A test in media efficiency.

British Council went from being an automatic first choice to one of many English proficiency tests in the market. Find out how we turned things around.


While British Council IELTS has been a leader in English Proficiency test; however, in recent years many such tests have sprung up with larger spends i.e. almost 3X spends in various markets which British Council IELTS was targeting for this campaign and with more extensive prep material to boost. In the face of rising competition both in terms of advertising spends and reading materials for preparing for the test which will help the prospective users to clear the exam for their better future; British Council IELTS needed to find a way to both stay relevant and trigger maximum app downloads within our budgetary constraints.

Our strategy was in divided into Five-fold approach:

1. Target low hanging fruits - We identified buckets via Google Analytics to pin-point users who have come to the British Council IELTS site & registered with us but have not yet taken the tests. Then we also created buckets of users based on average time spent on our site.

2. Creating look-alike audience – With the look-alike data set shared by British Council based on the email information of past users who have applied for the test, we targeted them with customized communication.

3. New users on World Wide Web - We targeted new users who have not visited us in past but may be interested in pursuing higher studies, jobs in other countries

4. Rewarding Communication - We created a landing page with a focused approach to give more details in a simpler way for appearing for the exam via British Council IELTS. As we know that mobile has become integral part of our ecosystem, we encouraged the users to download the app by communicating that all information required which includes registering for the exam, taking practice test and studying material is available now on the GO in their comfort usage

5. AB Testing of Commination - We targeted this cluster of audience with multiple set of creatives and did AB testing to find out the audience acceptance with the kind of creative served to them. We also followed the users and started serving dynamic ads based on their current consumption category, their past activity of brand and used static creatives with different communication options and with engaging CTA, to drive the users to the LP and getting conversion in terms of downloading mobile application.


As per the strategy, we identified Google & Facebook as the key relevant platforms to be utilized for the campaign since they generated most traffic coming to the British Council IELTS website for test information. Once the platforms were finalized, we used the following steps to attain our objective

Step 1 -
Using the five-step approach, we were able to find relevant audience to target and also used that learning to figure out the keywords that was driving traffic to our website. Using this, we used a funnel approach by creating different bucket headers and under each header we identified around 100+ keywords & optimized them based on various factors like conversions, cost per clicks, impressions/reach and refined them on a regular basis by stopping and adding new set of keywords which started performing in terms of visits and installs.

Step 2 -
We used look-alike audience and reached out to them with customized communication, talking about the app features and how easy it is to take the exams and used a frequency on a higher side to create recall for the communication. We also used a combination of buys to make sure the right set of mix to get the desired results e.g. Reach, Engagement, Link clicks. This helped the campaign in the due course of time, to optimize the campaign and get the desired results which was our set objective.

Step 3 –
We used multiple static creatives with different CTAs. We also used these learnings and started funnelling our audiences across 165 countries and got positive responses in terms of time spent, site visits and app installs.


Our goal was to attain maximum download with the limited set of budgets.

119.79 million impressions

12.52 million reach

At an Industry best cost for reach at 0.002$

133K installs across 165 countries resulting in an overall acceleration of 1.3 Mn app downloads

All achieved at a cost per install at $0.21 compared to the industry benchmark of $1.37

Previous Casestudy:
#GoBlitz or go home | Blitz Poker

Next Casestudy: