Thursday, November 6

Blending Post Structures: AIDA Additives

Especially for business blogs, modeling posts after an inverted pyramid-structured news story or news release works well enough. The structure is especially useful for search engines and social networks that tend to preview the first few lines of content.

However, there are other structuring methods that writers can blend into their blog posts, including AIDA (or ADICA that I learned years ago) employed by marketers and some copywriters. AIDA is the acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action — attract their attention, raise their interest with benefits, convince them that they will benefit, and then lead them toward an action.

The benefit over the inverted pyramid (a triangle with its base at the top), with the most substantial information up front and diminishing importance toward the bottom, is that the AIDA model can help punch up the post so the information doesn't become as dry as some boilerplate releases.

Simply put, most blog posts have to work a lot harder than news releases. They have to be authentic. They have to be interesting. And sometimes they have to be entertaining. Boilerplate pyramids don't always convey that in their presentation. And since most bloggers prefer their posts be read in entirety, AIDA helps drive the readers to the end rather than allowing them to stop at any point (like news stories do).

AIDA has plenty of variations. As I mentioned earlier, I was taught the ADICA structure, which simply adds "Commitment" to the equation. Recently, some folks have suggested S be added to the end to convey "Satisfaction" (but I don't really buy that). And even more recently, others have suggested we start over with CAB or Cognition (awareness or learning), Affect (feeling, interest, or desire) and Behavior (action). The latter, if you ask me, is an attempt to repackage the original.

But if you like CAB over AIDA, try that sometime instead (as long as you know how I feel about rules).




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