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Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are a form of social proof, as is social media marketing. Here is a guestpost about using interactive content to show social proof.
When was the last time you bought something online? Chances are that it wasn’t that long ago. So, let us ask you another question. Did you check the reviews of that product beforehand? Chances are you are rolling your eyes, mouthing the word 'obviously.’
Your reaction to our question goes to prove just how important social proof is to any business. Now, imagine that before you bought that product, you were presented with a quiz. This quiz provided you a product recommendation like Amazon AND gave you information on which product was the best seller. Would that make you want to buy the product? We know, obviously, right?
Your reaction goes to prove how important interactive content is to gain social proof. What happens when you combine the two? Here’s a hint: it rhymes with ‘vrow your business’.
What is Social Proof?
Robert Cialdini described social proof as “the tendency to see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it.” Simply put, your potential customers tend to engage with your business if they see other people engaging with it. Why? Well, you can blame it on the fact that man is a social animal and tends to go with the herd.
Alternatively, you could choose to believe the popular marketing psychologies surrounding social proof. For instance, one states that people give credibility to ideas that can be verified through multiple sources. Furthermore, some studies state that uncertainty encourages social proof. In fact, one study found that when a customer contemplates buying a product, they are more likely to look at other’s opinion, especially when their own experiences with the product were ambivalent. Finally, the perception of similarity plays a part in social proof being so effective for business. When people believe they are ‘similar’ to others in the group, they tend to follow the same action pattern as them.
Why Should You Care?
Social proof is all the more important for digital marketer and e-commerce business owners. For starters, all of your competitors are already using social proof. Be it expert social proof, ratings/reviews or badges/certifications, it is used to increase customer trust in every online business. In fact, customer trust plays a central role in the latest business models due to its role in business growth. Hubspot’s Flywheel attests to that statement.
Moreover, 84% of consumers say that they do not believe in advertisements anymore. Customer trust is at an all-time low and prospects tend to do independent research before investing in any product or service. Consequently, the customer decision-making process and journey are profoundly different than what they used to be.
80% of all B2B and B2C purchases involve some form of word of mouth. Source: www.aceconcierge.net
Another factor is the growing online competition. Every online business is vying for the attention of the customer with their advertisements and social media marketing efforts. Overflow of information ends up making all these efforts redundant. On the other hand, social proof captures the ‘voice of the customer’ by leveraging existing happy customers. Whoever said happy customers are your best salesman wasn’t lying!
Talking of people who weren’t lying- Interactive marketing content is often dubbed as the future of content marketing. And as we have sufficiently established before- the future of marketing cannot exist without social proof.
Interactive Content and Social Proof
Interactive content is content that engages the reader. The reader becomes an active participant in the content. It increases conversion rate by 86% and engagement by 50%. Above all, it is the personification of social proof. Just have a look at this market survey:
Interesting, but not definitive. Now here's what happens after you complete the market poll:
The results page of the experience portrays visually the number of people that agree with your opinion. The number of people that take the quiz is a testament to the fact that people trust the brand enough to engage with the content and services/product it has to offer.
Furthermore, interactive content increases your chances of gaining social proof. Why do we say that? Well, interactive content offers real value to its customers. It provides the answers to the pressing questions of the prospects. The customer in return, share it with other people that they think they might benefit from that information. For ease of understanding, have a look at this interactive calculator:
A calculator like this can gain an abundance of social proof for a company that offers marketing solutions.
Moreover, studies have proved that people tend to share results that are positive/make them feel good about themselves. As a marketer, wouldn’t you like to share a result that proves your email marketing ROI is 10/10?
Finally, interactive content increases your chances of gaining social proof through its viral nature. The shareability factor of interactive content is extremely high. It is engaging, click-worthy, and taps into the primal motivation of people sharing content- It captivates them. Don’t believe us? One BuzzFeed Quiz has been viewed more than 22 million times.
Don't you want to take the quiz now? Via Buzzfeed.
Optimize Interactive Content For Social Proof
If you are looking to gain social proof, interactive content is your best friend.
While creating interactive content for the purpose of gaining social proof, take steps to increase its shareability and level of promotion. This will ensure a higher impression and participation rate. Social Proof is established quite easily here.
So, how can you optimize your interactive content for gaining social proof?
Here are some tips:
- In-depth Yet Positive Results
To increase your chances of shareability and social proof, add real value to your customers. Provide them with information or analysis that were not familiar with before. If people gain something after engaging with your experience, they are more likely to recommend it to their friend. For example, the app cost calculator by VenturePact displays multiple results. It not only calculates how much it will cost a user to build an app but also how much it would cost across continents. Such a results page will be valued more by the user.
A quiz taker posting his/her result on social media proves to others that the quiz and company are worth investing time in. So, make sure that your quiz results are positive. As we mentioned before, people prefer to share stuff that makes them look good on social media. So, make it a point to use positive language on the results page, so that they are tempted to brag and boast all they can!
- Create Experiences Around Trendy Events.
What are some other ways to get your experience in front of a larger audience? Well, instead of going overboard with shareability optimization, how about you let them come to you? You can create experiences around topics that people are already searching for and provide them with insights. Consequently, you can optimize your content for greater shareability to gain social proof. Google trends, as the name suggests, can let you know what’s trending in a country and category. Depending on where you are situated and which category (health, entertainment, politics, etc.) of interactive experiences you want to create, you will get plenty of content ideas. You can also compare two trends and see how popular they have been over a period of time!
- Make It Visually Appealing
Making your experience visually appealing increases its chances of being shared. As humans, we like to perceive information in images more than text. So, make sure text options are accompanied by an image. Other than keeping the users engaged, these visuals will make the page dynamic. In fact, you can add gifs and videos as well!
- Give Comparative Insights
By showing a comparison you make it easier for your user to take a well-informed decision. Consider Billing Savvy, an online calculator that helps people compare prices of subscription services. Since savings is #1 priority of every customer, calculators like these are quite likely to be liked and shared by people! Again, Interactive content simplifies the path to gaining social proof.
- Add Social Share Buttons
This one is kind of obvious, but kind of the most important of all. Adding social share buttons increases the shareability (and hence, social proof) of your experience.
Make it easy for people to share their results by adding social share buttons. You can also create a link with a pre-drafted tweet/message that users can share on their social network. This way the users won’t have to put any effort into writing a tweet or message to accompany the quiz/calculator link.
Moreover, you can ask users to recommend the quiz/calculator to someone who may benefit from it. Preferably, on the lead gen form. This increases the chances of your interactive experience gaining more traction through the word-of-mouth. After all, who wouldn’t trust a recommendation from a friend?
Ahh! That was one exhaustive article! The fact that you’ve reached till the end goes to prove that you are dedicated to achieving social proof. Guess what? So are we!
Reach out to us or leave your thoughts in the comments. Let us know if there are any ideas that we might have missed. Until then, here is a kitten thanking you for reading our article-
Etee Dubey is a full-time content marketer at Outgrow and a part-time dreamer. In her free time, she catches up with her reading and explains the meaning of her eccentric name to people around her.