Buzzfeed results feed the ego. People are vain and they like to share results that make them look cool. Make the results all about them.
- Results don’t always have to be positive and heartwarming. They can even be snarky and horrible, but in that case, they should be genuinely funny.
- Tell them why they got a certain result. If your quiz is, ‘Which Taylor Swift song are you?’, you can’t tell your participants they’re ‘Lovestory’ and leave it at that. You need to tell them WHY they’re that song. Be descriptive.
- Write to one person. Not a group of people. This goes for both, the questions and the result. When you’re writing the questions and results, pretend like you’re addressing one person.
- And lastly, after writing the description, ask yourself – would you share these results if you took the quiz? Because ultimately, you want participants to share the results.
Step 5 - Are your questions compelling enough?
The title lures a participant in. The results encourage them to share the quiz. But, if the questions are boring, participants might leave the quiz midway.
You can’t risk that.
So, once you have your results ready, start creating interesting questions. Keep these dos in mind while writing questions.
Make them short.
Don’t write lengthy paragraphs where smaller questions can suffice.
Ask enough questions.
According to Neil Patel, if you ask less than four or five questions, users are less engaged and are less likely to enter their email address at the end, and if you ask them more than 15 you are going to get less leads but they will be more relevant and more engaged with your product or service.
The number of questions you add to the quiz depends on your audience. However, once you test a couple of quizzes against each other, you’ll figure out if your audience prefers 5 questions or 15. It all comes down to testing in the end.
Find new, interesting ways of asking questions.
Instead of writing, ‘What fruit do you like the most?’, ask ‘If you could eat only one fruit for the rest of your life, which one would it be?’
Use simple words.
Don’t use big words, or complicated industry jargon. However, if your audience is comfortable with certain industry words, then go ahead.
Add lots of pictures.
As 90% of information coming to the brain is visual - why not use images instead of plain text? Image answers serve multiple purposes.
First, they tell a lot using very little space. Second, they make it much easier and quicker to choose their answer. Finally, they can add an extra element of humor that keeps the takers engaged.
While applying these 5 steps to the process of making your own Buzzfeed quiz you’d ideally want it to create BUZZ and FEED you with views, likes, and shares. But sometimes an irresistible title, compelling questions, and share-worthy results just aren’t enough to make your own quiz go viral.
How to Make Your Own Buzzfeed Quiz Go Viral
There’s something about a quiz that most of us just can’t resist. They’re fun, they’re personalized, they’re quirky, and they’re entertaining. What’s not to love, right?
Still, not all quizzes are destined to achieve virality.
For example, take the following "What's Your Marketing Superpower?" quiz made by Aweber and shown being marketed via Facebook below.
Aweber's marketing quiz is quite well done, but for a variety of reasons (perhaps inadequate question format or promotion) the quiz simply didn't go viral. Most people don't have that secret formula for virality, but at least one company certainly does: Buzzfeed. Today we're going to dissect the characteristics of a viral quiz and show you how you can make your next quiz go viral just like BuzzFeed does.
Buzzfeed's success is driven by the fact that most of their quizzes are personality-focused and pop culture related. One of BuzzFeed’s most popular quizzes is titled “What City Should You Actually Live In,” and has garnered more than 20 million views. Some of the other top contenders for most shared quizzes from BuzzFeed include “What Career Should You Actually Have,” “What State Do You Actually Belong In,” and “What Kind of Dog Are You?”
You might be wondering how something so seemingly simple could become a viral sensation. According to data compiled by Kissmetrics, the most popular shared content on social media sites are quizzes, by a significant margin. The study found that quizzes average a whopping 51,968 Facebook shares, whereas the average article (among the top million most popular) had only 15,527 total Facebook shares.
The rise in viral quizzes has become a content marketing strategy in and of itself. Even though audiences might be taking these quizzes just to pass the time or find some entertainment, they’re really part of companies’ larger marketing objectives.
Provided that you’ve carefully followed our 6 foolproof steps for making a Buzzfeed quiz, the next step in making your quiz go viral is...
Engaging, Effective Content Promotion
Content creation and content promotion actually go hand-in-hand, because the effectiveness of your content promotion depends largely on how you design your quiz.
The first component of content promotion for a quiz you hope to bring to a viral level is to look at the social media channels on which you want to share it.
Facebook is the primary tool which most marketers look to for quiz sharing opportunities, and for good reason. Think about your own experiences - it’s highly likely that you see at least one quiz pop up on your news feed every time you use Facebook.
First, decide how you’ll share your quiz on Facebook. The simplest way is through your timeline. You’ll just choose a cover image that represents your quiz and then share it with a link. Pay careful attention to the image selection to represent your quiz, as this is a key aspect as well.
Look for an image that accurately reflects the content of your quiz and is compelling enough to encourage people to share it on their own profiles. You don’t want your image to be offensive in any way, or limit the number of users that will find it appealing or shareable. You want your image to be broadly appealing while also capturing interest.
You can also opt to go another route when sharing a quiz via Facebook by using a custom tab, which makes the quiz a permanent addition to your Facebook page. With this option, you’re embedding your quiz directly into your Facebook app and making it a permanent fixture. All you really need to do is copy and paste your html embed code into the Facebook tab and publish it. The result is a quiz that becomes a static part of your Facebook content, which is great for reaching a wider audience.
Another option is promoting your quiz through paid advertising. Although paid advertising costs more, it’s often a quicker and more effective method of broadening your marketing efforts and getting more exposure for your quiz. When you’re paying for Facebook advertising, you can select your target audience based on a broad range of criteria, from location to demographics to connections. You can also create a customized audience based on a list of uploaded people: Facebook generates your audience based on the people you’ve previously worked with.
Other Sharing Options
Along with Facebook, you can also share quizzes on Twitter. The overall idea is similar to Facebook promotion, but here you’re going to have less of an opportunity to show what your quiz is really about until users actually click on your link, so the title becomes even more important to successful quiz promotion.
You can also consider sharing options such as Google+ or any internal circulation through your own website, blog, or email newsletter.
Regardless of the social media channel you use for sharing, always frame your quiz as a conversation. This happens in two ways. The first is that you’re creating a direct conversation between your organization and your targeted audience. You also want your quiz to be able to create a conversation between users and their connections on social media, which will make it more shareable. The human element is tremendously important in creating and marketing quizzes, and it’s essential to engagement, which is what drives viral success.
While there’s no guarantee that a quiz will go viral, there is a very clear formula for success. Factors such as the content of the quiz you create, the quality of the title, and social media promotion of the quiz all play into the equation. Once you master the formula which is used by mega-viral creators like BuzzFeed, you can keep churning out quizzes that will amplify your marketing results and boost your visibility.
The Secrets Behind the Virality of Buzzfeed Personality Quizzes
In addition to answering really important questions, such as “What type of cake are you?”, quizzes can also reveal certain aspects of your personality. As Buzzfeed personality quizzes seem to be particularly popular among users, we’ll examine some of the possible reasons for being so and try to reveal a few secrets behind their virality.
While not offering precise insight into your character traits, personality quizzes show underlying character features, no matter how trivial the topic may be. Precisely this is the reason why they have remained popular for years now - and there’s no sign of this trend going away. Let’s delve into the anatomy of a Buzzfeed personality test and find out the key to its success and virality.
The quizzes tell you something about yourself
One of the main triggers that makes people do Buzzfeed personality quizzes is that they yearn to find out something about themselves. Surely a quiz such as We'll Tell You Which Animated Dog You Are Based On The Tiny Foods You Choose won’t exactly replace the work of an experienced shrink, but that is precisely the point. Much like the questions and answers, the results are very informal and relatable.
This is not a new phenomenon by any means - in the 1920s, Rorschach tests were incredibly popular. Cosmo magazine owes much of its popularity thanks to the relationship quizzes they’ve been making ever since the 1960s.
For those wanting more formal questions and results, there is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test which gives more accurate personality trait results. For almost a century now, people have been yearning to find out more about their personality, and Buzzfeed quizzes provide a modern, quick and easy platform for self-analysis.
As one of the masterminds behind the phenomenon of Buzzfeed quizzes says, it’s sort of like astrology. The results are hardly backed with scientific evidence, but that’s not the point. It all boils down to how much you can relate the quiz to yourself.
The results are mostly positive
Would you share your quiz results on Facebook if the results told you that you have absolutely no clue about your significant other? Probably not. The secret to Buzzfeed personality quizzes spreading like wildfire is in the element of social sharing.
No matter the direction the results are going in, they are always positive to encourage sharing. Taking a look back at the B2C case study, they found that over ¾ of the shared quiz results had positive trigger words in the text, such as “awesome”, “great” or “excellent”.
As it turns out, people love results that feed their ego and make them feel better about themselves and look cool - especially if they can show it off to their Facebook friends and Twitter following. However, not everybody can be a winner and sometimes the results are inevitably negative. When this happens, Buzzfeed quiz creators ensure that you will still share your results by making them witty and amusing.
The results aren’t so simple
If you look at the way the most successful Buzzfeed quizzes are built, you’ll notice their creators start the quiz creation process from the results - not from the questions.
This is because the results are the crucial element to getting your quizzes shared. In the image above, the result is Medieval Europe. Just leaving it at that wouldn’t produce the desired effect. You found out that you lived in Medieval Europe in your past life - so what?
However, the result description is what gets the quiz takers hooked. Who wouldn’t want to share that they’re a chivalrous person, always looking for a sense of dignity for themselves and their family? This is especially important for quizzes such as Which Arbitrary Thing are You, where there is no logical relationship between the questions and results.
You can use personality quizzes for more than fun
If you’re reading this and thinking - there is huge potential in quizzes - we hear you! Quizzes are fun, easy to do and if you get creative with your results, people will share them. Speaking of results - how about a system that allows you to send results directly to the quiz takers’ inboxes? This way you will get one of the most precious assets in today’s business world - their email address.
We decided to put this idea into reality with LeadQuizzes. This piece of software allows you to easily create your own quizzes and outcomes which you can share with your potential customers. In order to get their results, the takers have to provide a name, email, or whatever other piece of information you desire. With this Buzzfeed quiz creator, the entire process is super easy and intuitive and will take mere minutes to figure out even with the most basic IT skills.
If you’re wondering whether it works - it absolutely does! In the course of the past 3 years, LeadQuizzes users have generated 3,628,334 leads (and counting) for over 10,000 of our users!
One of the best ways to create fantastic quizzes is to look at past successes and copy what they did best. That being said, we've taken a look at some of the most popular Buzzfeed quizzes throughout the previous year and honed in on what made them so share-worthy.
21 Best Buzzfeed Quizzes to Model in 2018
As expected, some of the top Buzzfeed quizzes are personality quizzes, but, to our surprise, a lot of the so-called "magic trick quizzes" are extremely popular on social media as well. These guess one or more of your personal traits - like age, height or home city - based on your answers. We think a lot of what makes magic tricks so popular also applies to these quizzes and you can read a psychologist's interesting analysis here.
Without further ado, we present you with the best Buzzfeed quizzes to give you inspiration or, the worst case scenario, help you have some fun:
Total shares: Over 4.8 Million
Buzzfeed's hugely successful quiz What Career Should You Actually Have? has pretty much all of the qualities that make a successful quiz. With only ten questions and a clear outcome, it's incredibly simple. It's also targeted in the sense that, despite being a playful quiz, it hones in on an issue that more or less every human being on the planet faces (career uncertainty), particularly Buzzfeed's younger audience.
Total shares: Over 2.8 Million
This quiz was viewed over 18 million times and is one of Buzzfeed's all-time successes. Like What Career Should You Actually Have?, it leverages a problem experienced by their younger, location-mobile audience, combining the promise of a clear benefit with a simple and fun approach. Notice the fact that it's not a "serious" quiz but does provide useful information. This balance is something common to a lot of the examples on this list.
Total shares: 1.7 Million
What makes this quiz compelling is its promise to do something that seems impossible. Curiosity pushes the reader to move from reading the headline to taking the quiz. It's made all the more interesting by the inclusion of the word "exact".
Total shares: 715K
Another "magic trick" quiz that is compelling because of its seeming impossibility. Rather than generically say, "Can we Guess Your Age and Location?", it gets specific with a food test. While the appeal is broad, it will likely be particularly attractive to foodies, and so has an extra layer of targeting.
Total shares: 550K
This quiz is a combination of a personality quiz and a "we'll guess your..." quiz. Again, notice the targeting: the introverted/extroverted distinction is a big issue among millennials. The fact that it's a word quiz also makes it more fun than if it were a generic set of questions.
Total shares: 350K
The targeting of this quiz is noteworthy because it's focused around a brand name (Hot Topic). It will obviously appeal to Hot Topic customers but those who haven't heard of or bought from the brand will also be curious. The way that they have combined mention of their brand within a typical quiz format is very clever.
As the first full personality quiz on this list, Which US President Are You?, acts as a great template for designing your own. It's simple (the title is only five words long), targeted at Americans but with broad appeal, and it's both positive and share worthy - who doesn't want to be compared to a president? I'm Ulysses S. Grant by the way...
Total shares: 315K
Another personality quiz aimed at Harry Potter fans (which is more or less the whole planet). One of the big selling points of personality quizzes is that they're about the most interesting person in the world - you! The more specific you can get the better.
Total shares: 300K
This quiz is compelling because it's unusual. In essence it's a trivia quiz (which are inherently enjoyable) but it also pushes the participant to "prove themselves"...something it's difficult to say no to!
Total shares: 280K
This personality quiz targets fans of "Stranger Things". If you're thinking about designing your own quiz along similar lines, you can pick a TV show that's related to your brand or line of products.
What Font Are You? takes an original idea (comparing your personality to a font) to make a simple and straightforward quiz. The blend of simplicity and wackiness works wonderfully.
Total shares: 250K
This is probably one of the most generic quizzes on the list. The fact that it uses food choices as the questions, as opposed to being a straightforward, "Answer these questions and we'll guess your age and height," shows how important it is not to be too general.
Total shares: 245K
The combination of "salad" and "dream job" is compelling because it's unusual. The idea of putting together a salad also sounds pretty fun too!
Total shares: 230K
The targeting here is obvious. Even though the title is clumsily written the excellent combination of targeting (British) and evoking of curiosity has meant that this quiz was shared over 230,000 times.
- Put Together The Ultimate '80s Mixtape And We'll Reveal Which "Guardians Of The Galaxy" Character You Are
Total shares: 230K
The word "specific" springs to mind when you look at the title of this quiz. Rather than name it, "Which Guardians of the Galaxy Character Are You?" the author has included "Put Together the Ultimate '80s Mixtape." This works to make the quiz more compelling.
Total shares: 230K
Apart from arousing curiosity the concept is also a pretty weird, and therefore enticing, one.
Total shares: 210K
This quiz isn't just titled, "Which Harry Potter Character Are You?." The addition of, "Make Yourself A Coffee..." makes the title more intriguing and adds an extra layer of fun.
Total shares: 210K
Do they? Really? I bet they don't...
Total shares: 190K
This quiz is a good example of a combination of targeting (hipsters) and curiosity, just like the quiz above.
This quiz is excellent because it solves a problem that almost everybody has faced, in a simple, straightforward and fun way.
Total shares: 150K
Note the inclusion of the word "seven" here. The author is making it clear that you're not going to be answering tons of questions. The concept is also pretty wacky.
Recap: A Few Final Tips on How to Create a Buzzfeed Quiz
To recap, we present you with a few final tips on how to make a Buzzfeed quiz to keep in mind at all times:
- Create quizzes that evoke positive emotions. No one wants to share a quiz that has a negative result or connotation attached to it. Business2Community compiled research on Twitter with Tweets divided into two groups. One group contained positive trigger words, and the other didn’t. 75% of Tweets contained positive wording, while only 25% didn’t. This speaks to the importance of remaining positive in social media content promotion and marketing.
- Make your quiz results honest and as accurate as possible. If you’re telling someone they’re destined to live in Manhattan but they really feel most comfortable in the countryside, your quiz just isn’t going to resonate (or get shared).
- Remember, quizzes aren’t all fun and games, at least not from your perspective as a marketer. Create a solid call-to-action that drives your marketing and delivers prospects.
- Keep everything short, simple, and to-the-point. Most people on Facebook or any other social media channel are likely to spend no more than 2 or 3 minutes on a quiz. Create clean, short titles and make your quiz easy to complete within a few minutes.
- Design results that are ideal for sharing. You want people’s results to show up well in social media feeds, so they’re more shareable. Craft something like “I got my ___ results,” so people will share their results and it will make it easy for others also to take the quiz. Always make sure there’s a precise alignment between the quiz title, quiz topic, and quiz results.
But there’s still one final and potentially crucial step. You need to…
Choose the RIGHT Buzzfeed Quiz Maker
Yay, you’ve gotten through the hard part. You have a fun title, interesting questions and results that will go viral. Now to make a Buzzfeed quiz, you just need to put all the information in a quiz creator and embed it on your website.
LeadQuizzes’ quiz builder makes the entire process super easy. You can choose a template from their massive library or create a quiz on your own. Just add in all information - the title, results, questions and answers - and watch the leads roll in.
In fact, this is exactly what Hail Financial did with their retirement quiz and Rejuv Medical did with their Is It just Aging? Or Is It Really Your Hormones quiz. Go on, admit you're tempted to click…
The right Buzzfeed quiz maker will hold your hand and lead you through the entire process to create a painless experience for you. To get started, just click the image below!