Online marketing is all about persuasion. Ultimately, businesses need to persuade people that their product or service is best for them but must also remember that not every prospect is ready to buy immediately.

So, business owners need to employ a certain tactic to cajole the reader, build interest and desire and get them to buy. In other words, these companies should use a powerful marketing solution known as AIDA.


What Is AIDA?

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action — four stages that gradually draw the prospect closer to the desired outcome.

  • Attention
    Create powerful content that can grab the reader’s attention and keep it. The reader may go from being a mere bystander to someone who wants to know and learn more about what the company does.
  • Interest
    During this next stage, cultivate their interest so they are keen to understand the benefits and whether the solution could be a potential fit for them. This content must be persuasive and must “hook” the prospect to lead them neatly onto the next step.
  • Desire
    They now understand the company and the product and like what they see. So, they need to be persuaded to purchase. Here, the company must show them that they are trustworthy. Crucially, the reader must be told what they would lose or where they would otherwise be if they didn’t purchase the product or solution.
  • Action
    If the previous stages have been followed correctly, then it is simply a case of presenting a way for them to take the desired action. Make this as easy as possible and give them incentives as necessary to underline the call to action.


AIDA in Action

Here is an example of using the AIDA model in a beauty salon that is getting ready to launch.

To stimulate awareness, the salon owner can run a PR campaign to highlight their organisation and promote their stylists’ experience, qualifications, awards and so on. They can reinforce this campaign with an email blast to specific groups based on their chosen demographic.

Next, they can run a direct mail campaign with a special offer, such as a free consultation. This will help to generate interest in their salon.

Before the opening, the salon owner can take advantage of this interest by placing adverts on social media and in local papers. At this stage, the pre-opening content should have helped build a buzz about the new salon in town. So they can then place triggers within these adverts that will enable people to take action. They may ask them to call a certain number to reserve or click a link to receive a discount on the day.


How to use the AIDA framework across different media

There are many ways to use the AIDA framework.

  1. As in the previous example, use a direct mail campaign to build up interest and persuade people why they should choose the business over the competition.
  2. Use blog posts by creating small articles that highlight expertise in this area. Cover several topics specific to the industry, and with time, this will help generate desire. Ensure that people subscribe to the company’s blog, providing their email addresses for further communication.
  3. Skilled copywriters use AIDA in long-form copy, where they often tell a story. Such a story can include fictional characters and situations familiar to a reader. By weaving the AIDA strategy into the long-form copy, readers will be both ready and eager to take action when they come to an end.
  4. Writing long copy is unnecessary to take advantage of AIDA. In fact, the entire process can be included in the first paragraph of an article. Start by asking a question that resonates with the prospect, quote a stat that relates to the topic, use a case study to prove the point and suggest that the reader takes action.
  5. AIDA also works well in social media. Generate interest by offering a free product but limit this to a short period of time. Use imagery to show how good the product or service is for other people, which will help to create desire. Then, entice readers to take action by downloading the free coupon while the offer is still valid.

AIDA can be a powerful way of persuading prospects to take action. Business owners can simply follow the framework and apply this tool across various elements of their marketing mix.