The shopping methods and experiences of customers have drastically evolved with time. Today, purchasing decisions are much more calculated, thoroughly researched, and well-analyzed beforehand. Thanks to the advent of social media, review, and eCommerce sites for marketing, advertising, and spreading awareness.
CBD is the rising star of the Western World. It is touted as a cure-all for everything. This soaring demand accompanies a flood of new start-ups and brands hitting the industry. So how to get heard through the market noise?
One way to do is by incorporating Social Proof, an effective marketing strategy.
Are you alien to the concept of Social Proof? Or simply wish to acquire a solid understanding of its benefits and tactics so as to implement them in your venture? The guide below is meant for you.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Is Social Proof: A Quick Intro
Social Proof is a social and psychological phenomenon based on the human tendency or perhaps urge to replicate the act of others. Also commonly referred to as informational social influence, the term was first coined in 1984 by Robert Cialdini. It was and is based on the three core principles of uncertainty, similarity, and expertise.
The idea of social proofing implies that in case of shady circumstances or confusing situations if the majority behaves a certain way, it will most definitely be the best and correct behavior. Right or not? As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs explains that people inherently need to belong to a group as it accompanies a feeling of security.
Needless to say, the theory of Social Proof can be extended to explain consumer behavior while making purchases.
Now in the context of marketing, the concept implies that any individual will purchase what others purchase. After all, it validates the worth of a service or a product. It comes as no surprise that social proof is the most convincing way to authenticate a business in customers’ eyes.
Some Shocking Stats
In case, if you are still not convinced, here are a couple of truths to blow your mind. More than anything else, they will prove the benefits of Social Proof.
- Do you know key findings from a National Harris Poll Survey revealed that 82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends, family, or others before they make a buying decision?
- Out of these, a whopping 70% are likely to trust advice from someone they have never known before blindly.
- 87% of consumers reported that social media greatly influences their decisions.
- Likewise, another article by Hubspot supported the claims stating that 71% are willing to purchase after coming across a referral on social media platforms.
Types Of Social Proof
There exists primarily five types of social proof:
- Expert social proof: This involves support or recommendation by an expert, popular influencer, or authoritative figure in the industry or society, at large.
- Celebrity social proof: Endorsements and partnerships by renowned celebrities or their business is another effective strategy.
- User social proof: User proof involves sharing the reviews, feedback, testimonials, or success stories of your clients. This ultimately entices people to buy a product and achieve goals like others.
- Wisdom of the crowd: Yet another integral tool is the crowd’s wisdom. This means proving a product to be an overall crowd-pleaser by bringing its merits and popularity into the limelight. For instance, a company highlighting its number of customers or products sold.
- Wisdom of friends and family: Roughly 77% of the customers are inspired by their friends and family’s recommendation while making a purchase.
Examples of Social Proof in Ecommerce
Wondering how to incorporate social proof into your strategy?
Just like any other business, CBD and vape startup owners must strive to integrate social proofing in every stage of the buyer’s journey (to make them buy from here) – right from discovery to order placement. Here is how they can do it:
- Social Ads
- Home Page
- Product Page
- Community Pages
- Transactional and Promotional Emails
How To Integrate Social Proof In CBD Marketing?
So, you have got the hang of the concept. The next question ultimately pinching you is how to actually put Social Proof in full action for your CBD venture?
Following we have shared seven awesome tips and tricks to implement it:
1) Attractive Ratings And Reviews
A powerful precursor to a business’s credibility is quantified positive reviews- attracting customers to convert and spend more. Likewise, ratings, i.e. the volume of reviews, will also reflect that the product is worthwhile.
Businesses can tactfully display different testimonials on their website and social media pages. When a famous person endorses your cannabis oil, the viewers will naturally perceive it as more credible. Isn’t it?
3) Attractive Videos
Social Proofing is incomplete without video content. They are hands-down the most enticing tool because everyone loves watching videos. So, take this opportunity to demonstrate great success stories, experiences, and moments. Animoto’s 2018 State of Social Video claimed that videos are consumer’s favorite form of social media content.
4) Customer-Centric Stories
What if we were to tell you that our human brain is attributed to retaining inspiring stories?
The Invisible Gorilla, a book by psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, states that stories are considered more trustworthy, persuasive, and memorable than statistics.
Begin by outlining a problem or a conflict, the process, resolution and finally, a successful result guaranteed through the miraculous CBD extract.
5) Real Person Pictures
Okay, so you have displayed a testimonial, a story, a video, or a review on your Site. So far, so good!
Now, the next step involves accompanying the message with a high-resolution image of the person. In fact, findings of a 2012 Research concluded that the best way to increase a message’s truthfulness and make it believable is by associating it with a face. In fact, posts with human pictures garner 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets?
6) Endorsements From Celebrities
Do you have any influencer, celebrity, or renowned personality as a customer? If yes, then how about making them a part of your campaign? Request their permission to use their review or endorsement in your marketing collateral and get into the spotlight.
7) Media logos
Get reputable blogs, media outlets, news stations on board and seek their patronage. Featuring their logos in the “as seen in” section of your site will be yet another strong social proof and will surely drive more engagement.
Trustpilot: World’s Number 1 Site for Social Proof
This Danish company is an online customer review platform at its heart. Established in 2007, it aims to hosts reviews of all national and international businesses. Although the company allows businesses to respond and collect reviews for free, the paid specialized marketing and analytic services are also quite popular.
Trustpilot is the Voice of the Customers built with a vision to create an independent currency of trust.
Here are some of the milestones achieved over 14 years of its operation:
- Nearly 1 million reviews are posted each month on the site.
- It has published over 50 million reviews so far.
- The site has covered over 228,000 local and international businesses.
Well, that’s not it. Now businesses can publish Trustpilot’s reviews and ratings as Google Seller Ratings, or “Google Stars” after it entered into a legal agreement with Google.
However, the legitimacy of Trustpilot is slightly controversial. An article by BBC News “the potentially murky world of online reviews”, as well as The Guardian’s “Fake reviews, plague consumer websites” unveils that the site abounds with fake reviews. Not to mention, the irresponsible way it deals with complaints. Indeed, the claims were proved when it was caught publishing fake reviews for Bizzyloans, Purplebricks, and Foxtons.
Prominent Benefits of TrustPilot
Shine Out in PPC ADS
You can add the Trustpilot Ratings to your Google, Bing and Yahoo campaigns. This will elevate your quality score and lower the cost-per-click on ads as clicks via these ratings increase.
Free SEO-Driven Content
Gear Up. We are going to give you the most shocking and thrilling tip!
Reviews are, by nature, SEO-rich. (Yes, you read it correct.)
Customers reviewing your products are intentionally generating fresh content enriched with the relevant keywords and tags for your business every day. So, yeah, search engine results will ultimately connect and land potential leads to your site. Could it get any better?
In addition to the above, some other benefits include:
- Free Marketing
- More Clicks and Leads
- Drives Traffic to the Site
- Increased Brand Reputation
- More Sales or Conversions
- The rise in the Number of Customers
- Increase in Customer Loyalty
- Business Expansion
- Can Work with Advance Tools (such as Shopify, Magento, or MailChimp)
After the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of cannabis, there has been a tremendous uptick in cannabis brands. With this soaring competition, it is an uphill battle to retain the largest market share and turnover.
This explains why CBD businesses are scrambling to refine their digital marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), and E-commerce practices, to expand their reach as much as possible. So, why not tap on the potential and magic of Social Proof?
Remember, today’s business live, thrive or die by their online brand image and reputation!
Take the guidance of your Digital Marketer for the best course of action and stand out from the crowd. Also, talk to your regular customers and ask what they particularly love about your product. Don’t shy from requesting a review to be publicly displayed. To be honest, that’s the only way forward to win leads and get on the road to prosperity!