This weeks course from CXL Institute focuses on social proof and how to present it most efficient to persuade your customers and position yourselves as the industry leader in your sales space. Social proof is the concept that people will follow the actions of the masses. A successful case study will walk a leader through the entire experience with an ideal, likeminded customer who has walked through their problem before them. It will develop your customer to empathize with that same person who you showcased in your case study, without even having to persuade them yourself.
Here is an excerpt from social sprout: “Some common tactics of establishing social proof are:
Social proof is even more powerful when it comes from someone your prospect knows. According to a Nielsen survey, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase.
To be most successful, we should explain in the case study what the users experience and life was like, before buying your product/ service, paint a picture of the experience it was like when using your product, and showcase what problem you helped solve after they successfully purchased your product. Using this tactic sets up the lead to visualize what they will expect after the purchase. It also gives opportunity for you to empathize with your potential customer to show you fully understand their problems and position yourselves as the industry leader and most ideal solution to their problem. Empathy rules, all. In business, sales, relationships. And we should be constantly trying to find ways to show we understand our customers.
One example I loved from this course was the hesitation to only use messaging for sales copy stating “We are the best” or “top industry leaders” without backing up or validating that claim. Without validation you are the best, it’s impossible to transfer that trust to the customer. Only saying we are the best, without social proof turns the messaging to sound manipulative or “sales-ish” instead of authentically persuading a customer to purchase. With a successful case study, you can validate that claim and explain why you are the best. A similar guideline to display the best testimonials are also trust by following the case study example of before, during and after your product/service purchase. When asking a happy, past customer to share a testimonial, guide them with these fellow prompts… What did you hope this product or service would help you solve? How did you feel during the process and now after you purchased, how did the product help set you up for success? Lead your past customers where they don’t have to think so much about what to write in a testimonial. This allows more people to write a quick response and also sets your business up to receive a review to share that increase conversions and sales. This before, during, and after product timeline should be a common thread– consistently in the back of our minds when we think of sales messaging and layout of our lead landing pages. It’s very important.
Creating a compelling story drives customer engagement. In order to write your case studies to be believeable, use these tips:
.Walk your customers through the entire experience.
Conducting customer interviews: A strong interview is the backbone to a compelling testimonial.
This part of the course explains how to choose the best candidate to interview. They have to 1. be willing to share their experience 2. Reflects who your ideal target market is and 3. has time to sit down with you.
Once you find your ideal customer to interview, conduct questions that extend past yes or no questions. Ask pain-points and fully understand what they were going through to lead them into fining your companies lead page for a solution. A great testimonial is worthless if it’s not seen at the right time. Social proof should alleviate friction and solve a pain-point by overcoming an objection.
To crate a plain for where your social proof should live, keep this in mind: the more white space your customer is, the more in depth your social proof needs to be. If conducted at the right time, you can achieve a successful 2-3 sentence for social proof/testimonial example. Especially thinking of the mobile user experience.
Social proof could be two separate experiences for both mobile and desktop devices. In my opinion all marketing and lead experiences should be treated as unique experiences to maximize your marketing efforts and reach your highest conversion potential.
Showing negative social proof as a trust factor is one tactic to help humanize your company and can actually be used as a positive for conversion rates. By showcasing and leaving negative reviews, (a few) actually could benefit you more than taking them out of your lead pages for social proof. Not everyone will like a company, and showing one “average” experience testimonial can lead to customers developing empathy for your company and overall brand experience. When you evoke a customers emotion emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of professional sales success.
After further research, I found a study on Maslow hierarchy of needs explaining what social proof and testimonials does to a person internally by setting off a need to purchase emotion. If a person you follow, look up to, or envy purchases a specific product, our minds instantly gravitate towards a sense of internally thinking we need that product. Our subconscious mind, or crocodile brain is activated, which is the part of the brain that is hardest to activate, which is proof while Social Proof works as such a successful sales tactic and conversion method. I enjoyed this week’s course and before doing more research, thought testimonials didn’t play as an important role in conversion rate optimization as it most likely does.