Stay interesting in a sea of “meh"

How to spark curiosity for brands on TikTok

Jonny Watts

Copywriter Team Eleven


Cutting through the clutter has always been the key to marketing success – from getting that killer strapline to the perfect jingle.

But how can your brand do it in today’s info-overloaded age when, let’s be honest, there is more digital clutter than ever? How can you avoid being the 8th discounted and instantly forgotten piece of content someone has seen that day?

It all comes down to curiosity. 


Curiosity has always been key to marketing – both your curiosity and that of your audience. As a curious and creative brand, you can be an innovator and thought leader, vital in a time of such rapid advancement

And by unlocking the curiosity of your audience, you can be the fleck of gold in a world of beige.

In an era where everyone with an internet connection can upload their stream-of-consciousness nonsense, with a proliferation of new platforms and media all with their own rules and ecosystems, how can your brand successfully harness human curiosity using today’s hottest and most controversial platform? 


Sparking short-term human curiosity with snappy, punchy video content is the driving force of TikTok. It’s what the platform uses to keep users there. But how does it do that?

Much has been made of social media algorithms lately, funnelling people further and further into the content they will respond to. By discovering what its users are curious about, TikTok can serve up more of the same, engaging their base with sure-fire hits.

But at the same time, seemingly running counter to this, TikTok sparks user curiosity by creating questions and mystery. The best way to stimulate curiosity is to make your audience aware of something they don’t know

By teasing the unknown, you can keep your audience intrigued. And an intrigued audience is an engaged audience.

Unpredictability is a huge factor too, much like audiences glued to the car crash TV of the 90s. “Random” appears as a buzzword in multiple search results for “curiosity trend explained” on TikTok - the anticipation of something impossible to predict keeps users curious for what awaits them around the corner. 

Your brand, TikTok and curiosity. Curious how it all fits together? 

An ever-growing platform, TikTok is even being used as a search engine by increasing numbers of users.

Not only that, it’s changing the way people (especially Gen Z) go about education or “edutainment”, along with purely recreational content. Creators know that entertainment is still by far the most popular tag, and have been crossing over their educational content to tap into that audience and increase the spread of micro-learning.

The key (micro)lesson here? Don’t just be informative about your brand. Be entertaining.

With it becoming more of a one-stop shop than somewhere people go “just” to watch videos, it’s fertile ground for brands to grow in whole new directions.

So how can you spark this all-important curiosity about your brand, using TikTok? It all comes down to three key approaches.

1. Treat it as a search engine (because it is)

Imagine your content is a search result among dozens if not hundreds of others. Do you stand out? Are you a stick-fast or a scroll-past? Be brutal and critical because users will, and create content that people want to watch even as you show why you’re what they need. 

2. Be curious about their curiosity

You read it up there, but here it is again. Curiosity is vital on both sides of the marketing coin. If you’re curious about what drives your audience, what they want to see and what can stop them scrolling on, you open the door to creativity and making content quicksand they can’t help but get stuck in. 

3. Create just the right amount of mystery 

Mystery and unpredictability are the hooks you need to keep your audience curious. Showing them that only you have the answer they need not only keeps the audience engaged, it places you in an essential role to provide it. What makes your brand so good? Why will they love it? How are you different? TikTok users don’t know until you tell them, so make them ask.

Just stay on the right side of curious – more “What can they do for me?” than “What do they actually do?”

Guest Author

Jonny Watts

Copywriter Team Eleven


Jonny has been a copywriter for nearly 10 years. Outside of work, he is a published author with one novel and several short stories to his name. In his spare time, he enjoys craft beer and seeing miserable rock bands live.

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