PPC For SaaS Providers

Saas providers - using ppc - paid advertising

When it comes to advertising SaaS products, it’s easy to only concentrate on those nearing the end of the sales funnel. The sales team might be questioning lead volume, organic performance may be struggling, you might have  tight KPIs to achieve… and so your efforts focus on only the lower hanging fruit.

However, taking the time to ensure that you are focusing your marketing efforts on each part of the SaaS sales funnel will provide you with a more well rounded strategy, a more consistent flow of leads/conversions and reduce the need for frantic campaign creations to make up any shortfalls at the end of the quarter. It can also help you to tap into a new audience pool of potential customers who are interested in the solutions you provide, but may just need some more nurturing to get them over the line. 


PPC Sales Funnel For SaaS Providers

Search Campaigns - Available via Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising

So here are some ways in which SaaS providers can use Search, Display and Video Campaigns to target each stage of the sales funnel. 

Search Campaigns are perfect for sealing the deal and converting an individual with a high level of intent into a lead. By running specific Search Campaigns, you can ensure that your SaaS software shows in the search results of individuals ready to take action. To capture such demand, you may want to consider the following campaigns:

Brand Campaign

If someone is searching for your brand then you want to ensure that your website is the first the result they see in a search result. Unfortunately, due to the nature of organic traffic and potentially the activities of your direct competitors, your website may not always be at the top of search results. This could lead someone who is ready to convert to choose an alternative SaaS provider.
By running a Brand Campaign which covers all keyword variations of your brands name, and utilising a 100% absolute top of page Target Impression Share bidding strategy, you can ensure your ads are there in front of individuals who have shown interest in your brand.

Feature Specific Campaign

Similar to above, if someone is ready to purchase a piece of software which provides a specific feature that you provide, then you want your ads to show in their search results!
Consider running a Search Campaign which is focused on specific features of interest to potential customers. 

Whilst the nature of Search Campaigns is to capture demand and not necessarily generate it, that doesn’t mean that you can’t run Search Campaigns for brand awareness and consideration. Here are some opportunities to build interest and awareness through Search Campaigns:

Competitor Bidding

‘Competitor Bidding’ refers to running a specific search campaign or ad group, which targets your competitors’ branded keywords. This strategy works as advertisers can benefit from their competition’s brand awareness and reach an audience with a high intent to convert. For example, if someone is searching for a competitor’s software, then you can have your ad show in that search result, offering them an alternative option which still satisfies their purchase needs. See our blog for more information about Competitor Bidding.

Bidding On Top of Funnel Keywords

When it comes to how people use search engines, a lot of the time they know what they are looking for, but they don’t necessarily have a particular product or brand in mind. In these instances they are searching for answers to questions, solutions to problems and specific features they require. As these searches indicate that the individual is likely to still be in the discovery stage of the sales funnel, and not necessarily be ready to make a purchase, we refer to them as ‘Top of Funnel Keywords’. Through bidding on top of funnel keywords in your Search Campaigns you can ensure your product is associated with being the solution to what brought that individual to use the Search engine in the first place. They have a problem, and your software can fix it. By bidding on Top of Funnel keywords, you can get your foot in the door and have your product be the solution the individual thinks of once they are ready to take action and make their purchase. 

Take a look at my talk on ‘Selling SaaS via Search Ads‘ at BrightonSEO for an insightful breakdown.

Display Campaigns - Available via Google Ads

The main difference between Search and Display campaigns lies in the level of user intent. With Search Campaigns, an individual only sees your ad if they make a relevant search using a search engine. In comparison, with Display Campaigns an individual is presented with your ad without them having sought out information about your product or service. Therefore there is typically a higher level of intent to convert through Search Campaigns than Display Campaigns. This makes Display Campaigns a great option for hitting the very top of the SaaS sales funnel to build brand awareness and interest. Some Display Campaign opportunities which you could utilise include:

Similar To Audiences Targeting

To run a successful Display Campaign as a SaaS provider, you need to take in consideration who would be interested in your software when selecting your targeting methods. You want your ads to be shown to people who have the relevant interests and needs associated with your product, focusing on the quality of those seeing your ads and not the quantity of people seeing your ads.

One way to reach a relevant audience is to utilise ‘Similar To’ audience lists, which stem from either your Audience Lists made from previous site visitors or 1st party customer data which you provide. Google Ads automatically identifies individuals who have similar interests and behaviours of those within your original audience list and creates a ‘Similar To’ list for you to use. By either running specific segment campaigns, or utilising bid adjustments for ‘Similar To’ audiences, you help to ensure your ads are more likely to be seen by a relevant audience.

'In-Market' Audience Targeting

‘In-Market’ audiences allow you to target individuals who are actively researching or comparing SaaS products or services. The platforms take into account the website clicks a user makes, the content they engage with and the frequency of their visits to establish what SaaS product or service the individual is in the market for. SaaS related ‘In-Market’ audience segments includes: Accounting Software, Antivirus & Security Software and Photo Software. By either running specific segment campaigns, or utilising bid adjustments for these audiences, you increase the likelihood of your Display ads being seen by the right audience for your software. 

Display Campaigns can also be used to reach individuals who are closer to taking that final conversion action. One way to do this is through ‘Remarketing’. Remarketing, sometimes referred to as ‘Retargeting’, is a form of marketing where advertisers re-engage with individuals who have previously visited their website to either convert, up-sell or drive brand loyalty. Here is a way that you can utilise a Remarketing Display Campaign to drive conversions:

Remarketing Display Campaign

By utilising your Remarketing lists you can run a Display Campaign which only targets individuals who previously visited your website but who did not convert. However, instead of presenting them with your generic Display assets, you carefully select your ad copy and imagery to encourage them to return to your website and convert. This may be something as simple as “Don’t Forget to Sign Up for Your Free Trial” or offering an extended trial period. You could also offer them an exclusive discount code, which could help to seal the deal and help them to decide to take action and convert.

Video Campaigns - Available via Google Ads

Video campaigns are a fantastic way to reach individuals still making a SaaS purchase decision. You can provide potential customers with information on your software in a more engaging ad format, which can help you to help cut through the noise of your SaaS competitors. Here is one way you can run a Video Campaign to help support individuals still in the decision stage by introduction them to your product:

Video Campaign

One of the best features when it comes to running Video Campaigns via Google Ads, is the extensive range of targeting options available. ‘In-Market’ audiences, ‘Similar To’ audiences, Life Events and detailed demographics, are just some of the targeting options at your disposal. YouTube has over 122 million daily users, so your targeting efforts are vital in ensuring that your ads are reaching the right people for your SaaS product or service.

Monday.com PPC Video Campaigns - SaaS Providers


Monday.com run a wide range of Video Campaigns across YouTube, and are a great example of how it can take less than 60 seconds to effectively promote what their product is all about and encourage free trial sign ups.

In addition to the targeting, you need to ensure your video asset is fit for purpose, which may require you to create campaign specific video content. Video assets for the purpose of PPC campaigns should be kept as short as possible whilst still covering the main features of your software, what problems it solves and what differentiates you from your competitors. Imagine that you only have 60-90 seconds to convince an individual that your product is what they need.

Victress Can Help With PPC For SaaS

It might sound like a daunting task, but when done properly a product introduction video can be a highly effective way to provide the last bits of information to help turn consideration into action.

PPC offers a great variety of campaign options which can be used to reach individuals sitting within all stages of the sales funnel. From utilising Competitor Bidding in your Search Campaigns to boost brand awareness, to capturing interest and driving conversions via Remarketing Display Campaigns, there’s a wide range of opportunities for SaaS providers to utilise. Are you a SaaS Provider looking for a way to utilise paid advertising to help with your sales funnel? Then chat to us to find out more about our SaaS success stories.


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