Back To Basics: Advertising’s AIDA Model Builds Motivation To Buy

Responsive websites, digital campaigns, social media, search engine optimization – the worlds of advertising and marketing keep evolving. But human nature is pretty constant and to make the migration from catching the eye to completing the sale, you have to follow a well-marked path for motivating your target audience.

The best-known formula for structuring ads to achieve maximum impact and results is AIDA, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. In the AIDA rules of engagement, your message must get prospects’ attention, create an interest in the product or service, turn that interest into a strong desire to try it, and finally ask them to make a purchase or take some other action that will eventually lead to a sale. It goes like this …

Attention. Your first priority is to hook your prospects with the strongest benefit – the biggest reason they should be interested in what you have to offer. Don’t save it for a big finish while you unload a lot of slick words and secondary information. Many will bail before you get down to business.

Interest. At some fundamental level, all products and services solve a problem. Dramatizing how much that solution can benefit your prospects is a critical component of a strong sales pitch. If you sell a product that unclogs drains, show it in action with before and after images of a homeowner pouring it in, then running the water with no backups. If you have a mobile service that comes to customers to clean their cars, flaunt the on-location convenience and showroom shine that your crew delivers.

Desire. Once you’ve got your prospects’ interest, it’s time to ramp up their enthusiasm by quickly making the case to invest their hard-earned money in your product or service. Show and tell them why you are the most reliable choice on the market by spotlighting innovative benefits, satisfied customers, a long track record, or other advantages over your competitors.

Action. The last step in any ad or marketing piece should always be a call for action. Make it easy for your prospects to act by providing clear instruction on what you want them to do. If it’s to buy a product, tell them where to find it. If you want to generate sales leads, tell them to call for more information. If you want them to visit your website, make the address prominent. Bonus Points: If possible, give them an incentive for responding now – a limited-time sale, discount coupon, bonus gift, etc.

Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. Sound logical? It is. Which makes AIDA a basic but powerful ingredient of successful advertising that never goes out of style. Keep it in mind as you structure your next ad, commercial or marketing campaign and make your prospects’ journeys from initial interest to final decision a direct route that brings home more sales.

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