Start Writing Killer Content with the AIDA Formula: A Real World Example

If your blog is slumbering away or your landing page is a landing disaster, have a second look at your copy. Chances are there’s a lot you can improve there just following the simple steps I’m going to show you in this post.

Recent studies claim that the average attention span of an adult in 2015 is 8.25 seconds. A goldfish manages to keep its attention levels up for 9 seconds!

Your landing page or blog post MUST make it into those 8.25 seconds or it’s lost to your visitors’ brain forever. Here’s the proven formula that will set you up as a better copy writer who keeps readers engaged and asking for more.

How You can Use the AIDA Formula to Write Sexy Web Copy

Not until too long ago, everything I wrote focused on one thing, i.e., the main topic.

For instance, if I was writing a cover letter to answer a job post, the main topic was me, my skills, my experience, etc.

Writing about a product, guess what was at the centre of my entire copy? Well, you guessed, my product and its many features.

I was sure this was the way to go. As I saw it, I was simply staying focused, on target and on topic.

WRONG!

Listing a set of features didn’t mean much to most people, unless I found a way of…

  • grabbing their attention with something that sounded relevant to them;
  • getting them interested by describing ways I could help them with my skills or my product;
  • creating desire for what I was putting on the table by showing how much better their current situation was going to become after they hired me or got my product;
  • making clear to them what action they should take to make sure they didn’t miss out on my talent or product.

Here’s the formula in all its glorious simplicity: AIDA = Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

In other words, put your audience at the centre of everything you write so that what you write about is relevant to THEM.

It’s not like I had never heard of this formula before. I must have come across it in some of my readings. But it never really took much of a life for me until a fantastic copywriter like Neville Medhora literally showed me how the AIDA formula works in practice. Since then the web hasn’t looked the same. Now I see AIDA everywhere, and when I don’t see it, it takes me a split second to get why a piece of copy is not working.

AIDA Formula by Example

Let’s play at the pick-apart-web-copy game to illustrate step by step how AIDA works in the real world.

AppSumo Landing Page

Let’s break down one of the many AppSumo deals pages (by the way, that’s where Medhora spends some time sharpening his marketing weapons).

Head over to The #1 reason companies get rejected from AppSumo by Ayman Al-Abdullah and let’s get started!

Attention:

The above headline and the tagline are all it takes to grab the right people’s attention. Yes, because this is the AIDA magic: right at the outset, it filters out the people who are interested in your message from those who are not.

AIDA: Attention
AIDA: Attention

If your company gets a few bitter rejections, you start paying attention.

Interest

Next, you find an interesting fact about the importance of branding for a successful business intermixed with the personal touch of a story line.

AIDA: Interest
AIDA: Interest

It’s now time to propose the solution to the problem and increase interest. Don’t just list a bunch of features your solution has. Instead, accompany each feature with clear benefits in relation to the problem the reader is looking to solve.

Here’s how AppSumo does it here:

AIDA: Interest

The great idea here is the mini lesson. Showing how something works is way better than talking about it.

Desire

Now readers know about the benefits your content provides for them, they’re so into it that desire starts to kick in. Help them conjure up the picture of how what you have to offer brings them the solution they’re after.

Let’s go back to our case study and learn more about this:

AIDA: Desire
AIDA: Desire

The message comes across loud and clear, in both words and images: readers now see how their business success will be a reality by mastering the secrets of branding. And AppSumo is offering them that simple solution right there at a fraction of the price it would normally cost.

Action

Don’t expect that intersted readers who now love your content will automatically take what you think is the next logical step, i.e., buying, commenting, signing up, etc.

Closing your copy with a clear call to action is a fundamental step in the process.

Back to the AppSumo page, here’s the all-important call to action in action:

AIDA: Action
AIDA: Action

The call to action message is clear and uncluttered. Plus, it’s made more effective with a good dose of urgency by introducing a limited time span for the deal.

Conclusion

I don’t know how well the AppSumo deal above went, but the sheer amount of comments and reviews shows that quite a fair number of people got interested in it.

AIDA is a simple evergreen formula. Apply it on your copy and see its quality improve, the numbers of your website visitors steadily grow, your readers spend more time on your content and engage with it.

The more your readers interact with your content and keep returning to it, the more …

  • you establish your online presence and credibility;
  • get your visitors to trust your expertise;
  • get visitors to be interested in what you have to offer, be it great posts, products or services, which is the life blood of your blog or business growth.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and pick apart your landing page or latest blog post. Be ruthless and rewrite it using the AIDA formula. Don’t forget to share your results here 🙂
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