The power of online quizzes

By Boris Pfeiffer and Mike Hawkins

Getting new customers to grow an online business can be a struggle for any company. For small businesses, carrying out an effective marketing strategy is more than a challenge – it’s a question of survival.

Digital marketing is changing fast. People of today’s young generation are active, not passive online browsers. They’re smart, online-savvy, and are always looking for a quicker, snappier means to interact with brands. And Generation Z and the Millennials can no longer be ignored, with their combined spending power expected to reach $350 billion by 2020. Companies simply can’t rely solely on traditional forms of marketing in order to reach their customers.

So what is the solution? How can small businesses engage with these new generations of consumers who are largely skeptical of advertisements online? A unique solution to this problem is the use of interactive quizzes in marketing campaigns.

For small companies and startups, quizzes offer an easy way to engage with potential customers and grow their businesses. It’s a win-win situation: Today’s customers get to learn as they interact directly with a brand, then share the results with their friends. For small business leaders, quizzes provide deep, highly individualized information about each lead. Used wisely, sales and marketing teams can leverage this to convert them to happy customers.

Using quizzes to counter lowered attention spans

Internet users today have much shorter attention spans, constantly moving on to something different. Look no further than the popularity of short Youtube videos or games such as Candy Crush or Clash of Clans for proof – users consume content in brief, easy to digest chunks.

Quizzes offer a counter to these modern marketing problems. Quizzes, interactive in nature, allow companies to easily reach and engage with audiences without them knowing that they’re doing so. A good quiz is designed around these lowered user attention spans, allowing the user to quickly find out something about themselves, laugh about the results, and move on to a different form of content. A well-designed quiz should be no longer than three minutes to keep the attention of today’s online browsers.

Beyond engagement, quizzes are an easy way to quickly get leads – essential to growing a small business. Because of their high level of interactivity, quizzes can often get a better opt-in rate than other marketing campaigns – up to 40 percent more than traditional advertisements – allowing small businesses to grow at a much higher rate.

Taking advantage of the viral age

A common trend over the past few years has been the rise of social media and virality. People love to share interesting content on their social media feeds. Today’s advertisers need to take advantage of this virality in their marketing campaigns.

Quizzes are incredibly viral in nature – just a simple look at any Facebook feed will prove it. Once someone takes a quiz, they are likely to share the results of the quiz with the rest of their followers on social media. A cycle of virality occurs with quizzes taken, shared, and repeated.

But just why are quizzes so popular on social media? It’s based on human psychology. When someone shares a quiz, they are typically looking to show their followers either how smart they are or make them laugh from the result. Designing a successful quiz requires companies to take advantage of this and write witty results that consumers will love to share across their social media accounts.

Scalable marketing funnels using quizzes.

It’s a fact. Companies often are inefficient in their marketing strategies, wasting valuable time and resources in unsuccessful campaigns that don’t reach the right consumers. This is especially damaging to small businesses who can’t afford any marketing slip-ups.

Quizzes are ideal for optimizing a company’s marketing funnel. By using a quiz or personality test to segment users based on their responses, a marketing team can then create highly personalized and targeted follow-up campaigns targeted directly to the user’s preferences.

Often, customers are undecided about which specific product that they want. With quizzes that aim to gather as much customer information as possible, follow-up campaigns can be much more specific to the user’s desires.

For example, imagine a new company called “Kazoos R Us” is selling musical instruments online. Choosing an instrument is a hugely personal decision; it’s difficult with traditional marketing to identify the specific niche for each musical client.

Contrast that with a quiz. In just 6-8 questions, a quiz such as “What instrument should you play?” can ask key questions like “Do you prefer string, wind or brass instruments? Big or small? How many years have you played?” All these question answers can be fed into marketing software — and follow up campaigns can be geared exactly to each lead’s preferences, boosting conversion rates and growing the business.

Smaller firms are constantly having to walk a high wire every day, balancing costs versus the chance for growth. With fewer resources than their larger, more established competitors, they cannot afford an expensive marketing misstep. Quizzes offer today’s small business marketing teams the chance to be as efficient as possible – a powerful lever to help them grow.

Boris Pfeiffer and Mike Hawkins are co-founders of the online quiz maker Riddle

Small business stock photo by GaudiLab/Shutterstock