Everyone wants to know how to get cheap high-quality SaaS leads using LinkedIn Ads for SaaS, but that’s no easy task. So, what exactly should your strategy look like to achieve this goal?
In this blog post, we’re going to cover the best practices for running ads on LinkedIn which we actually use for our clients to get them the best leads possible, and which will have a huge impact on your campaigns’ results.
The Cost of LinkedIn Ads for SaaS
Starting with the thing everyone talks about – the cost of running LinkedIn Ads. We constantly hear complaints about LinkedIn being too expensive and the CPMs being so high. This isn’t completely wrong. But one of the reasons it’s so expensive for people is that they only run static image ads with weak ad copy.
That’s not to say you can’t make your LinkedIn campaign work with just static image ads. In fact, we’ve got a few clients who manage to make it work really well. However, if you’re trying to get your cost CPM (cost per thousand impressions) down, as well as your CPC (cost per click), try using video ads instead.
Moreover, with LinkedIn rolling out a new retargeting tool, you will soon be able to retarget people who watched 75% of the video ad and who likely showed some genuine interest.
With that in mind, videos are a great way of dropping your LinkedIn Ads costs. Experiment with some videos and you’ll be on your way to success.
Targeting the Right People
In addition to the last point, messy targeting can also drive up your LinkedIn SaaS Ads campaign’s costs. A lot of people try to build their audience like they do on Facebook, where everything is specified down to a tee. They target an exact job size, job title, industry, and so on. On top of that, they start excluding industries from their targeting.
The problem with this is that by having extremely specific targeting, your CPM will be very high. Sure, you want to target the right people and don’t want to waste money – this is completely understandable. However, you can remove your industry exclusions and still reach those people. The more parameters and restrictions you add to your targeting, the more it’ll cost you.
More On LinkedIn Targeting
As well as not overly excluding your industries, you need to focus in on your customer. The best way of doing this is to create a buyer persona – what are the specifics of your ideal customer? What age group are they; what jobs do they have; ultimately, who is your best customer?
You might be thinking that you want to target the decision makers, the C level employees, but this isn’t always the best option. We’ve found that it’s cheaper to not target C level job titles but instead take it down a level and target VPs and Directors.
Think about it: CEOs have a lot on their plates and they delegate most of the work that needs done. If you target the employees below them, either they realise your SaaS will benefit their department and make the decision themselves, or they talk to the CEO who would have otherwise glanced at your ad and dismissed it without a second thought.
When it comes to the actual ads, you want to make them speak to the job position you’re advertising to. Address the specific problems they face and how your SaaS deals with those problems. You can even go a step further by offering a free cheat sheet which also addresses specific problems and hints at how to deal with them, without going straight into Buy our software now!
Taking this approach and targeting lower than C level positions, and addressing the audience’s problems that you can solve, will get you a lower CPM.
Spending Enough on LinkedIn Ads for SaaS
Ironically, another thing that drives up costs on LinkedIn Ads for SaaS is not spending enough money. There are some companies we’ve met who throw a small budget at the platform, don’t get results, and give up. They think that LinkedIn is too expensive or it’s not worth their time.
Here’s the thing: you have to spend money to make money, especially when we’re talking about LinkedIn Ads. You need to spend money on testing different audiences, different types of campaigns, and basically finding what works best. It’ll take time and money, but it will prove to be profitable and once you find that sweet spot, you can spend less.
It’s important that you spend money on experimentation, as opposed to throwing money at low hanging fruits and expecting long-term results. For LinkedIn, you’ll need to spend at least a few founds to begin with – whether that’s spent on LinkedIn lead gen or video ads.
Using LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms
We bring this point up frequently but using lead gen forms in your LinkedIn Ads campaign is incredibly effective.
When a LinkedIn user engages with lead gen form, the site pre-populates the form with data taken from their LinkedIn profile. It’s completely frictionless and means that people don’t have to take time to fill out the form.
On one hand, this results in cheaper cost per lead, but sometimes the quality of leads can also be lower since it’s so easy for people to opt-in to the form and disregard it later.
We’d recommend that you have a great funnel set up or at least a representative who contacts them later, otherwise the leads will stay cold and won’t go anywhere. Your goal is to warm these leads up so that they’re more willing to buy your SaaS.
You can warm these leads up by sending follow-up emails, sending free guides to them, or just offering them some sort of value. If you can, persuade users to jump on a call with one of your representatives who can persuade them that the software will fulfil their needs.
Creating Attention Grabbing Ads
This can be a tough one, but you really need to create attention grabbing ads. You might be thinking Wow big surprise!, but it doesn’t matter how good your software is, if the ad is terrible you’re going to get less people signing up.
Let’s take video ads as an example. You want to keep your videos in the typical square format, this way it takes up more screen real estate when people scroll past it. Compared to horizontal videos, we found that these perform better and deliver a slightly lower CPM.
If possible, add subtitles to go along with your video. This is a good way of filling blank space and also gives users the option to watch the video without audio.
If you still have some space after adding subtitles, be sure to add a mention of your lead magnet. Even if it’s just Free cheat sheet in the description! this will grab the attention of users who are just scrolling by. These are both ways which will contribute to bringing down your CPM and making LinkedIn Ads considerably less expensive to run.
LinkedIn Ads Campaign Performance
The last thing about LinkedIn Ads for SaaS that we’re going to discuss is campaign performance. Monitoring performance is important and is how you determine what changes need to be made. But there are a few missteps that people make which lead to their campaigns performing worse than they could be.
Let’s say you have a campaign and it’s performing fairly well. Of course, you’ll want to keep pushing the campaign so that it performs even better, but it’s not as simple as just making changes. The mistake we see people make is directly changing the campaign when instead, they should be copying it and changing the copied campaign instead.
Adding exclusions or changing the ad copy might seem like reasonable changes, but you’ll see your CPMs and CPLs shoot all over the place. This is because the algorithm which LinkedIn uses gets confused and has to adjust to the changes.
To avoid this from happening, copy the ads and start making changes to the new ads instead. This will ensure the algorithm doesn’t get confused and you’ll get an accurate read on how your changes affected the ad performance.
That wraps up our guide on LinkedIn Ads for SaaS and what you can do to keep your campaigns performing well. The main things to take away from this are:
- Run video ads which showcase your software instead of just static image ads
- Get your targeting right and don’t pile on exclusions
- Don’t target C-level employees, try targeting the levels below them (e.g. VP)
- Spend plenty of money on LinkedIn Ads, a small budget will get you nowhere
- If applicable, use LinkedIn lead gen forms
- Put in the effort to create attention grabbing ads
- Don’t make hasty changes when it comes to monitoring campaign performance
Keep these things in mind and you’ll have a better time running ads on LinkedIn. Want to find out more? Check out the video at the beginning of this post which will give you even more assistance with running your LinkedIn Ads.