In this episode of Open Source Growth, host Dean Denny covers everything about Facebook ads for software as a service (SaaS) companies in under 30 minutes. He emphasizes the importance of Facebook ads for achieving T2D3 growth and the need to revisit customer personas.
Dean covers objectives, creatives, targeting and bid strategies, landing pages, and CRMs to optimize Facebook ads for SaaS companies. He highlights how Facebook ads can effectively target ideal customers, making them cost-effective for businesses. Dean urges listeners to take action and start using Facebook ads to grow their SaaS business.
Tune in to this valuable and informative podcast to learn how to crush it with Facebook ads.
In this episode, you will learn:
1) Importance of Facebook ads for SaaS companies and why they need to have a Facebook ads campaign to achieve growth.
2) How to go back to your customer personas to make the most out of Facebook ads.
3) Objectives you must set and the creatives you must develop for your Facebook ads campaign.
4) Targeting strategies and bid strategies that are effective for SaaS companies.
5) Importance of effective landing pages and how to roll them out.
6) Use of CRMs with Facebook ads for SaaS companies.
7) Cost-effectiveness of Facebook ads and the ability to target people based on interests or demographics.
8) Ability to target people at all stages of the customer journey.
9) Set up conversion tracking and track your performance to determine the cost of leads, marketing qualified leads, demo calls, and booked meetings.
10) Different placements available on Facebook ads, including Instagram and Facebook audience network.
[00:02:09] – Grow business with Facebook targeting.
[00:03:12] – Target audience with tailored messaging.
[00:05:27] – Bid for clicks, conversions, ads.
[00:06:36] – Target audience with laser focus.
[00:11:21] – Tailor content to different personas.
[00:14:10] – Testing ad creatives and copy.
[00:15:45] – Target customers with remarketing and Lookalike Audiences.
[00:19:01] – Test different platforms for success.
[00:21:13] – Track leads for better AI results.
[00:24:11] – Track and measure SaaS performance.
[00:26:30] – Facebook: Brand Awareness & Conversions
[00:28:54] – Scale your SaaS with Facebook Ads.
Note: This podcast episode is available for free on Spotify, Apple Music, and the Owendenny.com/blog website.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to Open Source Growth. And this is Dean speaking. And in today’s episode, I want to go through everything I possibly can, in 30 minutes around Facebook ads for software as a service companies or SaaS companies for short and in today’s episode, I’m going to go through everything I can in under 30 minutes. We’ll go see how long we go for at the end of the episode, but I’m sure we can get it all covered in less than 20, but Hey, let’s just go with 30 minutes to, for starters.
And in today’s episode, we’re going to go through the importance of Facebook ads, the history of Facebook ads. Why your SaaS needs to bolster a Facebook, facebook ads, campaign and function in your business to really achieve that T2D3 growth. You’re really looking for. Why you need to go back to your customer personas to make this happen.
The objectives, you must set the creatives. You must develop, the targeting strategies, the bid strategies, the effective landing pages. You must roll out and a whole lot more even touch on CRMs and things that you can use with your Facebook ads for your SaaS company to really crush it. And then I’m going to give you that massive urge and that kick in the gut to be like, Hey, if you’re not doing this, you’re missing out. Get to the ad manager platform and just go for it guys. So it’s going to be a really valuable jam-packed podcast for you all. I hope you’re all tuning in. Get your pad. Your pen, pour yourself a coffee or green tea or lemon grass and ginger tea. I don’t care. Just do something.
Because what I want to go through with you today could really change and alter the course of your company. So let’s just get straight to it. Now. If you’re like any digital marketer that’s been around the block that Meta or Facebook ads or Meta ads. A powerhouse for when it comes to growing your business, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re a cake shop, a.. An e-commerce brand selling gym products or your local services business. Facebook has everything you need to go about targeting your ideal customers. Who are either in market or they’ve been on your website or they’ve shown interest in particular things that your offering and being able to turn them into customers . Now, will this work for every SaaS company? Probably, it probably will. But there are cases where Facebook doesn’t work as well.
But here’s the thing. I can almost guarantee you that your customer avatar is going to be on Facebook. That is a total given SaaS founder. I don’t care. What tech crunch, articles, reading, or whatever they are definitely there. So why is Facebook ads important? First things first. It’s cost-effective to run these ads.
It’s important because you can target people based on interests or demographics or job titles or whatever. You can target people who are at all stages of the buyer awareness not the buyers, all stages of the customer journey. So like in terms of being able to target and tell your messaging for each stage of buyer awareness. It is the ducks guts.
Now the best part about Facebook and it has been a little bit of a sticking point. Is that the ability to go about setting up conversion tracking and tracking your performance. So then you can determine the cost of leads. The cost of marketing qualified leads, the cost of your your demo calls and your books meetings. That’s all able to be captured within the ads manager, which makes it super easy for you to really understand how powerful this is and that’s Facebook for you. Now, it’s hasn’t always been like that. When we talk about the history of Facebook ads. See when Facebook kicked off its advertising platform. I think it was in about 2007 and 2008. Let me just quickly pull that up. I’ve got a digital advertising timeline.
Here. Now checking out my timeline right here. It was Facebook ads that was generated in 2007. So it was in 2004 that it was founded as a social networking site. But in 2007, they offered a targeted advertising and sponsored story solutions to advertisers and that’s what really enabled us to change the game from an interest in demographic, Intent advertising standpoint. It’s really cool. It was a bit of a wild west situation to begin with, like the quality of the quality of the data wasn’t crash hot to begin with the attribution and the data tracking wasn’t that fantastic. And then they rolled out the Facebook pixel and that made it a whole lot easier.
To go about getting true ROI estimates on what you were doing. See, over the years they’ve been able to. You’re able to bid for clicks, then they changed it. So you can then bid for conversions. They’ve had Facebook ads, which were. Either on the side of the screen, on the desktop experience or there’s previews before videos they’ve had obviously those in-feed placements, there’s so many placements now available using meta ads or Facebook ads that the sky is the limit.
Myself personally, I like. Feed ads because we find they’re the most effective, but. I think we should also mention here is that you don’t just get the placements on on Facebook ads. When you’re running Facebook ads, you can run placements on Instagram and you can also run them on the Facebook audience network, which is a lot like the Google display network. However, with the Google display network, we find that the Facebook audiences are higher.
Converting, unlike the GDN ads to be Frank, we haven’t had much success with them. From a top of funnel level, but remarketing, it’s a little bit different story. So if we want to talk about what’s the real benefit of running Facebook ads for your SaaS company as a founder or a chief marketing officer.
Oh, look, it’s pretty simple. You’re able to get laser focused with your target audience. So if you have your ideal customer profile or your buyer persona you’re really able to just get straight to the point and target, Hey, this guy is likely to be on HubSpot. Oh, okay. No, my, my guy likely is to follow Tony Robbins or Robert Kiyosaki. Oh no. My productivity app, they all follow Brian Tracy. So we can target that person or you can target that particular city.
So just say you have a product which is customized to the Turkish market. You can just target Turkish, speaking people and people who live in Turkey there’s some really amazing things that you can do with Facebook ads. Another benefit is that it is generally. Cost-effective now we have seen the cost of Facebook ads really increase over the past few years. Like when we got started, we remember seeing CPMs or the cost per thousand impressions sitting at around about six to $8. Now that’s sawed right up to $20.
But again, You’re able to get amazing targeted traffic to your website at a very low cost approach, and it’s also not only low cost, but you’re able to really convey amazing positive sales messages to get them to convert on your website too. You’re really able to warm them up. So they have a congruent ad to website experience. And it’s not a big shock for them when they arrive. So again, it’s a really cost-effective platform.
As I’ve mentioned before, like the Facebook pixel enabled things to be totally measurable. You could really get down to the fine art being like every $50 we spend on Facebook, we generate a lead. And then every $125. We spend on Facebook, we generate a booked meeting. Again, you need to set up all this conversion tracking with the Facebook pixel. There is a Facebook.
Facebook pixel wizard. Obviously you need to do the conversions API nowadays, but there is so much good stuff that you can do. So go about measuring your results and then feeding it back to yourself and seeing whether or not this strategy is working for you. And lastly, the best part about these self-serve advertising platforms is that they’re wildly scalable.
Facebook wants to spend your money and in exchange for spending your money, they’ll put your ads in front of more and more people who fit your target. Your target customer or your ideal customer persona. So there’s again, If you’re looking to take your SaaS from acquiring, say a thousand users a month to 10,000 users a month, Facebook has the users. Facebook has the eyeballs and the attention of its customers across both the audience network, Facebook ads, and obviously Facebook and Instagram that you can really go about scaling things out again.
There’s the metaverse, which is down the line too. But again, this thing is wildly scalable. Now. A word of warning here is that if you don’t have a good strategy and you’re just going to be like sending your Facebook ads, Willy nilly, you’re probably going to have a little bit of trouble here. Because at the end of the day, good advertising campaigns come down to how good you understand or how well you understand your target audience. So again, don’t skimp out, create detailed buyer personas of your ideal customer. And really go into what keeps him up at night? What TV shows is he watching? Is he on shark tank? Is he reading tech crunch? Is he on is he read listening to how I built this by Reed Hoffman or think about your ideal customer profile, what they’re doing, what keeps them up at night and the interests they may have the job titles they may have and then think about.
Obviously. Okay. Now we can target these people based on these. Particular interests, but also tailoring your ad content to those different personas, because we know with all the different SaaS clients that we have, that they have multiple and multiple different types of customers.
We work with a company that has an AI led. Construction lead generation service. And it’s really exciting, but they don’t just work with small builders. They work with architects, they work with commercial builders. They find leads, which are from $50,000 renovation projects all the way up to $5 million builds. And.
And they have multiple different customers and with their Facebook strategy, we have multiple different messages and that’s the way you need to play it. You really need to go about tailoring your content. So your different personas. Now, when it comes to setting clear objectives and KPIs with Facebook.
It’s really important to define your campaign goals. Are you going for awareness brand recall? Are you looking to generate marketing qualified leads, which you can nurture in your email sequences? Are you wanting to generate more sales appointments or are you trying to just convert as many free trials as possible again, know what you’re aiming for and develop a congruent strategy to achieve it, and then go about documenting those KPIs and then establishing a really structured marketing promotional calendar that you can test and measure from every single month.
And that’s a big thing that we offer our clients here. They absolutely fricking love it. When it comes though down to it. Your ads are only as good. Not only just the targeting, you can’t solve all your problems with targeting. You need amazing and compelling. Ad creatives. Now this is what a really helps to have an amazing content creator in-house to develop amazing eye-catching visuals. You can use tools like Canva to create these things. There are plenty of AI led design tools that can help you develop really nice creatives. But again, you need to think about what your customer wants to see and ensure that you grab their attention with these visual creatives.
A lot of SaaS companies we’re working with right now are pushing for. User generated content because at the end of the day, the contents so relatable. It comes from a third party. It seems like there’s an element of social proof embedded in these campaigns that it works really well. Now when it comes to writing persuasive ad copy.
It doesn’t always have to be concise, but it has to get to the point. Now again, we’re advocates for long form direct response, copywriting at Owendenny Digital, because we know it really sells well. I know the SaaS world or the software. The software industry, they’ve really all about concise copy, but does it actually.
Really paint the right picture of what that software company offers or what that product can do. Not always the case. So again, when you’re writing your copy, like obviously no fluff, none of that shit, but what’s really essential here is that Your copy really can sweep someone off their feet and get straight to the point and show you the life altering benefits of downloading your app, jumping on the free trial, and then handing over your credit card details and being like, yo, let’s go. I’m using motion like myself right now. I’m loving motion.
So anyway, that’s one of those things. So when it comes to writing that ad copy again, have your persona right in front of you. I write to them and then go about highlighting your USP and really dramatizing and exhilarating the benefits and intensifying them in your copies. Because then what we can do is then roll out some amazing AB testing on your ad creatives. We can test creatives, we can test copies.
We can test headlines. We can test landing pages. You can test whatever the hell you want. But again, it needs a really solid AB testing structure to make this succeed again. That’s what we do really well at Owendenny Digital we get to the heart of the matter and really get. And really figure out like what makes this person tick on the inside?
So like you. You’ve set up your KPIs. You know who your persona is. You’re smashing out these ad creatives. You’re launching ads. Now you gotta think about like your targeting. So how are we going to be targeting these customers on Facebook ads for my SAS product? First things first, you can think about your demographic.
What city are they in? What about, sorry, not, that’s not a demographic. Your demographic is how old the person is. The geography like, wow, where are they? What sort of behaviors are they displaying? Are they frequent? Shoppers online. What sort of custom audiences and lookalike audiences have you set up? A custom audience on Facebook is generally a audience which is designed around activity on either your social profiles or your website. An example of a custom ordinance, which you can set up is everyone who’s visited your website within 180 days, or someone who is interacted with your Facebook page over 365 days. You can get really clever here with custom audiences.
Especially on that remarketing journey where you chase them around the incident. After jumping on a product, I know everyone who’s listening to this podcast has been chased by a product, which they jumped on eBay, or they’ve jumped on a An e-commerce site and you see it in your feed again and again, like we all have experienced the nasty remarketing ad.
And it does work. It’s fricking annoying, but goodness gracious me, it works well. So again, look into that. Another really unique option as well to target people, especially those in the awareness stage is with lookalike audiences. Now, if you’re running lookalike audiences, what you can do is actually upload all that purchase data, all those free trial users, all those people on your databases and then your face and just.
Throw it across to Facebook and Facebook can be like, Hey, you’re all right. This is what your customer look like. It looks like I’m going to give you. A million more customers who just look just like these people, and then you can go about targeting those people with your Facebook ads too. So it’s really exciting.
Again, retargeting your website, visitors, and existing customers. We can do that too. But again, You need to be coherent with your testing strategies. Now. Once it comes. Once you get down to that, you’ve figured out your ad creatives, how are you going to target people? You know what your objectives are.
You need to think about then how you go about bidding or how you optimize your ads. Now there’s so many different bidding strategies. You’ve got lowest cost cap, or target cost with the automated strategies. But also you want to consider, do I want a daily budget or a lifetime budget again, totally up to you. One of the other things though, that hasn’t really been disclosed alongside a lot of people.
In the SaaS world is that they’re not talking about ad set budget or campaign budget optimization, where you can pretty much delineate between. Okay. I want my overall campaign to spend a certain amount of money. Or I want particular audiences or say ad sets within your Facebook ad structure to spend more. So for instance,
You may be wanting to spend 10 times more on users who use HubSpot and that’s one of your ad set. Instead of people who use active campaign, you may only want to spend say $20 a day targeting those people in the United States. Whereas, if you’ve running with a campaign budget optimization perspective, you’re really throwing Facebook, the keys.
And enabling Facebook to go about identifying. Okay, cool. I’m going to give you $300 a day to get me some new customers. You figure it out, but I think. These six audiences are going to be the audiences you need to chase. And then Facebook will shuffle the budget around accordingly. Again, test.
You’ll see what works best for you and your business. Once you’ve got all that sorted. You’ve got to pray a little bit and hope that your landing pages convert. Now, if you’ve already been running Google ads or Reddit ads, YouTube, LinkedIn, whatever. I’m sure you’ve got a pretty good understanding of what is actually working.
And funnily enough, what works on one platform normally works on another, but you always need to test if you have a conversion rate optimization. Program schedule, calendar that you’re currently adhering to in your organization. Please include your Facebook ads as separate tests. Again. This is because.
Some things we’ve seen the convert on LinkedIn just simply do not convert on Facebook. It’s a weird world that we live in, but you have to be good and you have to be well-structured and concise. Otherwise it may not work for you and you may just be scratching your head and it’s just no fricking good.
With these landing pages. Again, heaps of social proof, slap the testimonials on your USP has to be really front and center. Benefit statements, features the whole shooting match, but again, focus more on the transformation of going from confused to in control or feeling like I’ve got nothing in my life. And now by downloading this, I’ve got everything in my life. Just think more about that positive transformation state really harp on about how amazing their life will be.
Instead of focusing on your features. And this is one of my biggest gripes when it comes to SAS companies, all they talk about is that features. And they don’t really think about what does this feature do for my organization. You can be the change that you want to see in the world has gone, even when say.
And please be that guy for me. And finally, once you get around to developing the landing pages and running traffic at it, You need to make sure that you’re tracking and measuring bloody everything. Now, when it comes to that again, use the Facebook pixel. And then with this Facebook pixel implemented on your website and track all the events, that means something to you. So if someone ends up on a thank you page after being on your squeeze page for say a.
A lead magnet you might be offering. A free checklist on how to run fast. And then they hit a thank you page. Make sure that’s a lead and that’s tracked. So then Facebook can use that information. To leverage the AI that sits within Facebook. To get better results for you. So that’s a massive thing. You must do. Track the marketing qualified leads, then track your sales, qualified leads, track your appointments, track your free trial signups, track your.
Paying user signups, give conversion values to each of these things. So then you’ve got a really good understanding of how much money you’re spending on Facebook ads and how much money you are actually bringing back to your business. Now, again, if you’re a SaaS marketer like myself, we know that sometimes you may not see customers.
Or pretty much anything valuable. For in terms of your customer lifetime value, mate, you may not see a profit until the third or fourth month. So that’s why you need to really have a good understanding of how much money you’re spending. How much. How many customers are you requiring and then long, obviously how long are they staying for? So again,
Get that right. Super, super crucial. You can do all of this stuff and go about analyzing all your campaign performance from Facebook ads manager. And you need to go about tweaking these campaigns all the time. Unlike Google, you can go about tweaking your Facebook ads, campaigns fairly frequently. Again, you, the best practice though is getting it out of the learning phase. And often you need to be getting 50 results within seven to 14 days.
For your ads to get out of the learning phase. We’ve experimented with the learning phase and without the learning phase. And normally it’s okay. If you do fiddle with it within the learning phase, knocking things back, it does reduce the effectiveness, but probably not enough for for everyone to lose sleep over.
So again, be regular and optimize and adjust these campaigns. One thing we would recommend though, if you’re a SaaS company is to have a world-class CRM solution and we are massive advocates of HubSpot. The reason why we push for HubSpot over any other platform is that the dashboarding solutions. Absolutely phenomenal enables you to really go about interrogating, which one, which like Facebook advertising campaign that you’re rolling out or Google ads or organic SEO.
Is working really well. And you’re able to then determine, okay, this landing page is really performing these Facebook ads aren’t performing, but they’re generating heaps of leads and this Google ads campaign, which is doing. Average numbers is actually generating all the paying customers. Without having a good CRM. You’re not really able to get the full picture of how good your marketing’s performing. So when it comes to tracking and measuring your performance online, With your Facebook ads for your SaaS company. Think about implementing a SaaS friendly CRM and we can’t recommend anything more than HubSpot. We absolutely freaking love it here at Owendenny Digital. So again, get a good CRM, Facebook pixel, and optimize and manage the campaign on a daily, if not weekly basis. Because the thing is like, Running Facebook ads, like actually doing the mechanics of the media buying. Is fairly simple. It’s going to use a friendly interface. In fact, that site has the best user interface out of all the ad platforms for most SAS companies.
There’s plenty of access is plenty of support. Heaps of dude’s gurus, fake people on the internet, whatever, showing you how to get started to do the things you need to do. So like a big push from me is that if you haven’t got your feet wet with Facebook ads, I’m encouraging you to get started. Really have a look at what you’re doing and see if you can scale your free trials. See if you can get some marketing qualified leads over the line. Let’s see if we can get people into your app with Facebook ads, because we have seen some.
Sensational results and success stories with Facebook ads. And it doesn’t really matter what you do, whether you’re a SaaS company or not. Like we’re working again with an AI led an AI led. Lead generation SaaS company at the moment. And it’s really exciting to see this, like we’ve been generating them sales qualified leads again and again at 30 to $40 per lead, and it’s just blown up and these guys have amazing lifetime value.
With their customers and they just absolutely crush it online. There’s other examples, like we’re currently running some ads for a wedding company and they’re blowing up. They never thought that they were going to have a chance at. Running a wedding campaign in winter, and now we’re able to create this wild. Fantastic. Super-duper knock it out of the park offer and they’re closing deals, which they never would have dreamed of closing in the middle of winter.
From this beautiful Facebook app we’ve written and this amazing landing page, which is just converting people like crazy. So and it’s not just conversion campaigns, Facebook is a sensational place for brand awareness and engagement to remember Facebook’s one of those platforms. People can just share their opinions, share their thoughts, join in a conversation. And if your brand is part of that conversation, it’s more likely that it’s going to stay top of mind when they come to making a purchasing decision.
So have a think about that. Facebook isn’t just going to be your demand generation. One of your many demand generation platforms, you may be running your YouTube ads, your Google ads, your LinkedIn ads. You might be doing some SEO and content marketing and inbound or whatever, but do you got to get onto Facebook?
To see what it’s all about because every, nearly everyone on the planet has a Facebook account, which kind of tells me that you can target. Almost anybody. In any industry apart from people who work in the secret service or the president of the United States, et cetera, et cetera, like this, obviously gonna be some limitations there.
So just in summary. Get out there. Experiment with Facebook ads and really go about. Taking one foot and pulling in front of another. To develop an amazing, predictable, scalable growth machine for your SAS company, you may be pre users. You may be pre revenue. You may be. Pre profit or you may be post profit and you’re going for it.
On your own two feet and you may be self-supporting. You may be. Full of venture capital. There’s I know the SaaS game pretty well, and there’s just so many places in stages you can be out, but I just want to say that you cannot sleep on this as a SaaS advertiser. a SaaS founder or chief marketing officer or whatever, even if you’re in an agency, I don’t care. Like I’m just preaching the gospel here of digital advertising and.
All I’m trying to say here is that you want to give it a go. Again, I hope this has been a really valuable. Video for you to check out. We’ve just been, we’ve sort of video. It’s just audio. What am I saying? But again, we’ve done this in under 30 minutes. This was Facebook ads for SaaS. Everything you need to scale your product in less than 30 minutes. I am your host Dean.
This is open-source growth. Be well. Have a great evening or a day. Whatever. I’ll talk to y’all soon. Peace.
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Connect with Dean Denny, host of Open Source Growth and Director at Owendenny Digital
Owendenny Digital, Australia’s #1 SaaS Marketing Agency
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