Social proof is a fact of life. Prospective customers look for evidence your product or service actually delivers the benefits you claim it does.
That’s not surprising. When they’re not familiar with your brand, they take all the risk. It’s our job as marketers to alleviate their feelings of uncertainty. We want to make it easy for your prospects to move through the journey to becoming loyal customers.
Social proof helps accomplish that. In fact, the good news for marketers is that there are numerous strategies to prove a product is as good as we say it is. Case studies, testimonials and reviews are popular methods for delivering strong evidence of a brand’s ability to delight.
WHAT IS SOCIAL PROOF?
Social proof is aligned with human psychology. A good explanation of social proof is from Buffer, a popular social media dashboard. According to Buffer, “…in situations where we are uncertain about what to do, we would assume that the people around us (experts, celebrities, friends, etc.) have more knowledge about what’s going on and what should be done.”
Examples of social proof include Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews, Testimonials, Endorsements, Case Studies, User-Generated Content, and Reputation Management.
It’s vital for business owners to understand the major role social proof plays in marketing their business successfully. Without it, generating revenue can be challenging. That’s why I take a closer look at Case Studies, Testimonials and Reviews in this article and offer tips on getting the most from them.
MARKETING CASE STUDIES
Consumers place a high degree of trust in their peers. Here’s a list of tips on how to leverage a Case Study in your marketing.
- Focus on the results. Everybody can relate to numbers. Provide a simple measure of how your product improved a customer’s life, productivity, appearance, etc.
- Provide context that your audience can relate to. It helps build a compelling story.
- Use graphics to drive home your main points. Assume some folks won’t read every word.
Think of these as miniature versions of a Case Study. A customer Testimonial can be anywhere from one to three sentences. Written Testimonials are great, but consider video because of its huge popularity on the Internet.
Want to discover more about unlocking the power of Testimonials? Check out our blog post loaded with tips.
WHY REVIEWS ARE SO DARN IMPORTANT
Just about every one of your customers is highly active on the web. And they trust what is said by the folks that have actually used your product or service. After all, they know how well it performs because they’ve used it.
According to BrightLocal, “Business reviews can be an incredibly useful tool for attracting new customers, not only through the psychological effect they have on the reader, but by boosting local rankings so that businesses are more likely to show up for searching consumers.”
Which online platform are most consumers using to leave a Review? Recent data shows that consumer use of Google to evaluate local businesses has climbed from 63% in 2020 to 81% in 2021.
It’s no surprise that Google is at the top of the list. In fact, more and more consumers express their feelings about a product or service on the giant search engine because Google makes it easy. My clients and I spend much less time on Review sites.
To successfully move prospects along in their journey to becoming paying customers, you have to master social proof. This means leveraging human psychology when marketing your business. Earn the trust of prospective customers by sharing the experiences your current customers have had.
Depending on the nature of your business, most of the above can be implemented right away. Need help with any of the above, reach out to us. We’re here to help improve your marketing.