Online advertising and remarketing

BIMM – The British and Irish Modern Music Institute

BIMM – The British and Irish Modern Music Institute has colleges in eight cities where music matters most: London, Berlin, Dublin, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Hamburg and Brighton. With more than 6,000 students, BIMM is the largest and leading provider of contemporary music education in the UK, Ireland and Europe.  

Despite BIMM’s reputation and 50 years’ experience in helping students launch successful music careers, they came to Novicell at the end of 2018 with a desire to increase brand awareness and the number of enquiries around the UK UCAS deadline in early 2019. Since then, the collaboration has continued and, most recently, we have been supporting BIMM for the 20/21 UCAS and clearing period.

For the UCAS period 2019–2020, Novicell's online marketing department focused on the music institute’s online advertising via YouTube and Facebook to help reach their goals. For the recent UCAS period 2020–2021, we have extended the advertising with ads on Snapchat and TikTok.

UCAS – a crucial time

The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) application deadline is the most crucial period of the year for universities. In a competitive market, Novicell has helped increase awareness, drive applications and, most recently, kept BIMM’s year-on-year growth steady over the Coronavirus pandemic whilst the universities have experienced a massive drop in the number of students.

The collaboration:

YouTube campaign to build brand awareness

‘5 Staples’ location-based campaign to promote existing YouTube videos

Clearing application campaign – funnel-based remarketing

Ads on Snapchat and TikTok

YouTube campaign

In a bid to build awareness and drive course enquiries, Novicell ran the first YouTube campaign together with BIMM in December 2018. The goal of the campaign was to build a list of applicants and people considering BIMM as their university of choice in the 2019/2020 academic year to use in a later remarketing campaign.

Various ad formats were used on YouTube, including TrueView In-Stream Ads (ads you only pay for when either someone clicks on the ad or watches 30 seconds or to the end of the video) and Bumper Ads (six second spots shown before certain videos that cannot be skipped). Facebook Ads included placements on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger as well as Stories. 

Location-based marketing campaign

The second campaign took off in February 2019 to help increase awareness of BIMM’s already existing ‘STAPLES’ videos. These were based around their different college locations – Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Berlin. The campaign involved running ads on YouTube to promote their videos which featured a famous musician from the relevant city, speaking about the five musical ‘STAPLES’ of that city.


Funnel-based remarketing campaign

During the summer, we launched a large clearing campaign to drive university clearing applications.The campaign was aimed at users who had enquired to BIMM over the last year and hadn’t applied, as well as to those who had been visiting the website.  

This was a highly segmented campaign – down to the college and course level – with specific creatives relevant to the user’s online journey. For example, anyone who viewed the guitars course page would receive a remarketing ad specific to that course. We ran creatives for each individual course and college. 


The clearing campaign ran during the summer 2019


The clearing campaign on Facebook Ads has received a 13.55% conversion rate


The campaign contributed towards 140 clearing registrations 

More engagement on YouTube channel

In relation to brand awareness, BIMM also wanted more subscribers to their YouTube channel and to increase the engagement. Along with the YouTube ads to support these goals, Novicell audited BIMM’s YouTube channel to provide recommendations around best practices to drive engagement and for the creatives to run high-performing, relevant ad campaigns.

From January - August 2019, BIMM’s YouTube channel has received almost 800,000 views.






view rate

Snapchat and TikTok ads

Leading up to the deadline in January 2020, we used Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, YouTube Ads and Google Ads, and as a new initiative we also tested TikTok Ads. This popular and fast-growing social media platform, which has 500 million active users worldwide, has proven to be a great platform to drive awareness and engagement in a cost-effective manner, especially towards the younger target audience.

For both the UCAS and clearing deadline, we also ran Snapchat ads which were used as low-cost support to the wider brand awareness campaign.

The ads on TikTok and Snapchat resulted in:


TikTok received over half a million impressions


Snapchat received a total of 1.6m impressions


Social Media Marketing and Ads for the UCAS deadline 2020 generated:


open day bookings and prospectus orders


application enquiries


conversion rate for Google Search during clearing

Brand lift study

Novicell also ran a brand lift study with Google to determine the effectiveness of the video ad campaigns. This was done through survey questions that measured a viewer's reaction to the content, message, or product in the video ads, as compared to a control group.

Novicell has helped us to develop our international marketing strategy, to help us increase awareness of BIMM campuses within Germany and the UK. They have also generated some fantastic results for our clearing campaigns, a critical period in the academic year. I am extremely happy with the level of expertise and quality of digital actions conducted by Novicell’s marketing team.

Tom Picken, Group Head of Marketing, BIMM

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