How to write interactive quizzes people want to take

Interactive quizzes are a great way to engage your audience, but they can be a tough order for copywriters. Here’s some tips to help you get your quiz on.

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Which Harry Potter character are you? Which Ingmar Bergman movie are you, based on your lunch choices? How much do you really know about Harry Enfield’s cranium? There are all kinds of delightfully inane quizzes flooding a Facebook wall near you. Yet in the world of B2B, the interactive quiz is a rare sight indeed.

But it’s strange that the quiz is such an uncommon format for B2B companies to use. After all, with the right brand and copywriter behind it, a quiz can be a powerful format for marketers.

Why would I want to make a quiz?

In day-to-day life, quizzes of this kind are (for the most part) a fun and frivolous waste of time. For B2B brands though, the quiz offers several huge advantages over other kinds of content formats:

  1. It’s really engaging – Readers can tune out of white paper, but an interactive quiz demands engagement from your audience.
  2. It’s all about them – Good marketing focusses on your audience, not you. Quizzes help really push that angle, as it’s all about the user and their answers to the questions.
  3. It’s really shareable – The internet thinks you’re Chuck Norris, based on how you manage your database. Why wouldn’t you share that?

When’s best to use it?

A quiz won’t necessarily suit all audience types, funnel stages, or even all types of business. In general, the quiz should be considered a purely middle-of-funnel piece: not able to really educate on a specific trend or solution, but also assuming a certain level of familiarity with the topic at hand.

Similarly, a quiz won’t suit all brand voices, so you may need to flex your tone a bit if you decide to go down the quiz route. If your quiz is too po-faced and boring it’ll very quickly feel like an exam (and nobody wants more of those).

How do you write one?

There are two main types of quizzes marketers will be most interested in: the personality type (Answer these questions and we’ll tell you which Radix hunk you are) and the knowledge type (Think you know everything about commas? Take this quiz to prove it).

(We do have a personality quiz to help you figure out which type of copywriter you are.)

Each quiz type will demand a slightly different approach, but one piece of advice will help you for any kind of quiz: planning is half the battle.

Start with three questions

Whichever style of quiz you opt for, the planning stage is crucial. The best plans start with three key questions:

  1. What are we trying to communicate?
  2. Who are we talking to?
  3. Why would they take this quiz?

Yes, your quiz needs to be fun, but it’s still a piece of marketing. It still has a message about your brand, industry or products it needs to convey – and it still needs to achieve results.

That third and final question is, of course, the key to getting engagement. For personality quizzes, this one’s kind of easy: people love talking about themselves. Anything about themselves is an easy sell, so personality quizzes are pretty much a done deal.

Meanwhile, knowledge quizzes have a harder time. Yes, people love to show off their expertise, but they’re also busy people. You need to incentivize them to take your quiz, so rewards or entry into a prize draw of some sort is the way to go for knowledge quizzes.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t make your quiz too long. Yes, it’s a fun format, but it very quickly outstays its welcome. In our experience, you don’t want any more than nine questions for a knowledge quiz. You can flex a bit more for personality quizzes, but even then, 12 questions or so should be considered the limit.

Stick to the plan

Once you know what you want to say, who you want to say it to, and why they should care, it’s time to start planning out your questions.

For knowledge quizzes, you want to devise a list of questions on your topic and try and rank them in order of complexity. Quizzes are at their most satisfying when they start simple, and slowly increase in difficulty as they progress.

For personality quizzes, the planning is a bit more difficult. You want to start by defining your personality categories. Normally each question will have an answer that corresponds to each personality type, so if you have five personalities, each question will need five answers.

Once you know your personality types, you’ll want to decide which answers will put your quiz-taker in which category. If they answer five questions with answer A, is that enough to put them in category A? Do they need to answer with all As?

Writing your quiz

Once you’ve got your plan in place, the real work starts: writing the thing.

Again, fun is the name of the game here. Injecting wit into your quiz is essential, but it pays to show some restraint here. As with all marketing, clarity is key, so don’t go obscuring key info just so you can get that outrageous pun in.

Likewise, there’s a time and place for witticisms in your quiz. Generally, knowledge quizzes are best played straight. Even in personality quizzes, the questions should also be straightforward and clear so your quiz is easy to read.

It’s the answer where you can really flex your funny muscles. This is your chance to show off your best gags, but again, don’t over-egg the pudding. Your answer still needs to make sense, and be easy to digest for the audience. Also, be aware of who you’re talking to, as many types of humour will exclude a global audience (or at the very least, get lost in translation).

Similarly, your answers are where you’ll really want to lean into any themes you might have. Whether it’s about “reaching the skies” or “going for gold”, this if the format to go heavy on the metaphors.

Interactive quizzes: The bottom line

No matter how you choose to frame your quiz, it’s really important to have fun with it. After all, while the quiz is a piece of marketing, it’s an inherently silly content form – probably more at home in a teen magazine than on a B2B website. So be self-aware of that fact.

If you have fun while you’re writing the quiz, it’s likely your audience will have fun while they’re taking it. And for that kind of engagement it’s absolutely worth venturing into the world of interactive quiz creation.


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