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It’s 2:00pm in the afternoon.

Lunch was just over an hour ago and you still have a couple of hours until you get off work.

You check your inbox to find that there are no new emails for you to respond to, so you open up a new tab, log into your Facebook account, and scroll through your feed.

James just landed a promotion at his local Starbucks. Mary is getting engaged…for the fourth time. Square-Enix is tiding fans over with another trailer of a game that’s been in production for years. There’s a video of a dog falling asleep. What kind of chair are you?

What kind of chair am I…? What kind of a question is…*Click*

If you haven’t noticed already, Buzzfeed quizzes have been a prevalent source of momentary entertainment plastered all over the walls of social media.

After scrolling through your social media feed, it takes less than a couple of minutes for you to come across a variant of one of Buzzfeed’s ever-popular quizzes.

Key Takeaways: How Did BuzzFeed Get So Popular?

  1. Instant Engagement: Buzzfeed’s quizzes capitalize on the universal desire to kill time and the human curiosity about oneself, making them incredibly engaging and hard to resist clicking.
  2. Strategic Content Creation: The creation of Buzzfeed quizzes is deeply rooted in marketing strategies, aiming to generate leads and drive traffic to their website, showcasing how entertaining content can also serve business objectives.
  3. Captivating Titles and Imagery: A combination of intriguing titles and familiar imagery is key to capturing attention in the fast-paced environment of social media feeds, leading to higher engagement rates with the quizzes.
  4. Shareable Results: The quizzes are designed to produce positive, flattering results that users are eager to share on social media. This sharing mechanism fuels viral distribution and drives more traffic to Buzzfeed’s website.
  5. Social Media Leverage: Buzzfeed understands the power of social media as a platform for sharing and virality. By creating content that users are compelled to share, they effectively utilize social networks to amplify their reach and influence.

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With our inquisitive thinking at fault, we instinctively click on one of these quizzes. Whether we’re trying to kill time or we’re truly interested in learning what kind of fast-food beverage we are, BuzzFeed has done a phenomenal job at piquing our interest.

But what exactly is it about BuzzFeed quizzes that makes them so popular?

Because quizzes get 75% of their overall traffic from social networks, it’s no wonder why BuzzFeed quizzes get so popular. However, that can’t be the sole reason why their quizzes are doing so well. There has to be some kind of formula to their success, right?

Today, we’re taking a close look at BuzzFeed quizzes, and we’re going to break down what makes them so popular.

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The Thought Process Behind These Quizzes

If we want to understand why BuzzFeed quizzes are so popular, we have to understand the reasoning behind creating these quizzes in the first place.

From a marketing point of view, you can easily generate leads through quizzes. You can then turn these quiz leads into paying customers. It’s one of the smarter ways to net page views and interactions, especially if each quiz is gated with a lead capture form before displaying the results. It’s a marketing strategy many of companies execute today.

As one of the leading social media news companies out there, BuzzFeed thrives on redefining the social media scene with the content they produce. At one point or another, they must’ve picked up on the idea of engaging visitors through interactive content such as quizzes.

Pair these quiz results up with the ability to share them on social media and viola, you have yourself a form of shareable content that will attract more than just leads, but page views to other forms of content that you offer as well.

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Say you come across a BuzzFeed quiz. You take it. Of course, clicking on these links to quizzes will direct you to a standalone page made specifically for that quiz. By the end of it, after you’ve gotten your results, you see links on the right-hand side of the page to various topics, many of which will consist of either the “top whatever” list (which prompts your curiosity for what’s on that list) or some brand new inside scoop about a celebrity (because let’s face it, we’re always curious to find out which celebrity has gotten into what mess this time around).

There’s a science to it. You originally took a quiz for fun, but now you’re sifting through BuzzFeed’s site for other random tidbits of social information. Quite a clever pull, isn’t it?

Then there’s the idea that BuzzFeed simply makes these quizzes for fun. I mean, they are, aren’t they? They’re short, seemingly interactive, chockful of pictures and they’re a good way to kill time, not to mention the fact that these quizzes can sometimes tell you things that you never knew about yourself before, even if it means finding out what kind of chair you are.

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Appealing To The Eyes In A Few Seconds

The average person can scroll through an entire feed within minutes, exhausting any new updates in mere seconds. That window of opportunity is all BuzzFeed has to get someone’s attention.

So how do they do it? Simple.

They catch your attention with two things: a captivating title and an image that calls out to you.

Now you might be thinking, “I go through my feed like it’s nothing. I pass by important posts like major events, birthdays, weddings. I scroll past pictures of babies, animals, food and new products. What makes a combination of text and imagery so important?”

Well, there’s two reasons for that.

First of all, a title is more than just a sequence of words. The choice in words, their arrangement and what they want to say to an audience is tantamount. We probably read over a thousand words a day, and even if certain phrases are in bold for us, it won’t always catch our attention. But if a title is good, it can pull in even the most unsuspecting of guests.

Secondly, imagery is everything. Trust me when I tell you, that a well-chosen picture can sometimes say more than words ever could. Images, especially ones we’re familiar with, create a connection words cannot. When we see things we’re familiar with, we’re drawn to them. Have you ever seen an image of a steak that made you salivate? Tell me that image hasn’t already done something to make you share in an experience.

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Now let’s put the two together.

You’re scrolling through your feed again. You come across a BuzzFeed quiz titled “Which Main Dish Are You?” with a picture of a succulent piece of prime rib. That piece of meat sure looks delicious, but what kind of main dish am I really?

You take the quiz and you find out you’re a plate of lasagna, hearty with several layers to your character; a little cheesy at times but full of meaty content (hey that’s not bad, no wonder I work for Interact).

Do you get the bigger picture now? The image of a piece of meat, something that you’re familiar with, caught your attention. As you shifted your eyes up a few centimeters, you saw a title that piqued your interest. Together, both the title and the image used were enough to pull you into taking another one of BuzzFeed’s quizzes.

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Sharing Is Caring: The Power of Shareable Content

It’s called “social media” for a reason, and BuzzFeed is taking advantage of that concept as much as possible. Nowadays, everything is shared on social media; announcements, pictures, videos, links, articles, quizzes, you name it. There isn’t anything you can’t find online that can’t be shared.

Quiz results are one of the most shared pieces of information (relevant or irrelevant) on Facebook. These quizzes, at most times, are simply personality tests that gauges someone’s answers based on their preferences. Similar to the Myers-Briggs personality tests, a majority of these BuzzFeed quizzes fall under that same category.

After a handful of questions, users are prompted with their results. Most results are positive, and with an innate nature to share content that makes them look good, people end up posting their results on their Facebook Timeline for everyone else to see. This in turn prompts immediate friends and family to click on the same link to get their own results. This in turn works out for BuzzFeed, redirecting more traffic to their site.

We Did It! We’ve Cracked The Code! Well…Sort of

Now that we’ve broken down what makes BuzzFeed quizzes so popular, it doesn’t seem as complicated now does it? By knowing the thought process behind quiz creation, the choice and use of titles and images along with the ability to share results, it looks like anyone can do what BuzzFeed does, with the right tools of course. So now that you know, it looks like we can safely file this case away under solved. Case closed.

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