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How to Apply the AIDA Model to Digital Marketing

Learn what goes through the mind of a potential customer during the buyer's journey by applying the AIDA model to your marketing.

Published on:

Jake Third

Managing Director

AIDA Marketing Model

Nowadays there is no shortage of brands all vying for attention which means reaching your potential customers can feel particularly challenging. 
If you are new to digital marketing you many wonder where to start. How can you get noticed amidst all the competition online? 
Well, the basic principles of marketing remain the same whether you are online or offline.  The long-standing marketing model known as the AIDA model can help guide your digital marketing activities and get potential customers to buy from you. 

What is the AIDA model?

The AIDA marketing model describes the stages a buyer goes through when deciding whether to make a purchase.
It is an acronym that stands for:

Attention – Getting your potential customer’s attention so they are aware of your brand. 

Interest – Creating an interest in your product or service so they want to find out more.

Desire – Stirring up a desire to buy from you, rather than a competitor of yours.

Action – Getting them to interact directly with your product or service and buy from you. 

Traditionally, applying the model involved strategies such as advertising on the radio or television, or handing out flyers or discount coupons. Nowadays, advertising online offers plenty more opportunities for reaching potential customers. Often these new tactics allow businesses to speak directly to their customers on platforms like social media. 
Here are just some of the tactics you can use when applying the AIDA model to your digital marketing activities. 


The first step in AIDA is to gain your prospective customer’s attention.
Having a strong online presence is vital to businesses nowadays because so many buying journeys start on the web. Therefore this is where you want to get their attention. 
For example, someone who wants to decorate their home may begin by looking for inspiration on a social media site, or they may turn to Google to search for ideas.
You want customers to find your website when they search for information relevant to your brand online. So it’s worth investing time in implementing SEO best practice so you appear in search engine results pages. 
Including the right information when your company appears on SERPs is crucial. For example, including Google reviews and information such as your opening times and address in local searches can all help you stand out. 
Google search example
Another way to give your brand awareness a boost is to use pay per click advertising so you can appear at the very top of search results pages. It will increase your visibility even if users don’t click on your advert right away. Likewise, paid social advertising can increase awareness of your brand.
It is also worth having a social media and digital PR outreach strategy to get you noticed on the websites your customers already visit. 
In short, grabbing your customers’ attention online is a case of being seen in the right place at the right time. 


Once customers are aware of your brand, you want to pique their interest. The second step in AIDA is to serve them useful and interesting information. 
At this stage you are still earning the customer’s trust and aiming to show why you are relevant to them. 
Now’s not the time for the hard sell. Rather, it’s a case of being really clear about how you can help them. To do this successfully, you need a clear understanding of your typical customer’s needs. Answer any questions they might have at this stage and make it clear how your product or service is unique. 
Diagram of ROI from content
Content such as e-books and webinars are useful types of content to create for this stage, especially for B2B marketing. Content that offers them tips to solve the problems they have works well at this stage. 
Thought provoking content that showcases your expertise in an engaging way can also help you hold their interest. This can be done through blog posts. When done well this can really help make a connection between the customer and your brand. 


So now you’ve got them interested in your brand, you don’t want them to forget about you or decide to go elsewhere. In the third step in AIDA, you want to turn that interest in your brand into a desire to buy what you are offering. 
A good way to sustain and build on their interest is to get them to subscribe to your newsletter and then send them timely and relevant content by email. 
If they are interested enough to follow you on social media, use the channel to show what your product or service can do for them. 
This can be done through sharing user generated content. Seeing what your brand is doing for other people can help create the desire to buy from you, so they experience the same. 
Reviews, case studies and testimonials can also help create desire. Hearing directly from your existing customers can be incredibly persuasive when buyers are still considering whether you are right for them. 


The final hurdle in AIDA to overcome is getting your new potential customers to buy from you. This is where you need to be direct and make it incredibly easy for them to take action.
Don’t make the customer work hard at this stage because you could still lose them. For example, if your checkout process is clunky, make sure you fix it. You may still be up against a competitor at this stage and if they make the purchase process easier, for instance by offering more convenient payment methods, then you’ll be at a disadvantage.
Calls to Action that are well written, visually appealing and stand out on your web page are the key to getting customers to finally convert. This could be in the form of signing up for a free trial, booking a demo or claiming a discount. 
Example of a good CTA
A good call to action should use words that:

  • Tell the customer what value they are getting right away such as “Work on the go anywhere” 
  • Use persuasive active words such as “buy”, “join”, “order” and “free”
  • Address any doubts by including supporting micro-copy be such as “cancel anytime”
  • Create a sense of urgency with micro-copy such as “offer ends Sunday”

The take home message

Using digital marketing offers plenty more opportunities to reach your potential customers. The tactics may be different to traditional advertising but the underlying principles are the same. 
Find out how we can help you put together an effective digital marketing strategy for your business.

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