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PPC and Social Ads Gain a Record Number of Applicants For Tech Accelerator

Thanks to laser-targeted PPC and social ads, mHUB’s Accelerator programs received the most applications in company history, all from a highly qualified pool of applicants.

In a sea of display and social ads, how do you get people to not only engage with your ads, but also complete something as daunting as a 7-page-long application?

VisualFizz helped mHUB, a HardTech innovation center for startups, solve this challenge with PPC and social media advertising that attracted and converted the right people for an accelerator program with hyper-specific qualifications.

The campaigns were so successful, in fact, that mHUB contracted VisualFizz to run the campaign for its next Accelerator program, too. Read on to learn more about each campaign.

Challenge: Find and Convert Qualified Applicants in Just 2 Months

mHUB had previously worked with other agencies to run search and social campaigns for its MedTech Accelerator program, but these campaigns failed to increase the number of truly qualified applicants. mHUB needed guidance and expertise to determine how to drive high-quality leads from digital marketing channels.

VisualFizz stepped in as a partner to mHUB and identified hurdles to overcome to ensure the project’s success:

  1. Hyper-specific audience – mHUB was looking for applicants from the niche area of MedTech device startups.
  2. Long application process – Applicants had to be serious enough to complete the 7-page application that took well over an hour.
  3. Short sign-up window – VisualFizz had just 57 days to deploy media and get applications.

Taking all challenges into account, VisualFizz began developing a best-in-class digital media plan to promote the program and ensure stronger performance than in years past. The VisualFizz-led campaigns prioritized

finding ultra-high-quality leads with the goal of generating legitimate conversions, not just impressions.

Solution: Laser-Focused PPC and Social Campaigns

VisualFizz worked closely with mHUB to create and implement a well-rounded omnichannel media strategy. The VisualFizz team created a series of effective, enticing funnel points and multiple streams of incoming leads, which led to more qualified web conversions from search and social.

Read on for details about each campaign.

Google Display Advertising Campaign and Results

VisualFizz created, launched, and optimized Google campaigns with the following goals in mind:

  1. Generate awareness of the Accelerator through increased relevant traffic to the site
  2. Capitalize on that awareness through program application submissions from relevant MedTech device startups

To generate increased awareness, VisualFizz created a display campaign using a variety of custom-targeted audiences. These audiences were developed around users in the MedTech startup space, targeting them through the kinds of searches they would use, websites they would visit, and online behavioral tendencies.

To capitalize on the increased awareness and drive applications, VisualFizz developed search campaigns that targeted not only the brand name, but also relevant MedTech searches. The campaign served ads to MedTech startups searching for keywords like funding, prototyping, innovation, or accelerators.

In addition, a VisualFizz developer added Google Analytics conversion actions for “application started” and “application finished” so the ads could be optimized for people who converted.

PPC Campaign Results for MedTech Accelerator (57-Day Campaign Duration)

  • 45 applications
  • Over 20K clicks
  • 3.9MM impressions
  • Overall CTR: 0.53%
  • Search CTR: 6%
  • Search conversion rate: 2.4%

Social Media Advertising Campaign and Results

VisualFizz developed creative content for ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The team tailored the content and targeted these ads to reach the right audience: individuals involved in MedTech device startups.

These disruptive, yet on-brand ads captured the attention of mHUB’s desired audience and resulted in a wave of applications in a relatively short amount of time.

Social Media Campaign Results for MedTech Accelerator (57-Day Campaign Duration)

  • 33 applications
  • CPCs under industry averages
    • Twitter: $1.20
    • LI $5.87
  • 3,704 clicks
  • Average CTR: 48.95%

Great Applicants = Great MedTech Accelerator Program!

Between the social and PPC campaigns, mHUB received the most qualified applicants in the MedTech Accelerator program’s history. Because the targeting on the ads was so specific and accurate, participants were well-suited for the program and mHUB had its most successful session to date.

The client was so pleased with the results that they asked VisualFizz to run the social and PPC campaigns for their next program, the Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator.

VisualFizz Runs Successful Campaigns for Another Accelerator

With the Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator, mHUB wanted to target climate and/or energy tech startups looking for funding, prototyping resources, and guidance to get their product off the ground.

Using strategies similar to those employed in the MedTech Accelerator campaigns, VisualFizz garnered the following results for the Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator:

  • 5.4 million overall impressions for paid social and paid search
    • Up 17% from MedTech Accelerator campaign
    • Up 50% from previous agency campaigns

PPC Campaign Results for Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator (59-Day Campaign Duration)

  • 55 applications
  • Over 14K clicks
  • Over 4M impressions
  • Overall CTR 0.35%
  • Search CTR 6%
  • Search Conversion rate: 2.9%

Social Media Campaign Results for Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator (62-Day Campaign Duration)

  • 44 applications
  • CPCs under industry averages*
    • Twitter: $0.58
    • LI $12.75*
    • Facebook: $3.07
  • 3,108 clicks
  • Average CTR 0.34%

*Conversion tracking was not working on the platform during the campaign, which can affect how LinkedIn delivers ads and impression share of campaigns.

The Climate and EnergyTech Accelerator received even more high-quality applications than the MedTech Accelerator, and the session was a huge success.

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The VisualFizz team can help strategize and execute high-converting ad campaigns across a variety of markets and audiences. Fill out the form below to get in touch and unlock our secrets for success in digital advertising.



mHUB is Chicagoland’s premier HardTech startup community and innovation center. It provides unparalleled resources—including a prototyping lab, mentor and investor connections, and a robust U.S.-based manufacturing supply chain—to help startups commercialize new physical products. mHUB regularly hosts Accelerator programs to fast-track high-potential startups.
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