How to Optimize Your Marketing Efforts With the AIDA Framework

September 13, 2021  

AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. It was first used by the marketing pioneer E. St Elmo Lewis (1881-1954) as a way to measure advertising response rates; however, it has since become an essential tool in any form of communication with customers. In his book “The Copywriter’s Handbook” he explains that the four steps needed to achieve successful advertising are:

1) Get attention from readers 2) Interest them with a relevant message 3) Create desire for what you have to offer or tell them how your product can help them fulfil their needs 4) Persuade them to take action and buy your product or service. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using AIDA? 

The main benefit for marketers when they use this framework is it ensures their message meets the needs of their target audience. When following AIDA, viewers of your digital marketing efforts know what you have to offer, why they should want it, and how to get it. 

It comes down to personalization - creating content that speaks directly to your audience while being relevant to them at all stages in the process. 

This goes beyond just personalizing website pages or advertisements based on what they’re searching for or who they are, it means making sure the message they receive is custom-made to target their specific needs and wants. 

To make a decision, a consumer must desire what you have to offer as a result of your messaging and, if they do, take action by clicking on your site, downloading your app, requesting a call back from one of your agents…etc.

The AIDA Framework highlights the four key emotional states where attention shifts towards your brand.

Attention: 

Attention is the first thing you need to grab in order to get your prospect interested. 

To get someone's attention, think about how your product/service stands out from all your competition. What makes you different? 

More importantly, you have to be able to communicate this clearly to your prospects through effective messaging. 

Think of the attention phase as a huge blinking “READ THIS” sign - you want every single person who comes across your advertisement, podcast, landing page, or whatever it might be, to NEED to stop and take a look. 

Keep in mind what really grabs people’s attention - things that are unique, different, shocking, or relatable. If you're looking for an easy way to grab attention, take a look at colours and fonts. For instance, if you can make your message stand out by using bright colours while also taking the time to make the font readable, then this will make it more likely that someone will notice it even if they aren't actively seeking out messages.

Interest: 

Interest is what makes them curious about your product or brand - it’s what makes them want to know more. 

If the attention phase is the big, blinking, “READ THIS” sign, then the interest phase is your “this applies to you, so keep reading!” sign. 

This phase is where your ideal customers become hooked and start to think about your brand as being a serious option to solving the targeted problem. On the other hand, this is where people who would not be good customers should become disinterested in your product/service. 

Building interest should be done through relating to or demonstrating one of your target audience’s pain points. Additionally, interest should be acquired by highlighting your main point of differentiation. For example, if you think your biggest competitive advantage is convenience, make this clear to your audience!

Desire: 

Desire is the phase where your audience begins liking or wanting the result of using your product or service. It's why they're listening to you in the first place! 

In this phase, understanding customer psychology is crucial. You have to be able to create an irresistible offer that they'll want to take advantage of. It's also about getting them excited and making sure they've chosen the right product or service for them before actually closing the deal. 

If you have succeeded at creating desire for your product, all objections will have been addressed and resolved. People should be ready to take action because every reason not to buy from you has been eased. 

In addition, excitement is an important feeling in the desire phase. Have you ever come across a product that you can’t wait to get your hands on? Maybe you spend a lot of time on the website or watching YouTube videos about it because you can’t stop thinking about it? 

That is exactly the type of mindset you want your customers to be in.

Action: 

Once you've created desire for your product or service, it's time to actually get them to buy from you. Here's where a great sales funnel comes in handy―it's an optimized strategy that includes content marketing, messaging, and a well-planned process for getting customers from Point A (awareness of your brand) to Point B (a sale). Keep in mind that this is also where people drop off because you didn't give them what they needed earlier in the AIDA framework. But if you did everything right up until now—if there were no objections left when it was time to make a purchase then this part should be easy. 

When creating a call-to-action, you must keep a few things in mind. Firstly, and most importantly, the call to action has to be clear and concise. Customers need to be able to know what exactly it is you want them to do. You also have to make it easy for them - this is why so often you’ll see buttons on email promotions or opt-in forms that pop up as soon as you hit a landing page. If you can make the process as undisruptive to the customer as possible, you are much more likely to see high conversion rates. 

While the action phase is certainly an integral part of the AIDA framework, the previous phases are really what makes the sale. If you have a customer's attention, have built interest through points of difference, and have made them want your product or service by proving that it is the solution to their problem, then getting them to convert should be a piece of cake! 

What Questions Should You Ask Yourself?  

If you are stuck on any of the phases when designing your AIDA framework, here are some great questions to ask yourself: 

Attention:
  • How can I make my customers aware of my products? 

  • Where does my target audience spend their time? 

  • What is my outreach strategy? 

  • What is our brand awareness campaign? 

  • What’s my message? 

Interest:
  • How can I gain interest? 

  • What is my content strategy? 

  • Do I have social proof and a digital reputation? 

  • Do I have a strong social media presence? 

  • Do I have reviews? 

  • Is my website easily accessible? 

Desire:
  • What makes my offer desirable? 

  • How can I highlight what makes it desirable? 

  • How can I connect with my audience emotionally? 

  • How do I handle objections? 

  • How do I show the value of my product/service? 

Action:
  • What is my call to action? 

  • Where would be the best placement? 

  • Is it easy/convenient for customers? 

  • How? (emails, landing page, website, etc) 

  • If I were a customer, would I want to take advantage of the offer?

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