No matter what you do in life, you have to agree that marketing is a pretty complex field. There is no universal formula for success, you have to be really careful about what metrics you track and marketing trends change all the time. However, some things will always remain the same, such as the concept of social proof.
In essence, social proof means that we are influenced by others’ actions and decisions when we make decisions of our own. Essentially, we trust the recommendations of other people if we’re not sure about a decision ourselves.
Social proof is also the concept behind Clients-convert-clients marketing (CCC), a term which we came up with at crowdy.ai. Here’s what CCC is and how you can use it and make the most out of social proof in your marketing campaigns.
What is Clients-convert-clients marketing?
In general, marketing can be a very expensive activity. Whether it’s social media ads, Adwords, SEO or content marketing, all of these activities can drain your marketing budget quickly. So, you need an alternative that costs less and provides similar results, and social proof (or CCC marketing) fits the bill perfectly.
The idea is simple – instead of paying wads of cash to run ads or create content which ranks months later, you can use your most valuable asset to win new business – your existing clients. All you have to do is gather some kind of social proof from them, show it on your website and hopefully, this will turn more visitors into clients.
Of course, there are various kinds of social proof which you can collect and display on your website. Here are a few ideas.
Testimonials and reviews
People would rather trust a complete stranger than a company trying to market to them. As odd as that may seem, we trust people who don’t benefit immediately from our purchases. Having this in mind, it’s no wonder that reviews and testimonials are some of the best social proof methods out there. As such, they’re the basis of CCC marketing.
The idea is the same for both – happy clients need to leave a testimonial or a review of your services and products. You then take that testimonial and show it on a relevant place on your website to maximize your conversions. This could be your home page, landing page, product page or whatever else page you are driving traffic to.
There are multiple factors to consider here, but the biggest problem by far is getting social proof from clients. Even the happiest clients won’t leave a testimonial or a review on their own, which is where apps like crowdy.ai help out.
When it comes to using testimonials in the right way, most businesses make one mistake - they don’t get enough of them. Having 4-5 great testimonials is a good start, but you should keep collecting them as you go. It’s great to have a variety of testimonials to choose from for different sections of your website.
The second tip we have for testimonials is that you should rarely use them in their full shape and form. For your landing and product pages, take the most relevant sentences and quotes instead of featuring the entire testimonial and cluttering up your website.
When it comes to reviews, the big danger is getting negative reviews. Whatever you do, don’t ignore them or even worse, delete them. Negative social proof can be good in moderation (it shows that you display negative feedback too), but too many negative reviews will harm your brand. If you’re getting them consistently, there could be something wrong with your offer, so take this as a warning sign. Do not delete negative reviews because this will backfire - your customers will leave them on some other platform, where they cannot be deleted.
Have you ever searched for products or venues on Google and saw star ratings next to certain results? These are another form of social proof and a cornerstone of CCC marketing. The idea is simple – we are all used to the five-star rating system and it instills confidence in buyers that a product is good and truly worth their money. In fact, platforms like Amazon extensively use star ratings as one of their basic elements of social proof.
The good news is that you can use star ratings on your own website as you please and it will increase your social proof. The bad news is that just by using star ratings, you won’t be able to show them in Google search results. However, by already using them on your website (and doing some tinkering with your website schema), you can ensure that Google includes them for your website too.
Social sharing and follow buttons
Social media has taken over an immense part of our lives, with platforms such as Facebook and Instagram boasting billions of users. Getting some of them to follow your brand is definitely admirable and something to show off. While it cannot directly speak about the quality of your services or products, the number of your social media followers is a good indicator that yours is a brand to be trusted.
As another pillar of CCC marketing, crowdy.ai lets you show your social media follower count on your website. Just like with the previously mentioned elements, you can choose where to display it. The best part is, you can allow your visitors to follow you from the same widget, with just one click.
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make with social sharing buttons is displaying them when they have an unflattering number of shares. For example, if your blog post has 5 total Facebook likes and 3 Twitter shares, having a social sharing option on the blog post is not a great idea. Instead of convincing the visitor that your content is awesome (because you have so many shares and likes), the low number of content shares will actually make the visitor think that your content is not worthy of reading or sharing.
We live in the age of instant. We can order our pizzas and cab drives using apps and we’re used to things taking seconds. You can use this as part of your CCC marketing strategy too. Since there are numerous ways of tracking what people do on your website, you can use this information to show visitors that others are buying as they’re browsing a website.
Let me give you a specific example. Someone just bought a pair of sneakers on your website and your visitor (let’s call him John) is on the website around the time of purchase. John gets a notification that someone out there purchased a pair of sneakers, along with a handy photo and the title of the product. There are two things going on:
- John sees that others are purchasing from you and has more trust in your company, i.e. more willingness to make a purchase on his own
- John sees the specific product and he can click through and purchase it himself
This strategy is not new in the world of digital marketing and it has shown excellent results in a variety of industries. You can set up notifications for various types of conversions. That way, you can notify visitors when someone books a demo, purchases a subscription to your SaaS product, signs up for a webinar, or whatever else you consider a conversion.
The best thing by far about conversion notifications is that they are instant and that you can adapt them according to who is looking at your website. For example, you can show someone from Germany that another person from Germany ordered a pair of sneakers from your website. The idea with social proof is that the more similar the visitor is to the person providing social proof, the more likely they are to convert.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any top tips for conversion notifications. We get the best results for notifications about new app signups, which we display on our home page. You may get the best conversions when showing booked demo notifications on your landing pages. There are too many factors involved, so the best tip is to split test different notification styles and display rules.
If you want to use CCC marketing and get the maximum ROI from your existing clients, these are the most potent methods you can use. With minimal investments in time and money, you can make your own happy clients do the marketing for you, while you focus on growing your business.
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