November 1, 2021

How AIDA Marketing Works and 4 Great Tips for Using It

In this post you'll learn:

Need a fail-safe marketing framework for your content strategy? Learn more about AIDA marketing, examples of using it, and drawbacks to watch out for.

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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?

AIDA marketing model
Source: AIDA marketing model

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

AIDA marketing: Attention
Source: AIDA marketing: 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. According to this study, 37% of people today learn of a new product via search engines. 

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:

Grammarly educating and entertaining while gaining Attention as the first step of the AIDA framework

Step 2: Interest

AIDA marketing: Interest
Source: AIDA marketing: 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

Clockify AIDA Framework Interest Stage

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

Source: AIDA marketing: 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 Jarvis, we use reviews to build trust and show the value of our product. 

Jarvis AIDA Framework Desire Stage

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

Source: AIDA marketing: 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. 

Amazon AIDA Framework Action Stage

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, not all of it and have a plan to reach customers whom the framework might miss.

How Jarvis helps you use the AIDA Marketing framework 

Besides general marketing strategy, the AIDA framework can be directly applied to individual marketing communication. One method we recommend is AIDA copywriting. This means writing web copy designed to accomplish the Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action framework. 

While this marketing method is highly effective, it can be exhausting to provide the same quality for a high number of clients. 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 Jarvis, an AI copywriting assistant designed to help you scale your content marketing. Jarvis has over 52 templates, including the AIDA Framework option. When you tell Jarvis a bit about your product or service, it uses the information and the AIDA framework to create unbeatable website copy.

Here’s the template in action:

Jarvis AIDA Framework template

We love that Jarvis highlights which part of the framework each paragraph tackles, making sure it hits every pain point and highlights all your product’s critical features.

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 tips to create brand awareness, stimulate customer interest, build a desire to commit, and get clients to take action with AIDA marketing.

As a busy marketer, you can make more efficient use of this framework by scaling your content with Jarvis. 

Jarvis is an invaluable sidekick for over 10,000 happy customers. On the Jarvis site, you’ll also find resources to improve your copywriting and the Jarvis Bootcamp to help you get the most out of using Jarvis. Ready to get started? Sign up for Jarvis now.

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Meet the author

Austin Distel
CMO at Jarvis.ai

Austin Distel is the CMO at Jarvis.ai, your AI content writing assistant. He's also an Airbnb superhost in Austin, Texas and fun fact: Forbes recently wrote an article about his stock photography being the most popular on the internet with over 700 million views. You can follow Austin's adventures around the internet and the world at distel.com.

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