Curiosity has the power to get people’s attention, persuade them to take a desired action, and help you grow your audience.
Copywriter Gary Bencivenga got it right when he said, “Your level of interest is directly proportional to the presence of two factors: benefit and curiosity. Either one without the other is a devastating weakening. I = B + C. Interest equals benefit plus curiosity.”
Today, we’re breaking down this powerful psychological trait—curiosity—and showing you how you can wield it to spark interest, captivate your target audience, and grow your business.
By leveraging curiosity, you can grab people’s attention and persuade them to act.
People have an innate sense of curiosity—a desire to explore the unknown.
Make curiosity the foundation of your marketing strategy to persuade people to learn more about your business.
You can leverage curiosity by building trust, offering real solutions to problems, creating a curiosity gap, and storytelling.
Why curiosity is such a powerful concept
In business, sales, and marketing, basic goals include getting in front of the right audience, grabbing their attention, and engaging them long enough to convert them into loyal customers, right? An effective strategy for accomplishing these tasks is making people curious.
People have an innate sense of curiosity—a desire to explore the unknown. Curiosity drives business owners, artists, and inventors to innovate. It drives creativity and problem-solving.
From the Wright Brothers lifting off the earth in the first motor-operated airplane to today’s self-driving cars, innovation is the result of curiosity. And according to research, curiosity leads to more adaptable and higher-performing businesses.
In marketing, you can offer just enough information to pique people’s interest so they want to know more. Curious people ask questions. They want to know the answers to what, why, how, when, and where. Using this psychological tool can help you form connections, build authentic relationships, and grow your audience successfully.
How to leverage curiosity to grow your audience
According to Forbes, you can make curiosity the foundation of your marketing strategy to persuade people to learn more about your business. Creating a “curiosity gap” can get people to take a specific action using teasers or drip-feeding information. Drive action by showing people they’ll miss out if they don’t dive deeper.
For example, in marketing, you can tease your audience in blog post headers, email subject lines, and call-to-action buttons. “5 little tips for getting over your ex fast” and “One surefire way to get your next raise” are two headings that build curiosity. Give your audience enough information to want to know more, but not enough to be satisfied without clicking or calling you.
Curiosity can help you maintain people’s interest and encourage future interactions with your business. Here are some tips to help you create that healthy tension with the right people.
1. Develop authentic connections
Before you create a curiosity gap, you need to build relationships based on trust. Be authentic and relatable in order to create genuine connections with people. Show your audience you care and have their best interests in mind. Keep messaging about them rather than your products or services. This will help you build confidence with people before trying to market or sell to them.
2. Offer a straightforward solution to a problem
Remember to focus on how you can help your audience. Why should someone listen to you, learn about your product or service, or engage with your content? Address an issue head-on and offer a valuable solution your audience can implement immediately.
Identifying solutions to your audience’s problems at each stage of their buying journey will help you provide the right answers at optimal moments. People will start seeing you as a trusted source and come back to you for more.
3. Create a curiosity gap
Create a curiosity gap by building up a story, and then leave people “hanging” at the climax so they can’t wait to learn more. For example, let’s say you have a solid following on Instagram and are active on Stories. You’ve dealt with severe migraines for years, and your audience has followed your journey of seeking natural treatments for them. Here’s how you can leverage curiosity:
You just discovered a new diet to get rid of migraines entirely within a week.
You announce it on your Story.
You tell your audience that you’ll report back to give an update after your experiment.
They’re anxious to hear the results, hoping they too can fix their migraine problem once and for all.
That waiting period is your curiosity gap. Your audience will want to learn the results and will stay engaged until you offer them.
4. Tell a story
Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.
—Jerome Bruner, Cognitive Psychologist
Stories are relatable and memorable. They can trigger emotions and help break down complex concepts. They allow you to show empathy and can drive long-term growth.
To create a successful story, follow a basic story arc (see image below). Start by establishing a setting to give your audience context. Where is the story taking place, and what are the critical facts of the situation? Describe the main characters and how they fit into the setting. What are their motivations?
Next, create conflict. There’s a problem your character is facing—the tension that creates curiosity. How will you solve the problem and offer a resolution?
Your story should involve transformation—from where your main character began to where they end up. If your story is compelling, you’ll hook your followers, get them to step into the shoes of your protagonist, and create a desire for your offerings.
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