For anyone who works in the public sector, being asked to write a wide range of documents is something that we do on a day-to-day basis. However, it’s a different story if we have to write an engaging copy that people are actually eager to read and act upon it. We have to adapt to the writing style which depends on the platforms, audiences, and messages that we want to deliver while keep being creative and stay up-to-date in the process.
As of now, you understand that writing some headlines, a lead paragraph, and calling it a day wouldn’t be enough. Readers will decidedly scroll right away after barely ten seconds of reading it. By not forgetting the messages that the readers ought to remember or act on it, our writing should feel as good at the beginning, the middle, and the end as well. That’s why it’s not only about getting off to a good start or finishing well.
How do we do that?
For me whose job includes copywriting for a variety of news, articles, social media content, and press releases for a government institution, copywriting skill is something that I'll never stop learning. Handling copywriting for a commercial purpose is one thing, but doing it to communicate with the public we serve, while maintaining public trust is quite another. So, here's one simple tip I'd like to share with you my fellow copywriter, or even for you who's curious and new to copywriting.
AIDA is a simple technique that's intended to grab readers’ interest and take them through our writing until they take action on what they've read or at least consider it. It's an approach for creating great content from the beginning to the end.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. First, we capture the reader’s attention, then pique their interest with some intriguing information. Next thing, we encourage them to learn more, and last, call the readers to take action. Let’s take a look at each one of them.
Source: Coco Solution Article about AIDA Model
Silverpop study in 2013 reveals that people are drawn to media content after only eight seconds. That study indicates if we are unable to grab the reader’s attention within the first 8 seconds, then our content may be considered ineffective to deliver the message to the intended audience.
Engaging title, catchy image or video, and opening sentences are the first three elements that are essential to draw the reader’s attention. We can create a provocative opening sentence that is paired with the other two elements to attract them. Some tips that we can all apply are by making it sound like offering solutions to problems that people often experience in everyday life or answers to questions that are frequently asked by the public. Psychologically, provoking sentences will evoke readers’ curiosity and raise their expectations for possible answers. If you ever saw those 5-second (before you can skip) ads on YouTube or any advertisement appear between Instagram stories, that’s some of the examples.
We need to remember that the main goal of copywriting is to make the reader continue reading the follow-up notes after finishing the first. Information, facts, statistical data, ideal condition, and reasons why readers must believe in what we bring are some elements that need to be optimized to gain the interest of our readers.
We can do that by informing them that the situation they're dealing with is affecting their lives. This can be accomplished with storytelling or another approach that causes readers to “feel” their situation that leads to seeking a definite solution. The important part of this stage is to personalize the situation that makes us the solution to their issue and no one else.
At this stage, we need to keep this principle in mind: "the readers don't care about us, the readers only care about themselves." The thing here is that readers only care about what benefits we offer as a solution to their issues or the answer to their concern that they've been held on their mind.
Our copywriting task is to make the answer we provide way more interested and desirable. The desire stage is nearly identical to the interest stage. The main difference is in the interest stage we bring up the facts by using detailed and logical information, while we will trigger the reader's emotions in the desire stage. By showing real evidence such as before and after images and testimonials, our readers should be able to see how our offer can make their lives better.
Last but foremost, we need to persuade these readers to act on what we offer in our copywriting content. We simply need to think creatively to figure out the right action readers can perform.
Through persuasive statements or directives, we can share an invitation to them. For example: "contact us to know more about the benefits of this program." Readers can also be offered to contribute by creating an account, downloading, registering, calling, filling out questionnaires, or participating in spreading the information.
The formula in this copywriting technique can work wonders for us after we assemble and implement the four AIDA steps. For copywriters that represent government institutions, this formula can also be applied to inform the newest government policies, educate and report government's works, and clear out misleading information that circulating in public.
Please note that the AIDA formula will only function if we thoroughly understand our readers, allowing our message to be perfectly aligned with our readers' interests and desires. So, here's the secret formula to harmonize the thought of our readers and participate with our stories J
Penulis: Ayutia Nurita Sari (Seksi Informasi Kanwil DJKN Suluttenggomalut)