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6 documented ways to use paid search

6 documented ways to use paid search

SaaS marketing often falls into niche categories where relevant keywords can be restricted and B2B differentiation from B2C intent can be a challenge.

However, there are several different ways to use PPC to reach potential customers and re-engage those who may be in a consideration phase.

In this article, you will learn six PPC tactics that SaaS companies use to target the right people and keep their products on top.

1. Competitor keyword bidding

Sometimes off-brand keywords can be difficult to search for niche SaaS products.

Bidding on competitor names can be an effective tactic to target people who are in the market for your product, especially once they go into the search.

You can stick to familiarity with a larger competitor that may have more search volume than your own brand.

While you should not directly mention your competitor by name in an ad (for both trademark and ethical reasons), feel free to highlight differentiators for your brand. Examine your competitors to keep an eye out for areas where they may be weak and you are strong.

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For example, if a competitor has recently increased their pricing, current users and those in research mode may be more open to other options. You can take advantage of mentioning your more effective prices if that is your brand’s selling point.

You may also find that a competitor often receives complaints about their customer service. If your brand is known for positive customer service, you need to highlight that aspect of your business in ads to stand out from your competition.

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

LinkedIn targeting often provides the most niche opportunities to directly reach the audience of a B2B SaaS product. However, LinkedIn advertising also tends to be expensive.

Lead gen forms can help bring cost per. Acquisition down.

Lead gen forms allow a user to submit an offer form directly in the LinkedIn feed without going to a website.

The form will also automatically fill in all information associated with the user’s account (eg name, email, job title, etc.). Leads can be synchronized directly to several major CRMs and automation platforms.

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Lead generations reduce friction and often tend to convert to a higher speed and lower cost per second. Acquisition than using a dedicated landing page.

According to LinkedIn, the average conversion rate on a lead generator is 13% (compared to an estimated average of 2.35% for landing pages).

In general, lead generation forms tend to work best to promote a closed asset to a higher funnel or mid-funnel audience. You can then continue to follow up with the people submitting the form using a marketing automation platform.

3. Retargeting across channels

Many SaaS companies are concerned with trying to reach narrow audiences that may have few relevant targeting options on each platform. To maximize the reach of the right people, you need to target potential customers across channels.

For example, you can use LinkedIn to target people who have certain titles, are members of certain groups, or work for companies on an account list.

While LinkedIn may be the only place you can target directly by these criteria, you can then add them to an audience if you can get people to your site for a higher funnel, e.g. To read content or sign up for a webinar. for retargeting.

Be sure to use the correct UTM parameters to refine the specific audiences you want to re-target.

You can then use a channel like Google or Facebook to create a targeted audience of people who visited URLs that contain these parameters.

For example, a LinkedIn ad URL for individuals who visited a webinar sign-up page from a campaign using account-based targeting may have the following parameters:

utm_source = linkedinutm_medium = paidsocialutm_campaign = Webinar_AccountList4.

You can then create a targeted audience that “contains” this string from the URL: utm_source = linkedin & utm_medium = paidsocial & utm_campaign = Webinar_AccountList

4. Targeting by prospectus list

You may have a list of leads working in sales, or people who have expressed their first interest in your brand by signing up for a webinar.

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As long as these individuals have chosen to receive marketing communications, you can upload these lists to target them across ad platforms or sync lists to automatically update depending on your automation platform setup.

Most major ad platforms support some form of list targeting so you can reach people across Google, Microsoft Advertising, LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora and others.

Here are a few suggestions for using prospect lists in ad campaigns:

Engage leads with a different kind of content. For example, if someone initially signed up for a webinar, they might be interested in reading a buying guide. You can put an extra discount in front of them or maybe a longer trial period than you usually offer to sweeten the deal. If you offer a free trial period, you can sync a list of people who are on a trial period to show ads that promote the benefits of a paid subscription. Upload a customer list to exclude from targeting so you don’t waste your budget on current customers. Use a customer list to create a similar audience to target people with similar characteristics as current customers.

5. Account List Targeting

In addition to targeting specific individuals, you can also use ABM (account-based marketing) to reach selected companies you would like to target.

The advantage here is that you do not need explicit sign-ups to upload a list. A sales team may have a list of “dream” target accounts, or you may have access to a list of major companies in a particular industry.

Out of the major self-service ad platforms, LinkedIn is the primary route for uploading account lists.

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In addition, you can also work with representatives to sync account lists in native ad platforms like Taboola or Outbrain, and for larger purchases, you can look at dedicated ABM platforms.

You can also overlay additional targeting on the ledgers to ensure you reach the right decision makers in the organization.

For example, you could overlay an IT job function and a job seniority as a director and up to put your ads in front of people who are likely to make IT purchasing decisions.

6. Video display Retargeting

Sometimes SaaS products offer complex solutions that cannot be easily explained in a short social post.

An explanatory video can present the problem and how the product solves it, as well as establish a first brand recognition for the product.

Even if a video doesn’t work for instant conversion, you can run a video ad on Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube that targets a top-of-the-funnel audience and create an audience based on video viewers.

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You can then target engaged viewers again with an asset transfer or another CTA.

Conclusion

Reaching the right buyers in the market for a SaaS product can be challenging. But nailing the right strategy by testing different platforms and ad formats can often be rewarding in the end.

Having the right tracking infrastructure in place to properly measure trial / demo registrations, upgrades, and recurring subscriptions is crucial to also informing long-term strategy while reviewing what tactics are likely to provide long-term customers.

So make sure you are able to correctly attribute what results you get from each platform and campaign, and start testing some new tactics!

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Image credits

All screenshots taken by the author, July 2021

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