Are you ready to take your SaaS product to the next level? Paid advertising is one of the best ways to help you get there. But where do you start? How do you make sure your advertising dollars are well spent?
We know you have a lot of questions. That is why our comprehensive guide on paid advertising for SaaS products is here to demystify the process and give you the tools you need to create effective ads that drive real results.
Whether you are new to paid advertising or an experienced marketer, this guide is packed with actionable tips and strategies that you can implement today to drive more leads and grow your revenue.
Why Is SaaS Marketing Different?
SaaS is typically sold as a subscription service. This means customers pay a monthly or yearly fee to access the software rather than buying it outright. Convincing people to pay a recurring fee for something is not the easiest thing in the world. And even if you do, retaining existing customers can be a challenge on its own. That is why you need to build a long-term relationship with them.
SaaS marketing typically focuses heavily on inbound marketing techniques like creating helpful content, optimizing for search engines, and using paid marketing channels. These methods are used to bring potential customers to the company website, educating them on the software and establishing trust before they make a buying decision.
Benefits of Paid Advertising
When running a business, especially a startup, you may want to pinch as many pennies as you can. Free advertising channels are great. But they can only get you so far. You can push content and wait for it to gain traction organically. But there is no guarantee when that will happen.
Paid advertising is the better option if you can't afford to sit around and wait for organic results. Paid marketing channels not only let you reach a large number of people in a short time, but they also help build brand awareness by putting your ads in front of the right people.
There is nothing wrong with organic advertising. In fact, you need it to build a long-term audience. But paid ads can push leads down the marketing funnel faster.
Best Paid Advertising Channels for SaaS Companies
As a SaaS company, it is crucial to use the right advertising channels to reach potential customers and drive conversions. Paid advertising can be a powerful tool to generate leads and boost your business growth. But with so many channels to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start.
Paid search is an effective marketing tool for SaaS companies. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, such as Google Ads, is the most common form of this marketing strategy. It shows ads based on specific keywords. Creating your ad campaigns using keywords and phrases your target leads use can help you attract new users for your SaaS products. So, you need to bid for the right ones.
According to a CMI report, 66% of B2B businesses use search engine marketing (SEM) as their primary advertising strategy. No wonder 86% of Google's revenue comes from advertising.
Of course, this doesn't mean you should neglect other organic SEO strategies. They work together, not competing with each other. Your paid ads will help you attract the right visitors. But climbing up the search engine results pages (SERPs) organically also has its own benefits.
Display ads are a form of online advertising that appears on websites, apps, or other digital platforms in the form of images, videos, or interactive features. Some examples are banner ads, in-app ads, rich media ads, and native ads.
When used with the right keywords, they are a great way to drive awareness. But with the growing popularity of ad-blocking integration on browsers, their future use is unclear. They still work now but may not be as useful to large SaaS companies later on.
Social ads are similar to display ads but specific to social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Many SaaS companies use them to increase brand awareness. They can also be used to promote free trial offers, webinars, or other forms of content to educate and build trust with potential customers.
The large user base is the main appeal, but advertisers also love how they don't need to spend a lot to get started. Even $20 to $50 per week is enough to drive traffic and sales. You just need to understand how each one works and which platform your target prospects use the most.
It is also important to note that each platform has its own analytics tools, accepted ad format, cost model, and best practices. Make sure you understand how your chosen platform works before publishing your ads.
Retargeting, also called remarketing, is an awesome tool for re-engaging potential customers. It lets you show targeted ads to people who have already visited your website but have taken no action. These ads remind and convince them to return to your website to buy the products they are interested in.
Remarketing ads are typically shown to users on other websites, such as social media platforms or other online properties. For example, if someone looked at your website but didn't subscribe, they might see an ad for the same product on other websites they visit.
This is an efficient way to reach out and appeal to people who are already familiar with your product. In fact, ad retargeting can help reduce cart abandonment by 6.5%.
Video is a strong marketing tool. In fact, 86% of businesses use it for marketing their products. And why not? Videos capture and hold the viewer's attention. Also, with the widespread use of smartphones and high-speed internet, people are consuming more and more videos every day.
Videos are also an effective medium for evoking emotions and creating a solid connection with the viewer. This helps increase the chances of them taking action. Did you know 90% of users say watching a video about a product impacts their purchase decision?
Videos are also quite versatile. You can use them to create product demonstrations, explainer videos, and customer testimonials. YouTube is the most popular and straightforward video-sharing platform today. It offers a wide variety of advertising tools.
You can boost your videos with Google Ads or overlay ads on top of your videos. You can even run a paid ad on other similar videos. If you don't already have a YouTube account, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.
Paid Content Discovery
Paid content discovery is another great advertising platform for reaching your audience. These are the recommendation widgets for related articles you see at the bottom or the side of websites. The ads are seamlessly integrated into the page, so they look like they are part of the website.
Keep in mind that different discovery platforms charge differently, but most charge on a pay-per-click basis. Outbrain and Taboola are two of the most popular ones. Moz did an amazing job breaking down the metrics, including the cost per click, between the two.
How to Build a Paid Advertising Campaign That Converts
Building a successful paid advertising campaign can be complex but not impossible. Here are some general steps that can help streamline the whole process.
Identify Your Target Prospects
The success of your campaign will depend on how well you know your market niche. When you understand who your target prospects are, you can create a campaign that speaks directly to their needs and pain points. This ensures that the solution offered is tailored to them, making them feel understood and appreciated.
Set Your Goals
Goal setting provides a clear blueprint of what you want to achieve. Some example goals you may want to consider setting include increasing website traffic and conversion rate, improving ROI, increasing brand awareness, and improving customer retention.
But when setting goals, remember to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Having SMART goals will help you focus your efforts, stay motivated, and measure your progress.
Build a Strong PPC Keyword List
A strong keyword list is essential for the success of any PPC campaign. The keywords you choose will determine who sees your ads and how successful your campaign will be.
A well-researched keyword list will include keywords relevant to your SaaS products. This will help you target specific segments of your audience based on demographics, location, or interests. So you get to reach the right people at the right time, increasing the chances of conversion.
Create a PPC Landing Page
Having a landing page is a more strategic approach than directing leads to your home page. Landing pages are an important part of any online marketing strategy. They serve as the bridge between an ad and a desired action.
Landing pages are different from regular website pages. Their only purpose is to convert visitors into customers or leads by providing them with a clear and compelling call to action. That is why they are designed to be simple, with minimal navigation options to keep the visitors focused on what you want them to do next.
Set a Budget
A budget acts as a financial plan to help you avoid overspending. It helps you align your marketing efforts with your overall business strategy, keeping you on track with your goals. It also makes planning and forecasting your ad spending easier, allowing you to allocate resources more efficiently. This is especially important for businesses with limited budgets.
Use a Combination of Paid Advertising Strategies
Google Ads is probably the most popular advertising network today. But don't rely on it too much. As they say, don't put all your eggs in one basket. While it is a highly effective channel for promoting your SaaS product, it still has its limitations.
Google Ads allows you to reach a large audience. But it mainly targets users actively searching for products like yours. So you might be missing out on a lot of other opportunities.
Competition has also become so high for certain keywords and audience segments. This doesn't just drive up the cost of advertising; it also makes it difficult for your ads to get seen.
Using a combination of different advertising techniques can help you widen your reach. Having a well-rounded strategy may require some time and effort to build. But when you have finally developed one, it will give you a strong online presence.
Establish KPIs to Measure Your Success
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are specific, measurable values that help track the success of your paid ad campaign. They can help you understand how your ads are performing, so you can make data-driven decisions about optimizing and improving your results.
Some important KPIs to track include website traffic, conversion rate, and ROI. These metrics will tell you how effectively your ads drive visitors to your website and who is more likely to convert. Without KPIs, it can be difficult to determine how well your ads are performing. You may even end up wasting your advertising budget without any meaningful results.
Avoid Ad Fatigue
Have you ever heard of ad fatigue? This happens when people start ignoring or tuning out ads they see frequently. Like any repetitive thing, ads can also become boring, and people won't pay attention to them anymore over time.
This can seriously hurt your overall marketing efforts. That is why you should rotate different ad variations. You can also use responsive ads to ensure you don't always use the same visuals and ad copies.
Building a paid advertising campaign is an opportunity to connect with new users and drive growth for your business. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you'll be able to create a campaign that resonates with your target audience, generates leads, and drives conversions. Remember that paid advertising is an ongoing process; you need to continuously test and optimize your campaigns to achieve your desired results.
But don't be intimidated by the process. Think of it as an exciting journey to discover what works best for your company. The key is to stay curious and keep experimenting until you find the winning formula that delivers the ROI that your business needs. With the right approach and a willingness to learn, you'll be well on your way to creating a successful paid advertising campaign that takes your SaaS business to the next level.