If you know marketing at all (or if you’ve seen Glengarry Glen Ross), chances are you’re familiar with AIDA. It’s an acronym that breaks down a marketing campaign into five simple stages: attention, interest, desire and action. A lot of current marketers consider it to be an outdated model. So when it comes to content marketing, which completely revolutionizes modern methods of promotion, you’d think there’d be no place for such an old formula. But you’d be wrong. It can actually be very helpful to keep AIDA in mind when creating and distributing content for your brand. Here’s how.
Attention – This is the essential first step to marketing in any form: getting your audience’s attention, so that they listen to what you have to say. In content marketing, you do this with two things: your title and your keywords. Getting someone’s attention online is about getting them to click a link. All they can see is your title and meta description. And if you can’t grab their attention with those, they’ll never see more. Your keywords are what draw people to your content in the first place. Your title and meta description are what convince them to click your link instead of the others that are also in their results. Make it something straightforward and compelling. How does this content address their needs and solve their problem?
Interest – You’ve gotten your audience to click your link. But they could click away at any moment. Now you need to keep them interested in what you have to say. This is partly about what you say, and partly about how you say it. Lists are formats for content, whether you’re producing blogs, videos or infographics. It’s a simple, clear format that breaks down the user’s problem into bite-sized pieces that are easy to follow and easy to understand.
Desire – So you’ve got your audience interested in what you have to say. Now what do you do with that interest? You use it to convince them that they need what you’re selling. This is, admittedly, a bit of an oversimplification. But it’s essentially true. While your initial content isn’t specifically designed to show people how great your product is, you can address the issue with long-form content such as e-books and white papers. Use them to lay out the solution to a problem in depth. Don’t explicitly talk about why your brand and services are so great, but explain why that type of service in general would be beneficial to someone in your potential customer’s situation.
Action – Now that they want what you’re selling, it’s time for the final step: closing the deal. In content marketing, the way to do this is with a call to action (CTA). This is a simple statement at the end of your content that’s meant to show your audience what the next step is and encourage them to take it. Each piece of content you create should have a CTA, and the action isn’t necessarily going to be buying your product. In your blogs, encourage them to download your e-book. In your e-book, encourage them to get in touch with a representative from your company. Start out with something small, that’s simple for them to do, and gradually work your way up.
AIDA is just a guide. It isn’t the be-all-end-all of content marketing. But it can be helpful in creating content with a purpose. It’s a framework to help target your content and make it more effective with your audience—so that you can Always Be Closing.