One of the best ways to create fantastic quizzes is to look at past successes and copy what they did best. We’ve taken a look at the most-shared Buzzfeed quizzes over the last twelve months and honed in on what made them so popular.
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. GothRider has a 30% email sign up rate and generated 75,000 leads from their quiz Which Famous Biker Are You?, which drew on many of the elements talked about here.
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While putting together this list – and taking all of the quizzes, of course – we noticed a few definite trends. In particular, all of the quizzes had some combination of the following factors:
- Fun: Delight was a big factor for a lot of the top performers, particularly “magic trick” style quizzes that promise to guess your age, height, location etc.
- Simple: Quizzes were usually short, clear and concise.
- Clear benefit: Every title of every quiz on this list tells you exactly what you’re going to get, whether it’s the name of your Hogwarts house or a full-blown diagnosis about why you can’t sleep.
- Targeted: Most of these quizzes target a specific audience. Others that are more general, like Which City Should I Live In? play on a very specific issue that certain demographics face.
- Weird/compelling: Part of what makes some of these quizzes enticing is their wackiness. Not full-blown weirdness but a little “oddness” here and there. Like the quiz Could You Pass A 1954 Home Economics Class? It’s not something you would expect to see skimming through your Facebook feed while drinking your morning coffee.
- Positive: The quizzes tend to be lighthearted, fun and the results make the quiz-taker look good, which also makes them more likely to share their results.
We were surprised by a few things in the results. As expected, personality quizzes did very well, and quizzes that offered a specific, practical piece of advice were also popular.
The presence of what we’ve called “magic trick quizzes”, however, was unexpected. 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.
We grouped the entries into four categories:
“Magic trick” quizzes: 9
Personality quizzes: 8
Specific outcome: 3
Best 21 Buzzfeed Quizzes
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.
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.
Buzzfeed’s focus is on easily-consumed, playful quizzes. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t take certain elements and use them to improve the effectiveness and make your own Buzzfeed quiz! The core features – fun, simple, targeted, compelling and positive – are the same whether you’re designing a quiz for a financial advisor or a medical business.
In fact, this is exactly what Hail Financial did with their retirement quiz and Rejuv Medical did with their quiz, Is It just Aging? Or Is It Really Your Hormones. Go on, admit you’re tempted to click…