As a SaaS marketer, we know you are already familiar with the unique advertising and marketing obstacles that your industry can bring.
From long, complex sales cycles to competitive markets, you’ve seen it all.
Because of this, you need to know every trick in the book to boost your revenue and stay ahead of the competition.
This is where PPC for SaaS can help.
As one of the most effective digital marketing tactics in terms of ROI, PPC is an effective SaaS marketing technique that helps you harness the power of Paid Search and Social so that your business can reach new levels of growth.
If you’re keen to take advantage of SaaS PPC for your campaigns, let’s dive into some detail.
The basics of PPC for SaaS companies
PPC for SaaS refers to the process of increasing reach, leads and conversions through Paid Search and Social tactics.
Many SaaS companies are reliant on rapid growth and so their marketing strategies tend to also be based on ramping up demand generation. Investing in PPC can complement this need for fast growth by helping get your SaaS products or services seen instantaneously by the right people.
Also known as pay-per-click, PPC functions as an online advertising model used to drive traffic to various websites. It works by the advertiser paying the publisher each and every time an ad is clicked on. Hence the name pay-per-click!
The advertiser will be the business owner running the ads, or the PPC management company or agency managing ads on behalf of their client. The publisher will often be a search engine or a website owner.
It’s worth noting that when talking about PPC, people are often referring to Google Ads as this is the most popular PPC network. Yet, Google Ads isn’t the only PPC network available. You need to choose the ad networks that are going to be most effective for your business.
Why PPC is important for SaaS
When it comes to organic search, the goalposts are ever-changing – particularly in the SaaS market, where competition is fierce.
According to Search Engine Watch, 2020 saw huge searches in website traffic yet the competition and cost of paid ads took a downward trend. And in 2021, customers’ needs are continuously changing.
As such, you need a two-pronged approach. This is where PPC comes into play.
PPC helps your SaaS business weather the storm against continual customer changes and demands. More than that, investing in PPC can also get your brand in front of your target audience straight away.
While your SEO strategy will be focused on fostering long-term growth, your PPC strategy will be focused on the here-and-now.
A well-formed PPC strategy allows SaaS companies to reach their objectives faster and more easily. Plus, you have the added bonus of tracking metrics and optimising your campaigns for future success.
Many SaaS companies already recognise the value of investing in PPC. But knowing how to create effective Paid campaigns for your company is what will make sure your brand stands strong against competitors.
Proven strategies for your SaaS PPC campaign
SaaS companies can improve their PPC campaigns by following these seven proven strategies for maximising the return of investment of your paid advertising efforts.
To get the most out of PPC for SaaS, you’ll need to:
- Make sure your PPC strategy is objective-lead
- Tailor your ads to your audience
- Leverage all your marketing assets
- Avoid ad fatigue
- Tap into retargeting
- Optimise your PPC landing pages
- Don’t rely on Google Ads
Taking these strategies on board can reduce ad costs while increasing clicks and leads. The result? You will produce ad campaigns that convert more people for less.
Make sure your PPC strategy is objective-led
Developing an objective-led SaaS marketing strategy can help your business gain increased trust, greater leads, higher conversions and more customers. Similarly, focusing on your objectives is one of the single most important aspects of any SaaS PPC strategy.
Your objective for your chosen PPC campaigns should be based on what action you would like your audience to take. To begin with, you might want to focus on just driving traffic to your website. Subsequent campaigns may then be focused on generating sales or leads for your SaaS product. It’s likely that you will end up having multiple campaigns based on the various objectives within your business.
Your chosen objective will also vary depending on what stage of the sales funnel your customers are in. People who are unfamiliar with your brand will likely respond best to an ad campaign that has been created with the objective of increasing brand awareness and reach. Meanwhile, customers nearing the end of the sales funnel can be targeted with Sales-focused ad campaigns.
Take time to consider how your PPC strategy impacts your target audience at every stage of the sales funnel. Use your objectives carefully to inform your campaign type and chosen keywords based on the search intent at each of these sales stages.
Ultimately, your PPC objective should form the basis of your ad copy, audience, keywords and messaging.
Make sure your chosen PPC goals are realistic and use meaningful KPIs to track and measure the success of your campaign.
Tailor your ads to your audience
If your PPC campaigns aren’t targeting the right people, they’re going to fail. It’s a harsh but honest truth. This is why you need to tailor your ads according to your niche audience.
To do this, you should first carry out keyword research. When doing keyword research for your PPC ads, consider which search terms your audience is most likely to use and create separate ad groups centred around these search terms. Once finished, you will have a series of keyword-focused ad groups under each of your campaigns.
Then, tweak your ad copy for each of these ad groups so that it ‘speaks’ directly to your target audience. This keyword-focused approach helps make sure that your ads are tailored to the search behaviour of your audience. When doing this, focus on creating ads that a) your audience is searching for and b) that capture their attention.
Remember to include negative keywords in your ad campaigns, as they will allow you to selectively filter who sees your ad by removing any redundant, irrelevant or underperforming search terms. In turn, filtering out negative keywords can help improve click-through rates and minimise wasted ad spend.
If you want to take things a step further, consider adding audience interests, or adjusting ad targeting features such as location and demographic. It’s also helpful to adjust display times according to when your audience is most likely to be active.
This is something we implemented for Alfresco, who needed an extra hand to improve their PPC performance. By restructuring their PPC accounts and creating targeted, tailored campaigns, we managed to increase conversion rates by 162%.
Leverage all of your marketing assets
Most SaaS companies will more than likely have a powerful catalogue of assets behind them, from explainer videos to articles and whitepapers.
You can get the most out of these marketing assets by using them in your PPC campaigns as ad extensions, ad visuals for paid social ads or display ads, or by incorporating them into your PPC landing page. These assets have the potential to effectively educate and nurture your audience, which will help them convert further down the line.
Say you’re looking to build a PPC campaign around lead generation. You can create a lead generation campaign for a specific whitepaper, or use an explainer video on your PPC landing page to educate visitors and help move them along the SaaS buyer journey. Think about your overall objective then consider and what type of marketing assets would help you reach this goal.
It’s also worth taking the time to carefully match assets to different stages of the buyer journey, and incorporate them into your overall PPC strategy. Doing this will give you the best possible chances of maximising the ROI of your ad campaigns.
Avoid ad fatigue
Any SaaS company that wants to stay ahead of the pack needs to avoid the dreaded ad fatigue at all costs.
If you’re showing the same ads to the same audiences every month, your SaaS PPC ads are going to become less effective. Ad fatigue occurs when someone has seen your ad so many times that they become disengaged or annoyed – and are therefore less likely to buy from you. This can also be harmful to your click-through rates, ad quality and ad costs.
This is why it’s vital to cycle different ad variations; switch up your ad copy and visuals regularly, and consider using responsive ads too.
Responsive ads adapt to show more relevant messages to your customers over time and learn which headline and text combinations perform best. These are a smart addition to any Google Ads campaign.
Tap into retargeting
Retargeting should also form an integral part of any SaaS PPC strategy. It’s crucial for re-engaging audiences and making sure your brand stays at the forefront of their mind. After all, most people will need to see your brand more than once before they feel compelled to take action.
To get the most out of your retargeting, make sure you segment your audience. Once segmented, you can then create ads that are tailored specifically to the unique needs and pain points of each of your audience groups.
It can also be helpful to create a PPC funnel that targets audiences at different stages – right from awareness through to that all-important conversion. Throughout the cycle of a sale, you can follow potential customers along with consistent retargeting campaigns that serve them content that’s tailored to their needs.
Retargeting also boosts Customer Lifetime Value, as it will continue to encourage audiences to engage with your brand. So, investing in retargeting really is a winning PPC strategy for any SaaS company looking to grow their online performance.
Optimise your PPC landing pages
Instead of directing customers to your home page, think more strategically about where you send your potential customers who click on your ads.
To get the most out of your SaaS ad campaigns, your PPC landing pages should be optimised for your exact ad objective and audience. Generic landing pages just won’t cut it!
Your chosen landing page needs to encourage visitors to take action and convert, so you’ll need to think about how you frame copy, your Call To Action, and your chosen style of formatting.
Don’t just rely on Google Ads
While it can be tempting to fall back on Google Ads as your go-to advertising network, it’s important to remember that pay-per-click extends well beyond Google Ads. In fact, it’s much more beneficial to use a multichannel approach.
Adopting a multichannel approach allows your SaaS company to target customers where they’re most active. Think about using Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads – wherever your audience will be.
Don’t forget to complement your PPC marketing with other digital marketing techniques, such as SEO and PPC. Each channel needs to work in alignment with your objectives, and operate with a clear, unified message.
A well-rounded marketing strategy will not only boost brand visibility and trust but also increase that all-important ROI.
Wrapping up SaaS PPC strategies
PPC can be a definite gamechanger for SaaS businesses. But PPC for SaaS isn’t as clear-cut as setting up a campaign and letting it do it’s thing; you need to test your campaigns, make informed decisions, be strategic, and use a cross-channel approach.
By following the steps we’ve laid out in this guide, you can arm yourself with the best possible tools to turbocharge your next SaaS PPC campaign and take it where it’s capable of going.
If you’re ready to maximise your revenue through Paid Search and Social, you can start your journey with us here at Common Ground. When you partner with us, you receive PPC campaigns that deliver results – allowing you to get more, spend less, and grow your business.