Use the power of intrigue to draw people in and keep them engaged

Intrigue: (verb)

to interest someone a lot, especially by being strange, unusual, or mysterious.

Dripping out information is a smart way to keep visitors and readers holding on for more. Authors and screen-writers have mastered the art. Of course they could probably tell their whole story in chapter one, but by adding increasingly interesting facts and content chapter by chapter, they secure your engagement.

The successful ploy is to always build a section full of excitement and interest, just at the end – then you MUST read the next chapter or watch the following episode. It’s the classic cliff-hanger.

But we can learn a lot from these structures in creating content for ads, campaigns and videos. And the main trick is anyways to hold a little back – to intrigue.

When we are creating content, most often, the important objective is to secure a response. If your reader or viewer responds with a click, message or call, you then have the opportunity to open a dialogue. 

Because we all love our product or service, the temptation is to try to pack in as much information as we can in our communication. But that’s just a monologue – what we want is to start a dialogue – a conversation. Then we can have the opportunity to close a sale. That’s why it can be good to hold something back, to leave the reader wanting more! Or at least to hint that there is more, better, more interesting stuff still to learn.

If someone builds a wall, you can be sure that the next person will be desperate to learn what’s behind it!

We keep returning to the classic acronym – AIDA – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. Having made the reader or viewer aware of our offering, the story must offer information in a way that engages and stimulates interest. That’s where less is more. It’s a case of concise content that does not bore or overwhelm but leads to desire. Unless we’re in a situation which leads directly to a sale (Action) – in e-commerce for example – we’re looking for another kind of action. 

That action can be a contact, a clicked link, e-mail or perhaps phone call. And why would our prospect make that action? Because we have created that interest and thirst for more information – we have intrigued.

Ian West
dangerous ideas

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