The very best marketing campaigns consist of four steps. Here is how you can apply them in your own business using the AIDA model.
The AIDA model has become a core principle in modern marketing and advertising with many marketers claiming that missing just one of the four AIDA steps could cause a campaign to fail completely. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Some campaigns don’t actually require all four steps so you will need to use your own judgement. For example, a campaign that is aimed at growing brand awareness isn’t going to require the Action step, but if you know that a campaign does require all four steps, it’s important to include them to give your campaigns the best chance of succeeding.
The AIDA model was coined by advertising and sales legend, Elias St. Elmo Lewis and dates back to the late 1800s. Lewis believed in catching the eye of readers in order to turn them into customers. By the early 1900s, his theories had evolved several times and included more stages. Little did he know, his model would soon form an integral part of countless marketing and sales strategies.
So, what is the AIDA model in a nutshell? Basically, the model breaks down the customer journey into four different parts so that brands can create campaigns that appeal to the consumer at each stage. The more a brand is present and engaged at every stage of the customer journey, the more likely it is that a customer will convert.
Attention or Awareness is the first stage of the model and speaks to the fact that an ad or campaign needs to be seen in order for it to take effect.
The best way to grab a consumer’s attention is to almost startle them into paying attention. This can be done by placing your campaign in an unexpected location, grabbing their attention with shocking or unique imagery or giving your campaigns a personalised touch.
Grabbing a consumer’s attention is the first step, now you need to keep it. This can actually be one of the hardest stages, particularly if what you’re offering is not fascinating – insurance products being one example of this.
One of the best ways to overcome this hurdle is to deliver your content in a memorable way and in a way that will appeal to your target audience. The medium that you use to reach your target audience will also play a role in how easy it is to keep them interested. Whatever medium you decide to use, use it strategically.
If you’ve managed to keep a customer’s attention, you’re one step closer to a conversion. Next, your campaign needs to create desire, which means it needs to be highly relevant if you want to make your offer irresistible.
Take infomercials as a good example – they usually place products in a variety of different situations in order to make them relevant to different consumers. Your campaigns and content need to have a similar effect if you want to create a desire for your product or service. The Desire stage is often also referred to as the Decision stage because it’s at this point that a consumer makes up their mind to take action.
Once you get a consumer to this stage, the only thing left to do is get them to convert. The secret to getting someone to convert is to make it as easy as possible to do so and it all starts with a clear call to action. Tell consumers exactly what you want them to do next to complete the sales journey. ‘Buy Now’ is direct but it doesn’t exactly tell someone what they need to do next.
Asking someone to visit a website, call a number or visit a store is a more direct call to action that is easier to follow. With that being said, it’s also important to remember that you’re not always going to convince someone to convert because a 100% response rate is not realistic, no matter how good your content or campaign is.
Getting a customer to this stage is a positive, regardless of whether they convert or not. This shows that you’ve had a positive impact on them and that you’ve increased the chances of that consumer converting later on.
Let’s look at how you can apply these four stages to your marketing strategy.
The best way to grab the attention of your target audience is to have a better understanding of what inspires them as well as what their pain points are. Creating content that speaks to these aspects is the first step to catching the eye of a potential customer. Your content and campaigns should also be discoverable across social media and Google.
Find a way to capture the curiosity of your target audience to draw them in. From using the right images and headlines to offering content in different formats, there are many different tactics that you can use to master this stage of the AIDA model.
Now that you have their attention, you have to give them a reason to stick around. The best way to do this is to answer the question “what’s in it for me?”
Consumers want to know what you can do for them and it all links back to their interests and pain points. Too many brands tend to focus on product features when they should actually be focusing on the benefits. How are you going to solve a problem for a consumer or enhance something they’re passionate about? This is what will keep a potential customer’s attention!
You can work your benefits into the mission statement on your website, bring it across in a unique post on social media, add some case studies to your site or work it into your weekly blog posts. Just be sure that you aren’t coming across as overly sales orientated or you could miss the mark completely.
The more consistent your brand is, the easier it is to create desire. The key is keeping your brand top of mind, creating trust and building relationships with potential customers. A customer’s affinity with your brand needs to hit a certain point before they will be ready to do business with you and the best way to reach this mark is to be consistent with your advertising, campaigns and content.
Give your target audience a reason to keep engaging with your brand if you want to increase brand affinity. Creating a social media and content calendar as well as an advertising schedule will ensure that you are always getting in front of your target audience.
The final stage of the AIDA model requires you to encourage your audience to act on their desires and fortunately, this is one of the easiest stages to conquer. Not only should your call to action be clear but appealing too. It’s also important to send consumers to the right landing page and to ensure that it follows on from your content or campaign.
A/B testing is a good tactic to discover which calls to action and landing pages are going to produce the best results so be sure to incorporate this into your marketing process. You will also need a good analytics platform such as KOBIT to help you track these results.
The AIDA model is a good base for building exceptional marketing campaigns that get real results. If you tailor it to your target audience and keep testing, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t see an increase in your profits.