Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”. Democracy is an ancient example of the social proof concept — the majority can not be wrong, right? Wrong: the Earth used to “be flat” and most people believed so.
What matters, however, is that the herd instinct is deeply rooted in our brains. The age of information we live in forces us to take mental shortcuts, or act heuristically. Once you know how to take advantage of it, your conversion rate will improve substantially.
This is a great example not only of social proof efficiency, but of split testing importance as well. By the way, have you done your homework and conducted the A/B testing?
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Why it works
A plausible explanation lies in the human psychology. Think about it for a moment, would you rather trust a publisher, advertising their platform as the very best; or an affiliate, saying the platform is unparalleled? The same logic applies to average customers, questioning the goodwill of advertisers and trusting the opinion of their peers. Aligning oneself with the peer’s opinion is easier, because there is bigger common ground.
How it works
Social proof, or earned media trust, can take multiple formats, but most of them are UGC (user-generated content). Here are some very basic ideas.
Especially highly creatives ones, utilizing puns, jokes, oxymorons (just like the one above) etc. This is a sort of game and our brain loves to play.
Social filters (customers who viewed this also viewed)
As it has already been mentioned, aligning oneself with the like-minded fellows is relatively easy. Even if their motivation is vague, there’s gotta be some reasonable explanation why people like something I don’t understand!
Influencers are like queens in the game of chess — highly valuable and powerful. Opinion leaders are still close to average people, meaning their opinion is trustworthy; however, their celebrity status begins to set them apart at the same time. There are approximately 6 major sources of social approval:
- Ordinary customers: case studies, testimonials
- Industry experts: interviews, quality assessment
- Established celebrities: reviews, videos
- Set of people: the majority cannot be wrong (300,000 people choose…)
- Friends and acquaintances: word-of-mouth, recommendations
- Certifications: 3rd party signs of quality (bestseller of 2022)
Channels of work
There are many. Below are just a few of the most common examples:
- Real-time stats
- Customer testimonials
- Celebrity endorsement
- Expert’s seal of trust
- Business credentials
- Experts interview
- Media mentions (backlinks)
- Social media shares (influencers)
- FOMO (Fear of missing out)
- Friends recommendations
- Case studies
- Customer base (might be especially effective in b2b)
- Rating and statistics
- “Customers like you also bought”
- Numbers of orders, views, sign-ups etc.
There is one specific channel, however, we would like to address in details, and that is the so-called unboxing videos.
Nothing, except an actual purchase, can compare to the sensation of seeing someone else using it. Unboxing videos boast multiple advantages:
- Engaging to watch
- Highly insightful
- Capable of telling brand story
- Inspiring towards media content creators
- Contributing towards brand loyalty
Yet, simple unboxing is…quite common. However, there are 6 helpful tips on how to make the unpacking experience unforgettable.
Unboxing made special
- Send handwritten notes: the note inside the box feels very special on its own, but the handwritten one is the next level of memento. Furthermore, they are easy to scale. You just have to design and print a template, jot a quick note and put it in the box.
- Encourage customers to post an unboxing video on social media: that’s an effective to establish the word-of-mouth effect, especially if you incentivize customers to post their videos on your brand webpage.
- Send a discount coupon: by discounting a little, you can rightfully expect the customer to do a bit more for you.
- Share the biography of the maker: despite the annoyance of the tip – it does work. People enjoy listening to good backstories: who made the product, how it was made, what were the sources of inspiration etc.
- Tell a story about the product: that’s right, the product has its own story. Tell the customer where has it been, in which countries it is being sold, or which states contribute to its creation – give the product a character. Transparency is the right way to earn customer’s loyalty.
- Brand everything possible: not only the product should be unique in terms of design and details, but the package also matters. See, the more memorable every piece of the product is, the more likely word-of-mouth will make a blast.
Taking into account all or some of the 6 tips above will make your product irresistible and corresponding unboxing videos special.
Of course, those 6 tips earlier are more crucial for those, working with marketplaces. Nonetheless, encouraging the customers to send back an unboxing video of any kind is the very way to gain incredible amount of trust instantaneously. This can help you out in the verticals with tangible goods, e.g., e-commerce, health and beauty; or digital ones, like gaming, utilities, and gambling.