Source: Forbes Magazine
By: Jayson DeMers
There’s an oldie but a goody in copywriting that everyone who is creating content for their business should know: AIDA. It’s a simple formula that’s designed to grab people’s attention and take them through your content to the point that they take action on what they’ve read. It’s a start to finish approach to writing great content.
Much to my surprise, it doesn’t seem to be as widely discussed as you’d expect in the field of content strategy. We can learn a lot about great writing from the art of direct mail copywriting, especially how to engage, persuade, and convert our readers. Here’s a closer look at AIDA, what it is, and how to use it in your content strategy.
What is AIDA?
Let’s start by breaking it down into its fundamental pieces.
A = Attention
I = Interest
D = Desire
A = Action
If you follow AIDA in a piece that you write, you guide consumers along the experience funnel. You start by grabbing their attention, and getting them engaged, curious, or excited enough to keep reading. Then you build their interest in what you have to offer, to the point that they start to relate this potential product, service, or information to their own lives.
At this point, you begin to stir their desire. The goal is to get them to want to purchase a product, have an experience, or make a big step in their lives. Finally, you push them over the tipping point so that they actually take whatever action it is that you highlighted.
The overview above probably sounds pretty familiar. In fact, it’s the experience that most of us are hoping to create when we sit down to craft specific pieces of content for business purposes. AIDA offers a coherent framework for writers to follow, and increases the chances of getting the desired response.
Breaking down the AIDA framework for content creation
If you’re interested in giving AIDA a try, the following guide should be helpful in doing so. What I’ve tried to do here is simple: introduce each concept, explore how it could be applied to different pieces of content, and then offer an example to make sure that you’re able to implement it.
Many marketers are finally embracing the idea of a content creation framework that helps you decide what to write and how to disseminate it. By finding guidelines to follow at the individual content level, you’ll develop a process that will increase the effectiveness of your writing
A = Attention
The first hurdle for any piece of writing is to capture the reader’s attention. To get their attention, you first have to start with a concept that’s deeply relevant and timely to the audience that you’re trying to reach. Here are some questions that you can start to ask yourself when you’re in the planning stages to help write an attention-grabber:
Who is reading this piece? If I had to develop a persona to describe them, what would they look like? Gender, location, family status, employment, income, interests, etc.
What is their most pressing problem relating to the topic that I’m writing about? What keeps them up at night or makes them sick to their stomach when they think of a specific issue?
What kind of solution is this piece offering to their problem? Is it the introduction to an idea that could shift the way that they think about their lives, or a product that they can go out and buy? How, specifically, will it solve their issue?
How does my audience talk about their problems? What are powerful words or concepts that would immediately create resonance?
On that last point, let me give you an example. If you’re selling a skateboard to enthusiasts and you want to capture their attention, it’s important that you understand their internal language and approach. If your audience self identifies as “skater kids,” using that term in your headline or lead could capture their attention immediately.