British council

British council

Did you know that the 438,000 international students who come to the UK to study every year deliver £20bn to the UK economy and £4.6bn to London alone? That’s why British Council’s Study UK arm is on a mission to promote the UK as a great study destination for students around the world. And in August 2018, they were on the hunt for a creative agency to help them drive this message home on social media.

The challenge

Study UK, an arm of the British Council, is under increasing pressure to prove the impact of its marketing efforts to the UK government.

But the political and socio-economic backdrop has shifted in recent years. Thanks to Brexit, spiralling costs of living, and stiff competition from universities in the US, Australia and Canada, the UK isn’t perceived to be the study destination it once was.

Study UK began working with Spoon in 2018. The objective was clear: to increase interest in the UK as a study destination by driving visitors from Study UK’s social channels to the Study UK website, where prospective students can find practical advice, insight and inspiration.


The solution

Our social media strategy spoke to prospective students at various stages in the decision-making journey and addressed key questions they have around moving to a UK university.

While those just starting out might have questions about the course options on offer or how international students adapt to UK culture, those a little further along might be thinking about scholarships or visas.

We tailored our social content accordingly, adopting Study UK’s tone of voice and framing messages around three pillars: Live, Learn and Grow.

As well as producing designed assets, GIFs and explainer videos, we also ran Instagram takeovers with UK universities, including Exeter, Leeds and Sussex, and Facebook Live ‘events’ with the University of Kent and the University of South Wales.

The Spoon London team supplies weekly and monthly measurement reports and detailed analysis of content performance. An iterative approach is crucial – we discovered early on, for example, that posts on scholarships, budgeting and visas perform exceptionally well and post consistently on such topics as a result.


The results

Since August 2018, we’ve delivered on a number of key metrics for British Council – we’ve driven significant traffic to the Study UK website (where users can learn more about living and learning in the UK) and have grown their social following across all channels. The latter is incredibly important in terms of raising awareness of the UK as a great place to study and debunking any Brexit-related concerns that students might have.

Spoon has successfully engaged a disparate and complex audience – prospective students from around the world – through well-crafted copy and original design. They've introduced new formats, focused more on video and worked with us to interpret and adapt our brand into social media applications. They're also constantly analysing and iterating their content and approach – continuously optimising and improving results. Thanks to their work, we're up on all metrics (and our Instagram grid has never looked better!). The results really do speak for themselves.
Maya Frost, GREAT Britain Campaign Digital Marketing Manager

Want to know more about this project?


Maria Biesterfeldt

Agency Director Stockholm & New Business Director

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