If you want to make your content instantly more effective, make it interactive. Women’s magazines have known this for decades. (Why, yes, I would love to find out which celebrity’s hairstyle I should have!) And the concept has only proliferated in the digital age.
According to a Demand Gen Report, website visitors are twice as likely to engage with interactive content — quizzes, calculators, dynamic infographics, etc. — as they are with static content, such as blog posts, one-click videos and the like.
Even better, people are more likely to understand and remember what you’re telling them when the information comes in quiz form. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute says 79% of survey respondents reported a significant increase in message retention among users when marketers presented information in an interactive format.
The best news is that quizzes are only slightly more complex to write than other types of content. Here’s how.
1. Determine the purpose of your quiz.
First, ask yourself what you want your readers to get out of taking your quiz and what, if anything, you want to get out of your readers who are taking the quiz. Is the purpose of the quiz to educate, engage or entertain your audience like we, hopefully, did with our “What Type of Creative Are You?” quiz? Are you looking to collect data like those ridiculous Buzzfeed personality quizzes do or guide people toward your products like oh-so-many glasses retailers do? This will help you determine what, if any, back-end programming will need to be done on your quiz.
2. Decide on a topic and conduct research.
Once you’ve decided the purpose of your quiz, now you need to come up with a theme just like you would any video or blog post. Quizzes are ideal for lighthearted messaging but also are a great way to present fact-heavy information in an approachable way.
When you’ve settled on a topic, jot down five to seven takeaways you want your audience to glean from your quiz. Then, conduct interviews and do research that will inform your writing.
3. Choose a format.
If you can recall from grade school, quizzes can take many forms. Multiple choice? True/false? Will each question have a single right answer? Do you want test takers to rank answers from best to worst, most to least applicable, etc.?
Also, how will the scoring function? Will each answer have a point value? Or will you go with a personality-quiz style “If you answered mostly Bs …” setup?
Remember, the more complex your quiz, the more back-end programming you’ll need to have done. So be sure to involve your web team early on. Or you can use an online quiz creator, such as Woorise. If your goal is to collect data, something like Paperform might be the best way to go.
4. Write your quiz.
Now’s the time to get writing. Be sure to start with an introduction that explains to readers what they’ll gain from taking your quiz, along with any instructions they’ll need (which shouldn’t be many, considering this is a marketing quiz and not a rocket science test).
Keep the questions clear and to the point and the possible answers distinct and easy to interpret.
Remember, the bulk of your copy will reside in the answer key, so plan accordingly on how to spend your word count if that’s a concern.
5. Be sure to give it a fact- and QA-check.
Just because quizzes present information in a fun way doesn’t mean the info therein is any less important to verify. Fact-check your messaging and ensure all of your correct answers are, in fact, correct. It’s human nature for people to dislike being wrong, and if they discover you were wrong, they will let you know it. If your quiz needs to be scored, make sure the math works. Lastly, call on several people, both inside your organization and out, to test the quiz to make sure everything functions smoothly before releasing it into the wild.
Quizzes may look complicated, but they’re worth the effort to engage your audience. Follow these steps:
- Determine whether you want your quiz to educate, engage or entertain users.
- Decide whether or not you want to collect data with your quiz.
- Select a topic.
- Do research and conduct interviews.
- Choose a format.
- Write your intro, questions, possible answers and answer key.
- Fact-check your information.
- Ensure your quiz’s scoring is precise and everything works.