PPC advertising for SaaS companies – evaluation of the effectiveness of the tool

If you want your SaaS company to properly communicate and build an advertising strategy using PPC for SaaS, read this article to the end and use the recommendations.


Features of PPC Advertising Campaigns for SaaS

Contextual advertising SaaS (SaaS PPC) is a type of advertising aimed at placing an informational message about a SaaS product or company for the target audience in search engines and partner sites. At the same time, the search results, according to the user’s request, are accompanied by the display of ads from above and below in the body of the page. Therefore, the content of the announcement depends entirely on the interests of the subjects making the request.

Finding new customers and retaining existing ones is not an easy task for a marketer, especially when it comes to SaaS. “Software-as-a-service” is inherently a dynamic business model aimed at getting a company’s results through various digital tools. The PPC channel for SaaS allows the company to achieve the desired effect and get the long-awaited subscriber in the shortest possible time. In addition, based on the assertion that the value of each click is higher than its paid cost, a well-founded and well-designed SaaS PPC advertising campaign saves the advertiser time and resources to promote the SaaS product.

SaaS PPC can be implemented by a company using one of the following models:

  • The simplest model is contextual advertising with a fixed / flat rate (Flat-rate PPC). It is advisable to use if the advertiser is completely satisfied with the cost per click set by the site owner. It remains unchanged (fixed) and is subject to change only if both parties agree to the adjustments. The price of Flat-rate PPC bets is different and usually varies by different segments and types of markets. Advantage: the ability to get targeted traffic for a set budget.
  • Contextual advertising with a non-fixed / competitive rate (Bid-based PPC) is more complex in its operation and is built on the principle of an auction, in which several applicants’ ads simultaneously compete for one carrier position. They all want to get the most clicks for the lowest cost. Therefore, the model requires careful planning. Advantage: geotargeting, optimised display time and taking into account the frequency of the key in the cost allow you to win an auction for your SaaS company on the most favourable terms.


Benefits of PPC over Other Advertising Channels

Despite the negative experience in contextual advertising of some SaaS companies, related to the fact that the received traffic did not bring the desired effect, you should still not be sceptical about this promotion tool. Focusing on business metrics rather than traffic or CTR allows you to fully unlock the possibilities of PPC for SaaS companies and highlight its advantages over other channels.

So, in particular, one of the advertising firms practising SaaS PPC offers to place it, opposing SEO promotion. Her practice shows that the main advantages of SaaS PPC, compared to SaaS SEO, are:

  • speed of launching an advertising campaign and effectiveness in the short term;
  • possibility of application for seasonal projects;
  • variety of formats;
  • the universality of application on all devices;
  • convenient for starting work in the field of SaaS promotion;
  • suitable for testing demand for SaaS in new niches;
  • a tool for checking the effectiveness of the site design and changes made to it;
  • ideal for receiving mobile traffic.

To sum up, we can’t fully say that PPC for SaaS is better than SEO, but we can say one thing – if you need instant results, then the benefits of PPC for SaaS companies are undeniable. Also, if a SaaS project requires an unambiguously established level of sales and there is a need to segment the target audience according to clear criteria, then the choice of a company should fall on SaaS contextual advertising.

It is quite logical that users are more likely to pay attention to ads with an original brand message from a SaaS company than to ordinary results in the issue. Therefore, if there are identical keywords in SEO and PPC, their symbiosis can generate a powerful synergistic effect from promoting a digital product based on the target audience’s reach and the company’s potential contact with the subscriber.

See also  SEO for SaaS products

As an alternative to PPC, you can also consider such promotion tools: SMM, mailing lists, cold calls, etc. Note that most of them do not have universality regarding SaaS. For example, SMM is mainly used as a communication channel for B2C, focusing on lead generation and ad targeting. Email marketing and cold calling are ideal for a B2B marketplace, but they don’t always showcase the benefits of a SaaS product. At the same time, PPC explicitly aims at the digital product and directs the client to the landing page.

Therefore, SaaS PPC is the tool that fully works in any type of market, focuses on the interests of the advertiser and can quickly adapt due to changes in technology, mechanics or software-as-a-service organisation.


Why SaaS PPC Campaigns Can Fail

Building an effective SaaS PPC advertising campaign requires financial, marketing and technical efforts. Next, we will understand in more detail what could be the reasons for the collapse of PPC for SaaS.

Let’s start with the financial component. Such advertising is directly dependent on the finances of the customer. As long as you are solvent and there is a certain amount of money on your account, the advertising platform will provide traffic. On the other hand, if a SaaS project has a minimal budget, then contextual advertising is clearly not for your company. It is also necessary to consider the cost of a click when planning an advertising budget because the price for advertising services from digital agencies can vary significantly (especially in competitive niches).

The organisational component directly depends on the level of involved SaaS marketing performers and their well-coordinated work – a contextual advertising specialist, an analyst and an account manager. Their qualifications and experience are the key to the success of an adequately organised advertising campaign and budget allocation. If there are simply no such specialists in the company’s staff, then it is better to delegate authority to SaaS PPC professionals of an advertising company. Please note that the skills of the performers should be appreciated because they will develop an effective structure of an advertising account, form a semantic core, coordinate it with the customer and select the necessary metrics. Saving on the services of such professionals can lead to disastrous results and traffic drain.

The technical part of contextual advertising is provided by account registration, parameter settings, metric counters, end-to-end analytics, import of conversions and remarketing audiences. Therefore, errors in the technical component can have disastrous results if the ads are set up and run incorrectly.

Highlights of PPC RK Development for SaaS Companies

In essence, PPC for SaaS companies is the same contextual advertising product but considers the specifics of “software-as-a-service” in the SaaS B2B and B2C segments. Below are some aspects of its development focusing on the digital product.


Target audience assessment – Drawing up a Portrait of Customer

“Software-As-A-Service” differs significantly in characteristics, and drawing up a high-quality portrait of the target audience is vital for launching and setting up PPC. The parameters and properties of various segments of potential subscribers are quite extensive. Conclusion: detail the portrait of each consumer group. It is essential to draw up not an average portrait of a subscriber but real customers who bring the maximum income.

What steps should the portrait of an ideal customer include?

  • Stage #1. Define market segments based on their key characteristics.
  • Stage #2. We select ten main clients from each segment according to the criterion of profitability or potentially desirable ones from the TOP 100.
  • Stage #3. We compile a summary table based on the results of the sample.
  • Stage #4. According to the table for subsequent campaign planning, we collect additional information on social networks.
  • Stage #5. We conduct in-depth interviews with potential or existing subscribers to find out the motives for acquiring SaaS.
  • Stage #6. We draw a portrait of the ideal buyer based on the analysis and generalisation of the results obtained.

The final portrait of the ideal customer helps to keep the focus on improving the contextual advertising of the SaaS product, accelerates the rate of sales growth, optimises the marketing budget, and allows you to solve customer problems better.

At the same time, drawing up a portrait of a customer in PPC for SaaS companies has its specifics for B2B and B2C markets.


Customer Oriented – Using Different Approaches in B2B and B2C Markets

A company’s SaaS business model determines the type of customers it generates revenue. For example, will it be the end subscriber or a business using SaaS for growth and development.

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The advantage of such advertising for B2B companies is saving time and resources on finding customers by participating in exhibitions, making cold calls, and so on. In addition, you can convey information about yourself and attract the target audience’s attention with a simple ad that works for you seven days a week and around the clock. PPC for B2B also allows a company to move away from more aggressive and ineffective marketing and sales strategies.

The simplest example of how PPC works is building and running a successful B2B strategy with Google Ads:

  • Look for high-value keywords for your B2B PPC campaign using online keyword research tools, or make your own. Alternatively, you can use the Google Ads Keyword Planner;
  • We structure our B2B PPC campaign in accordance with best practices and recommendations in accordance with the hierarchy of accounts (account for the purchase of advertising, advertising campaigns, ad groups, keywords). Specify the budget, audience, landing page and bid for advertising in the search network;
  • Determine the advertising text and create creatives, headlines, and descriptions;
  • We create landing pages for paid B2B advertising. Landing pages need to be relevant and backed by your ad text for SaaS B2B to be successful. So, for example, if you offer a free SaaS version, then make sure that the user, as a result of clicking on the advertisement, finds a demo and can use it by providing their contacts. It is not forbidden to use an existing page on your site as a target if it is working;
  • After the B2B Google Ads strategy is ready, we launch the campaign and monitor the results weekly. It is allowed to work with targeting, landing pages, advertising text and other PPC tools as a Google Ads Experiment. Linked Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts will help you track the performance of your ads.

Concerning customer focus on B2C, we note that there are no fundamental differences in the work of SaaS contextual advertising for an individual consumer. The principles of effective advertising are similar, adjusted for the competitive environment. B2Cs is present in a highly competitive marketplace and have to stand out from hundreds or thousands of competitors.

The goal of PPC for SaaS companies is to build an intelligent strategy and apply tactics aimed at maximising the commercial result from the sale of a digital product. Contextual advertising for B2C is available on Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, AdRoll, RevContent and other sites.


Formation of Specific Goals

The main objectives of PPC for SaaS are the following:

  • rapid growth of advertising campaign profitability;
  • getting results in the short term;
  • appeal directly to the target audience;
  • improving the efficiency of control;
  • targeting ideal customers;
  • ensuring the simplicity of search results;
  • improving SEO strategy using data from PPC;
  • work on promotion in search engines and on partner sites;
  • improvement of promotion based on detailed analytics and customization of characteristics.

An integrated approach to building a company’s “goal tree” will allow you to increase conversion and get sustainable results for SaaS.


Constant Monitoring of the Effectiveness of Advertising Campaigns and their Optimization

At the stage of launching SaaS PPC, it is imperative to monitor its effectiveness and make appropriate changes in a timely manner if the return on advertising does not suit you. What indicators can be used as a basis in this case?

We’ve put together a list of top PPC metrics. Use the following checklist to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising campaign:

  1. Number of clicks and/or impressions.
  2. Involvement.
  3. Cost per click.
  4. Click-through rate.
  5. unique users.
  6. CR conversions.
  7. Customer lifetime value.
  8. The cost of attracting a lead / user.
  9. Return on advertising spend.
  10. CPO order value.
  11. The cost of the target activity.
  12. Return on investment in advertising.
  13. Regular monthly income.
  14. Outflow of income.
  15. 6CRR customer retention.

The recommended metrics reflect real data for the reporting period, and also help optimize and improve the effectiveness of your SaaS advertising campaign. With their help, bottlenecks are identified and eliminated, finalising and adjusting the existing strategy.


Based on the fact that contextual advertising is the simplest payment model, as well as its positive aspects, it cannot be unequivocally stated that there is a universal way of effective PPC advertising for SaaS companies. Everything is individual, as “software-as-a-service” is individual. Whether you are targeting a B2B or B2C user of a SaaS product, it is always necessary to consider the strategic marketing goals and financial, organisational and technical components. Only then will you be able to get the long-awaited conversion!


Checked by marketer Victoria Fedchenko

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