March 7, 2021

Why You Need to Know About AIDA

If you haven't learnt about AIDA, you're leaving a lot of opportunity on the table.

Whether you're selling something, pitching an idea or just trying to be heard, you need to learn about 'AIDA'.

AIDA helps you to be heard and seen.

AIDA helps you to be interesting to others.

AIDA helps you to ultimately get what you want.

It stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

man wearing eyeglasses

The concept of AIDA is very well understood in marketing and goes by a lot of synonymous names, but it can also be applied in many other contexts.

You could use it in a talk, a video, a debate, a product landing page, a blog post or a conversation with friends.

When it's done right, your target audience is unknowingly hooked and will follow you wherever you lead them.

Without it, people won't give you the time of day.

Here's how it works, through practical examples:


Let's say you've created a piece of content that you want others to consume. The first step is to stop people in the tracks of their busy lives. In order to do so, you have to assume that others don't care what you have to share, so you have to jump in their path to grab their attention.

Using a catchy image (Youtube thumbnail), an up-tempo intro (video content) or a line that makes them think "Woah" (blog/newsletter), you extend your temporary contract to hold their attention for a little while longer.


Now that you've stopped them in their tracks, you need to give them a reason not to walk right around you.

With a limited amount of time to say what you have to say, get them interested by being sincere, clear and precise.

If it's a debate, get straight to the interesting and hardest-hitting points.

If it's a written piece, just get them to the next line.

If you're selling something, tell them they're missing and how it would benefit them.


Adding desire on top of interest is the icing on the cake.

People can be interested in something but not do anything about it.

By working up a desire, you turn their passive interest into an active one.

If you want people to hear what you have to say, tell them the information is scarce and of high value.

If you're selling something, give them social proof of previous buyers and the limited time they have to buy it.

If you want them to consume more media, leave them on cliffhangers and keep them drooling for more.

For many scenarios, the desire is the end.

For others, your final stage is getting them to act.


Providing a 'call to action' is imperative when your previous work needs to culminate in some sort of behaviour.

You could tell someone to buy your product, subscribe for more content or even cast their vote for something.

The action has to be simple, precise and preferably singular.

If you've successfully managed the first 3 steps, at this point, people will take action for you.

The next time you give a talk, share your work or want to sell something, think AIDA.

This concept was taken from the book 'The Boron Letters' by Gary and Bond Halbert.

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