My Digital Marketing Blog

Dracula – The Making of a Viral Content Marketing Hit!

Classic Horror Posters, an online retailer of vintage horror movie poster reprints, was looking for a unique way to drive social traffic to their website. We took a look at the content marketing landscape in their space and found that there were boat-loads of articles, blog posts, and Top 10 Lists about classic horror movies being posted and shared on Facebook all the time (making it a very competitive space for both SEO and social media), but there were very few well designed, fun, interactive, mobile-ready classic horror movie quizzes.

As we brainstormed the concept it was clear we could get a lot of content marketing mileage out of this one idea. We could do a quiz for every classic horror movie but we could also do quizzes for specific actors (like Boris Karloff and Vincent Price), directors (like Alfred Hitchcock) , and sub-genres (like Werewolf movies and Giant Insect movies). And if we got the formula right there was a lot of potential for the quizzes to go viral.

As part of a content marketing plan, online quizzes are a great way to:

  • Grow your social followers
  • Drive social traffic to your website
  • Increase email signups
  • Drive sales

Spoiler Alert!

I’m going to give away the ending now. Why? Because I want to give you a reason to keep reading. I want you to know what the actual results were so you can decide for yourself if it’s worth reading the rest of this article.

Content marketing is only valuable when it contributes to the achievement of measurable goals. In this case the goals were to:

  • Increase social followers and shares.
  • Drive social traffic to the website.

Here are the results we achieved:

People Reached on Facebook increased by 1,990 %

Facebook Post Engagement increased by 645 %

Facebook Page likes increased by 325%

Social Referrals to the website increased by 14,871 %

Website Sessions Increased by 764%

Website Pageviews increase by 3,044 %

Website Pages per session increased from 4.92 to 17.89

Website Bounce Rate dropped from 30% to 11.27%

As you can see, we achieved our goals, but even I was surprised by the results.

Now that you know how the story ends, lets go back and see how I did it.

The basic concept of the quiz was to combine movie poster graphics with trivia questions to showcase the posters available from ClassicHorrorPosters.com while challenging, educating and entertaining users about classic horror movies.

We decided on a 10 question quiz – a number that wasn’t too short to be unsatisfying and not worth sharing, and wasn’t too long to hold user’s attention.

We decided on a clean, simple layout that would include the following elements:

  • A banner promoting the website.
  • A poster graphic linked to the product page.
  • The question with three potential answers.
  • A clear action to take to continue the quiz.
  • A Facebook “Like” button.

Here is what the completed quiz question pages look like:

Dracula Movie Quiz Main Screen

When the user checks their answer they not only get a “Correct” or “Incorrect” message, they also get to read some short trivia content that is related to the question.

Then we set the objectives for the final quiz screen:

  • Display the user’s score.
  • Encourage the user to share the quiz on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Encourage online store visits.

Here is what the completed quiz results page looks like:

dracula-quiz-final-screen-550

I created a Facebook App that allows users to quickly and easily share the quiz through a pre-designed post that encourages users friends to try to beat their score. I included a Google Analytics tag in the share URL so we can track visits from this method. Users can also add their own message before sharing.

This is what the Facebook share window looks like:

dracula-quiz-facebook-share-wondow-500

I did the same for sharing the quiz on Twitter, although the steps are a little different.

This is what the Twitter share window looks like:

dracula-quiz-twitter-share-window-500

You can see there is a short bit.ly link that hides the long Google Analytics tagged URL and a link to an image that will automatically appear with the tweet.

Furthermore, When a visitor finishes the quiz their score is recorded in a database so we can track things like IP address (location), time of day, and calculate the average score (which we can report on in social posts).

To be truly successful and meet our goals I knew the quiz had to look great and work well on mobile devices, so I used a responsive framework and @media queries to adjust the user interface for mobile users:

dracula-quiz-question-screen-mobile-245
dracula-quiz-final-screen-mobile-245


With the mechanics of the quiz programmed, designed, and throughly tested on a number of browsers and devices it was time to start spreading the word and getting people to try the quiz.

I started by posting the quiz on Facebook without much fanfare just to get a sample of people to try it out. I could see the scores people were getting in real time so I could tell if we got the level of difficulty right. Too easy and people would be bored. Too hard and people would be turned off.

Once we had a nice sample of scores (the average turned out to be 6 out of 10 correct answers) I created a post with a link to the quiz and shared it on the Classic Horror Posters Facebook page, which had about 4,000 followers.

The post included a bold and compelling visual, a few basic hashtags, and a simple call to action challenging people to take the quiz and beat the average score.

Here is the actual Facebook post:

dracula-quiz-facebook-post

Now at best, organic reach on Facebook has dropped to between 1% and 6%, which means no more than between 40 and 240 people would even see the post. But this is where the power of shareable content kicks in.

After a few days the post was shared 25 times and organic reach soared to over 6,500 (which is somewhere around a 2,400% improvement).

From that reach of just over 6,500 on Facebook the quiz was completed over 700 times in the same time period (which works out to a nice conversion rate of just over 10%).

…and this was all from one post on Facebook.

Not only can the quiz and the Facebook post for the quiz act as evergreen content and be used over and over again, I coded the quiz in a way that makes it dead easy (no pun intended) to duplicate and create any number of classic horror movie quizzes. Just add content!

And we can also now start doing some split testing to see what results we can achieve for increasing email signups, driving sales, and improving the sharing functionality.

Is this idea limited to movie posters? Absolutely not. Interactive, shareable quizzes on Facebook are so popular that it can be used to build traffic and social channels for almost any business. You just need to find the right formula.

You can try The Dracula Movie Quiz for yourself and see how all the mechanics come together and test your knowledge of this classic film.

Ready to create your own viral content marketing hit? You can contact me at 416-822-6012.

Copyright 2017 John Schmidt