Attention-Interest-Desire-Action: Using AIDA Marketing Effectively


The processes of decision-making consist of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements. The AIDA model was established quite some time ago, and it is fundamental for advertising with all the extensions and variations that are present in modern times. 

How does it apply in the most effective way in all spheres of marketing?

What is AIDA?

The American advertising advocate E. St. Elmo Lewis formulated the foundation of this type of marketing model in 1898. He defined the three parts of the process: attract attention, maintain interest and create desire. After some time, he added the final phase – get action.

At first, it had been used for structuring sales negotiations, and soon it found its way into marketing.

AIDA is the acronym for “attention – interest – desire – action,” which are the communication goals of the marketers with the purpose to lead the customer from initial awareness of the product to the purchase.

The buying decision is a complex journey from seeing the product to the acquisition, passing through cognitive, emotional, and behavioral stages in sequence.

The AIDA Model of marketing is also known as the conversion funnel.

A – Attention

When you are advertising a new product, first of all, you need to attract the attention of potential customers with an impressive presentation. You need to initiate interest, curiosity, and emotional reaction. Your content should be engaging, innovative, and provocative.

And not only the content, but the presentation as well must be attractive, drawing attention with bold graphic design or with auditory elements to house the curiosity and emotional reactions.

There are stimulus patterns, such as eyes, faces, cute images, and erotic images, known to draw attention quickly. For example, some people will click the link for an insurance company offer just because there is a friendly face on it. 

I – Interest

At this stage, you want to gain and maintain the interest of your target audience. You present the product, bringing out its quality, the ways of use, and the availability in the market.

Your presentation will be more spot-on if you know better your potential client groups, their needs, the problems they want to solve, their habits and interests, their preferences.  You have at your disposal web analysis tools about surfing behavior, which give wider possibilities to adjust your content to your audience.

D – Desire

Now that your audience is interested in your products, in this stage, your goal is to create the desire to purchase your product by emphasizing the benefits of your offering. Why is your product better than the others? Maybe, you will point out the difference in quality, or better price, or your shipment is more efficient. You want to create an intention in your to buy your product.

A – Action

This is the moment when you call to action. Your customer has the intention to purchase, and you need to give it just a little incentive actually to take the final step.

Call to action (CTA) can be in a simple form like: “Buy now!”. You can add an additional “push” by making the offer limited in time or saying it is a limited edition.

Another way can be to offer additional benefits if the customer buys right away, such as a bonus, free shipment, or a gift.

This is the basic model explained. Later there are made variations and extensions of the model, but the base remains as the solid foundation of the advertising, known as the AIDA marketing model.

AIDA marketing

The AIDA Model Applied to SEO

Many SEO experts use this marketing model to increase traffic to generate more leads and conversions. This method is well-structured and gives an excellent outline to follow and to have better ranks.

In the stage of attracting attention, the writers use various ways such as creating urgency, outlining the relevance of the product, personalizing the approach, arousing the curiosity of the reader.

You want to gain and keep the interest of your audience. Giving credibility to your content by adding facts and statistics to your presentation will keep your customer’s interest. Then you can target the pain points, knowing that people are searching for solutions for their problems. Revoking the emotional reaction with storytelling technique is also a sure way to have the audience follow you.

You will make your customer want your product by presenting your product as a solution to the client’s issue or need.

The stage of provoking action is the well-known call to action that needs to be short, suggestive, and precise.

Your SEO strategy can be improved by measuring the effects of applying the AIDA model in every stage of the process. You can see what channels are driving traffic to your content. You can also measure the engagement on your website, for example, bounce rate and the number of visits, and then the size of your audience and the conversion rate.

AIDA in Content Marketing

Following the AIDA blueprint is a proven method to create the content that will lead your reader from observer to buying customer.

You need to start with an attention-grabbing headline and a very engaging first paragraph to provoke the attention of your target audience. You need to know the problems your potential client wants to solve, which need they have. As you pull them through the conversion funnel, l you will give them the content that will make an impression that you understand them well, and you can lead them to the solutions. Capture their interest with valuable information and make them think about it, cause an emotional reaction from liking, to shock, then to serenity, and lastly, make them move, make them buy. 

Put the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral elements in syntony all the way through your content.

The general blueprint as described is applied to all the forms of AIDA marketing – creating landing pages, in Social media, in Digital PR, and many more, simply because it is a proven strategy.

Variations and Extensions of AIDA model

Through the use of the AIDA model, advantages and weaknesses have been spotted, and as expected, many upgrades and variations have been formulated and put to use. The more obvious disadvantage of the AIDA model is that it ends with action, not considering what comes after. 

The AIDAs model is the most straightforward extension, by adding satisfaction after the action, emphasizing the customer’s impression about the purchased product. 

The more complicated extension is made by Bambang Sukma Wijaya called the AISDALSLove model. The stages of the process are more precisely defined by adding the search stage prior to action and the stages of like, share, and love after the purchase, describing the impression of the product, proneness to share the experience, and the tendency to love the product or the company that is producing it.

The DAGMAR formula was created by R.H. Colley, and it stands for “Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results.” Pointing out the importance of communication, other than the economic goals of advertising, it describes the stages of awareness, comprehension, conviction, and action.

Lavidge and Steiner defined “The Hierarchy of Effects Model,” also based on AIDA, which consists of six levels: awareness, knowledge, liking, preference, conviction, and purpose.


AIDA marketing model is the fundamental blueprint of the advertising process. Made simple but covering all the crucial areas, it gives the guideline on how to create content in order to drive the customer from noticing the product to the decision to buy it.

Being applied for more than a century, the AIDA model has been revised and upgraded. Yet, the original blueprint always remains the reliable ground to build your marketing strategy.