About Learn more about who we are, and why we do what we do
TeamMeet the outstanding people who make up Team Hallam
AwardsWe’re proud to have picked up a number of great awards
CareersFind out more about life at Hallam, and see our vacancies
EventsSee what’s coming up in the digital marketing scene
CSRWe’re passionate about helping our local community
University of Nottingham
We created an international strategy for the University of Nottingham to help them adapt to COVID-19 and increase student admissions
Increase in paid search traffic, year-on-year
Ad impressions worldwide
International website visitors
The University of Nottingham is a pioneering institution. A top 20 UK university and a member of the Russell Group, with campuses in Nottingham, China and Malaysia, they’re also one of Britain’s leading research universities, ranking 8th in the Research Excellence Framework, as well as being listed as one of the UK’s top employers.
The University of Nottingham approached us to help them to transform their media capabilities to meet he demands of a post-covid higher education landscape.
They wanted to align their marketing departments around a central global strategy that supported faculties to meet their student application targets.
They also needed to build their brand worldwide, targeting prospective students with creative campaigns encouraging international prospects to apply for open days and to generate enquiries for courses across every faculty.
Considerations around the Covid-19 pandemic impacted these campaigns: since the start of the pandemic, the university landscape has changed considerably, with a move to online learning, disrupted exam cycles and international countries viewing travel to the UK with more caution.
There were also cultural sensitivities to take into account when it came to international advertising: the UoN was keen to ensure that everyone was represented in the visual ads, whilst making sure they were also culturally appropriate for specific audience locations.
What we did
It was important to start with immersion sessions with the university, understanding their recruitment targets, whilst compiling in-depth research around their target markets and the differing media habits across the globe. As Hallam are International Growth Partners with Google, we have access to tools that allow us to gain insight into growth opportunities, high-interest areas and advertising costs worldwide, amongst other important factors.
Our planning began with an assessment of the interest levels in UK university study from international students at both post and undergraduate level.
Using tools such as Google’s market explorer, we looked to identify the markets where demand was growing fastest, and compared it with the likelihood of students in those countries being able to afford to study abroad.
The university actually attracts students from over 20 international markets, all of which have different cultures, traditions and media consumption habits. This means that the networks and types of advertising used to target students in each market can vary massively.
For example, we found that in parts of southeast Asia, digital out of home advertising is actually the predominant form of advertising used by many leading brands. You also have the complexities of advertising in China, where Google is non-existent of course – and the need for a network of partners who are capable of managing local media campaigns in those markets.
Hallam partnered with the UoN team on various student recruitment campaigns to meet faculty recruitment goals, the overarching campaign theme being Normal Never Changed the World.
This was an integrated, global student recruitment campaign spanning across 9 digital networks and 12 territories, alongside out-of-home advertising.
Building brand recognition
Although the primary goal was to increase student recruitment numbers through Open Day bookings, it was equally important to build the brand by considering which upper funnel advertising platforms would resonate most with the target audience of 17-24 year-olds.
We were conscious that different platforms would work best at different times in the 6 month period of the campaign when we established the UK strategy, so the platform durations emphasised upper-funnel networks throughout the whole period, with lower-funnel networks boosted towards peak times of search enquiries.
Using Share of Search to measure the success of our brand campaigns, we had the ability to report on international brand interest and course specific interest growth over time.
Share of Search has been shown to be a leading indicator of market share growth, and is a quick and cost-effective way of measuring the long-term impact of brand advertising vs. competitors.
Part of the global brand campaign was anchored around a powerful video campaign:
We focused on the key times in which students would be looking for universities and built up momentum as we got closer to Open Day dates. The UK campaign ran across Google Search, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, Sky Ad Smart, Twitch and Tik Tok.
To mitigate the challenges brought by the pandemic, we worked with fluid timelines to push different messaging during different periods to the territories that were deemed most relevant by the university’s international office. Our team split the paid media budget mindfully between different countries based on their size and the university’s specific targets for each location.
Our campaign succeeded in reaching new audiences, and delivered large amount of new relevant traffic to the university’s website and recruitment funnels. Some highlights include:
2,400% growth in paid search traffic, year on year
70 million worldwide impressions of ad campaigns
372,000 international website visitors
Share of Search (brand interest) experienced the largest growth the university had seen in the last 9 years, increasing by 1.25 percentage points
1,297 Open Day expressions of interest
1,056 actual Open Day Bookings
1,651 people registered for Clearing alerts
85 international student applications generated for Clearing
We’re experts in growing the reach and effectiveness of Universities. Our track record speaks for itself, and our global campaigns have helped colleges and universities in the UK reach new audiences, grow admissions and transform their marketing success.
Just tell us what you what to achieve, and we’ll let you know how we can help you. Alternatively, you can check out more of our work here in other sectors. Our methodology has been successful in almost all sectors, delivering double and triple-digit improvements on average.
Essential cookies are absolutely necessary for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
This cookie is set by the provider Cloudflare content delivery network. This cookie is used for determining whether it should continue serving "Always Online" until the cookie expires.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".
The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".
This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".
This cookie is native to PHP applications. The cookie is used to store and identify a users'' unique session ID for the purpose of managing user session on the website. The cookie is a session cookies and is deleted when all the browser windows are closed.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to calculate visitor, session, campaign data and keep track of site usage for the site''s analytics report. The cookies store information anonymously and assign a randomly generated number to identify unique visitors.
This cookies is installed by Google Universal Analytics to throttle the request rate to limit the colllection of data on high traffic sites.
This cookie is installed by Google Analytics. The cookie is used to store information of how visitors use a website and helps in creating an analytics report of how the website is doing. The data collected including the number visitors, the source where they have come from, and the pages visted in an anonymous form.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
This cookie is set by HubSpot. The purpose of the cookie is to keep track of sessions. This is used to determine if HubSpot should increment the session number and timestamps in the __hstc cookie. It contains the domain, viewCount (increments each pageView in a session), and session start timestamp.
This cookie is set by Hubspot. According to their documentation, whenever HubSpot changes the session cookie, this cookie is also set to determine if the visitor has restarted their browser. If this cookie does not exist when HubSpot manages cookies, it is considered a new session.
1 year 24 days
This cookie is set by Hubspot and is used for tracking visitors. It contains the domain, utk, initial timestamp (first visit), last timestamp (last visit), current timestamp (this visit), and session number (increments for each subsequent session).
This cookie is used to preserve users states across page requests.
This cookie is set by the provider Leadfeeder. This cookie is used for identifying the IP address of devices visiting the website. The cookie collects information such as IP addresses, time spent on website and page requests for the visits.This collected information is used for retargeting of multiple users routing from the same IP address.
This cookie is used for storing the session ID for a user. This cookie ensures that clicks from advertisement on the Bing search engine are verified and it is used for reporting purposes and for personalization.
This cookie is set by linkedIn. The purpose of the cookie is to enable LinkedIn functionalities on the page.
This cookie is a browser ID cookie set by Linked share Buttons and ad tags.
1 year 24 days
This cookie is used by HubSpot to keep track of the visitors to the website. This cookie is passed to Hubspot on form submission and used when deduplicating contacts.
1 year 24 days
Used by Google DoubleClick and stores information about how the user uses the website and any other advertisement before visiting the website. This is used to present users with ads that are relevant to them according to the user profile.
This cookie is used to store the language preferences of a user to serve up content in that stored language the next time user visit the website.
This cookie is used to store the language preference of the user.
This cookie is set by LinkedIn
This cookie is set by LinkedIn and used for routing.
1 year 24 days
Used by Microsoft as a unique identifier. The cookie is set by embedded Microsoft scripts. The purpose of this cookie is to synchronize the ID across many different Microsoft domains to enable user tracking.
This cookie is used to a profile based on user''s interest and display personalized ads to the users.
Linkedin - Used to track visitors on multiple websites, in order to present relevant advertisement based on the visitor''s preferences.
5 months 27 days
This cookie is set by Youtube. Used to track the information of the embedded YouTube videos on a website.
This domain of this cookie is owned by Vimeo. This cookie is used by vimeo to collect tracking information. It sets a unique ID to embed videos to the website.
This cookies is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos.