LinkedIn Ads are widely known to be one of the most expensive forms of paid digital advertising. However, they are also one of the most effective ways to sell a software-as-a-service product, especially in the B2B space.
With the right strategy, LinkedIn advertising for SaaS can achieve a competitive cost per lead (CPL) that makes financial sense for any company aiming for growth.
Also, To read about our in-depth article that covers it all on digital marketing for SaaS, click here
1. What is LinkedIn Advertising for Saas Mean?
SaaS companies can use LinkedIn as a platform to engage their target audience, promote brand visibility and generate leads by interacting online with prospective business partners and customers.
2. Benefits of LinkedIn Advertising for SaaS Businesses
- Great for B2B. Do Facebook ads work for SaaS? Yes, to a degree – and certainly for retargeting – but the social media site lacks the kind of professional networks that enable LinkedIn to provide higher quality leads for B2B sales.
- Less saturated space. Everybody advertises everything on Google or social media, but LinkedIn is relatively niche, which means your ads are likely to stand out more.
- Better conversion rates. By some accounts, LinkedIn Ads provide three times as high a conversion rate at Facebook or Twitter.
3. Types of LinkedIn Ads
- Sponsored Content
Sponsored content appears in the LinkedIn feeds of your specified audience segments. You can use the space to share thought leadership pieces, highlight features and benefits of your product, or to promote webinars or value-added content.
- Sponsored Messaging
Going directly into the inboxes of relevant individuals, sponsored messaging lets you address potential leads in a more personal manner. These can include multiple call-to-action (CTA) buttons or links to more information about your SaaS.
- Text Ads
Similar to Google Ads, text ads are pay per click (PPC) or pay per impression (PPM), depending on your preference. These will appear in the sidebar of the desktop version of LinkedIn website – but note that they will not appear on mobile devices.
- Dynamic Ads
A more recent addition to LinkedIn’s offering, dynamic ads appear in the sidebar on the desktop website and in search results on mobile. These are similar to text ads but are automatically personalized for whoever views them and include a CTA button.
4. Importance of LinkedIn Ads for SaaS
Obviously, the ultimate goal of LinkedIn advertising for SaaS is to make a sale, but to get to that stage your campaign will need to take customers on a journey through different types of ads:
- Awareness Ads
First, ensure your market knows your brand. Awareness ads are all about building up impressions, so that you are more visible than your competitors. While a business might be tied in for a while with its current SaaS solution, you want to make sure that, if they’re thinking about a change, you’re already front of mind.
- Consideration Ads
Further along the funnel, consideration ads should get potential buyers clicking to find out more about your product and how it can benefit their business. Through website visits and video views, you can demonstrate how you stand out from similar products.
- Conversion Ads
There are the LinkedIn ads that convert companies into actual customers – or, at the very least, provide high-quality lead generation.
5. Different formats of LinkedIn Ads for SaaS
- Carousel Ads
Carousel ads are one of the most visually appealing options available on LinkedIn. Available for sponsored ads, you can incorporate up to 10 images – each with its own link – to tell your brand story or/and elucidate the top features of your product.
- Conversation Ads
A format for sponsored messaging, one of the most attractive aspects of conversation ads is that you can create multiple pathways for receivers through responsive buttons. A person can opt to learn more or receive a demo in a personalized way that is completely automated.
- Follower Ads
Prompt LinkedIn users to follow your business page through dynamic ads with snappy, personalized headlines. Getting people to follow your SaaS solution is a great way to create free organic impressions, as they will then see your posts in their feed.
- Spotlight Ads
Another type of dynamic ad, spotlight ads help you drive people directly to your website or a specific landing page, taking they sales journey to your doorstep.
- Job Ads
While this isn’t relevant for SaaS sales, it’s worth noting dynamic ads are also a more engaging way of promoting an open position beyond the standard LinkedIn Jobs options.
- Lead Gen Forms
We’ll go into more detail about the benefits of this aspect of LinkedIn advertising for SaaS businesses later, but essentially Lead Gen Forms encourages potential clients to submit their details (including position and company) via pre-filled forms, in order to access your webinars or other value-add offerings.
- Message Ads
This type of sponsored messaging is still personalized but features a single CTA, driving customers in a single direction, whether that’s your product pages or a piece of attractive content.
- Single Image Ads
Keep things simple and focused with a single image ad, which appears in your targets’ feeds with some succinct text and a link.
- Single Job Ads
When you’re struggling to attract candidates through the usual channels, you can also pay to place a single job ad in the feed of relevant individuals who may not be seeking a new position but might be intrigued by the proposition.
- Text Ads
The most simple, easy to manage and affordable kind of LinkedIn advertising, text ads are fully self-service, so you can create, adjust and budget per your requirements.
- Video Ads
LinkedIn data shows that video ads are most likely to drive conversions – hardly surprising, considering video generally is increasingly dominating the internet as a whole. These appear as sponsored content in the feeds of your specific customer group.
6. How to Create a LinkedIn Ad Step-by-Step Process for your SaaS
- Create a LinkedIn page if you don’t have one already. You need to be a LinkedIn member to access all the advertising options.
- Visit the campaign manager page and create an account in just a couple of clicks. You need to select the currency you’ll be funding your ads with, though you can change this later.
- Next, you’ll be prompted to select your ad objectives. These are arranged under three headings: awareness, consideration and conversion.
- Specify your audience. You can select geographic locations and audience attributes (position, experience, education), as well as adding your own data on known targets to the system using Matched Audiences.
- Select the ad format you wish to utilize. As already discussed, this could be sponsored content, sponsored messaging, a text ad or a dynamic ad.
- Set your budget. This can be capped with daily or lifetime amounts. On the same page, you’ll also be able to schedule whether to run the campaign continuously or for a specific date period.
- Create the ad. Campaign manager will give you some size and environment options to choose from, and you can preview each one before making a decision.
- Finally, enter your payment details. And that’s it, you’ve just placed your first LinkedIn Ad. Now sit back and track the data.
7. 9 Ways to Improve LinkedIn Ads and Drive Conversion
7.1 Create Precise Content for Target Customers
One of the most important ways for how you can promote your SaaS product is through SaaS LinkedIn posts with targeted content. Make sure you have a clear idea of the profiles you want to reach and what will attract them, whether that’s white papers or statistical research pieces. Good content eases prospects into the top of your sales funnel.
7.2 Formulate a Landing Page Funnel to Generate Sales
Creating a strategy to move customers from LinkedIn to your website is obviously necessary if you want to generate sales. Whether this transfer takes place immediately or over several interactions is something you need to test out with your target audience.
7.3 Utilize Email Automation for Follow-Up
After you’ve made the initial connection with a prospect via LinkedIn, take some of the hard work out of your conversion process by designing a series of email marketing follow-ups to steadily move them down the sales funnel.
7.4 Decide Your Specific Target Approach
One of the most effective ways of segmenting leads is by classifying them as hot, warm or cold. Hot leads are those that are ready to buy and just need a small prompt, which is usually more effectively achieved through email marketing. LinkedIn advertising for SaaS is more useful for warm leads, who have interacted with your product and have shown some interest, and cold leads, who don’t know your brand at all. The former, for example, can be reeled in using retargeting via LinkedIn Insight Tag, while the latter will need to be more directly targeted with sponsored posts and messages.
7.5 Allocate the Right Budget
As we mentioned right at the beginning, LinkedIn is one of the more expensive methods of paid advertising – the service recommends a starting budget of $100 per day or $5,000 per month. However, you can trim this down significantly if you do your research beforehand and follow some of the other tips listed here, such as creating precise targeted content and paying close attention to the metrics.
7.6 Analyze Ad Performance Metrics
LinkedIn’s campaign manager comes with a suite of metrics you can monitor to help you adjust and tweak your strategy. As well as total number of conversions, the conversion rate and cost per conversion stats, make sure you don’t ignore the click-throughs and average engagement, since these can indicate future customers.
7.7 Use LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
Using tools like LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, you can gather data and contact details for individuals who download content like white papers or sign up to webinars. There are obvious benefits to the frictionless aspect of this approach, with LinkedIn estimating higher conversion rates thanks to the ease of use and the way it helps identify warm leads. LinkedIn also offers CPL tracking in its marketing solutions dashboard if you purchase this function.
7.8 Make Ads Mobile-Friendly
It’s been a while since LinkedIn first announced the majority of its traffic came from mobile, which is why it’s so important to make sure your ads are optimized for handheld devices. That means doing things like testing load speed and adding subtitles to video in case the person viewing isn’t able to turn up the audio.
7.9 Add Client Testimonials
Whether it’s quotes or case studies, client testimonials build trust with your audience and provide them with evidence that existing customers have found your services useful. It’s also worth creating LinkedIn ads that feature these because they can showcase the benefits of your product in a less salesy way.
8. LinkedIn Advertising Examples for SaaS Examples
HR software provider BambooHR used a combination of single image ads, message ads, lead gen forms and website retargeting to increase their CPL efficiency by more than 40%, achieving 53% higher detail submission rates via LinkedIn than on their own website.
Cloud-based language solution 7Speaking used LinkedIn sponsored content and messaging to generate 800 marketing-qualified leads and clickthroughs leading to more than 10,000 views of their landing pages.
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