Social proof is an excellent way to boost conversion rates, improve your page engagement, and enhance the trust first-time visitors feel towards your brand.
The reason social proof works is simple. Your customers don’t have an ax to grind, and they are far more likely to be honest. You, the brand, will always have your own agenda, and you are highly unlikely to point out any negative aspects of your product or service.
How you will add social proof to your website will depend on the overall design of your pages, as well as your target audience and their interests. Would they like to hear a brief blurb, or would they like to read as much in-depth information as possible?
Here are our top seven powerful ways to add social proof to your website, plus an example for each.
Use a Carousel
The most straightforward way to add social proof to your website is to use a simple carousel on your homepage. This is also one of the most popular ways to feature testimonials.
Visitors will expect to see this element, both because it is so commonplace and because they like to know who you’ve worked with before and what they have to say about your company.
Don’t forget to add as much relevant information about each customer as necessary. Their name is a must, and you can also show their location or their role if you are in B2B. You can also choose to showcase their purchase or add a trust seal that verifies them as a customer.
Rain or Shine Golf went for customer name and country, which speaks about their international appeal and also makes each testimonial a bit more personal and relatable.
Make sure to keep refreshing your carousel with fresh blurbs to make them additionally interesting.
Don’t Forget the Date
The social proof you add to your website will also benefit from a date. After all, how would a visitor know when a review or a testimonial was written? They may be reading something someone has said about your company a year ago that may no longer be true.
Showing the date of your reviews will also show your potential customers how frequently you sell products and what kind of sales volumes you’re dealing with. Not every customer will leave a review, but if you have dozens of new ones per day, that will speak volumes about your credibility and trustworthiness.
It can also play with the fear of missing out, compelling visitors to make a purchase and become a part of this diverse and satisfied group of customers.
Ozark Armament adopted this approach, and their reviews also come with dates. While the reviews are short, the dates that accompany them speak highly of their quality of service and the volume of sales they make on a daily basis.
Make Them About Your Key Features
The best way to utilize social proof is to ensure it testifies to the quality of your product and service. You’ll also use it to highlight the benefits and features that you want to promote and specifically draw attention to.
This may be the fact that your service can help someone save money or that your product helps people solve a specific problem. For example, Somnifix is proud that their solution provides better sleep and reduces snoring, which is precisely what their testimonials and reviews speak about. Their “9 out of 10” and “4 out of 5” users blurbs will go a long way in demonstrating the value of their product.
When selecting which testimonials or reviews to highlight, aim for the ones that most align with your own marketing message, or alternatively, the ones that fill in any missing links that your own copy is lacking.
Leverage the Power of Data
Another way to utilize social proof is to leverage the power of data and facts and figures you are privy to. This will work especially well if you are selling a SaaS product and if you are able to demonstrate exactly how it has helped someone.
Case studies are a great way to demonstrate this kind of power, especially if you are able to make them a blend of storytelling and data showcasing.
Your potential customers will be able to better relate with a previous customer if they know more about them, so make your case studies personal. Tell a bit of backstory about each brand or person. It will help form that deeper, human connection.
Showcase any facts and figures clearly. Charts and infographics can be of great help, as they will make complex data that much more digestible.
If you need any inspiration, take a look at how Hubspot does it. Their case studies section is the perfect blend of the two elements we’ve mentioned. Plus, they’re great at showcasing the benefits of their toolset in as few words as possible, so they are sure to hold on to your attention.
Video testimonials are another great way to communicate complex messages. Plus, they give you the chance to say so much more than you ever could with a couple of brief sentences.
They will give your visitors a chance to get to know a satisfied customer better, and they will be able to relate to them more, especially if you choose the people you film carefully. As a lot of our communication is non-verbal, you will be able to evoke more emotions and tell longer and more intriguing stories as well.
Think of your video testimonials as a story once again. Aim to alleviate any qualms potential customers may have about using your product or service.
Bay Alarm Medical did a great job by mixing in video testimonials on their pages. They tell compelling, real-life stories about satisfied clients who have felt more secure by using their products. It’s just the kind of balance you’ll want to aim for.
Make It Unobtrusive
You also don’t have to make your social proof too obvious or the first thing a customer sees. In fact, you can let each visitor choose if they want to check out any reviews or testimonials or not. There will certainly be people who simply skip this part of the page and don’t like to read what others have to say about you.
You can either create a separate page that you will clearly link to, or you can do what Dress Forms USA did and create a side widget for your reviews. This tactic has allowed them to make their page less cluttered while still providing access to the kind of social proof that makes all the difference.
Focus on the Problem (and the Solution)
Finally, you can make your testimonials highly problem-and-solution-focused. With well-thought-out questions and meaningful answers, you can rely entirely on user-generated content to promote your best features.
Basecamp is a great example of this tactic. They have an entire page devoted to testimonials that compare their solution to other popular products in their niche, highlighting what the issues with them are. They follow this up with a section on all the things their product does well and how it has helped users get more organized and productive.
You don’t have to ask your customers to compare you. All you have to do is section your testimonials into the “before” and “after” categories to tell your own story.
Social proof can be a great way to make your brand more relatable – especially if you apply some of the advice we’ve outlined.