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The Staying Power of BuzzFeed’s “What City Should I Actually Live In?” Quiz

Today’s post comes courtesy of Seth Lieberman, founder and CEO of SnapApp, a content marketing platform that gives marketers the power to generate leads and drive revenue by creating, publishing, promoting and measuring interactive content that works across channels. Seth is a serial entrepreneur who has started three companies and has four kids.  Two of his companies have been acquired but none of his kids. Follow Seth on Twitter @sethwlieberman

Buzzfeed recently launched their newest version of the “What City should you Actually Live in” quiz. The latest is, Which US City Should You Actually Live In?” . Previous versions of this quiz have included ‘What City (Globally) Should You Actually Live In?’, ‘What European City…?’, ‘What Fictional City…?’, ‘What Fashion Capital…?’, and ‘What Australian City…?’.  In the first 22 hours, the latest in the ‘What City Series’ had more than 500,00 views including 250,000 views from social sharing.  

If those are great stats, but Buzzfeed is too far afield from your business, check out this fact from the New York Times:  The single most read piece of content from 2013?  “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk: Answer the questions to see your personal dialect map.”  That’s right, a quiz on regional dialects was the number one most read “story” on the New York Times site for all of 2013.

Still think this isn’t for you?  Global Talent Management Consulting Firm DDI built a Common Leadership Styles knowledge quiz. Prospects who engage with this interactive content are 6x more likely to open follow on emails from DDI.

What Is Going On Here?
How is it that Buzzfeed has essentially launched the same quiz more than six times and the stats are still off the charts?  Who keeps taking the same quiz over and over (…and over) again, and why?

It turns out, a lot of us! Let’s take a look into why I – and everyone else – keep coming back for more.

Takeaway #1:  There is something fundamentally attractive and addictive to this type of interactive content. 

It’s fun, it’s engaging, there is something very human about the content, and the way it is presented, that makes me (and hundreds of thousands of others) keep coming back for more. “Where should I live?”—whether I am daydreaming or really trying to figure it out—any insights are entertaining and potentially valuable.  For more on the psychology of this read here

As a marketer, consider how you can tap into this this very human tendency to test, validate and categorize ourselves.  Is there some sort of quiz or assessment that you can create around your product or service that plays to this?

Takeaway #2If you have killer content, chances are you can use it again, and again…and maybe even again.  

Yes, you need to freshen it up, re-package it, and possibly add a new twist or a new angle.  But if you find yourself paralyzed by the need to come up with something entirely new every time you write a piece of content, perhaps you can give yourself a bit of a break and work with some of the great content you already have. 

Leveraging existing content is a great way to take advantage of what you have already created and reach those prospects that either weren’t around or weren’t interested the first time.  In addition, you can keep your existing audience engaged by adding a new angle.  Especially if you have a library of whitepapers, guides and similar, now is a great time to have some fun and create real value as you create smaller, more consumable pieces from those long forms of content.

Takeaway #3: It’s not hard to create a quiz.  

Sure Buzzfeed has a handful of writers working on these, but writing a successful quiz doesn’t require a staff of 10.  If you combine your great quiz idea (keeping in mind takeaway #2) with a great interactive content creation software platform, you can turn that idea into reality in a matter of hours.  

PBS did it when they wrote:  What kind of Farmers Market Shopper are You?, Discovery quickly created a “Which Kind of Stepford Wife Are You? quiz and Endicia offers a quiz on Returns Best Practices.

The key is to figure out what sort of functionality fits your needs:  is integration with your marketing automation system a must have? Custom branding?  Calendaring functionality?  Also, where do you want to distribute your quiz?  Regardless, there is at least one content marketing software solution for you.

There are many other lessons and takeaways marketers of all types and for all industries can derive from the long list of quizzes.

Tell us what city Buzzfeed said you should live in, and we will tell you how you compare to other modern marketers.


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