Trust is everything in the world of marketing – and social proof is the key to instilling it in your visitors. These 9 types of social proof can be quickly, easily and effectively integrated into your copy – allowing you to boost your marketing credibility, and increase your conversion rates.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]9. Awards and Certifications[/googlefont]
Awards allow industry experts to vouch for your expertise, and offer your brand a way of evidencing its abilities. Boasting about your marketing expertise isn’t a very convincing form of social proof – but bona fide certifications allow you to put your metaphorical money where your mouth is.
Top Tip: For marketers looking to boost their credibility, check out the HubSpot Certification Program.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]8. Customer Testimonials[/googlefont]
A prospective customer’s decision to buy is fueled by one question: ‘Will I be happy with my purchase?’ Testimonials allow your visitors a glimpse into the future, and an insight into the life of a customer. A genuine testimonial from a satisfied customer is hugely effective at driving sales – especially if that customer matches your visitor’s demographic.
Top Tip: Visitor’s are unlikely to seek out testimonials directly; so integrate them into your sales copy.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]7. Customer Reviews[/googlefont]
Reviews offer more detailed feedback than a testimonial, and the possibility of criticism from your customers. Surprisingly, small amounts of criticism can actually improve your conversion rates – adding a sense of realism and legitimacy to your social proof – so they’re worth including on your site.
Top Tip: Don’t edit your customer reviews – their genuine nature is what makes them so powerful.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]6. Social Media Signals[/googlefont]
The wisdom of the crowd is hard to disprove – and if you have a large and active social media following, you can use it to create powerful social proof. Social media signals, including Likes, Tweets, Shares and +1s, allow prospective customers to gauge the popularity of your brand, and even evoke a sense of urgency – creating a desire to buy, just to avoid missing out.
Top Tip: Avoid using poor social media signals – 0 Likes is only going to turn-off potential customers.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]5. Logos and Badges[/googlefont]
If you’ve been featured on a popular website, mentioned in an industry publication, or worked with an industry behemoth, adding their logos and badges to your site can improve the reputability of your brand. Many agencies leverage this by promoting the logos of their biggest clients – and you can too (assuming you’ve asked permission!)
Top Tip: Less is more when it comes to badges – and a handful of relevant logos will be more effective than an entire page.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]4. Celebrity Endorsements[/googlefont]
The recommendations of famous people are often more trusted than those from Jane Doe and John Smith. If you’re able obtain a legitimate endorsement from a popular celebrity, you also gain access to a huge audience, and incredible brand exposure.
Top Tip: Don’t pay for celebrity endorsement – it’ll only come back to haunt you!
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]3. Expert Endorsements[/googlefont]
Every industry has its share of influential figureheads, renowned for their knowledge and expertise. Their opinions carry serious weight, and a recommendation from a respected ‘thought leader’ or ‘guru’ can send a huge amount of targeted, trusting traffic to your site.
Top Tip: Spend time networking with experts through social media, and share their content – you’ll dramatically boost your chances of endorsement.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]2. Security Seals[/googlefont]
Digital security is a big concern for prospective customers. Security seals, like those offered by McAfee and Trustee, offer social proof of the safety of your website – encouraging visitors that it’s safe to become a customer. However, the effects of security seals aren’t always positive – and reminding customers of potential security risks can actually reduce conversion.
Top Tip: Split test security seals to gauge their efficacy.
[googlefont font=”Oswald” size=”25px”]1. Recommendations[/googlefont]
Social proof from strangers is powerful; but social proof from friends is unbeatable. If you’re able to get your existing customers to recommend your services to their friends, you’re onto a winner.
Top Tip: Incentivise recommendations by including a reward for successful referrals.[hr style=”3″ margin=”20px 0px 20px 0px”]
Do you leverage social proof to boost your credibility? Which types of social proof do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!
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