A Guide to SaaS Paid Media Strategy

In This Article

    Reaching customers online is undoubtedly competitive — at any one point, you’re competing with several other businesses for the same customer pool. What if there was a way to reach customers more effectively?

    Yes, there’s always a way, and paid media is an efficient technique for growing your brand and boosting your revenue quickly — when done right. Up to 45% of small businesses use paid ads to advertise their products, and some are reporting a return on investment (ROI) of up to 200%. That’s quite convincing, right?

    So, if you have resolved to use paid media to spread your brand messaging or market your products, leveraging the best practices is critical. This includes:

    • Using high-converting ad formats
    • Retargeting viewers with improved ads
    • Creating compelling call-to-actions (CTAs)
    • Optimising your landing pages

    Apart from identifying the best practices, you need a great strategy to deliver your desired results. Whether it’s to generate more traffic, increase brand exposure, or promote your products/services, your goals should be envisioned and centred within your paid media strategy.

    Read on to learn more!

    What is paid media?

    Paid media is typically paid ad placement or advertising on external platforms. Its examples include display ads, PPC advertising, and branded content, and they offer the quickest way to drive traffic to your website.

    Branded search ad example
    Branded Search Ad Example

    If you have just launched a new website, creating an ad campaign might just be the easiest way to earn your first visitors. The platforms you can use for advertising include search engines, social media, and popular media platforms and marketplaces.

    Some companies even allow you to advertise your products or services in their newsletters to broaden your coverage or target a refined audience. However, tracking these ads can be difficult, but some will send you monthly or quarterly reports.

    How is it different from organic sources?

    The key difference is that paid media involves paid advertising to earn customers, while organic sources are free.

    Using paid ads means there’s an ongoing cost. So, if you’d like to continue earning new customers and traffic, you need to keep your ad account topped up. Once you stop running the ads, you also stop acquiring new customers or traffic. The quick results make paid media an attractive option for B2B advertising.

    On the other hand, organic sources are developed over a period of time, and they’re long-term techniques for generating endless traffic. However, if you’re just getting started with organic sources, such as search engine optimisation (SEO), you’re likely to notice a significant increase in traffic after 6 to 12 months, depending on your niche and budget.

    SEO crash course ebook

    Who should you target?

    While creating compelling ads is somewhat easy, the problem is targeting the right audience. The common mistake some B2B marketers make is failing to understand their customers and conducting keyword research.

    Keyword Research Tool Example

    In paid media, you must know the interests, behaviours, and topics of your potential customers — creating your ideal customer profile will help with this. Then you can hone in on who you target more effectively. For example, Google Display Network offers several options for audience targeting, including In-Market, Life Events, and Custom Intent Audiences.

    In-Market targeting lets you advertise to audiences that are “in the market” for a certain service or product, while Life Events targeting involves reaching out to businesses that have experienced a particular major event. Local companies can also use geographical targeting when advertising to businesses in their areas or locations.

    In short, target customers who are actively searching for your products or services. Invest time in keyword research to find terms and phrases that customers are using to search for products. Optimising your ads with these keywords makes it easy for your ads to be served to the right customers.

    How much should you spend?

    The simple answer is, there is no specific amount you should spend on paid media. Your yearly budget depends on several factors, including the platforms you plan to use, your niche, and your target keywords. It’s also a matter of how much you’re willing to spend as a business.

    You should understand the two vital payment schemes in paid media: cost per click (CPC) and cost per mille (CPM).

    With CPM, you pay for every 1000 impressions your ad gets, while CPC lets you pay for each engagement. The two options are different measurements, and your choice depends on your campaign’s goals. For example, B2B marketers mostly use CPM advertising to improve brand visibility in paid social and display ads, but it’s usually difficult to quantify.

    The cost of CPC can be quantified, allowing you to plan your budget and know the amount you’re likely to spend. There are several factors to take into account to calculate your maximum acceptable CPC:

    1. Customer lifetime valueCustomer LTV is the average amount a customer will pay you overtime. You must create a model to understand your customer LTV because it’s not measurable. For example, if you’re selling a one-off software license at £5,000 with a yearly maintenance fee of £1,000 and the customer sticks around for say five years, your customer LTV will be £10,000.
    2. Close rate — This refers to the number of leads or deals you’re closing. For example, for every 100 leads the ads send your way, how many are you closing? If it’s 10, your close rate is 10%.
    3. Landing page conversion rate — This the percentage of the number of visitors you’re converting. These are the visitors that are clicking your ads and getting sent to your landing page. Most B2B landing pages usually convert about 2%, while the typical range is about 0.25% to 5%.

    Once you have these figures, you can then calculate your minimum and maximum CPC to help you plan your budget.

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    Getting started:

    So, how can you get started with paid media? As noted before, you have several options when it comes to utilising paid media. Here they are.

    1. Paid search and pay per click (PPC) ads

    These are the keyword or text ads that appear on search engine results pages, such as Google and Bing. Google’s ad network is the biggest since the company accounts for over 80% of the global search engine market.

    Paid Search Ad Example

    Your ads appear on all devices, including mobile, desktop, and tablet, and an auction system is used to serve the ads through bidding. The cost per click (CPC) is determined by the time of the day, the targeted geographical location, number of competitors, and audience segmentation.

    2. Paid social (and the channels to use)

    Paid social ads are those that appear on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter,  and LinkedIn. Facebook ads network is the biggest, but LinkedIn is great for B2B advertising. Unlike paid search and PPC ads, paid social advertising provides refined targeting options and better customer information.

    New call-to-action

    With social media advertising, you can try different ad types, such as links, images, videos, and text. The ads can be served to different people in your targeted location, not just your followers only. You can create your target audiences based on their behaviours, interests, demographics, and more.

    3. Display Ads and retargeting

    You also have the option of using image-based ads to target your audiences. These are known as display ads, which can appear on relevant websites, blogs, Gmail, mobile apps, and YouTube. The ads are usually banners, but they can be in other formats comprising audio, video, images, and text.

    Display Ad Example
    Display Ad Example

    Google, Facebook, and Twitter are the three most popular options for display ads. Unlike text ads, display ads are not found in search engine results.

    You can also retarget your ads to visitors who have viewed or clicked them. This is known as retargeting or remarketing, and it helps you target specific visitors who have already shown interest in your product or services. Using compelling call-to-actions (CTAs) can help you convert such visitors.

    Measuring results

    Understanding the performance of your ads is essential to determine their viability and sustainability. The good thing is that different paid media channels, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, provide performance reports on your ad campaigns.

    You should consider several metrics when measuring your results, including web traffic, sales numbers, on-page time, direct visits, impressions, and branded search volume. You must compare all these metrics pre- and post-advertising to see the changes in your figures. An increment in the count or percentage of these metrics definitely means your ads are working.

    But then again, it depends on the amount you’re spending on closing each deal. It doesn’t make sense to have positive figures when you’re spending more on your ads.

    Optimise your strategy

    The truth is that paid media works effectively to deliver your desired results, but you must have a clear strategy. Creating and launching powerful ad campaigns takes time, planning, A/B testing, and great skill. You need:

    • A clear budget
    • The right keywords
    • Creative ad copy
    • The best advertising mediums/networks
    • Creatively designed landing pages

    Your bidding model and ad groups are also essential parts of your strategy. All these should be designed with your campaign goals in mind to ensure success. Launching the ads without a defined strategy is simply flushing money down the drain.

    Luckily, you can always get help from paid media professionals. Consulting a digital marketing agency like Gripped can help you implement the strategy you want to get the results you need. Get a free growth assessment, and we’d be happy to talk to you or your team.