Using the AIDA model to market learning

Ali Soper from MicroLearn shares more hints and tips to market learning to maximise engagement and return on investment. She explains why the principles of the AIDA model, first created over 100 years ago, are just as relevant today.

The AIDA model
The AIDA model (which stands for attention, interest, desire and action) was first established by sales pioneer Elias St. Elmo over a 100 years ago. He recognised the need to catch the eye of readers to inform them about products and convert them to customers, slowly evolving his approach to attract attention, awaken interest, persuade individuals and convince customers. His ideas continue to form the basis for today’s AIDA model.

There are many ways you can catch the attention of your consumers, in this case your staff and volunteers, such as placing adverts in unusual places, shocking your employees with something eye-catching or targeting them individually with a personal approach that goes beyond a direct email.

Once you have their attention, you need to capture their Interest and get them curious about the product or service you’re offering. Think about your messaging, ensuring that even if the subject isn’t exciting – like compliance training – that the approach itself is entertaining or memorable.

Can you think of an advert that you’ve seen on the television for a comparison website? You can probably think of several, including one with a catchy (if a little irritating) theme song and another starring meerkats… That’s because they’ve found a memorable way to advertise, even though the topic itself is relatively dull.

Now you have their attention and sparked their interest, you need to create a sense of desire, so think about how you can make the message relevant to them, so they just have to buy into your initiatives. Make sure you’re focusing on the benefits to them, sell the ‘bells and whistles’ so your audience become interested in something they didn’t even know they wanted or needed.

To make sure your hard work generating buzz is successful, you need to convert this into sales. In the case of marketing learning, this means getting people to engage with your content.

Establish a clear call to action, something which leaves your employees with no doubt as to how they can take advantage of the products and services you’re offering. But make the process – for example, the ability to access eLearning – as seamless as possible.

Before you start any internal marketing campaigns, take some time to think about your organisation, your objectives and your target audience to decide how you’re going to brand your initiative.

Draw out the ‘personality’ of your brand and take time to think about what the main features and emotions associated with it are. Then you’ll be in a better position to consider options to create targeted marketing and communication campaigns.

Finally, remember to ask your audience about their experience of the product and get feedback on your messaging, as this will help you develop and improve the process next time around. 


About Ali Soper

Ali Soper is the Creative Director and Cofounder of MicroLearn, a passionate team of eLearning creators, developing stunning, engaging and effective microlearning resources. Ali’s career in eLearning first began as a creative developer, building professionally deliverable eLearning content at Jenison Digital Learning. She refused to believe that ‘click next continue’ was really the best way to learn. Alongside her father Steve, the pair cofounded MicroLearn in 2016 to deliver top class, bite-sized content which helps people to work better, safer and smarter in the age of the skills economy.


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