How To Grow Your SaaS Startup With Facebook Ads? — Dan Anton

If you’re starting a Software as a Service (SaaS) business, it can be exciting as it can be scary. You’re becoming your own boss by building a product that’s going to make people’s lives easier. But you also know a typical startup’s odds for success are very low with as many as 90% of them of failing.

If you want to be in the 10% that succeed, it’s not enough to create a great product. You also need a carefully designed and executed marketing strategy. And Facebook Ads are one of the most effective channels you can use. But how do you correctly get started with Facebook Ads, generate conversions and measure ROI?

Dan Anton

Meet Dan Anton, a military veteran who now creates software businesses in the online marketing space and has grown his SaaS empire to over 30,000 recurring monthly clients.

In this interview, Dan Anton shares his experience and best tips about growing a SaaS startup using Facebook Ads.

Jimmy Rohampton: How did you get started creating SaaS products?

Dan Anton: It all started with my own personal hobby website. I needed more traffic so I learned about SEO and how to rank websites. I soon realized I needed a way to automate certain things; in particular, boosting and indexing backlinks. My original intention was just to solve a problem for myself so I found a developer to see my vision to fruition. It was not easy, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll just say that I finally got the product I had envisioned after spending nearly everything I had at the time on development costs. I allowed some of my close friends to use it for their websites. They loved it so much they started posting about it in forums. The reviews were so positive from my initial beta users that I didn’t have to do anything except allow them to make the purchase. The software, BacklinksIndexer, became my first product.

Rohampton: Other than Google, what marketing channels have you found most helpful in reaching that number?

Dan Anton: At first I relied almost entirely on organic traffic and referrals to find new clients, but since 2013 I really started to become a student of creating funnels that take cold traffic and turn them into leads, and ultimately customers. Facebook has now become a huge source of new users for me because I can laser target to an audience I know is going to be interested in my offer. This has allowed me to quickly grow my latest software, CrowdSearch to over 15,000 members. I believe the most important factor for achieving success with Facebook Ads is to have a great product that solves a problem. My campaign sells itself though because this SaaS is unique and appeals to just about anyone wanting to rank higher in Google. The Facebook ads are just a way for me to reach these new customers and show them something I know they will love.

Rohampton: Other than making sure I had a great product, what other tips would you give me if I wanted to create my first Facebook Ads campaign?

Dan Anton: Before you even think about spending money on Facebook Ads I would encourage you to do two things. The first being to write down all the demographics of the audience you think you want to target. This includes, age, sex, interests, location, etc. The next step would be to play with the Facebook Audience insights tool and research related interests and narrow the demographics down to specific areas. Once you’ve done those steps you can start spending some money by testing your campaigns. It is essential to split test everything though. This means different audiences and ad sets and different images and ad copy. You would be amazed by how small changes can make a huge impact on a campaign.

Rohampton: How do you measure ROI when running Facebook Ads campaigns?

Dan Anton: It all comes down to proper tracking. Facebook makes this so easy by giving you a pixel you can place on your website to track a user from click to conversion. This means I can see which of my ad sets (audiences) and ad copies are performing and which ones are flops. Split testing is critical to maximize ROI. Once you have that figured out you can go one step further and now remarket to users that visited your offer but did not purchase for whatever reason. Now I can show them a different and specific advertisement that speaks directly to them and encourages them through some incentive to give my product a chance.

Rohampton: How much impact do social media signals have on ranking in Google search results in 2017?

Dan Anton: This is a question we get asked a lot at my company, RankCrew. When it comes to social signals and you analyze the first page rankings you’ll see that they tend to have higher social shares when compared to their competition. However, correlation does not imply causation. Ultimately, our testing proved that social signals are still an important part of Google’s algorithm and do play a part in ranking; but I still view backlinks and user engagement as much bigger factors.

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