Why You Love Online Quizzes

How many times have you seen an online quiz and thought that it was silly, but took the quiz anyway? Glad you joined the quiz craze. Are you in a relationship and wondering if you’ve “The One?” Take this compatibility quiz to find out. Ever wondered, “What Career Should You Actually Have?” (Buzzfeed), over 5 million people took the quiz to find out. “What City Should You Actually Live In?” (Buzzfeed), has over 20M views. 

Why can’t you say no to quizzes? Why were these quizzes created in the first place? And how you develop addicting quizzes to grow your business?

Why are quizzes so irresistible?

We take quizzes because we are obsessed with finding out who we are. Tribalism, or the desire to belong to a community or network (in modern-day terms), is part of our human nature, and we can’t help but quench this desire. Whether it’s your inner circle of close friends or your favorite sports team, your hometown, or your home country, you hope to feel connected. It feels good to belong somewhere, so we always want to find out what groups we are part of. 

Sometimes, we want to be part of a tribe so bad we don’t even care what tribe it is. In 1970, British psychologist Henri Tajfel experimented to prove this. He invited a group of 64 boys to take a quiz, revealed their quiz results, and separated them into two groups based on their findings.

While the boys believed that they were assigned to a group based on the quiz results, in reality, they were randomly assigned to a group. Afterward, Tajfel asked them to reward money to others, and the boys overwhelmingly favored the boys in their tribe. The results remained the same, even though people in their group were just randomly assigned.

The meaning of this tells us that while the results of the quizzes were not significant, as long as we feel we belong to a tribe, we’ll feel good. In other words, we just want to be part of a tribe whether it’s a sports team, a country, or even a Harry Potter character that brings people together. 

How to create a viral quiz.

Use this secret formula in your title
Use this secret formula in your title.

What do viral quizzes have in common? After analyzing over hundreds of viral quizzes, this study shows that all the titles follow this formula: Which ____ are you?

The study shows that quizzes with this formula has twice as many views as quizzes without these keywords. Again, this shows that we crave to learn who we are and what tribe we belong to.

Make it personal.

Make the quiz as personalized as possible. The same study revealed that quizzes that use more pronouns like “you” have overwhelmingly more views than the ones without the pronoun. One of the most popular quizzes on Birdnest site is a quiz to help people find out what neighborhood best suits them. We made sure to include as many you’s and your’s in the ad, and it’s one of the best performing ads we have.

Birdnest Ad - Location Neighborhood Quiz
Insert as many pronouns as you can, like this quiz.

Keep it positive.

People want to find out who they are, but they’ll only want to share it with others when the quiz results make them look good or help bolster their self-image. When a few thousand tweets of quiz results were analyzed, over 75% of them contained positive words such as “great” or “excellent.”

Based on a study by The New York Times, 68% of people share and reshare content online “to give people a better sense of who they are and what they care about.” 

How can Marketers take advantage of this?

As a growth marketer, we face the daily challenge of gathering and delivering marketing qualified leads (MQLs). Asking people to fill out a form, no matter how simple the form may be, is hard. People are skeptical about filling out forms and are becoming increasingly sensitive about sharing their personal information. Individuals don’t like to give their names and email addresses unless they’re absolutely interested and ready to make a purchase. 

But when you give them a quiz to reveal some new information, they are eager to learn the quiz results and share the quiz results about themselves with others. 96% of those who start a Buzzfeed quiz finishes them. 

For marketers, online quizzes can be one of the most powerful marketing tools to generate leads. You can collect thousands of leads just by creating an engaging quiz. Online quizzes can also be a powerful filter tool to help qualify leads to ensure you are engaging with the right audience. 

Conclusion

Humans have an insatiable need to know who they are and what tribe they belong to. We are eager to answer questions about ourselves and share information about ourselves into an online quiz in order to find out the answer. If the results are positive, we will want to share it with others.

All these factors have helped online quizzes become one of the most viral pieces of content. The quizzes are not just for fun; they can be a powerful way to help your customers filter information. You can help your customers find out new and useful information.

Next time you’re trying to engage your audience, try creating an interactive quiz instead of sending them another piece of boring content that will never see the light of the day. 

Nick Jiang

Nick is the Cofounder & CEO @ Birdnest, a curated, visual place for startups to find their dream office. Prior to Birdnest, Nick had grown venture-funded startup Shots to over 10M active users. Duke MBA, Princeton Engineering.

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