Marketing and sales heavily rely on human psychology. Good marketers and salespeople also have to be good psychologists. Sometimes people need a little nudge when it comes to making a purchasing decision. As we’re highly social beings, the opinion of others matters to us very much. Similarly, many people tend to conform and do what others do, mainly because they want to fit in and be accepted. Psychologists call it herd mentality while marketers use a more elegant term – social proof. This strategy has become increasingly useful with the growth of social media where people can comment, discuss and express their opinions about various products. If you want to increase your conversion, make sure that your landing page is packed with various kinds of social proof.
User generated content is a breath of fresh air in the world where companies bombard users with tons of commercials, advertisements, sponsored content, and branded messages. People are tired of being constantly exposed to some kind of sales pitch. It has become extremely difficult for companies to actually build brand awareness when users fail to notice promoted products because they’re fed up with ads and billboards designed by marketing experts. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to discover new products. On the contrary, they just don’t want pushy forms of marketing. User generated content is a subtle technique which offers a new perspective on things. Unlike other forms of advertising where people attached to a brand talk about its features and benefits, this more spontaneous and sincere technique is efficient because stories and experiences of people who are satisfied customers are highly relatable.
Types of Social Proof
There are several types of social media proof and they can be used for various purposes.
- Testimonials are short recommendations from your clients. They explain why a product or a service is good and how it solved their problems or improved the quality of their lives. They are one of the key elements of every landing page and can be used both for B2B and B2C marketing. If you want to make them efficient and legitimate, what you need is the name, title, company, and picture of the person whose testimonial you use.
- Case studies are detailed analyses of how using your product or service helped your current customer grow their business and overcome obstacles. It’s usually used in B2B marketing.
- Social media is a perfect vehicle for social proof. If we remember that nowadays people are checking their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram all the time, it’s easy to conclude how tremendously influential those platforms are. In addition to that, surveys say that people mainly trust recommendations from family and friends. A positive comment or review of your product on a social media website is the most credible form of advertising, so why not put the screenshots of several such comments on your landing page?
- Influencers are celebrities or people with lots of followers on social networks. People trust them, listen to their recommendations, and they easily relate to them. Household names are great brand ambassadors because their loyal fans believe every word they say. Needless to say, having an endorsement deal with an influencer may immensely contribute to the success of your brand.
How to Generate Social Proof?
All this sounds easy, but generating social proof from scratch requires a lot of effort. People frequently ask what they should do if they don’t have any testimonials. The first and most important advice is: don’t even think about faking it. Insincere and staged testimonials can be easily spotted and this gesture could have more negative consequences than not having a single testimonial on your landing page.
- Start with offering your product and services for free. That way people will be more likely to give you positive feedback and allow you to use it for testimonials.
- Referrals from satisfied customers are very valuable. In case that you don’t know how to encourage your customers to recommend you to their contacts, a good starting point would be to create a referral program. For example, certain companies reward their customers if they invite their colleagues and friends to start using their products or services.
- When it comes to influencers, you should start with using an influencer as an example in your content. That’s how you might get them to notice you. However, if your website or blog still hasn’t become relevant, you could write a guest article for a more popular website and mention the influencer Additionally, you can let the influencer know via email that you’ve used them as a good example and provide a link to the article. Sharing the influencer’s posts on various social media, comment on their articles (who doesn’t like an ego boost?), or even purchase something from them will strengthen your bond with the influencer gradually. If you play your cards right, you might get an endorsement. Be persistent and don’t give up.
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