Are your paid social campaigns generating the results you want?
B2B (and specifically SaaS) brands may not be able to depend on demand alone. So, you have to help generate that interest efficiently and effectively to drive qualified leads and positive ROI.
On October 7, I moderated a sponsored Search Engine Journal webinar presented by Garrett Mehrguth, CEO at Directive Consulting.
He shared how B2B and Saas can unlock paid social to drive revenue and turn qualified leads into customers.
Here’s a recap of the webinar presentation.
SaaS companies can use paid social to drive qualified leads at scale for their sales team.
Directive has been testing and researching paid social for software companies and B2B organizations to gain insights into this topic. Mehrguth walked us through some of the company’s findings and outlined the tactics that have worked for publicly traded and mid-market organizations.
The Dilemma Performance Marketers Face
Search Intent and Google Ads Lack of Firmographics
To explain this concept, let’s say Directive wants to be a paid media agency, and they found that 100 people search for “paid media agency.”
However, Directive only wants to serve SaaS companies with larger budgets.
Therefore, Mehrguth wants to make sure his team talks only to prospects with at least 100 employees or $25 million in funding. That’s something Google can do.
Having a niche in Google ads is possible, but it doesn’t scale:
- Broadening your targeting reduces the lead quality
- Increasing the focus on lead quality reduces the volume
Downloadable assets are another option. You can go on LinkedIn and offer a digital download like the “Ultimate Guide to B2B Demand Generation,” for example.
But if someone downloads it and sends it to a sales development representative, this lead will most likely tell you that they’re not ready to buy right now. So, you spend $40 to $100 for a lead that didn’t convert.
The real problem begins when sales development takes your budget because they can buy that same lead for 75 cents from ZoomInfo.
There’s no difference between the intent you got from an asset download and their attempt to buy it directly from the data provider.
Intent matters. Without it, marketers struggle to drive sales-qualified leads from social because no offer is strong enough to overcome the lack of intent.
You usually get more leads by sending more emails. The same often goes for social–you increase your Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) by expanding your targeting or budget.
But MQLs don’t turn into revenue. So, you’re in this dilemma – why pay for a lead with no intent?
Testing This Hypothesis
What if you gave some of your budgets back to the prospects instead of the platforms?
When you say you’re going to spend $10,000 on LinkedIn, you’ll spend all of it on the platform.
What if you use $10,000 to move an objective away from LinkedIn?
Here are some concepts for you to think about:
- What if you focus more on activation instead of acquisition?
- What if you focus more on getting prospects to take action?
- What if you use most of that $10,000 for the offer instead of just ad delivery?
That’s what Directive did. And that’s what completely changed their business center clients. You can start to see the differences in ROI, where these efficiencies lie, and what the keys are.
3 Spreadsheet Templates
To have the confidence to do a gift card, you need to improve your financial modeling – make a business case that shows spending $100 to get someone to take a sales meeting is cheaper than not paying.
Prove to your board, your CMO, your executive team that spending on gift cards will save money. Here are the different ways to do this:
Template 1: LTV:CAC Sheet
This tool calculates the leads, demos, lifetime value, ROI you can get by spending a specific budget, and if a channel is valuable.
Then, build hypotheses and calculate the cost per demo. What would happen if you were able to get people directly to a demo?
By modeling this out, you’ll know if you need to increase your price to advertise.
Another advantage to using this tool is that it allows you to increase your goals, defend budgets to management, and set your campaigns up for success.
In addition, the board will know how much money they’re going to be leaving on the table if they don’t give you more budget and why.
Template 2: ROI Forecast For SaaS
Many marketers today make the mistake of not predicting the future and tying that to real hard dollars. Whether your agency or in-house marketer, modeling out the future and demonstrating its value is essential.
By comparing factors such as incremental annual recurring revenues versus doing nothing and showing how much your leads and demos can grow with an increase in monthly ad spend, you can get buy-in.
Template 3: Budget Approval Sheet
With the Budget Approval Sheet, you can calculate how many leads you need for your marketing effort to be worth it.
As you send it to your team and they propose marketing ideas, they can model it out, too, and see the financial side of it. So, it’s an essential tool for getting more organization out of your team.
Mehrguth also calls this Customer Generation. With his team, they’ve developed a new methodology for going to market wherein they advertise solely on manually verified accounts.
Total Addressable Market (TAM)
Using LinkedIn, you can get an idea of your TAM by utilizing a combination of company names, sizes, industries, job titles, and seniorities.
Now, you can be confident you are advertising to the right people and at the right companies.
You can separate your TAM by tier and job title. From here, drill down even further within states, industries, etc. This allows you to craft an ultra-specific message for your chosen target audience.
It also allows you to track performance for each segment, giving your team more insight into which segments are generating the most favorable returns.
Using UVPs and Offers in Ad Copy
When using a gift card, use your copy to draw focus to your unique value proposition and the monetary gift card offer to entice the prospect and prompt them to take action. The incentive here is essential. Here’s an example:
As you can see in the copy, the unique value proposition is the company’s strict focus on software and their offer of a $105 gift card which entices the prospect to take action.
Using a gift card gives the user immediate value while allowing you to get your foot in the door. You can then ask an even more qualifying question before booking the meeting.
Even if these conversations don’t directly turn into bottom-funnel leads, you can still get them in your database by offering another valuable asset, or in Directive’s case, invite them to their Slack group of other B2B software marketers.
This way, you’re still providing your leads with value, networking opportunities, and contact information from users in your TAM, as well as giving your sales team something to work with.
Single Persona Campaigns
Utilizing Single Persona Campaigns allows you to maximize the potential of your offer by speaking to each persona separately.
You can also utilize the demographic reports within LinkedIn and specifically see what segments are performing the best.
You can then segment even further, craft an ultra-personalized message, and bid more aggressively to get in front of prospects as often as possible.
How To Target B2B On Facebook
Target hundreds of millions of business users on Facebook and Instagram by driving high-quality traffic and conversions with 100+ B2B targeting filters, including title, industry, company size, and technology used.
Creative Is Everything
When you feel confident in your targeting, you can invest more and create ads and copy that speaks to the specific target audiences’ goals and pain points. As a result, you’ll feel more confident offering them a gift card.
Retargeting + Internet Computer (ICP)
One of the biggest struggles in retargeting for SaaS is not filtering your lists with firmographic data but relying on behavioral data alone.
What you can do now is use these firmographics and start to enrich your retargeting.
Only go after the specific types of buyers who fit your targeting, and you’ll get way more efficient with your spending.
- Step one: Build out your Total Addressable Market (TAM) and manually verify every account.
- Step two: Create an offer that’s so good that you can easily book a sales meeting on the platform.
- Step three: Perform financial modeling to prove that you can afford the offer. The offer saves your organization money by improving the product/service lifecycle at manage-like stage percentages. Activation is more important.
- Outstanding creatives make all the difference.
- Facebook works. It can be powerful for your business.
Download Directive’s Templates here:
LTV:CAC Channel & Tactic Comparison
ROI Forecast Template
Model for Financial Approval
Connect Directive’s community on Slack.
[Slides] SaaS Marketers: The Paid Social Approach That Works for You
See the Slideshare below:
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All screenshots taken by author, October 2021