Reviews and testimonials are traditional forms of social proof. They are so valuable for marketers because of how real they are.
There are a number of ways to present social proof to your prospective customers.
A short form that works well for high sales volume sites a simple plugin for showing notification boxes showing recent purchases to visitors can be really effective especially by adding a sense of urgency when the stock is limited.
Quotes from satisfied customers are slightly longer and can be quite detailed adding profile photo’s raises authenticity and value.
Testimonials can be slightly longer, and if written by people in your niche or industry, can be very powerful because they provide a good level of detail and Authority. They could also be written by people know in your industry much like getting a foreword written by someone well known in a book.
If you sell B2B you can get video-based reviews, but it is unlikely that members of the public will want to record a video testimony unless you have an exceptional product or you offer a good incentive.
Consider the Health industry and personal training niche, if you successfully help someone lose weight and get in shape, they may be interested in sharing their achievements and their journey.
At the other end, the long form is case studies are more in-depth stories and work better when written by clients who have bought and used your products and services and have achieved or exceeded their expected results.
Case studies deal with the before-and-after – the problem and the solution and include the action they took, and what the end results were. Case studies often provide images and statistics to visualise what was done and what results were obtained.
- What problem were you experiencing?
- What other products had you already tried?
- Who implemented our product?
- What results did you get in the end?
- Why was our product the right solution for you?
Ask for screenshots and reports if possible. Get a legal release form that will allow you to use the material. Be sensitive about not disclosing any information that might harm the person or company in any way.
Getting Social Proof
In order to get customer stories, you have to ask. If you sell info products like eBooks, you can ask reviews to be written on sites with high authority, that your product is sold on, like Amazon and replicate them or link to them from your own site.
A post-sale survey or follow up could be a good way, especially if you target repeat customers, that way you know that they must be pleased with their purchases.
You can create a template that offers suggestions on what to include in a review. It could be something like:
- What problems they had.
- What other products they tried
- Why your product was chosen
- What were the end results
- Why would they recommend your product, service, or solution.
This will help get more authentic and real-life details and avoid all your reviews looking the same, it also eases the burden on the writer. You need to make it as painless as possible for your customer.
Promoting Social Proof
Once you get your social proof, you need to share it:
- On your site
- In your emails
- On your blog or landing page
- On other sites like Amazon
- On social media
- As part of your email signature in emails
- discussion boards
Gather some social proof from your customers and use it in your marketing and see what results you get. Trust is everything and buyers are greatly influenced by what other people say.