If you’ve been in the digital marketing game for any amount of time, or if you’ve been an entrepreneur for more than five minutes, then you’ve probably heard about social proof. It’s one of the rare things that can set a brand apart from its competitors, and one of the most important things that modern customers are looking for when coming into contact with new companies. In other words, building social proof helps you generate quality leads and improve your conversion rate through brand trust, and even loyalty down the road.
If you’re unsure what social proof actually is, this is a psychological phenomenon and a marketing tactic that you can use to shape the perception of your brand by making people follow the actions of your existing customers. This is one of the best ways to engage with potential customers, so let’s break down the essential types of social proof you need to have on your website.
Leverage user ratings
There are numerous types of social proof cues and tools you can integrate into your website, ranging from simple popups to spark the customer’s attention, all the way to descriptive content such as reviews and testimonials that people will want to read thoroughly before deciding to purchase anything on your site. Both types are equally important in driving engagement, building trust, and keeping people from abandoning your site and their carts. The first feature you’d want to implement are user ratings.
These are simple and quick rating systems (typically stars but you can get more creative) that you put below your product listing and on every product page to reassure the prospect that the product is of substantial quality and that previous customers were satisfied with their purchase. These star rating systems aren’t meant to convert per se, but they do an amazing job at getting people interested in your products, which is one of the pillars of successful lead generation.
Post detailed customer reviews
The next step in building social proof on your site is to add detailed customer reviews. These will naturally complement the product ratings and give potential customers greater insight into the quality of your products, but also your brand as a whole. Your existing customers will not only post their opinions on the product they bought, rather, they will also write about the entire brand experience, the level of customer service you provide, the effort they had to put in to browse your site and buy products, and of course, they won’t fail to write about any negative experiences they might have had.
Your job is to ensure a stellar customer experience across the board, and to incentivize them to leave positive reviews on your website for potential customers to read. Remember to focus on posting 1st party reviews instead of copying reviews from 3rd party websites like Google, because native reviews are more trustworthy and authoritative.
Add notifications and cues
There are many scams out there in the online world, and even though ratings and reviews will go a long way in portraying a trustworthy image of your brand, many of your potential customers will still be apprehensive if they are perusing your site for the first time. Essentially, people don’t want to see that others have bought something in the past – they want to see that people are buying while they are browsing through your products.
This is why business leaders are increasingly opting to add a comprehensive social proof tool to their websites that will display customer information and notify visitors that someone has just bought something from the store. When a potential customer is skimming through your website, they will want to see some reassurance that people are actually buying your products, which in turn will inspire them to purchase something for themselves.
Publish user-generated images and videos
Lengthy reviews are great and all, but keep in mind that people also want to see your products in action. Now, given the fact that they trust other customers way more than they trust your promotional videos and creative storytelling, you will have to leverage user-generated content on your website as well.
You can create a whole separate section on your site where you will post photos and videos of people using your products and sharing their experiences. But don’t leave it at that, instead, be sure to link every photo and video to the corresponding product page, and use certain customer questions and pain-points to create guides and visual content that will help new customers avoid these problems.
Use trust badges to your advantage
Lastly, you can set your customers’ minds at ease by showing them that other authority names in the industry put their trust in your brand. It’s important that you obtain the necessary certifications and ribbons that you can add to your site in order to essentially tell your new customers that you are trustworthy. Your trust badges should include a satisfaction guarantee, a money-back guarantee, data security and privacy, and any other certification that is relevant to your business and your industry.
Building social proof has become an imperative for growth-oriented businesses nowadays, especially now that the online world is becoming more competitive each day. If you commit to building social proof on your website, you will be able to generate quality leads and convert prospects more easily simply because you will have built a trustworthy brand.