One of the best and simplest definitions for AIDA can be found on Wikipedia—“AIDA is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with a marketer’s promotions.”
AIDA stands for:
A – awareness: attract the prospect’s attention.
I – interest: raise prospect’s interest.
D – desire: convince prospect that he or she wants and desires what you have to offer.
A – action: lead prospect toward taking action (i.e., purchasing).
Each of these events is its own stage, and it’s essential that for each you allocate capital to tactics that help achieve each desired result. Doing so enables you to organically bring a steady flow of new prospects into your pipeline and nurture them toward a sales discussion.
A key point here is that different marketing tactics have different roles in the buying process—and all are important. For example, some tactics drive leads, while other tactics drive awareness.
As a quick aside, we published an eBook on how to use tactics, called “The Right Mix: A B2B Marketing Allocation Guide.” If you’d like a free copy, just click the image below:
Of all the marketing tactics you can invest in—and there are many—social is the most misunderstood. I believe there are two reasons why:
- It is new (relatively speaking), still rapidly evolving, and difficult to measure.
- It is unique in that it is so versatile; depending on how you use social, it can impact every stage of the buying process—sometimes all at once. It is an amazingly powerful tool for targeting, competitive espionage and business intelligence.
But what truly stands out about social is it builds AWARENESS! Better and more cost effectively than any other marketing tactic.
And this is where social has a lot in common with another marketing tactic—advertising. Most of what we do on social is advertise, albeit in a different manner than what we traditionally view as advertising. And the primary purpose of advertising is awareness. Hence the similarities.
But, of course, there’s a major difference between advertising and social: while advertising is one of the most expensive marketing tactics, social is virtually free. The one major drawback of social, when compared to advertising, is that “reach” is almost impossible to measure in a meaningful way. This disadvantage, however, pales in comparison to the cost advantage of social.
What’s important is that marketers use social for what it is most likely to impact—awareness. Some brands attempt to measure social by leads and other metrics that it is unlikely to affect in a significant way, which causes them to become disappointed and question the value—even if they have generated a lot of awareness.
In fact, there has never been a more cost-effective way to target and reach more people than with social. For a cost of little more than your time a B2B brand can build awareness with hundreds—sometimes thousands—of highly targeted and influential people (journalists, prospects, analysts, influencers, customers, etc.). And unlike an advertisement that might not get seen or a direct email that might not get opened, social, when targeted, can deliver nearly 100% “open rates.” (Almost everyone monitors their social accounts to see who is engaging with them, and even if they don’t respond, they can still see your avatar.)
Ultimately, to get results takes time, a plan and smart social practices. In upcoming blog posts, I will discuss three fails that prevent companies from attracting prospects’ attention, as well as provide some tips to succeed.
Until next time, please enjoy this video presentation on one of the most important components to successful social sharing: strategic use of hashtags that will significantly improve reach, visibility, and engagement: