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    on May 11, 2022 Consumer Psychology

    Social proof ideas that go beyond the traditional testimonial

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    As a marketer, you know just how much power the thoughts and opinions of others have on consumer behavior. It’s the reason why brands create space for customer reviews, expert endorsements and awards.

    And it also is a result of a consumer psychology principle known as social proof, the idea that people are more likely to follow the lead of others. 

    Customers base many of their decisions on what trusted family and friends have to say about brands, making it all the more important for you to showcase customer opinions often. 

    We’ve created a list of four social proof tactics, aside from the standard review or testimonial, to keep your audience updated on how your brand is fairing with others.

    4 ways to leverage social proof beyond traditional testimonials

    1. User-generated content / Video Marketing

    Written reviews are huge deciding factors for consumers and can be found on most brand websites or third-party search engines.

    User-generated content is practically a written review in video form. Instead of spending time reading text, customers can listen to or watch a video of another customer explaining the pros and cons of your product(s). 

    Video marketing has its fair share of benefits for your brand and your customers. When you incorporate videos into your marketing campaigns, this can help to increase visitor engagement on your website, showcase authentic emotion from customers and promote trust. 

    2. Influencer marketing

    Social proof and influencer marketing are one and the same.

    Celebrity endorsements of a product or service often increase the perceived value of that product or service for a number of reasons: People can get a true sense of how others feel about your brand and seeing authentic reviews from humans increases consumer trust.

    In other words, influencer marketing would not exist without social proof. 

    3. Best-sellers section

    What if there was another section on your website —  besides the area for reviews — that gave customers direct insight into what products and services other customers like the most? If you don't already have a "best-sellers" section, there can be. 

    Your best-sellers section is a more product-specific compilation of your customers' favorite items. It’s a very clear way for customers to see which products get sold most often. Customers can then trust that these are reliable products because others make a point to purchase them again and again. 

    4. Employee testimonials

    Customers care about the opinions of other customers, but they also care about your employees.

    Your employees are an integral part of your business, and they know more about your products, services and business practices than almost anyone else. This makes them a highly credible source of information for your customers who use this knowledge to help them decide if they want to engage with your brand or not. 

    Brands with a reputation for treating their employees well or who have incredibly friendly employees, simply add to their already existing value with customers. The same is possible with your brand, if you focus on serving your employees like you do your customers.

    When your employees are happy, that shines through in both the work they do and how they talk about your brand. Happy employees encourage happy customers who are more likely to support you.

    Tip: Make sure to A/B test

    One fascinating thing about marketing is that many of your trusted tactics can be combined to help you serve even more customers. A/B testing is often used to help brands determine which marketing content is best received by customers; you can take social proof content (testimonials, user-generated videos, expert endorsements, etc.) and see which format resonates best with your customers.

    Once you know which social proof strategy your customers enjoy, you can incorporate it into the marketing channels it works with the best.

    Social proof may be a standard marketing psychology principle, but your marketing strategies don’t have to be. These social proof tactics are meant to help you showcase your strengths while giving your customers resources that can benefit them.

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    Lindsay Keener

    Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.