Using Adwords should be a pretty significant part of your current marketing mix to drive qualified traffic and awareness about your product. If it isn’t (and you’re an established company with some cash in the bank), it’s time to get on it.
**NOTE: this article doesn’t apply to the startups out there bootstrapping their way to their first paying customers. Keep grinding and save your cash. You all can focus on Adwords a little down the line.
When executed on properly, Adwords is by far the most convenient and effective way to scale up your lead generation efforts. Budgets are flexible, it’s easy to create and adjust ad messaging and it’s insanely targeted.
However, please note the phrase “when executed on properly”. Even if you’re getting a solid conversion rate and a steady flow of leads from Adwords, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your campaigns are functioning at their most optimal level.
Here we’re going to run through a unique, yet crazy effective, strategy that will help you steal tons of traffic intended for your competitors.
Retarget everyone, everywhere
RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) is the ticket to ensuring that your message stays in front of your best prospects wherever they may be – Google search included.
You’re probably already using remarketing campaigns in Adwords to some degree and, hopefully, you’re retargeting on Facebook as well. But did you know that you can also remarket to people who visited your website, then conducted another relevant search on Google again?
For B2B SaaS companies, this is a critical component of your Adwords strategy. Especially, for those of you who operate in industries that are both competitive and license your software for a relatively high ticket, let’s say $500/month and up.
It’s highly likely that your prospects will be shopping you against your competitors which is a process that can take, in some cases, several months and involve dozens of searches online.
Primetime for RLSA.
Getting set up for the heist
In order to get your RLSA campaign set up, you’ll need to cookie a minimum of 1,000 website visitors who will then be added to your list. But for this tactic, we don’t just want any website visitors, we’re going to target very specific people who visited a piece of content created with this idea in mind.
Let’s break down what we need to do in order to achieve RLSA heaven and start redirecting prospects to your site instead of your competitor’s.
1. Create a piece of content comparing your product to your biggest competitors
We touched on this idea in our 15 B2B SaaS Marketing Tips For 2018 You Can Bet Your Crypto Wallet On post earlier this month. Here are the basics and why it’s so effective.
As we touched on earlier, your potential customers are comparing you to your competitors. Just one of those facts of life we have to deal with. And, because the cost to use the service that you offer could be considered a relatively large expense, there will be lots of information that needs to be consumed by your prospects before making that final purchasing decision.
One of the most common things a consumer (you and I included) will do when trying to make a choice between 2 different services is to Google something like “<Company A> vs. <Company B>” or “is <Company A> better than <Company B>”.
There’s a reason why sites like alternativeTo get over 14 million unique visitors per month. Comparative shopping.
So, if we already know that your customers are in the comparative shopping mode, let’s give them what they want!
You should start organizing this piece by creating a running list of all of your biggest and closest competitor’s product features and exactly why your product features are better than theirs.
It can be based on price, customer service, integrations, whatever. It doesn’t matter. The point here is that you want to, carefully and respectfully – we don’t want to come off as mudslinging bullies, show your prospects why they would be insane to purchase from a competitor over you.
Be sure to create an all-inclusive, comprehensive article, complete with screenshots and videos if possible. While this is ultimately part of the set up for our RLSA campaign down the line, it should offer real value or the whole purpose of this exercise will be irrelevant.
You need to start instilling the idea in your prospects minds that your company is the right choice. Not a choice they necessarily need to make today, but at some point in the near future.
Title the article something like “<Your Company Name>, the new alternative to <Competitor Name>” or “<Your Company> vs <Competitor Name>, what’s the real difference?”. The headline is crucial to get the attention of your prospects. They may not even realize they’re reading an article produced by one of the companies being compared in it and that’s totally fine.
The click is all we’re after.
2. Promote the bejesus out of your article
Now that we have our content created, it’s time to drive traffic to it.
Remember, in order for RLSA to work, you’ll need at least 1,000 people to visit your article. The quickest and most effective way to achieve this is a combination of Facebook and Google Display ads.
This Facebook portion of this will be particularly effective if you already have your ideal audience targeting nailed down. Promote your content to them without any gateways or squeeze pages. We’re not looking for leads right now or optimizing these campaigns for conversions, either.
Remember, the goal of this exercise is just to generate a lot of traffic so you can retarget the people who read your article when they’re back searching on Google at a later time.
Display campaigns through the GDN (Google Display Network) are another great way to drive a lot of qualified traffic rather inexpensively. Average CPC on the GDN (#acronyms) is $.58, so for around $600 in ad spend you’re ready to rock.
What’s better, is that if you don’t have a graphic designer at your disposal, you can use Google to create “Responsive” ads.
Just upload your logo, an image of your choosing, some intriguing copy (“Considering <Your Company> vs. <Competitor Name>?. Read This”) and you’re on your way. It’s never been easier to create a display ad. Especially, one that fits every available ad format in the GDN (re: Responsive).
Let’s do a quick recap of what you need to do to this point:
- Write a comprehensive article comparing your business to your closest competitors detailing exactly why you’re sooo much better
- Promote that content on Facebook, preferably to custom or lookalike audiences
- Promote that content on Google Display Network (GDN)
- Keep these campaigns running until you have at least 1,000 people in your remarketing list
***Remember to build your RLSA list to target ONLY people who have visited the URL of your comparative article. If you target All Site Visitors (or any other combination of site visitors) this won’t work as intended***
Our list is complete. What’s next?
Now that we have an adequate remarketing list size for RLSA, it’s time to start stealing some traffic!
We already know that your prospects are interested in you and your competitors and there’s a high probability that they will be searching on Google again. Here’s where this strategy starts to take shape.
You’re now going to build a new search campaign in Adwords and add your RLSA audience to your main ad group. When it’s done, it should look something like this.
This is the most critical component of the strategy, so please pay close attention, the keywords that will be added to this ad group will only be variations of the name of your competitor(s) you wrote your article about.
If you have some super large, well-known competitors, then using exact match keywords may be adequate. If your target isn’t as large, then you may want to add in some phrase match keywords as well.
You should test the keyword targeting and find out which drives the highest CTR and ultimately, conversion rate.
Now every time one of your prospects, who went out of their way to learn more about what your company offers compared to one of your biggest competitors, Google’s the name of that competitor, you’re going to show up in front of them.
And because they have already visited your website and read at length about how amazing you are, you’re going to have an incredibly high chance of diverting their attention away from your competitor to your message and stealing that click.
Tying it all together
With this RLSA strategy, you’re going to have an amazing opportunity to not only have a great piece of content that can be repurposed for a dozen other campaigns and should provide some serious SEO value, but you’re going to have a foolproof way to put your brand message in front of people who were on a b-line for your competition.
Take your time putting it together, and keep those Facebook and display campaigns running in order to keep growing your remarketing list.
And don’t forget, you can replicate this strategy multiple times for other competitors. The more, the merrier.