“If you have knowledge, let others light their candle at it.”
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)
As a fan of trivia games in general, I’m obsessed with the TV quiz show Jeopardy. On the road, when settling into a hotel room, if I come across an episode I’ll drop everything and focus. Once I’ve sized up the categories and the competition, people in adjacent rooms might hear a series of staccato ehhh! sounds as I “ring in” and blurt answers (in question form, of course) before the real contestants beat me to the buzzer.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this affinity for the test-your-knowledge format. In fact, trivia games and quiz shows might have something to teach us about content marketing. Consider:
- Simply being approached to participate in a test of knowledge gets some people’s emotions, intellect, even adrenaline revved up.
- There’s an inherent promise of value and possibility in a quiz — you’re either going to learn (education), or have multiple opportunities to showcase and be affirmed in your knowledge (validation).
- Information, interaction, calls to action, feedback, reward, measurement — all occur in a steady stream of small increments, so there’s a natural type of continuity and engagement to a Q&A “touch stream.”
- Conceptually, the organization delivering the content is automatically coming at the audience in a value-add way. This is about information-sharing, learning, fun — it’s not a hard sell.
When deciding on a content marketing strategy, it’s easy to fall into “here’s the whole story” mode. Assemble an article, a white paper, a robust collection of news and information, and make it available to the target.
But another model to consider, perhaps as a change of pace or another touch point within a broader campaign, is the quiz format.
Identify subject matter around which the audience and the brand have shared interest. Then parcel out relevant information in the form of test-your-knowledge quizzes, questions of the day or week, longer-form continuing ed courses or your own, unique “did-you-know” execution.
Here’s my current favorite example:
When parents register their high schoolers for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), a key step toward college admission, the folks at SAT invite student and parent alike to receive The Official SAT Question of the Day via e-mail.
This feature gives students
a chance to practice (and parents the opportunity to
feel humbled), thanks to a daily stream of multiple choice math and language/
grammar questions of the type students face on the SAT.
I registered my high school junior months ago. She took the test weeks ago. Yet here I am, still eagerly awaiting and answering daily questions (all the while confirming what a smart move it was to choose journalism over math as my college major).
Is your key audience parents? Teachers? Chefs? Engineers? Travelers? Teenagers? It probably doesn’t matter.
To spice up your content marketing approach, consider taking “Content Marketing for $500.” The answer: “Test their knowledge.” The question: “What’s another way to achieve engagement and add value with my target audience?”