If you have a Facebook account it’s very likely you’ve seen one, if not one every day. The Zimbio survey. You know, the one that reads like a Cliffsnotes version of a Myers Briggs personality battery, and tabulates your answers to compare you to various different pop culture characters, and historical figures.
Some of the latest include a Game of Thrones version, which tragic cartoon character are you, and one that compares you to one of 25 former US Presidents, presumably the 25 who would have been around to take a personality test. And, these are FAR from the only tests available. They are almost endless – and growing every day.
The tests have become incredibly popular. They draw millions to Zimbio’s testing battery pages and get shared almost compulsively on social media. It might surprise you then, to know these tests are not the reason the tests exist. Instead, they are smart marketing campaigns — and when users click on the sites they have absolutely NO idea what Zimbio offers beyond surveys.
To participate they gain access to your friend list, you answer their questions about what you think, feel, etc. with openness and honesty, because, well hey, it’s a survey. Results are made available – usually scripted to fit one of several possibilities – nothing truly unique. And then comes the invite to try another fun quiz.
Instant TIME ON SITE upgrade. In fact, these quizzes are so addictive, people frequently take four or five at a time and then SHARE THEM ALL. This last step creates two instant responses.
First, people who had no idea are talked into trying a quiz by a friend. Next, the exponential growth of the quiz marketing entices people. Eventually making them curious enough to know what Zimbio actually does. By then, the buy-in is huge, and the click-throughs are great.
Zimbio is one of four web properties owned and run by Livingly Media, others include Livingly.com (a lifestyle site), Zimbio.com – listed as an entertainment news site (note, no mention of surveys), Lonny.com (home décor and design site), and StyleBistro.com (fashion and beauty site). Livingly has offices in San Carlos, California and New York. But they are owned by a global company Axel Springer, through one of their subsidiaries aufeminin.
Underneath it all, Livingly – and by extension Zimbio – is a media company creating buzz for their clients. Think of the valuable information they also gather for said clients on how to present their products and productions better. Their site says, “Livingly Media properties drive massive engagement through a variety of highly visual, interactive, and shareable content. Brands can connect with Livingly Media audiences on multiple platforms – desktop, tablet, mobile, social – with the help of our branded storytelling platform and other high impact custom experiences designed for maximizing engagement and awareness.”
You may think Game of Thrones or cartoon characters don’t need a lot of marketing since most of them already tickle the stratosphere of popularity. But, too many “has-been” stories remind all in the entertainment industry about being only as good as your most recent offering. Surveys offer fans the chance to learn which character they most resemble – genius. Tying fans even deeper to their favorites and giving them a fun way to share with their FB friends.
A smart lesson to offer PR people about branding, make it excellent and sticky content without making an ask in the initial contact. Keep them coming back. All the while, gathering more and more information about the people taking the surveys and forging stronger bonds with brands.
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