For the love of AIDA – developing the Hierarchy of Effects model in SME social media marketing strategy

Paul Copley

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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    Objectives: The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential use of the Hierarchy of Effects-type approach in SME marketing communications on social media.

    Prior Work: AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) has been considered for many years as part of the development of SME marketing communications strategy. Since SMEs generally do not have big budgets they usually focus on producing content that can get a message across inexpensively and seek to do this in the most effective way possible. The AIDA ‘sales funnel’ is a marketing technique that is based on achieving specific objectives at each of the AIDA stages. In recent times marketing communications and especially advertising have seen profound change, especially in the way people communicate, socialise and engage with electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM). In social media marketing terms it is important that the message makes the audience aware and grabs attention while content should create interest in such a way as to automatically create desire and lead to action which is often purchase. This process can utilize many tools such as video or some other digital resource that might, for example, educate or attempt to change attitudes.

    Approach: This study provides the basis for a conceptual model that can be tested in further, empirical research.

    Results: The paper proposes an SME social marketing AIDA model of message content progression that explains how SMEs might benefit from marketing tools such as social networking for improved marketing performance through the employment of an online resource that can help toward positive engagement with target audiences. While the use of social media should not be viewed as the only communications platform it is seen as critical to the effective and positive influence of audiences.

    Implications: There are implications for the design and delivery of marketing learning for SMEs where the importance of relational marketing on social media to SMEs is underlined by its effective use in terms of activities such as networking, relationship-building, online branding opportunities and the use of e-wom in the service of message creation and delivery.

    Value: The results of this study are of value to managers, educators, trainers, developers and those involved in SMEs to help them understand the use of social media in the marketing arena that employs a Hierarchy of Effects approach to the achievement and measurement of effective and efficient engagement with target audiences, helping increase performance in so doing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2015
    EventInstitute Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference 2015 - Glasgow
    Duration: 11 Nov 2015 → …


    ConferenceInstitute Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Conference 2015
    Period11/11/15 → …
    Internet address


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