The fourth article in our SEO & Engagement series
From an SEO perspective, your various content pieces should be keyword-rich to help maximize relevancy for search queries. The goal is to produce highly shareable content that develops into strong backlink targets, an important factor for heightening SEO and helping to build high website authority.
For over a century, the acronym AIDA — originally signifying Attention, Interest, Desire and Action — has represented the process a typical prospect goes through on the way to a final buying decision. While marketing consultants have altered these individual terms over the years, particularly in the modern digital marketing era, the basic AIDA precepts still hold true.
More than ever, prospects enter your pipeline at all stages of their decision journeys. For strategic marketing, you need to develop a varied body of content that addresses all four AIDA phases in order to take prospects down the path to conversion.
The 4 stages of AIDA: effective content development and best practices.
Awareness. As interruptive forms of advertising have been largely supplanted by the targeted engagement of inbound marketing, the concept of Awareness is often substituted for the original “Attention” as the first A in AIDA. Effective content for this initial effort to get your brand/offerings noticed include:
- Your company website
- Blog posts or articles
- Social media campaigns
- “Explainer” type videos
- Event marketing
In this stage of the decision journey, prospects are often not entirely sure what they should be searching for. As a result, you’ll want to use keywords that align better with these broad-level searches in terms of attracting initial engagement.
Interest. During this heightened stage of the decision journey, prospects tend to enter more detailed search phrases with narrower focus — since they’ve formed a better idea of the information they’re looking for. Accordingly, you’ll want to use “long tail” keyword phrases that are targeted more precisely to engage prospects during this phase of heavy research and competitive comparisons.
Valuable content and types of initiatives for this phase include:
- Blog articles on demonstrated topics of interest
- Email offers for insightful white papers
- Thought leadership webinars on industry challenges
- How-to type guides a prospect will tend to hold onto for reference.
Also frequently referred to as the “consideration” phase, this is where you begin to nurture the interest of potential customers with more in-depth content pieces. If you have an effective SEO/tracking platform in place, you can follow up via automated leadgen emails based on what pages a prospect has visited and spent time with on your site — along with tracking any downloads the prospect may have completed in the interim.
Desire. Also frequently referred to as the “decision” phase, this is where you’re starting to see specific prospects heating up in any number of ways. Indicators can include repeated visits to your website, direct inquiries for deeper information on specific topics, participation on your company blog, etc. The goal here is to further nurture these prospects/leads by continuing to provide the right information at the right time. The most interested prospects may also be amenable to entertaining an initial proposal.
Effective just-in-time content you can provide includes:
- Detailed sales collateral on specific product lines
- How-to videos
- Application case studies
- Catalogs for product offerings
- Pricelists, if appropriate
- The opportunity to demo products or services, either on a passworded self-serve basis or via a live guided demonstration
Action. This is the phase where you follow through in earnest to close the deal. You want to escalate your call-to-action (CTA) propositions as much as possible. Also consider sweetening the pot, if necessary (and feasible), using techniques such as volume/frequency discounts, limited-time promotions, etc., to fuel conversions.
Think SEO at all stages of the pipeline.
Just as prospects are not one-size-fits-all, neither are their content and information needs at the various stages of their individual decision journeys. The ideas above also apply for marketing to past and present customers to extend the lifetime value of already fruitful relationships.
The ideas above are intended to provide a launching-off point for heightening the SEO factor across your ongoing strategic content development. The overarching goal is to amass a body of relevant information with strong backlink targets that build high website authority — establishing you both as a thought leader and a go-to resource for specific challenges, applications, products and services.