This interview was conducted by Professor Joe Kevens, who yo can find @ @Joe
Views on Reviews is a new series of interviews with B2B SaaS professionals who will provide a real-world perspective on what it’s like working on reviews. My eighth interview is with Dev Basu, CEO of Powered By Search.
Dev Basu founded and runs Powered By Search, a top agency that helps B2B SaaS companies scale demand generation to drive demos, trials, and grow MRR.
Powered By Search has helped dozens of B2B SaaS companies, such as Basecamp, CallRail, Clio, Loopio, and TouchBistro.
Dev’s known by his peers, colleagues, and clients as:
- a world-class expert when it comes to scaling B2B SaaS marketing
- one of a select few digital marketing experts that understands the big picture as well as what it takes to get things done
- when you think of a person within the digital space with a wealth of knowledge both applied and innovative, Dev comes to mind
Without further ado, here are Dev’s views on reviews.
1. Powered By Search got started as an SEO agency and has evolved into a B2B SaaS Marketing Agency. How did you get into B2B SaaS?
2. What was your first experience with reviews in business software?
3. Have you yourself looked at reviews on a business software review site before purchasing? If yes, tell us how you got to the site, what you looked at, etc.
4. How do you see reviews fit into a broader demand gen strategy?
5. You’ve worked with many B2B SaaS companies over the past 10-15 years. What are some of the most common questions that your B2B SaaS clients ask you about reviews and review sites?
6. As a search expert in B2B SaaS, is there any way a vendor can outrank a review site on a B2B SaaS product category search? If not, how do you advise B2B SaaS companies view review sites in the context of search results for key buying terms like “best + [B2B SaaS category]” searches?
7. You’ve said, “Most B2B SaaS companies have a love-hate relationship with review sites.” From what I gathered, you argue the love comes from recognizing the importance of these sites (?), and the hate comes from seeing the review sites in a “limited scope…reputation management and driving more reviews are often their sole objectives. This is especially the case for smaller, up-and-coming SaaS businesses that see themselves as underdogs within their category (?) In other words, when it comes to how B2B SaaS vendors view review sites, do you think the view is, love ‘em if you can lead (on them), and hate ‘em if you can’t?
8. You see review sites as treasure troves of competitive intel for B2B SaaS vendors and have written a helpful post. What prompted you to see review sites from this different angle (i.e. competitive intel)?
9. You’ve also said, “Many companies, though, scoff at the idea of allocating PPC ad budget to review sites due to the risk of becoming a commodity. Running PPC ads on review sites tends to result in lower quality leads, who often ask for discounts. This invariably creates a race to the bottom, which isn’t ideal for their return on ad spend.” Review sites like Capterra that offer PPC ads have a bidding system similar to Google Ads (minus the quality score until very recently). How is running PPC ads on a review site different than on Google? (i.e. not also seen as a risk of becoming a commodity, resulting in lower quality leads, who often ask for discounts, and creating a race to the bottom.)
10. How do you recommend B2B SaaS companies think about if and how to run PPC ads on review sites (like Gartner Digital Markets review sites (Capterra, GetApp, and Software Advice)?
11. With podcasts proliferating in B2B SaaS, it’s becoming more competitive to stand out. I noticed you’re asking for reviews of the two podcasts you’ve started up at Powered by Search (SaaS Marketing Bites and Insider Marketing.) How are reviews helping grow your podcast audience?
12. A Google search for “Powered By Search reviews” yields Glassdoor (employee reviews) as the 1st result and Clutch (Services company reviews) as the 2nd result. You’ve generated employee reviews on Glassdoor but not customer reviews on Clutch. Can you tell us how you see employee reviews and customer reviews in the context of your agency?
13. How do you decide which review sites to ask your users to review on?
14. Are you seeing any change in where you or your B2B SaaS growth professionals go for user reviews? i.e. not to review sites, but to your own personal network directly, or to peer networks in Slack communities?
15. I counted 27 resources on your SaaS Marketing Resources page, one of which is an “Online B2B SaaS Reputation Management Checklist.” One of the items on the checklist is “set up a review funnel which encourages reviews, feedback, & testimonials from your customers.” Can you elaborate on how you recommend B2B SaaS companies set up a review funnel?
16. Have you used buyer intent data from review sites? If so, how?
17. If you could change one thing about today’s B2B software review sites, what would it be?
18. You’re an avid (and skilled) photographer. Mind sharing with us one of your favourite photos?
- It is possible to rank on your “[category] + software” search terms by creating a page(s) highly tailored to the search intent and then promoting those pages.
- Review sites can play an important role in gaining competitive intelligence that can help you refine your positioning.
- As a rule of thumb, allocate 10-20% of overall media spend budgets on building a pipeline with your already solution-aware audience but product unaware. That is, they know they have a problem, and there are solutions for it but they don’t know the specific solutions from which they’ll need to pick. Pay-per-click advertising on review sites is one way to reach your audience members at this stage of the buying process.
- The best time to ask a customer for something is when they’re happy, so requesting reviews from high-NPS scorers tends to lead to more reviews.
- Reviews tend to be more of a lead conversion tool than a lead acquisition tool. Reviews can provide objectively believable social proof to boost lead conversion rates.
Do you have follow-up questions for Dev? Add and message him on LinkedIn or find him on Twitter.
To learn more about Dev’s agency, visit poweredbysearch.com.
Get more of Dev’s views on SaaS Marketing Bites and Inside Marketing podcasts.
This article was originally published on B2Bsaasreviews.com