Marketing frameworks help content marketers simplify the marketing process, whether it’s in writing website copy, social media content, or blog content. While there are several of these frameworks, the AIDA marketing model is one of the oldest and most popular.
In this article, we’ll look at the AIDA principle, what AIDA stands for, how brands use it, and how you can harness it in your role as a content marketer. We’ll also see the drawbacks of the AIDA formula and highlight a tool that will help you scale your content using the AIDA framework.
What is the AIDA model in marketing?
Invented in 1898 by St Elmo Lewis, the AIDA model is a marketing framework that follows the customer journey from product awareness to purchase. The acronym AIDA stands for Attention (or Awareness), Interest, Desire, and Action.
According to the AIDA formula, a potential customer’s first exposure to the product gets their attention. In subsequent steps, the potential buyer’s interest is piqued and then they can’t seem to stop thinking about the product. It is the desire that leads them to action. Such conversions could be purchasing the product, joining a waitlist, or acting on any call-to-action.
How to apply the AIDA model in your marketing strategy
Formulas can seem purely theoretical, so how do you make AIDA work for your copywriting, content writing, or general marketing needs? We’ll show you! We’ve also included AIDA advertising examples from four brands using this marketing model brilliantly.
Step 1: Attention
Attention is the customer’s response the first time they learn of a brand. The most popular marketing channels for first encounters are search engines, ads, and social media. For instance, Google’s data reveals that 49% of shoppers surveyed use Google to discover new items or products, and more than 50% use it to find new brands.
When customers see paid search engine result page (SERP) ads or find useful content on your blog through SEO, your brand is getting their attention. You can also create brand awareness by using social media marketing skillfully. Start doing this by:
- Engaging with your audience by asking questions
- Educating your audience to help them tackle pain points with ease
- Entertaining your audience using funny quotes or GIFs
Example: Grammarly is one brand killing it in this area. They took the world by storm with paid ads on Google SERPs and virtually every website for writers. The Grammarly blog is highly optimized for search engines and is constantly creating actionable content. We especially love the Grammarly Twitter account for educating, engaging, and entertaining its followers as seen in the screenshots below:
Step 2: Interest
Once you’ve gotten your audience’s attention, the next step is to get them to like you i.e. generate interest. Often, the Attention phase will take them from SERPs or social media to your homepage or blog. And then, it’s up to you to hook them, thereby potentially starting the purchase process.
Keep your potential customers interested by:
- Writing strong web copy — your landing pages should highlight your strengths
- Creating informative blog content and downloadable resources
- Collecting contact information to stay in touch using a mailing list etc.
Example: A brand with a homepage that stimulates interest is Clockify.
They keep things simple while highlighting that their product is free forever — and also the most popular. If you were a business owner in need of a time tracker, they would have your interest with that headline and subtitle.
Step 3: Desire
Now that you have the customer’s interest, how do you keep it? How do you get them to go from liking to actually wanting (aka desire stage) to invest in your product? By creating trust! Stimulate a burning desire to take action by showing the credibility of your product.
Anyone can talk a good game, but data doesn’t lie. Build trust in potential customers by sharing proof. Before and after photos, testimonials, case studies, and evidence of positive reviews are some ways to move your target audience down the purchase funnel.
Example: At Jasper, we use reviews to build trust and show the value of our product.
There’s something powerful about seeing real people express their appreciation for a product that gets cursors hovering over that “Purchase” button.
Step 4: Action
While this step mostly depends on the customer, there’s still a lot you can do to make it easier for them to take action. The most important step is having a CTA button, especially after a section of particularly persuasive advertising messages.
Other things you can do to prompt action:
- Offer deals with your CTA. For example, saying “Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for our newsletter” can be incredibly persuasive. You can also waive shipping fees when buyers spend above a specified amount.
- Make it easy to take action. Don’t make buyers jump through hoops with captcha, unnecessary sign-up procedures, or poorly designed website user experience (UX). Instead, make the buying process as seamless as possible.
- Create a sense of urgency. You don’t need to lie or exaggerate to create urgency. Telling customers when a promo will expire or showing that the product has risen in price over time — and will increase more in time — is an easy way to do this.
Example: Amazon creates urgency by telling buyers how soon their item will reach them if they order within a limited time window.
Also, the promise of free shipping when customers spend past a threshold has moved many to add an extra item to get free shipping.
3 drawbacks of AIDA marketing to watch out for
We know the AIDA model works, but is it always effective? Not necessarily. Here are three major drawbacks of this model and some suggestions to help you work around them.
1. Too formulaic
It’s a formula after all, but its formulaic nature can sometimes be the downfall of this framework. First off, not every buyer follows the pattern. Everyone has a different decision-making process.
Some buyers are decisive and only follow advertising breadcrumbs when they need a particular product or service. They go straight from Attention to Action. Other customers never move past Desire because they never feel ready to invest or splurge — or have no budget for that expense.
2. No post-purchase considerations
With AIDA, the journey ends at Action. The framework doesn’t account for post-purchase marketing considerations such as referrals, returns and refunds, customer retention, and overall customer satisfaction even though these are crucial to real-life marketing.
To combat this limitation, you can follow up with customers outside the AIDA framework by using segmented email marketing lists, using referral software services, and requesting customer reviews.
3. Only one piece of the puzzle
Ultimately, AIDA marketing is just one piece of the puzzle. As a content marketer, you’ll need to work with several marketing channels to ensure you’re reaching as much of your audience as possible. Use the AIDA formula as part of your strategy, and have a plan to reach customers whom the framework might miss.
AIDA model copy examples you can learn from
We’ve seen partial examples from brands like Grammarly and Clockify so far, and talked about how this model can be applied across the marketing funnel. But let’s break down a few complete examples of the AIDA model in individual pieces of copy.
First up is a Facebook ad from SaaS company Sizze. Can you spot the four stages of the AIDA model?
- Grabs attention with the immediate mention of “the best deal in 2022” and a cool perk each subscriber gets
- Holds interest by listing desirable features its audience is interested in and could expect from using Sizze
- Heightens desire with a reminder of the perk mentioned at the outset (with a mention of its value vs. the cost of a subscription)
- Encourages action with a clear, simple CTA: “Follow the link”
Next is this good-looking landing page from Wavēy, which offers wallpapers for desktop and mobile. This example is interesting because it uses all the stages of the AIDA model twice—once in the hero section and again when you look at the page as a whole. But, for simplicity, let’s analyze the hero (or top) section.
This landing page hero copy:
- Grabs attention with a clear description of the offer (that complements the visuals in the hero)
- Holds interest by mentioning the option to download these wallpapers for free or buy the bundle
- Heightens desire by going into more detail about what the complete bundle includes (including some exclusive extras) and how simple it is to download and apply them
- Encourages action with a straightforward “Purchase” call-to-action and the option to view wallpapers in the colors of your choice before you download or buy
Last is a product launch email from Focusrite for the Vocaster voice recorder range.
Notice that this email:
- Grabs attention via a headline that sparks curiosity in the rest of the email
- Holds interest by leveraging peoples’ desire to be first to try new tech (and by making them curious about why this range is “essential” and how it can take a show “further”)
- Heightens desire by mentioning the audience’s goals, current situation, and how Vocaster helps them to achieve those goals
- Encourages action with two CTAs that allow email recipients to explore the range or pre-order immediately
Now that we’ve seen some examples, the question is: how can you use this communication model in your marketing campaigns to get consumers’ attention and guide them through the marketing funnel?
How Jasper helps you use the AIDA Marketing framework
As the examples above showed, besides general marketing strategy, the AIDA framework can be directly applied to individual marketing communication.
But while AIDA copywriting like we just saw can be highly effective, it can also be exhausting to provide the same quality for a high number of clients or many copy projects. But what if you didn’t have to come up with your application of the AIDA marketing framework manually whenever you needed to use it?
Meet Jasper, an AI copywriting assistant designed to help you scale your content marketing. Jasper has over 52 writing templates, including the AIDA Framework option. When you tell Jasper a bit about your product or service, it uses the information and the AIDA framework to create unbeatable copy.
Here’s the template in action:
We love that Jasper highlights which part of the framework each paragraph tackles, making sure it hits every pain point and highlights all your product’s critical features. And another great thing about the outputs from this template is that they’re multi-purpose!
For example, the copy above would give you a great starting point for home page website copy. The Attention portion could serve as a headline or subheadline. The Interest and Desire portions could be expanded into sections for giving an overview of the software, explaining features, and showcasing benefits. And the calls-to-action could be headers or subtext for the contact section.
What about other types of copy, though? The AIDA Framework template can help with those too. For instance, Jasper’s recommendations below would make great ad copy:
The outputs are a good length—not too long to lose attention and short enough to be clear. They start with an engaging question that would be relevant to an SEO agency’s ad audience. They use the data we gave Jasper to build credibility. And Jasper even added some additional flair such as years of experience and the point about custom SEO plans.
And, as one last example, Jasper’s outputs below could make a great video script if short promotional videos are part of your digital marketing strategy.
And it doesn’t stop there. You can use the AIDA model and framework for just about anything from blog post introductions to sales pages.
Start using AIDA marketing to improve your copywriting
The AIDA model may have begun in the 19th century, but it still works like a charm. Follow our AIDA marketing tips to create brand awareness, stimulate customer interest, build a desire to commit, and get clients to take action.
As a busy marketer, you can make more efficient use of this framework by scaling your content with Jasper.
Jasper is an invaluable sidekick for over 50,000 happy customers. On the Jasper site, you’ll also find resources to improve your copywriting. Those resources include Jasper Bootcamp to help you quickly generate content and copy that use proven, effective marketing models like this one. Ready to get started? Sign up for Jasper now.