Getting Started with SaaS Advertising - 8 Fundamental Steps to Follow for ads that work
It is a fact that advertising is a type of marketing that works 100% if done correctly.
And that's actually the tricky part for SaaS. How do you even advertise SaaS correctly?
You can't run commercials on TV. You can't (usually) hang flyers or billboards. You have to get to the customer. You have to know where the customer is.
So today, I will be going into detail about how you can run B2B ads correctly to increase your conversion rate by getting more qualified leads than ever.
Let's get into it:
How do I advertise my SaaS?
The big question that is in the heads of all marketing managers:
How do you even advertise SaaS products? The target audience is so specific...
The target audience is very specific for SaaS, especially for B2B SaaS. That is what makes it easier to advertise SaaS products for a lower cost (in many scenarios.)
There are two primary things to do:
- Selecting where you will advertise,
- Selecting what aspect you are going to advertise on each platform
And the rest is just a story.
Let's get into that story:
Which Platforms to Choose
There is no "one best place to spend all your money on" when it comes to SaaS advertising. That's because your customers won't come from a single channel as well.
Here are the best platforms to start advertising on:
- Linkedin: If your target audience is business people or online companies, you should be visible on Linkedin. Linkedin allows you to have different types of ads. You can incorporate one or multiple types of ads on LinkedIn, depending on your marketing strategies.
- Twitter: From B2B marketers to people who don't even know the T of technology, everyone is on Twitter. So, Twitter makes it possible to reach a great audience size.
- Facebook: If you have heard about digital marketing before, you must have heard of Google ads and Facebook ads more than anything - since those two are the most profitable ones in most cases.
- Instagram: Instagram might not be the best choice for B2B advertising, since the sales cycle on Instagram is more built around consumers than businesses.
- Google Search: While more than 70% of search engine users are only interested in organic search results, 80% of business executives prefer getting information about a company organically rather than through search engine ads. Still, could you say that you have never clicked on a search engine ad because it was the answer to your question?
- Google Display: And here is our hero, Google ads. Google ads is a medium where your ads can be targeted perfectly to get perfectly aligned customers into your marketing funnel, and your sales funnel. Here is HubSpot's guide to mastering Google Ads and getting each potential customer into your sales cycle in no time.
- Reddit: More than 50% of all B2B buyers are millennials (Source), and all those Millenials are on Reddit. While it's not that popular to run ads on Reddit, it's definitely worth a try,
- Quora: Quora is a popular platform where you can ask questions, or build an audience by answering questions of your expertise. You could incorporate Quora in your content marketing strategy as well as your advertising strategy by answering questions about your business expertise.
- G2, Capterra, and SourceForge: You probably already know and use at least one of these platforms. Getting visibility on such platforms where people specifically search for software could become your primary source of actual leads.
- Emails/Newsletters: The top marketing lead sources are referrals (65%) and email marketing (38%) (Source). By collecting an email address from users, you can send perfectly targeted emails to each potential customer and your current customers. This way, b keeping them in the marketing cycle, you can increase your chance of upselling, and decrease your cost-per-conversion.
Running ads on all those platforms can become extremely costly, so it's best to choose the platforms that work best for you. The process will have its ups and downs, but as soon as you find the correct target audience, your ROI charts will spike up high.
Fundamental Steps to Make Sure Your Ads Will Work
1- Set a clear budget
This might sound too obvious, but many advertisement campaigns fail because they aren't evaluated enough and set on a clear budget.
Getting a potential customer down to the sales process is not an easy thing to do, and there are mostly many steps to take before a person actually turns into a paying customer.
This process and the expenses along the way made are called the customer acquisition cost.
2- Sell experiences, not your product
SaaS Marketing campaigns are getting more and more product-led; therefore, you should focus on advertising high-quality content that focuses on the solutions and the feelings that you sell, not on the product itself.
You need to turn people into trial users first, and that's when they are going to see how amazing your product is and how flawless the user experience flows.
You should get them excited with your ad so that they can be convinced to get on a customer journey with your product.
3- Include Experiences
The experience is not only what they want to feel. They want to see it as well.
Include a case study, or a piece of content from experiences in the copy you put on the ad if you can.
Case studies and webinars are the best friends for building a referral program for SaaS, and the referral program is what can get you on the top of the list in people's minds.
Here is a great example of this by Drift:
4- Segmentate for different personas
Do you show the same advertisement to enterprise leads and basic plan leads?
Can you convince every user persona with the same promises?
The best companies target their ads according to the needs of users. Select one key takeaway that will lure a certain audience to click on your ad, and focus the ad solely on that key point.
5- Be direct to the point
What is another thing that catches the eye in the Mailchimp example?
The fact that their copy is bold, short, and direct to the point.
Fun fact: focusing on one point in each ad makes campaign management simple as well since you know what your customers need the most by analyzing which ad the current leads come from the most.
Being direct will reach the target audience easily, and take a huge weight off the marketing team by allowing them to see clear data about their objectives while helping determine which product features the custom audience values the most.
6- Make the CTA bold and clear
How many links should you put on an ad?
One link that points out the core functionality, the core value of your product.
So why not put that one link into a big, bold CTA for the users to find it easily?
Whether the CTA takes the users to a landing page, or makes them book a demo with the sales reps, you will easily attract prospective customers this way.
7- If possible, stress the free materials
Who won't say no to a free valuable piece of content, such as a webinar or a product sheet?
Those free giveaways will be your #1 sales qualified lead magnets if you incorporate them correctly in your strategy, because the people who need what you offer probably need your services.
So how do you do that?
- Promote that free piece on related social media platforms,
- Try to focus on one aspect of the free material in your marketing channels,
- Instead of offering a popular piece that other companies promote as well, try to be unique.
8- Beware of click fraud
This is the only other enemy of paid marketing efforts, apart from implementing a wrong marketing plan.
Some so-to-say smart people thought that they could bring companies down by clicking on their pay-per-click ads, and making them spend tons of money on clicks that didn't bring any actual leads.