Social proof is one of the most effective ways to grow your online business, generate conversation and boost sales. Customers who are satisfied with your product or service are the perfect candidates for generating social proof to add to your marketing strategy.
So how exactly can your online startup business build positive social proof, especially if you’re new to the game?
This blog will explore all the social proof techniques you can use to boost your online presence and generate more revenue.
What is social proof?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon. People are influenced by their peers to behave in a certain manner, being the basis of social proof. If you see the majority of people doing the sale thing, you subconsciously assume it’s the right thing to do.
It’s human nature to be more inclined to purchase from an online store that has raving reviews or real-life customer testimonials. Even stores with as little as 5 reviews can put your business 270% higher than a store with no reviews.
Social proof is based on the assumption that people are persuaded by the actions of others and tend to adapt to the same behavior. Let’s take a look at an online fashion label that features celebrities wearing their garments on their website. When prospects look at such images, their subconscious is automatically positively affected. They are more confident in the quality of the product and brand if a celeb is wearing it, adding the garment straight to their cart.
In shorter terms, if your online business wants to win over customers, social proof is crucial to your marketing strategy. Social proof makes your customers feel confident about their decisions.
Proven ways to create social proof for your online business
These strategies can build your social proof, increasing your online presence, trust and leads. Some strategies are more persuasive than others.
1. Add certifications to your website
Adding certifications just might be the differentiating factor between your business and our competitors. Certifications can increase conversation rates by up to 30%.
For example, suppose you have started an online digital marketing agency. If you add the relevant industry certifications for inbound and outbound marketing to your website, it will tell the potential customers that you are confident, qualified and know the tricks of the trade.
Adding certifications help communicate a strong value proposition to the customers and give them a solid reason to do business with you.
2. Feature customer testimonials
Honest opinions and experience from loyal customers mean your new prospects are reassured. 88% of customers rely on online reviews to determine the quality of a local business.
But testimonials aren’t just for businesses in the early stage of growth. Software giants like Adobe proudly display customer success stories on their websites to build credibility and trust.
If you want to emotionally hook new customers and show them what you can offer to ease their pain points, request existing customers for testimonials. Even if you only have a handful of customers, a testimonial from them can make a massive difference to how your potential customers view your business.
Customer testimonials don’t always have to be written responses or reviews. Video testimonials are a great way to portray your authenticity to prospective customers. Video allows viewers to watch and listen to customers share their experiences with your brand, giving you more confidence.
Your customers don’t have to break a sweat to record a video testimonial. You can direct them to Clipchamp’s Video Testimonial Maker that can help them record their experience with a single click. To make the testimonial a standout, invest time towards post-production editing. You can also use Clipchamp’s video editing tool to edit out the parts that don’t flow well or are incorrect.
3. Share case studies
A case study delves into the problem faced by a customer and talks about how you could resolve it. It helps you to prove to new buyers that your product or service is invaluable, primarily if you operate in the B2B segment.
The best case studies read in the form of an engaging story. They inspire and motivate prospects to work with your brand and experience what success feels like.
After all, an existing customer who feels more relatable to your prospect is the hero of the story who uses your product to resolve their issues.
There are many different entertaining and engaging ways your brand can utilize a single case study. You can feature them in different types of content such as whitepapers and blogs, or even use them as part of a drip campaign to attract more customers your way.
4. Influencer and micro-influencer endorsements
It’s no surprise that influencer and micro-influencer marketing is the new way to advertise. If your favorite Instagrammer or YouTuber is using a product or service and sharing their positive feedback on their page or channel, it must work, right?
That’s the power of social proof. Reach out to social media influencers directly and see if they’d be interested in becoming brand ambassadors for your online business. Keep in mind it’s easier for someone with 20k followers to stay more engaged with their fans than someone with over 200k. Anyone with a large social media presence and following can help generate social proof for your business.
5. Display your customer numbers
Let the numbers do the talking for you. No matter if your company is selling an item, garment, subscription-based or service, displaying how many people have bought or downloaded your product can be beneficial social proof.
If you don’t have many customers, don’t worry. There are many different alternatives to display as social proof.
- You can send your existing customers a quick email or survey to ask how much money they’ve saved using your business,
- Share how many social media followers your brand has across app platforms,
- Different countries or cities you have served.
Take the time to see where your best numbers are and display them on your social media and website.
6. Product in action images and videos
Images and videos are probably the best social proof your business can provide prospects. They reinforce your brand’s products and that they truly work. Especially through before and after photos.
Say you have a skincare line. Reach out to repurchasing customers to gain an insight into their experience. Ask to share their before and after photos so potential customers can see real-life reviews. It’s one thing to say your product can reduce acne or scarring, but it’s another thing to show them.
Storytellingengages and persuades prospective customers to follow through with their purchases. If a customer has an extremely positive experience with your brand, they’re likely to refer a friend. Before and after photos or videos are perfect for health, wellness and fitness online businesses.
Visual evidence of your product or service working in action or over time will improve conversation rates and generate more leads.
7. Generate customer surveys
Sometimes customers don’t have time to write a raving review. Instead, add a quick survey to your customer mailing list once they have received their product or service.
Customers can easily click on the predetermined survey responses in the form of ranking numbers or stars to make the process more efficient.
If you’re having trouble generating customer reviews, maybe your customers will respond better to a quick and easy survey.
8. Offer customer incentives for sharing reviews
Not everyone is confident in showing their before and after pictures or sharing their experience. That’s why offering customer incentives like a 10% discount code for participating in the review process is key.
Your online business should have a profile on review platforms like Google reviews or Yelp, to increase your chances of being found and receiving more reviews.
Encourage people to upload a photo or video with their review for an incentive. Visual evidence plays a major role in a prospect’s decision to make the final purchase.
9. Share expert advice
Customer opinions are great social proof, but a professional opinion is even better. Customers do have high credibility as they have used the product, but sharing an expert’s opinion is on another level of credibility.
If you’re selling a do-it-yourself product, getting the opinion of a tradesman who specializes in the field will make your prospect’s feel even better about the product. They will already have a positive outlook as they’re saving money by doing it themselves, but knowing that a trade professional approves the product is even more important.
Customer and professional opinions are relevant to the social proof of your business.
10. Share articles your brand has featured in
We were taught not to brag as children, but this social proof opportunity is an exemption. If your online business has been featured in a magazine, newspaper, blog or publication, share the write up on your website.
Don’t be afraid to share this style of information with your viewers and customers. It’s a powerful social proof tool that is usually overlooked by marketing teams.
Create social proof for your online business today
Social proof is the stamp of approval from those whose recommendations matter the most. Experiment with different social proof styles on your website and see which one works best for your online business. Start creating social proof to generate more leads, conversions and sales for your online business today.