Several advertising formulas are in existence today but one of the most commonly used is the acronym AIDA — Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. This refers to specific techniques necessary to implement when creating an ad. Correctly combine these four components in an ad campaign, and you can accomplish your advertising and marketing objectives.
You must first capture the viewer’s attention — an essential component of any ad campaign. Most campaigns rely on a mix of visual stimuli to accomplish this, using images to help an ad stand out and create a lasting impression. Text is then employed to further grab attention, enticing the reader to continue reading in search of more information. That is why the first paragraph of a sales letter, direct mail piece or ad needs to be the strongest.
Now that you have their attention, you need to keep them reading. This is accomplished a few different ways. Establish a need, create a bond and let them know they are about to learn something very special. Consumers don’t actually need most of the products they buy but think they do. Being able to establish a need in the mind of a consumer is the cornerstone of an effective ad campaign. Creating a personal link helps build trust; hinting at something special to come cements their interest in what you have to say.
You’ve got your reader this far, and they think they may need your product but are not sure. This is the stage where you stoke the flames of their desire until they are absolutely certain they have to have what you are selling. This is often accomplished through the problem-solution technique. Your consumer has a problem — you have the solution. The solution is so amazing, they simply cannot live without it. This phase also covers another vital facet in any advertising campaign — what’s in it for them. This will build the desire you need them to feel to make that decision.
You’ve attracted their attention, built their interest and fanned their desire. Now it’s time to get them to take action. A call to action should be in every single ad, regardless of format. Whether it is a special offer, a free gift or time-limited discount, you need your customer to act and act now. Whether it’s going to your website, picking up the phone or sending an order, the last section of your advertisement needs to contain a powerful call to action.