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The AIDA Framework: A Guide to Setting High-Performing Digital Content KPIs

May 16th, 2024 Andrew Warren-Payne

The AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) framework is a classic marketing model that guides the creation of compelling and effective marketing and sales activity. By using this model to break down phases of the customer journey and tailoring content to each, marketers can capture attention, pique interest, nurture desire, prompt action, and meet their key business objectives.

Here, we will delve into the AIDA model, offering specific advice and strategies for establishing improved digital content KPIs. With this advice, you can fashion content that truly resonates with your audience and attains your business objectives. 

Benchmarking Digital KPIs in Life Sciences in 2024

But by no means is the AIDA framework the only one in use, especially by B2B marketers. For example, ON24’s Blueprint for Predictable Pipeline Guide breaks the customer journey into six stages — three of which are before the purchase, and three of which occur after.

The AIDA model: what it is and why it matters for digital content performance

The AIDA model has been a cornerstone for marketers, providing a framework for comprehending the customer journey and developing more potent marketing strategies, including those for digital content.

During the webinar Benchmarking Digital KPIs in Life Sciences in 2024, Andrew Binns, Head of Innovation at AstraZeneca, detailed how he used the framework to assess his own content performance. You can watch the webinar to hear what he had to say. 

The AIDA model is based on the idea that customers go through four stages when making a purchase decision:

    1. Attention: This marks the initial phase, where the customer first becomes aware of your product or service.
    2. Interest: This stage marks the customer’s burgeoning interest in your product or service, leading them to seek further information.
    3. Desire: At this stage, the customer develops a desire for your product or service and starts to consider making a purchase.
    4. Action: The final stage is where the customer takes action and makes a purchase.

The AIDA model is a strategic tool to enhance the efficacy of digital content, ensuring that each phase of the customer journey is addressed. By crafting content that captivates attention, sparks interest, nurtures desire, and propels action, the potential to convert leads into customers through engagement is significantly heightened.

Benchmarking Digital KPIs in Life Sciences in 2024

But what specific KPIs can be used for these stages? Read on for some examples by channel.

Attention KPIs and metrics to benchmark, track and optimize

Female on smartphone.

To use an old-fashioned expression, getting attention in marketing is about eyeballs. How many people within your target market can you reach and get your message in front of?

Here are some suggestions to consider. Like all of these suggestions, this list is far from exhaustive, and some may overlap with other stages.

Channel or tactic Possible KPIs to measure attention
Account-based marketing (ABM) % reach for target accounts
Webinars and virtual events Registrations
Video Video impressions

Video views

Email marketing Messages delivered

Open rate

Organic search Page views

Unique visitors

Organic traffic

Search impressions

Inbound links

Paid search Impressions

Click-through rate (CTR)

Social media Followers

Reach

PR Media mentions

Share of voice

Important tip: It can be all too easy to treat attention KPIs as little more than vanity metrics. Make sure that you choose and use them strategically, in line with your business goals.

Interest KPIs and metrics to benchmark, track and optimize

Female looking at laptop

The next stage of the AIDA model is about interest. How well is your content resonating with audiences once you’ve got it in front of them?

Here are some examples that show your audience is taking the next step:

Channel or tactic Possible KPIs to measure interest
Account-based marketing (ABM) % coverage for target accounts

Engagement rate

Webinars and virtual events Attendance 

Registration-to-attendee conversion rate

Content downloads

Likes and reactions

Engagement rate

Total watch time

Video Video completion rate

Total watch time

Email marketing and marketing automation Click-through rate (CTR)

Number of engaged contacts

Organic search Bounce rate (lower is better)

Return visitors

Total pages viewed

Paid search Click-through rate (CTR)

Conversion rate

Social media Mentions

Engagement rate

PR % age citing they found out about your brand from coverage

Success with interest KPIs are a good sign that your content is driving engagement. You can also use this data to optimize your content by turning webinars into video clips. ON24 customers can automatically turn their webinars into engaging video content through Key Moments, resulting in enhanced activity after the webinar.

Desire KPIs and metrics to benchmark, track and optimize

Man smiling at laptop.

The KPIs under the desire area are a sign that your audience has more than general interest — they are likely to have the intent to continue their journey, such as by making a purchase.

Use the examples below to consider how you can measure desire (such as buyer intent) when your audience engages with your content.

Channel or tactic Possible KPIs to measure desire
Account-based marketing (ABM) Number of accounts showing intent
Webinars and virtual events Total clicks on calls-to-action

Chat with a sales rep

Survey or poll response showing intent

Registration for a webinar

Download of BOFU content such as a case study

Video Visits to landing page after watching video
Email marketing and marketing automation Click-through rate (CTR) on MOFU or BOFU asset

Lead score

Number of MQLs 

Organic search Page visits and unique visitors to high-intent content
Paid search Click-through rate (CTR) on high-intent keywords

Conversion rate

Social media Recommendations and questions

Engagement rate

Tip: For more examples of using event KPIs to track intent, download our guide on Beyond Digital Events: A Strategy to Uncover Buying Signals.

Action KPIs and metrics to benchmark, track and optimize

Male talking into laptop

The final stage of AIDA is about taking action. In many cases, these metrics will refer to how well your content drives conversions that contribute towards key business goals.

Channel or tactic Possible KPIs to measure action
Account-based marketing (ABM) Opportunities with target accounts

Total pipeline with target accounts

Webinars and virtual events Meeting bookings

Demo registrations

Free trial sign-ups

Email marketing and marketing automation Click-through rate (CTR) on sales emails

Number of SQLs, SALs and opportunities 

Organic search Conversion rate from organic visits
Paid search Click-through rate (CTR) on high-intent keywords

Conversion rate to free trial, demo or meeting bookings

Social media Recommendations and questions

Engagement rate

But conversion alone isn’t enough for effective sales and rep enablement. The best results come when reps have a full picture of how a contact or account has been engaging so they can target them with relevant and personalized messaging.

For those using ON24, the Prospect Engagement Profile is a valuable tool for providing reps with the information they need.

Get the latest B2B marketing and digital engagement benchmarks data

To find out how your own performance compares to thousands of other organizations across the world, download the 2024 Digital Engagement Benchmarks Report for a more in-depth look at the latest digital content performance trends and to plan your content strategy.

Benchmarking Digital KPIs in Life Sciences in 2024