How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Marketing

BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Marketing

01 Jun How to Use BuzzFeed-Style Quizzes for Marketing

Have you ever taken a “personality quiz” and shared the results on Facebook or Twitter?  If it seems like every day someone you know is sharing the latest, “What kind of ____ are you?” quiz, it’s because these posts are fun to take and easy to share.  The average quiz gets shared 1900 times on social media, according to Buzzsumo. And quizzes don’t show signs of fading anytime soon.

Even traditional media outlets have used quizzes to drive engagement on social media. The New York Times’ “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk” quiz from a few years ago remains one of its most viewed and shared articles. In this post you’ll learn how to use a quiz as a marketing tool, and see examples of Buzzfeed-style personality quizzes a variety of big and small businesses have run.

Do you wonder if there is a way to use these kinds of quizzes for marketing? The answer is yes! (We can even build one for you. To learn more about design services, set up a call.)

Quizzes Help You Learn More About What Your Customers Want

So why are quizzes so popular? The easy answer: they’re entertaining. The more complicated answer: they help us make sense of ourselves and the way we live (at least according to this Wired magazine story).

The next question is, what can businesses learn about their customers from quizzes? Plenty! You can learn about your customers’ interests with a quiz, which could help you decide on the kinds of products and services you offer in the future. You can also design a quiz that helps educate your customers about your products. And if you gate the results of your quizzes, you can even collect contact and demographic data before revealing quiz results, allowing you to build email lists.

Before You Build Your Quiz, Think About Your Goals

In the first example below, Kershaw hosted a quiz that ultimately helps their customers select a product. They might also have learned from this quiz that the majority of people who took their “What Kind of Knife are You?” quiz prefer the “Rugged” knife and then decided to  increase production and marketing efforts around that category of knife.

In the second example, Airbnb  designed a quiz to help their customers decide what kind of summer vacation would be their ideal getaway.

There are a number of companies that provide templates for building quizzes, including free templates from ShortStack and Buzzfeed, and from companies like Wyng. For inspiration, here are six examples of quizzes that businesses have used to drive engagement, to learn more about what their customers want, and to build email lists to use for marketing. Notice that at the end of each quiz, people are reminded to share the results with their friends.

1. Kershaw Knives: “What Knife Style are You?”

Kershaw asks a series of questions about people’s food and outdoor-activity preferences to determine what kind of knife would be most useful for them.

Once people have answered the questions, Kershaw tells them what kind of knife would be ideal for them and they encourage people to share the results with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.









Kershaw uses the results of their quiz to show off certain knives from their collection.

When they reveal the quiz-taker’s knife style, Kershaw also takes the opportunity to show off some of the knives in their collection that align with the result.

2. Airbnb: “What Kind of Family are You?”

I love the execution of Airbnb’s “What Kind of Family are You?” quiz. It’s very simple: All you have to do is scroll through a series of images showing different locations, home styles and vacation activities, and then click the heart icon if the image appeals to you, or click the X if it doesn’t.

Airbnb used a quiz to help people figure out what kind of vacationers they are by asking them to like or dislike a series of images.

Airbnb’s images will have you dreaming about and planning your next vacation long before you reach the end of the quiz — it’s marketing disguised as entertainment (and I mean that in a good way).

Airbnb uses a combination of exotic locales and activities to determine where quiz takers should visit.

Airbnb’s quiz is designed to gauge people’s interests in various activities as well as locations in order to make a vacation recommendation.

After browsing through about eight photos, the final image (shown below) reveals what category of vacationer the quiz-taker is. Notice how within the text that describes the person’s vacation style, Airbnb makes recommendations for places to visit. The Adventurers, for example would likely love Moab or Whistler, or Costa Rica if they’re looking for something more exotic. This quiz gives Airbnb the opportunity to learn about the preferences of their customers and prospective customers, and also to market directly to them a variety of homes available via Airbnb where people can book instantly.

Once the results are revealed, Airbnb takes the opportunity to make recommendations for places to visit and even links to specific homes they have available.

By the way, I was looking at the quiz purely for research, but before I even realized what I was doing I was clicking around to check out homes for rent in Moab, and thinking about a family trip to Costa Rica, a place I never thought I’d visit. Airbnb hooked me!

3. Degnan’s Kitchen “Yosemite Personality” Quiz with Prize

Degnan’s Kitchen is a restaurant at Yosemite National Park. The restaurant was recently closed for renovations and, in anticipation of the upcoming spring and summer seasons, Degnan’s wanted to let people know about its reopening. Degnan’s combined a quiz with a giveaway (the prize is a gift certificate to use at the restaurant).

In the Yosemite quiz, visitors are asked a series of questions about their favorite Yosemite sites and activities. After they’ve answered the questions, they learn about a meal from  Degnan’s menu that will help fuel their Yosemite adventure. Of course the quiz takers are also encouraged to share results with their friends. By gating the quiz and combining it with a chance to win a prize, Degnan’s is able to collect email addresses to use for future marketing.



Degnan’s, a restaurant at Yosemite National Park combined a quiz with a giveaway to inform visitors that they were reopening after a renovation.

Degnan’s asked people questions about their favorite things to do and see at Yosemite.

The results of the Degnan’s quiz included a recommendation for what to order when visiting the restaurant, based on the results of the quiz.

4. Survivor: “Which Survivor Game Changer are You?”

It’s hard to believe Survivor has been a television staple for more than 15 years, but that’s a fact. There have been some seasons with contestants who are hard to forget, so that’s what a television station decided to build their quiz around. In order to drum up excitement for the show’s upcoming season and to remind people to tune in, KSLA News 12 hosted a quiz designed to show people which well-known Survivor character they are. This quiz was purely for fun and engagement.

KSLA News 12 used a quiz to promote the upcoming season of the popular television show. Image #2 survivor


KSLA News 12 used a quiz to promote the upcoming season of the popular television show.
Image #2 survivor

5. Noble Vines: “Which Wine is Your Perfect Match?”

Noble Vines used a personality quiz to educate people about their wines. In their quiz, they asked people a series of questions related to food and wine pairings, travel and lifestyle, that ultimately let the quiz takers known which of the company’s wine would be their “perfect match.”

This is a great example of how a business could use a quiz to learn more about their customers’ preferences. For example, if Noble Vines learned most people “matched” with Pinot Noir — perhaps they would increase production of that particular wine. When they revealed the quiz results, Noble Vines also shared a link where people could learn more about their perfect match.

Noble Vines, a California vineyard, used a quiz to educate their customers about some of the wines they make.

When the results of the quiz were revealed, Noble Vines directed people to a website where they could learn about the wine that was their perfect match.

6. Nintendo Tomodachi Life: “Mii Personality Test”

If you’ve ever played Wii or any other Nintendo game, you know how much fun it can be to build your Mii. Or even to build a whole family of Miis. In this quiz, Nintendo asks a series of silly questions designed to help you design your perfect mini Mii for the Tomodachi Life game.

You can’t help but notice the “Try it free” message that appears at the top of the screen. And of course gamers will also want to share the results of their Mii personality test with their friends. The descriptions for the quiz results are all very detailed and really fun.

Nintendo designed a quiz around its ubiquitous Mii.

Some of the questions in the Nintendo quiz seem to have nothing to do with gaming, but they’re definitely entertaining. I bet you’ve never wondered how you might tell a friend he has food stuck in his teeth, and what that might reveal about you?!

Quizzes may be fun but in order for a quiz to be “successful,” first think about what you’re trying to accomplish with a quiz. You can see from the examples shared above, the brands all had different goals. Some are obviously used primarily for marketing (Airbnb and Degnan’s) while others are more subtle and seem to be just for fun and brand awareness (Nintendo) and others are somewhere in the middle, perhaps trying to gauge customer interest in products, and also educate people (Kershaw).

Before You Write Your Quiz

If you’re wondering what kind of quiz your audience is most likely to take and share, start by looking at the most popular content you’ve created. Have you created a guide or infographic that got a lot of share traffic? Is there a blog post on your site that was wildly successful — or at least brought you a respectable amount of attention? If the content resonated with your customers, it must just catch the attention of their friends, too.

If you don’t have any existing content that fits the bill, think about something you’d like to learn from your customers. Let’s say you want to narrow down the color palette for next season’s line of products, you could use a quiz to figure out your customers’ favorite colors and build your next line around their preferences. Or, if you want to help your customers choose from a large variety of your products, you could use a quiz to help them figure out which one would be right for them, just like Kershaw Knives did in the first example above.

Don’t Forget to Promote Your Quiz

Since quizzes get 75 percent of their traffic from social media, promoting your quiz is key. Airbnb’s quiz was promoted on Instagram and just happened to appear in my feed which is how I found it, but I haven’t seen all that many marketing-driven quizzes which tells me there’s opportunity there. As with any sort of marketing campaign, getting the word out requires a combination of free and paid efforts. I always recommend posting on social media, promoting in email and on your website and blog, as well as using AdWords and Facebook ads. Have you seen any brands using quizzes for marketing and doing it well? I’d love to see how other companies are making this trend work for them so please share links.

A version of this story appeared on Social Media Today. 

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