Media Pitch: CredSpark Touts the Power of Quizzes to Monetize Online Content
Quizzes are a popular feature on many websites, but often they are approached as a pure content play, rather than an opportunity to learn more about readers and develop leads for advertisers. CredSpark helps publishers monetize their quizzes by creating templates that require readers to submit their email or demographic information in order to view quiz results. Because many readers want to see if they answered correctly, or how their answers stack up against other readers, they often submit this information.
That data can help publishers organically grow their audience, increase engagement on their sites, and deliver more qualified leads to advertisers. In the following interview CredSpark CEO and founder Lev Kaye explains how publishers can use quizzes to better monetize their online content.
1. Who are you? What is your technology and how does it work? Who are the entrepreneurs behind it?
CredSpark is a quiz-based audience engagement platform. We help publishers monetize their audiences through embedded interactive quizzes. Publishers use CredSpark to generate leads for sponsors, trigger registrations/signups, and deepen the data they have on users while acquiring new ones. We’re currently being used by dozens of media businesses (B2B and B2C) as well as brands’ content marketing teams.
I am CredSpark’s founder and CEO, and I spent over a dozen years building educational products for firms like Kaplan and The Princeton Review, before starting CredSpark. Drawing on my education sector experience, CredSpark helps publishers become trusted teachers, which deepens their relationship to their audiences.
2. Explain your existence: What problem are you solving or opportunity are you enabling? How are you unique and innovative?
In a world where no one can match the breadth of Facebook’s reach, CredSpark helps publishers win by instead ‘going deep’ on individuals and truly understanding their specific audiences better than social network giants can ever hope to.
Content washes over audiences if they simply read or watch a video; when audiences don’t interact, they tend to disengage. Worse, most publisher content doesn’t gather any meaningful data about individuals beyond mere clicks. Most publishers are merely observing peoples’ online behavior, which is a far cry from building relationships.
CredSpark’s unique advantage is balancing easy content creation with sophisticated data capture and analytics. Editors and marketers can quickly and painlessly author and embed quizzes. Data from quiz participants is captured, matched to existing audience data, and fed to the publisher in real time via CredSpark’s API. Quiz participants get detailed information on their results compared to others, as well as guidance from publishers on how they can Learn More about the quiz topic.
3. Inspiration: How did you come up with this idea? How does your new tech solution reflect changes and trends underway in the media world?
We’ve long been fascinated by the power of assessment, which provides not only deep engagement but also a terrific opportunity to teach people. Often, taking a quiz is the only way to figure out what you don’t know, or to figure out which type or category you fall into. This self-knowledge can have a big impact on both your career and your non-working life.
We believe the burden on publishers is higher than ever to deliver not just engagement but guidance. CredSpark puts a tried-and-true guidance tool in the hands of media firms, which they can use to improve their audiences’ lives.
4. Results: How have you or do you plan to help media companies increase revenue or cut costs? Can you quantify this?
CredSpark helps media companies increase revenues on branded/sponsored content offerings, by adding an effective lead gen component (i.e. sponsored quiz) that sponsors will pay for. Even for non-sponsored editorial content, CredSpark drives up website KPI’s that boost CPM’s, like page views and time on site. Typically, a media company can pay back their annual investment in CredSpark within the first 60 days of launch.
5. Share some wisdom:What do you think are the most important trends affecting the media business today? What do you see that no one else sees?
Like Scott Galloway, NYU’s star marketing professor who has given talks on YouTube such as ‘The Death of the Advertising Industrial Complex,’ we believe that ad-supported business models are under siege. But we also believe that most publishers can move into an incredibly powerful position as trusted guides who demonstrably make their audiences’ careers and lives better.
If media firms fully embrace their role as teachers and guides, using proven, universal content formats such as quizzes, they will be able to monetize their audiences ever more effectively and survive for a long time to come. But it requires media firms to adapt at the deepest level — how they see themselves.
6. What’s Next? How do you plan on expanding or improving on your offering? Where do you see opportunities for growth?
We are going to continue to take pages from educators’ playbooks about how to engage and guide people while generating powerful insights on them. As we grow, CredSpark will continue to become extremely sophisticated at deepening audience engagement, turning ‘reads into leads,’ and delivering individualized guidance and unique insights at the audience level. We see growth opportunities just about everywhere we look.