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Facebook Ads for SaaS - What to Know Before You Spend Your First Dollar

SaaS or Software as a Service is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. For those unaware, SaaS is a software delivery method in which software vendors create the application, host the servers, and maintain the databases. And the authorized users can access the software from anywhere using the internet.

Many people confuse SaaS with e-commerce and social media. Yes, those are also services available to you online. But SaaS specifically refers to a software service in which the company earns its revenue from subscription fees.  

Conglomerates, small businesses, and tiny stores have adopted SaaS because it’s easy to get started with. There is no complicated installation or huge upfront payment fee involved. If you choose a SaaS for your business, you need not buy additional hardware or hire an IT guy. 

Since SaaS is a digital service, it’s mainly advertised and marketed online. Facebook has emerged as the hottest place to advertise and potentially reach millions of customers in recent years. No business can afford to ignore Facebook marketing anymore, let alone SaaS providers. But what is the right approach for creating Facebook Ads for SaaS? Let’s find out more about Facebook marketing for SaaS.

Facebook Advertising for SaaS- The Right Approach

You cannot choose to avoid Facebook Advertising, but simply jumping on the wagon is no guarantee for success. It’s always advisable to approach FB advertising strategically. 

Understand Your Target Audience

Facebook Ads can target people based on age, interests, geography, etc. So if you know who exactly your target audience is, you can easily reach the right people. So before you get started, figure out who you want to sell your software to. 

You can understand this by looking at your existing customers or the customers of your competitors. Who are they? How can you best define them? Try to identify an overwhelming representation of any industry, age group, geography, gender, etc. 

Perhaps you could use this information to build a buyer’s persona. A buyer’s persona is a hypothetical person who has the key features of your target audience. It is a useful tool to represent your target audience to your entire team, and it also helps you drive your marketing efforts in the right direction. One example of a buyer’s persona is-

This is Ms. Paula from Texas. She is 40 years old. She is an accountant, and she runs a mid-sized tax consultancy firm. Her company uses our software for storing and working on clients’ financial data.

This could help you narrow down your search, and you could target your FB ads to the right audience. You can create multiple buyers’ persona to identify different customer segments.

Utilizing FB Audiences

Now that you know who exactly you want to target let’s talk about using Facebook audiences. Over a billion people use FB actively, but these tools and algorithms help you find the people you want to connect with. 

Saved audiences

Using this option, you can reach out to FB users on the basis of their age, location, interests, gender, interests, etc. Additionally, there is an interesting option called detailed targeting. It lets you define the demographic, interests, and behavior. This really narrows down the search and takes your ad to a desirable set of FB feeds.

Custom Audiences

In the custom audience option, you can define your audience based on the people who have already interacted with your business. They could have visited your website or watched your existing FB ads. You can get the data from FB or sync your app data, email lists, etc., using the Custom Audience Source menu. 

Lookalike Audiences

This option lets you find people who are similar to the custom audience that you have created. There is one key difference- your lookalike audience has never interacted with you before. Facebook is simply finding people who are lookalikes of your custom audience.

Understanding the Facebook Funnel

You need to offer advertisements that are suited to different stages of the marketing funnel. Understanding the funnel helps you understand a customer’s journey. You should create different ads for audiences in different stages of that journey.

In the Awareness stage, we want the audience to know about our brand and products. We want to target FB users who haven’t interacted with our brand before and increase our brand awareness amongst them. Use the saved audience option to reach out to these FB users. Case studies, blog posts, etc., could be useful here.

In the Prospecting Stage, we want to create a stronger impact and convince the audience to try our SaaS products. Use product demonstrations, free trial offers, gated content, etc., to give them a glimpse of your product.

In the Lead stage, you want to target the folks who showed actual interest in the prospecting stage. They signed up for a free trial or saw the product demo video. Now you want to encourage them to subscribe to your paid services. The custom audience option is useful here, as you can use it to identify the audience who has interacted with your brand.

In the Purchase stage, you want to completely convince them to get on board. Also, you can upsell your services to those who have already made a purchase.

Create Relevant Ads

People might spend hours on Facebook, but their attention span is limited. To stop them from scrolling down, your ad should capture their attention within the first five seconds. The quality of your ad content should be top-notch, as the competition is intense.

Also, your ad should be relevant to the target audience. Think of your buyer’s persona. How would you talk to that person if you want to tell him or her about your new SaaS product? You are effectively talking to that person through your ad. So make sure that the conversation is meaningful.

If you have two different buyer’s persona, make different ads to cater to both groups. 

Select the Ad Placement

Where do you want to place the advertisement? Facebook ads can be placed at different spots- Facebook feeds (desktop and mobile), FB right-hand column, Instagram, In-stream video, etc. If you are new to Facebook ads, the choice may not be obvious. You need a bit of experimentation to find what works. Once you have started advertising, you can track views and conversion of different ad placements and find what works the best.

Find the Right Time to Post 

The time when you post an advertisement on Facebook plays an important role in getting maximum visibility. The right time of the day and the right day of the week matters a lot. You need to figure out when you get more views from the audience, and that takes a bit of trial and error. Posting when most people online get you an instant response, which boosts the visibility of the ads more.

Facebook Ad Ideas for SaaS

Here are a few ideas to help you decide what to put in your SaaS ads on Facebook:

  • Promote Free Sign-Ups: Most new SaaS businesses rely on free sign-ups to boost their business. They either offer a free trial period or a limited version of the software for free. And a simple yet effective way to get people to sign up is to reach them through ads on FB.

 

  • Share video ads: Video ads have surged in popularity, and Facebook advertising brings your video ads to a larger audience.  Videos are a fantastic way to demonstrate what your product does. You can have a video that shows how real people use your service. Or you can have a video with screen recordings of the software to show how it actually works.

 

  • Use Testimonials: Testimonials are a great way to leverage the power of social proof. People feel confident about paying for something that has been tried and tested by others. You can instill that confidence in your potential customers by capturing and sharing reviews or testimonials from your existing users on your Facebook ads.

 

  • Share Success Stories of Other Brands: Does any successful business rely on your software for their operations? If yes, you must share their experience with your target audience through Facebook Ads. This would be a stronger social proof to demonstrate how good your software is. Get in touch with their person-in-charge and ask them why they prefer your service. The answer may surprise you as well- they may cite a benefit that you would not have thought of yourself! 

 

  • Promote Your Blog: Almost all SaaS business websites have a blog to educate their customers about their software and to keep adding fresh content to their website. But how will people discover your blog in the first place? The easiest way to draw more people to your blog is to share the link on Facebook Ads. 

 

  • Give Discounts: Discounts and promo codes are a popular way to entice new users into trying out your service. And Facebook Ads is the right place to tell the world about the fifteen percent discount users can enjoy if they sign up during Thanksgiving week.

 

  • Advertise Your Webinars- Webinars have emerged as a great way to engage with your audience. Small businesses use webinars to spread awareness about their services and address customers’ queries. But what is the best place to promote a webinar? The answer once again is Facebook Ads. Spread the word about your SaaS webinar on Facebook to get a good headcount and to show how much you care about the people you serve.

 

  • Advertise Your Research- Businesses spend a great deal of time in research. Go to their websites, and you can find interesting whitepapers on industry trends and other relevant topics. But very few people know about these, let alone read them. We suggest promoting your whitepapers (just like your blog) with Facebook Ads. It’s a very cost-effective way to promote the solid content you already have.

 

  • Launch New Product/ Features: Have you added new features to your existing product? Or perhaps you have added a new SaaS. Constant innovation is a must to get ahead of your SaaS rivals. But you also need to occupy the mind space of your target audience and draw them to use your new services. Again, FB ads are the easiest way to do that.  

Benefits of Facebook Marketing

 

  1. Everyone is on Facebook: Well, almost! Around eighty percent of Internet users have a Facebook account. And most users check their feed many times a day. Just observe the people around you. People are not just using FB to stay connected with friends; they are using it to read news, watch videos on a myriad of topics, etc. So naturally, if you want to grab the attention of netizens, Facebook is the best place to advertise.
  2. It is highly targeted: Facebook does a superb job of targeted advertising, letting you reach your desired audience. If you know your customers well, it’s easy to reach them on Facebook.
  3. Allows you to build an email list: Another popular form of digital marketing is email marketing. But guess what? You need an email list first, and that you can build with the help of Facebook’s ‘lead ad’ forms. This is the beauty of Facebook Marketing- it can be easily combined with other forms of marketing.
  4. It’s great for new businesses: Facebook Ads cost the same for a tech giant and a new SaaS startup. As long as your advertisements are relevant and engaging, you can build a very solid reach on Facebook. 
  5. It is measurable: Facebook advertising is measurable, so you can clearly find what’s working and what is not. Numbers don’t lie- just see the number of impressions and clicks to know if an ad is successful. You can also install a Facebook ads pixel on your website that will show you conversion metrics. 
  6. Your competitors are all here: Social media presence has become mandatory for all businesses. All your SaaS rivals are on Facebook, and they are talking to the same set of audience that you are interested in. So you need to be there too and talk about your business.
  7. It increases engagement with the audience: Facebook marketing connects you with real people in real-time. It catches way more attention than your website, and as a result, gets more responses. You can address queries and dispel doubts by interacting with people in the comments section.

Final Words

After you foray into Facebook advertising, you will appreciate how precise and valuable it is. You can also stray from the tried and tested FB advertising hacks and try out a different SaaS marketing strategy. With FB ads, you can quickly see the progress and make changes as needed.

SaaS marketer or not, feel free to share your FB advertising ideas with us in the comments section below.

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