How to Improve Social Proof in Digital Marketing

One of the most influential factors for whether a user turns into a customer is trust. By learning how to improve social proof on your site, you’ll begin to build more trust with your potential buyers and see an improvement in conversion rate. This lesson will show you how.

9 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Recognizing Types of Social Proof

Discover all the different types of social proof that can be used on a page

Choosing the Correct Social Proof

Know which type of Social Proof is appropriate for your situation

Launching Your Own Ad Campaign

Build from conception to launch your first advertising campaign with Google Ad.

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.

Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

Building off of our last lesson on how to optimize copy, we will now be looking at how to optimize social proof on your landing pages. In this lesson, we will review what social proof is and explain how to leverage it on your site. At the end of the lesson we will take a look at an example and how you can optimize social proof to convert more users on your site.

What is Social Proof?

Social proof is the positive influence created when people assume the actions of others as correct when looking to make decisions. In marketing, people see the use and support of a brand as a form of social proof. Here are 5 types of social proof that can be translated to your landing pages as outlined by Alfred Lua:

  1. Expert: This type of social proof occurs when an expert in your industry recommends your product/service or is associated with your brand.
    1. Example: a Youtube shoutout by an expert advocating or promoting your product.
  2. Celebrity: This form of social proof is when a famous person endorses your product or service. 
    1. Example: a Facebook post supporting your product by a celebrity or influencer.
  3. User: This form of social proof is when a large amount of people is seen to be supporting your brand. 
    1. Example: Logo farms on a website. A positive review/testimonial on Yelp, Google Reviews, or other 3rd party review sites.
  4. Crowd Appeal: This form of social proof is when a large amount of people is seen to be supporting your brand.
    1. Example: having a huge social media following or having millions of customers use your product in public.
  5. Certification: This type of social proof is when you are given a stamp of approval by an authoritative figure in your industry.
    1. Example: Gartner Approval Logos, Certification Badges, Yelp Recommended Labels

Reference: Buffer

Additional examples of social proof are: 

  • Expert reviews
  • Customer logos
  • Product reviews 
  • Case studies
  • Testimonials 
  • Trust Badges: seals/awards/certificates
  • Social media icons: likes/shares/views

Reference: Instapage

Why is this important?

When consumers see their peers trusting in your product or service, it builds credibility for your brand. In situations where there is uncertainty, people often look to those around them to know what to do. This is sometimes referred to as a herd mentality. We want consumers to feel protected in their choice knowing that many others have trusted and are happy with this choice as well. If we can establish trust with consumers and address their concerns through their peers, we can increase our chances of conversion.

Reference: Buffer

The Process:

Step 1: Finding the Appropriate Social Proof

If you don’t know where to look for social proof, a great place to start is by looking through your current customer reviews online. Search for these reviews online on Google with something like: “[Brand Name] Reviews”. For example:

Step 2: Adding Social Proof

After identifying the social proof you want to add, work with your webmaster or within your landing page tool to incorporate the social proof element.

Example: Using Reviews from a Trusted Third-Party Review Site

Our client provides car insurance services in a specific location. Although this page was already performing well, there is always room for improvement. We wanted to test adding specific user reviews from a trusted review site to add credibility to this smaller insurance company. We chose testimonials that spoke to the largest pain points of the consumer and added the logo of the review source for quick brand recognition. 

(Original)

(Added Social Proof)

Test Results:

After adding this section below the hero we saw a 65% lift in conversion rate for an average conversion rate of 96.67% in the new variant. If you are missing any elements of social proof on your page, we strongly recommend that you test adding user-generated reviews.

Step 3: Optimizing Social Proof 

Example 1: Optimizing Reviews

Even after you’ve added social proof on your page, there is always room for improvement! For example, our client sells software that helps subcontractors streamline their project management. We identified a testimonial on their site that showed some room for improvement.

Before Optimization

In the original testimonial, nothing grabs the user’s attention or inspires them to continue reading. We found that it was a bit bland and lacked inspirational language. Older testimonials may make viewers skeptical, so ensure these reviews are fairly recent.

Instead, we chose a testimonial that speaks to this audience and the benefits they can receive. The key elements of the testimonial that we were looking to improve were:

  • Highlighting a core value prop of our client’s solution
  • Looking for more compelling & persuasive copy
  • Adding more visual elements

After Optimization:

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