A great product or service that people need and a solid web presence is not enough. Prospective buyers can be skeptical. Add social proof to lower your prospect’s perceived risk and increase your conversion rates.
Think about major brands like Amazon, Fitbit, and Mailchimp, they have social proof on their websites. By using social proof, you can build credibility and create trust with prospects turning them into customers. People look for social proof, for assurance that they are making the best decision.
Your brand already has customers who tell you they love your product or service. It is time to leverage that into quality testimonials that will build trust and close deals. Gather good quality, authentic, social proof that helps prospects minimize perceived risk and watch your brand grow.
This guide will teach you how to incorporate social proof into marketing strategies and ultimately get you the sale.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is one of the most effective tools that is used in marketing. Studies show that 92% of online consumers look at a product review before making a purchase.
Simply put, social proof is the concept that if a product or service worked for someone else, it is likely to work for me. And…. If it didn’t run. People are easily influenced by what others say about your product or service and will take action based on that information. Prospects read reviews, ask others for opinions, and see what influencers have to say. Social proof is about easing your prospect’s mind at the point of decision and showing them that your brand is a low-risk answer to solve their problem.
Sources and Types of Social Proof
There are several sources and types of social proof. As a brand, it is leveraging the sources that you already have and working on creating new. You need to ask for the testimonial or review.
- Customers – Social proof from your existing customer reviews, testimonials, or case studies.
- Experts – A statement from credible and esteemed experts in your industry, validating your product or service.
- Certifications – A credible 3rd party entity that certifies you as a knowledgeable and highly trustworthy source.
- Influencers / Celebrities – Reviews, stories on social media that have bought your product or service and are fans.
- Crowds – Large numbers of people following you on social can also provide social proof.
- Friends – People who are a friend of your visitors or users that already like the brand.
Creating Customer Testimonials that Convert
The most powerful form of social proof is the customer testimonial.
It is not about having tons of testimonials with no substance behind them. Powerful statements that are specific and personal smooth a prospect’s fears and will help you close more sales.
The testimonial needs to plot the customers’ journey. From the problem, they were having. To the day they found your brand. Then end with the defining moment when your product or service solved their problem.
Customers to Approach
In order to get quality testimonials, you need to ask the right customers. As you are building your database, you want to consider who are the customers to get reviews from.
- Customers that are in your target audience – They share the same problems as the prospects you are trying to reach.
- Customers who play similar roles, with similar job titles– If you are targeting a specific niche like executives, you want to feature testimonials by people in similar positions. It creates relatability.
- High-profile individuals or brands – People trust authoritative figures or brands, so if you have a large well-known person or company that can give a testimonial, get it.
- Believers – Customers who believe in your product or service and have had great success.
The Structure of a Strong Testimonial
A strong testimonial will capture the emotional details, so you don’t want to just ask for a review. Guiding them with key questions will help them know what to write and it will give you an impactful testimonial.
- What was your biggest pain point that drove you to contact us?
- What specific feature benefited you and/or your team the most?
- How did that make you feel?
- How did the product or service solve your problem.
Case Studies as Social Proof
Case studies are a more formal nature of sharing social proof. They leverage the idea that customers can see the problem, how your brand created the solution, and the positive results that came from it. A case study is long-form social proof that gives the background story and makes it more relatable.
A group of case studies can be used as a page on your website for prospects to go and see how you help. Case studies can also be built into blogs or social media posts with a link to read more here. Case studies are also referenced as customer success stories.
Certifications and Badges
Studies have shown that a certification or badge can increase conversion rates by as much as 30 percent. Is your brand showcasing yours to gain more credibility?
If your brand has industry certifications or accreditations, you need to display them on your website. Certifications generate conversations on social media platforms and can be used as content in a blog.
Badges of partnerships with well-known brands and/or awards are another tool that helps gain credibility.
Influencers Help with Social Proof
Influencers are a great resource and can help with your social proof marketing strategy. They have the power to increase the visibility of your brand and strengthen your image. Influencers have the power to attract people to your product or service and shape purchase decisions by sharing why they like your brand.
Rethink Your Marketing Strategy
The best social proof marketing strategies incorporate testimonials, case studies, certifications, and influencers.
Your testimonial or review strategy should be more than just hoping for a quick one-liner from any customer. To convince a prospect case studies need to be specific and real. Social proof will help you convert prospects into customers and increase sales exponentially when done effectively. You are welcome to check our site to see our testimonials and case studies. We walk to the walk and so can you.