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Curiosity Factor: The psychological phenomenon you should implore to earn and own attention in a noisy world

September 3, 2018

Attention in today's online world is harder and harder to garner than ever before. Our clients, customers, prospects and leads tell us they have no time. No time to read our emails, download our e-books, listen to our podcasts, dive-in to our blog posts, or watch our videos. However, these very same customers can binge watch two seasons of Stranger Things on Netflix in one weekend! Where's the disconnect? Maybe, in our quest to make our content consumable we’ve eliminated every element that makes our content interesting? It turns out, the most successful content creators in the world don’t worry about how long their content is. Instead, they apply two infinitely powerful psychological phenomena to catch, keep and capture, their audience's attention. In this exhilarating presentation, former television producer and bestselling author Andrew Davis will show you how to keep your audience curious. You’ll be challenged to think like a reality TV editor, and he’ll show you the five things that brilliant businesses do to transform their content from boring to brilliant. More importantly, you'll learn the simple secret to creating infinitely engaging content. What's the secret? You'll have to wait and see.

Session Notes

Courtesy of​ Karine Bengualid from Brought to you by the Letter K

If it’s interesting, they will find the interest.

They will make time to consume your content if it’s interesting.

So. Make it interesting.

The curiosity gap is the key to making things interesting. It’s the void between what you know and what you want to know.

But that’s not all. The higher the tension, the greater our need for closure. We desire a firm answer to a question and have a natural aversion toward ambiguity.

GAH! WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN TO THE WATERMELON? Link for those of you who didn’t catch it or need to rewatch it.

We need answers, dammit!

It starts off simply. We might want to know what happens to the watermelon. (We’re curious.) But after 40 minutes, we need to know, and we need a good payoff (the outcome or conclusion of the scenario).

That means the payoff to the content you have created needs to be greater than the tension you’ve built up. Clickbait, for instance, does not pay off. We know it’s going to be disappointing. So, keeping your promise ensures a good payoff.

You can earn your audience’s attention by inviting them to chase the answers.

When people say content is too long, they’re actually saying they have no more questions.

The formula:

More often than not, customer testimonials are… obvious. We know they use your service or product; we know they love you. The end. No tension. No payoff.

Change the script by building tension with all the stories you tell. The key to creating great tension is to think like reality TV shows… give your protagonist some breathing room (literally). Each beat you give is like adding another rubber band to the watermelon. Reality TV always delays the reveal until after the commercial break. They build up tension to ensure you stick around.

Delay the reveal.

tl;dr

Take the time to reverse-engineer how viral content grew the tension (breathing room), delayed the reveal (curiosity gaps), and provided the payoff.

Ask yourself, #WWDD (what would Drew do?): Add 1 firecracker or 1 rubber band at a time?

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