Marketing subscription software, in many ways, is unlike other types of digital marketing. Instead of maximizing your one-time purchases, you try to drive long-term subscribers. Lifetime value is more important than instant revenue, and churn should always be a part of your consideration.
Fortunately, you can use the same channels other industries use to promote your brand and grow your business. All you have to do is optimize it for your SaaS solutions. Pay per click advertising on Google and social media can work immensely well – if you keep your audience, and your product, in mind. Here are 5 tips to help you optimize your PPC strategy toward growing your SaaS subscriber base.
1) Focus on Relevant Keywords
Make no mistake: when they have a problem, potential subscribers look for solutions like yours on search engines. Google advertising should be a core part of your PPC strategy, but it can only succeed if you know what keywords will bring the maximum possible conversions.
Finding a balance is key. While the average cost per click on Google ranges between $1 and $2, you can pay more than $50 per click if your software focuses on the insurance industry. Through extensive keyword research, you can walk the line to find a keyword that your audience actually searches for, without the competition that drives up the cost for ad space on it.
You may also want to consider bidding specifically on competitor’s keywords. If you offer accounting software, for example, a strategically placed ad for a brand name like Quickbooks that actually describes why your solution is better than Quickbooks can drive not just clicks, but also trial conversions.
2) Take Advantage of Video Possibilities
Video marketing works, thanks to our propensity to prefer visual content over its text-based counterpart. But it holds a special place in the heart of SaaS marketers, who can use video to more effectively communicate the value of their software.
Describing just what your software does might be difficult. So why not show it? The internet is littered with great examples of explainer videos that simplify your core value proposition. Use relevant targeting to advertise these videos on YouTube or Facebook, and your SaaS solution will experience similar benefits.
3) Bring in Ideal Subscribers With Lookalike Audiences
If you’re already marketing your SaaS product, you probably already have a pretty good idea about the general characteristics of your audience. What’s more, you can use your existing subscribers to get a demographic picture of what your ideal customer looks like.
Through lookalike audiences, you can effectively reach that segment of the internet-using population. Most digital marketing platforms, from Facebook to Google Adwords, now use a version of this targeting method. Simply upload a list of your existing subscribers into the platform, and it will show your ads to users who exhibit similar characteristics to the users on your list.
4) Remarket to Relevant Web Visitors
As an SaaS solution, remarketing should be your best friend. As WordStream points out, this option can be a boon especially for software providers who offer products that are not necessarily intuitive or immediately appealing. But if you have already found a way to get potential subscribers on your website, why not keep in touch with them?
In the SaaS buyer’s journey, the time frame from awareness to decision is longer than in most industries. Even after they discover their problem and find out about your potential solution, your potential subscribers probably need some time to consider their options and come up with the budget necessary to work with you.
Through remarketing, you can make sure that your software stays at the forefront of your audience’s minds during that time. Simply place a line of code on your website, and tell your marketing platform of choice to show ads to any recent visitors to your website and even individual pages. Retargeted customers, it turns out, are 4 times more likely to convert.
5) Improve Trial Conversions With List-Based Ads
Finally, don’t underestimate the potential of PPC to get specific. In addition to all of the above targeting options, you can also keep it simple by uploading a list of contacts to Google or Facebook, and showing ads only to users whose email address matches your list. For your SaaS solution, the potential of this type of list-based targeting is immense.
For example, you can use it to build an ad campaign specifically designed to boost trial conversions. Upload a list of your current trial users, and provide copy (and content) designed to help them make that last step. Alternatively, you can use list-based advertising to reduce churn by uploading a list of current subscribers and focusing on a loyalty and engagement-driven message.
The Power of PPC in the SaaS Space
For marketers in any industry, PPC advertising offers an immense possibility. Because you only pay if members of your target audience are interested enough in your ads to click, you can build relevant campaigns designed not just for exposure, but also for conversions.
That, in turn, makes PPC a perfect medium for marketing your SaaS solution. Whether your focus is to grow subscribers, increase trial conversions, or even reduce churn, slight adjustments in your strategy can help you accomplish any of these goals.
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