Animated explainer videos are popping up all over the place.
No longer do you need a big budget and endless man hours to produce one.
Today it is much easier.
The high costs and long lead time associated with an explainer video used to make them an automatic point of difference. But just like pretty much anything else these days, production isn’t the hard part anymore. (It’s the less obvious stuff that matters now)
Ok so they aren’t hard to create, but what is the point of making one in the first place? What will they do for your brand specifically?
Explainer videos are a great marketing tool that can reveal any type of product or service in a quick and entertaining way.
Standout from the crowd
Many marketers consider these videos a must have for a startup or online business. Not because they just explain stuff; but because they create buzz for your brand, help you standout from the crowd and educate your audience about what you do.
Here’s the thing: everyone can create these things pretty easily now. This means to make an impact on your audience, creating one isn’t enough. You need to find a new level of quality.
The whole idea of brand awareness is to make people recognize and recall your brand when it’s mentioned or when the brand logo appears anywhere on the web.
From the very first advertising strategies unique colors have been used to grow brand awareness.
More than a Century ago, Coca-Cola decided to change the green colors of the original Santa Claus into the red and white of their brand. Now Christmas (Yes, the whole idea of Christmas!) is red and white thanks to Coca-Cola. Shocking, huh?
In order to grow brand awareness with an explainer video, you need to leverage your brand colors as much as possible. Then, after watching your video, people won’t just recall the fun story, they will create a connection with your brand colors.
Here’s a screen capture of the Gigtown app and their logo (taken from the explainer video you’ve just watched):
and the logo…
Brown, orange, black and white – Gigtown’s colors.
Now let’s analyze a few branding details from the explainer video that you may have missed, but Gigtown have deliberately included to create a subconscious connection to their brand.
Below, the t-shirt and headphones of the character are colored with a particular combination of orange, black, brown and a sprinkling of white. That wasn’t a random decision: those are the main colors of the brand.
Now check the backgrounds and visual elements on different segments of the same video. Everything is driven by the same combination of Gigtown’s color pallet.
Again, coloring makes it easier for the viewer to link the explainer video with the brand, and also make them recall the video (even weeks after watching it) when bumping into the company’s logo on the web.
Brand awareness is a fundamental part of your audience’s purchase decision.
Luckily, explainer videos are here to make the recalling part easier for you.
2. Make your audience the star of the video
It’s not enough for customers to learn to recognize your brand; you need to build trust with them because brand trust is one of the main purchase decision factors and that road is the one that leads to the highest prize in marketing: brand love!
In order to grow trust within your audience and prove that you really care for them, you need to show that the service you’re promoting with your explainer video has been specially made for them, and the best way to do this is by creating animated characters that look like your potential customers.
Gigtown is a mobile app made to discover, contact and book local musicians to play in venues. So the video has two different target audiences: the musicians and the people who book them. Both target audiences are mostly men (and, to a lesser extent, women) from the USA, between 20 and 35 years old. They’re mobile users that love to listen to music and attend rock concerts; they’re unstructured and play it cool.
You can see how every animated character in the explainer video is based on Gigtown’s target audience. The only one that differs is the bad guy: the evil middleman that wants to scam the main character.
But apart from those cute little characters, let’s not forget that we’re dealing with a mobile app here! So lots of mobile devices were added during the video:
and for good measure…
Again, all of these customer centric decisions must be worked out from the beginning of the explainer video production process. As you can see, the target audience (20-to-35-year young rock fans) has the main role in this video and they always show up in a cool way with some great custom designs.
All of this grows trust and brand love within the audience because they feel that the brand truly gets them. It seems like a simple statement, but it’s a powerful marketing move.
But that’s not all; the story has to go the same way.
3. Engage with storytelling
Storytelling is based on explaining ideas through narrative and it’s one of the greatest and most efficient ways of growing brand trust.
With a good explainer video script, and creative direction, you can tap into the power of storytelling. The story in your explainer video must focus on your target audience and on how to solve their problems. Your brand should show up afterwards, as the hero that saves the day.
Remember: your audience must always have the main role.
In Gigtown’s explainer video, the brand doesn’t show up until 45 seconds in; that’s halfway through the video!
4. Make the characters come alive with animation
To tie all of these branding tactics together, the animation needs to be outstanding.
If the animated characters don’t look alive they won’t grow empathy or identification with your audience. Besides, the whole video would look wrong, get pretty boring, and make people leave in a few seconds. And that’s not a good branding result.
Many online companies underestimate animation quality and they go for the cheapest and quickest way.
Eventually, these amateur kinds of video (such as template animations) become pretty expensive, because the video doesn’t get the desired results and the marketing campaigns don’t work as expected. Don’t ever forget that an explainer video is made to stand for your brand, so it should stick out from the rest.
I hope this has been useful and valuable for your brand. Good luck!
Author: Juan Mendez is the Content Editor for Yum Yum Videos production company. For more tips on explainer video production, video marketing strategies, visit Yum Yum Video’s Explainer Video Academy, where you’ll get some free educational eBooks, infographics and slides.
Twitter has been my secret sauce to building an online brand.
It became obvious to me early on that Twitter had the potential to drive traffic to my blog.
So I started growing my followers, tweeting links to my blog and testing different tactics to see what worked and what didn’t. I remember someone saying a few years ago that……”a tweet without a link is a wasted opportunity”.
That made sense to me.
So tweets were always sent with a link that took them from Twitter to my digital asset. That was my online portal and blog.
Why do I know it works?
Here are my last months metrics from Google Analytics on the top 3 social media channels that are driving traffic to my blog.
So Twitter is killing it but it is not given the attention it deserves.
What you don’t notice is the flow on effects that Twitter creates. From the tweet people visit the blog, then they link to the site and this builds search engine authority and traffic. From the Twitter click they also discover your free ebook and subscribe to your email list.
The flow on benefits are much bigger behind the scenes than is apparent at first glance.
Twitter is great for that digital brand discovery.
Twitter is still an enigma to many
It is still an often misunderstood social network.
“What’s the point of Twitter?” was and still is a question raised offline and online. It’s only 140 characters. …..why bother.
Twitter’s necessity was often challenged. Bemusement and confusion as to its purpose on a web that allowed thousands of words and extensive multi-media.
It developed a reputation as a micro-blog. I don’t agree with that. I saw it more as a headline with a bigger purpose in life.
But its news breaking role also started to get noticed
Today it is emerging into a snack size multi-media stream and ecosystem that allows 6 second “Vine” videos, images, video and live streaming via it’s little brother “Periscope”
But don’t be fooled by its seeming simplicity. It’s a great brand awareness facilitator, traffic driver and viral powerhouse.
But but it went from an internal messaging service pilot product at a podcasting company to bursting onto the scene at SXSW in Austin. Just like what happened to Meerkat in 2015. It went from anonymity to public consciousness fuelled by viral conversations and sharing online.
The web is much more mobile and visual than it was 5 years ago.
Twitter’s (and every other platform) needs to adapt and continue to develop its ecosystem and platform. It’s constant beta. Images now appear in the stream, videos are now included. and the looping video Vine app was added.
The latest addition is the mobile app Periscope that offers live video streaming from your smartphone. It was launched in response to the fast growing Meerkat.
“An idiomatic saying that refers to an attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic. Implies a task that is extremely difficult or impossible to do, primarily due to chaotic factors.”
Now doesn’t that sound like Twitter?
It is trying to make sense of its chaos, embracing a jumble of jellyfish or throwing a net over a swarm of bees.
Always fun, sometimes dangerous but with a lot of potential.
The #hashtag first proposed by the user Chris Messina debuted in August, 2007. The common wisdom at the time was that it would be “too techy” to catch on. Chris now has over 75,000 followers.
The herding of this torrent is done in part by Twitter tools such as Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and others.
The other part of the herding equation apart from the tools is the lowly #hashtag. Here are some facts on #hashtags.
Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without
Tweets with images received 150% more retweets
Now this doesn’t mean that every tweet should include an image. But it certainly means that wise use of images should be woven into your content amplification strategy. An increase in engagement on Twitter can be a very effective tactic to increase sales and traffic.
The percentage increase in impressions of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a substantial 197%.
Increase for “engagement” of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a staggering 581%
Percentage increase of a tweet with image over a tweet without is a significant 111%.
So the increase in metrics when you include a great visual with your tweet can be between 100 and 600%.
That is significant and leads to a big boost in traffic, so start adding visual tweets to your tactics.
3. Tweet often
Most people bring their email goggles to Twitter tweeting. They think it is an inbox. It’s not . it’s a stream that goes past your online consciousness attention.
Posting frequency on Twitter and Facebook is sometimes treated by companies in the same way. It shouldn’t. Twitter will tolerate much more frequent posting than Facebook. In fact some studies show that a tweet every 15 minutes receives higher engagement than every 30 minutes.
The study results shows that tweeting every fifteen minutes instead of thirty led to the following:
Increased traffic by 31%
Engagement was up by 89%
That just confirmed what I have been doing for years.
What is also interesting is to see brands tweeting more frequently.
Even though nearly 50% are only tweeting 1-5 times a day, the number that are posting 25+ times has increased.
4. @Mention influencers
Using @mentions allows you to get attention from the top influencers. So if you are tweeting other peoples posts on Twitter then let them know by using their Twitter handle eg @kimgarst
How do you identify them?
Simply Measured is a great tool to to identify your best influencers for you either using their Klout score or the number of followers.
I used the “Simply Measured” application, entered in my social media network accounts and let it collect data. After a week it was a revelation to take a closer look at the insights it revealed regarding the influencers in my network.
Here is the Klout ranking results when I used the app.
So this is a great way to identify them and then use that to start getting their attention
5. Write great headlines
So you crawled out of bed this morning bleary eyed, went to the front porch and picked up your freshly minted newspaper, scanned the front page and went straight to the first headline that caught your attention and started reading.
That scene is starting to seem surreal and historical. The web has changed that.
The alarm went off on your smart phone, you grabbed your iPad and checked the latest online news. Then you tapped your Twitter app and scanned your Twitter streams.
The first decent headline gets the click and you haven’t left the bed.
Good headlines are the lifeblood of success on Twitter.
Readers click on headlines that promise a reward. And it has to be a reward they want and identify with, such as a solution to their problem or a sure fire way to success. The most popular examples are start with “How to” or “Tips for”.
Example 1: How to save your marriage with social media.
Example 2: Six steps to perfect blog structure.
Example 3: What everyone should know about Google.
Tell a story, but don’t tell it all. This is possibly the hardest headline for readers to resist because it taps into natural reader curiosity.
Example 1: How is it even possible to do this with social media?
Example 2: Marketing has forgotten this technique, but it might just change the world.
That’s what news is.
Something new and relevant to your readers. The world spins fast in social media, and jobs and reputations depend on being up to date with the latest social media trends. Your headline should strive to say something new to rise about the social media clamour.
Example 1: How new research is revolutionizing marketing practice.
Example 2: How a new discovery is changing the way we use social media.
Example 3: 5 social media trends you need to know right now.
4. They said what?
Controversy is newsworthy and often creates the most social media attention. Tap into controversy in your area of interest, or create controversy by disagreeing with a generally accepted notion in your area of interest.
Example 1: Why men hate pinterest.
Example 2. “F**k it NFL…Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.” (Packer T.J. Lang showing how it’s done.)
What about you?
How are you using Twitter? To drive traffic, build communities or share your content?
You’re doing what all the experts have told you to do; create regular, engaging content designed for your ideal customers – but no one is listening.
You cringe at the thought of walking into your boss’s office to talk numbers. Because there are none.
Despite your best efforts, your inbound marketing campaign is unpredictable and results are wavering.
It feels like you’re playing baseball with a blindfold on, the harder you swing the more likely the ball is to fly into the foul zone.
A recap of what inbound marketing is all about
Inbound marketing moves beyond traditional push or interruption marketing, to a way of marketing that your target audience loves. This is possible only if you are more concerned about delivering value rather than selling your products.
It involves creation of targeted content that targets specific needs of your prospects or customers. Your content needs to act as a solutions provider in and of itself.
It is on the basis of this content that you will be able to attract and engage the attention of your target audience and convert them into customers.
Seen from the perspective of customer acquisition, inbound marketing can be broken down into three key stages:
Improving brand visibility among your target audience
Converting your target audience into prospects
Turning prospects into paying customers
At each stage, you are creating and delivering value to your audience through content creation and distribution, which is the real essence of inbound marketing.
But not every inbound marketing campaign succeeds in its attempts to acquire and retain customers.
Inbound is a tough nut to crack because you are essentially trying to sell your products, but in a roundabout manner. You need to consistently deliver value to your audience by way of authoritative and actionable content, and make sure it reaches the maximum number of people; after this you need to wait for your efforts to deliver returns in the form of increased website traffic, better conversions and finally, increased sales figures.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong to prevent this from happening.
Here are five reasons your inbound marketing campaign isn’t bearing fruit.
Your inbound goals must be measurable and attainable.
If you haven’t zeroed in on a set of tangible goals for your inbound campaign, you won’t be able to give it the direction it needs. Every tactic that is a part of your inbound marketing campaign needs to work towards a specific goal.
In the absence of clear goals, you won’t be able to target the right audience nor come up with the right content.
So, before you actually work out a campaign ask yourself questions like:
Exactly how much more traffic do I want?
By what percent am I trying to increase conversions?
What is the total profit I expect from my inbound efforts?
By when do I want to see tangible results?
According to a report from NetProspex and Ascend 2, the top 5 objectives for inbound marketing in the year ahead will be:
Improving lead quality
Increasing sales revenue
Increasing conversion rates
Increasing lead quality
Increasing brand awareness
Are these objectives on the top of your list as well?
Something else you must keep in mind is that your goals must be reasonable. For example, you might want to double your conversion rates. But because your landing pages aren’t optimized; this might not be an attainable goal. So, you’ll have to sort out your landing pages first, before you zero in on a measurable conversion goal.
This question can only be answered if you are tracking inbound ROI. According to a recent HubSpot study, marketers who are actually measuring ROI, experience year on year ROI growth.
So tracking ROI makes a great deal of sense.
What it also does is tell you whether your inbound marketing is actually contributing towards your brand building efforts. If you’ve got a clearly defined set of goals you want to achieve, you will get a fair idea about the metrics you must measure to calculate ROI.
Metrics like overall traffic, referral traffic, conversion rate, number of brand mentions, coupon redemptions, newsletter signups, cost per lead and others determine the success or failure of your strategy. It’s imperative that you track and make them a part of your ROI mix.
While calculating ROI from your inbound marketing campaign isn’t easy, there are a wide selection of tools that are specifically meant for this purpose; including HubSpot and Aero Leads.
The foundation of inbound marketing rests on high quality content. And it’s difficult to come up with excellent content pieces day in day out, the kind of content your audience will love going through and sharing. Marketers will tell you that it’s one of the most difficult challenges they face, and many of them aren’t able to push out quality content on a regular basis.
54% of B2B marketers rate ‘producing engaging content’ as the top challenge; 50% of B2C marketers regard it as a top challenge as well.
Look closely at your inbound strategy and check whether you have been producing engaging content consistently. If not, this may be contributing to the less than perfect results of your campaign.
Inbound marketing cannot be handled by anybody; each and every inbound marketing tactic needs a specialist. Take the case of content creation. You need expert content creators in the form of writers and designers who have the expertise and experience to come up with content that perfectly fits your marketing goals and helps accomplish them.
Even the process of content distribution demands expertise in social media and other distribution channels. If you think you can get away with putting an inexperienced team in charge of your campaign, you are wrong.
Inbound only works if it has a solid, reliable and well-informed team driving it forward.
Unfortunately yes. Inbound marketers are so consumed with delivering value to their target audience that they sometimes forget they’re actually trying to pull potential customers towards the purchase funnel.
Inbound marketing is a balancing act. While it needs to be value driven, this value should encourage your target audience to know more about your brand and its products and services. This is the ultimate aim of inbound marketing. You are providing value to your audience and trying to leverage this value to forge better brand connections, improve brand awareness and attract leads that convert into sales. Don’t forget this.
If you think there is something wrong with your inbound strategy, check whether you are making any of these five mistakes; and sort them out quickly. Remember, your competitors might be getting their inbound strategy absolutely right. So, there is no time to waste!
Guest Author: Michael Georgiou is the CMO and Co-founder at Imaginovation, a web design & mobile apps development firm in Raleigh, NC. He’s a dynamic business professional and entrepreneurial guru with proven success in creative strategy, online branding, project management, and communication projects in both the public and private sectors.
Once a visitor lands on your website, why should they stay?
You only have about 10 seconds to get people’s attention before they get distracted, or simply decide to leave your site.
This means that first impressions matter more than ever.
Visitors need to immediately understand what it is you do, and how you can help them. This is your unique value proposition.
The value proposition should be focused on what your target audience values. Simply describing the features of your product won’t be enough to move your customers to take action. It should be specific, short and useful. It is the first thing that makes people decide to find out more about your product or click the back button.
A strong value proposition is the primary answer to the question: Why should I buy your product? It should show specific benefits of your service, help people solve their problems and explain why people should buy from you. Your value proposition is for real humans to understand, so put it in jargon-free language.
When I first landed on this page it was hard to immediately figure out what the company did – so I left the site. The value proposition was missing.
On the flip side, look at a website with a strong value proposition.
In this example the value proposition is much clearer – I want to know more.
So that begs the question, what makes a good value proposition?
Elements of a strong value proposition
If you want to turn visitors into customers, the value proposition should be clear and compelling. Visitors do not want to read a ton of information to figure out what you are offering. You must draw their attention with one breathtaking and clear statement – followed by supporting elements.
A strong value proposition includes the following elements;
Attention-grabbing headline – one clear and precise sentence that offers customers the benefits of your product or service
Sub-headline that consists of 2-3 sentences explaining what you offer in more detail
Eye-catching visuals that reinforce the message you are conveying to your audience
A select few bullet points that highlight your core offering and set expectations with prospective clients
And it is…
Clear and succinct in nature
Unique and different from your competitor’s value proposition
Easy to read, it catches a visitor’s attention in under 10 seconds
Shows the real benefits and results people can get from buying your offering
So how do you convert web traffic into customers?
Lets look at four ideas you can use to increase the conversion rate of your value proposition from web traffic to :
#1. Split test your value proposition
It isn’t surprising that many online marketers prefer to rely on their own intuition when designing their value proposition. But this approach is embedded with assumptions.
Testing different approaches, rather than relying on your instincts, can help you find the best way to connect with your customers. It is central to the success of your value proposition over time. In your endeavor to increase conversions, consider using A/B testing and add relevant elements that can improve your value proposition.
A few months ago, I tested the value proposition of my tool SE ranking using an A/B split test. I created several variations of the value proposition to find out which variants would increase sales and leads. To do this I used a tool called ‘User Testing’ that helped me ask questions and get feedback from my target audience.
This testing process and the changes I made as a result improved my unique value proposition and increased sales by 13%.
#2. Use the language of your customers
Using jargon filled language and terminology is counterintuitive to a high-converting value proposition. To engage your customers, you should speak to them in language they understand.
Often the language you use to offer your services is different from the customer’s language. To understand how they think about your services, you could interview them, conduct surveys, gather customer feedback and use social media to discover how they talk about the problem you are solving.
As an example, this is what the web browser Opera looked like when I first came across it:
The “Made to discover” statement doesn’t tell you a lot. Potential clients couldn’t immediately understand the value of their product. Instead you should try and sound natural and simple.
Here is a more recent version of Opera’s value proposition:
It is much simpler and easier to understand. The benefit of the product for customers is clear and there is one specific call-to-action.
#3. Improve your value proposition with boosters
You probably have a few persuasive elements or ‘boosters’ for your value proposition that you haven’t thought of. Using these elements can work well to increase conversion rates. Some examples include;
Testimonials and reviews from customers – or other types of social proof. This makes people believe your offer is trustworthy.
Money-back guarantee. Instead of posting “Satisfaction Guaranteed” or “Money Back Guarantee”, try to make something creative and eye-catching like “Love it or give your money back within 30 days”. People like to feel some certainty about what they are about to purchase.
Bonus offers – Things like free shipping, free delivery, next day delivery, no questions asked returns, no setup fee, free updates etc.
Think about what ‘boosters’ you have at your disposal and how they can positively affect the conversion rate of your value proposition.
Here are two examples of websites using boosters:
#4. Let people test your product
When you offer your product or service, give customers an easy way to test before they buy. This may be a free trial or demo version that can help people check out the best features and possibilities of your product.
For example, Zoho offers customers 14 days to test their software without any credit card free of charge. The option to use the software without any financial obligation, increases the chance a visitor will take up the offer.
It is important to focus your attention on nailing a strong value proposition. Once you have something that accurately depicts what you have to offer, then you can start to optimize it for higher conversions. A high-converting value proposition offers you a unique competitive advantage.
Creating a good value proposition is not enough by itself to make your business successful, but it is certainly a great place to start.
After your target audience has read your blog posts, downloaded your eBooks, and visited your website – they are looking for validation. They want to validate the thoughts and feelings they have already formed about your brand with consensus.
Consensus is one of the six universal principles of persuasion – people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own actions. In today’s digital landscape consensus comes from social proof.
An ounce of psychology: Why social proof works in marketing
Social proof simply means that people conform to the actions of others, under the assumption that these actions reflect a correct or acceptable behavior (in other words, what the “cool kids” are doing). It takes the form of feedback, reviews, and approval from other people who have tried your product or service.
Although a marketing environment is different than the halls of a high school, much of the psychological influence behind social proof, and why it works, remains the same. When prospects look at a solution that will answer their pain points or solve their problems, it’s human nature to conform to the actions of those who’ve been there before.
Leveraging social proof can push your brand to new heights, whether you harness its power on your website, in your social media posts, or as part of your content marketing strategy. A number of ways exist to establish social proof, but below are a few that can undeniably build your brand’s trust and credibility in the minds of prospective clients – making them want to buy.
5 Ways Your Brand Can Leverage Social Proof
1. Turn employees into brand ambassadors
Your marketing team may be writing engaging and helpful social posts on your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter account – but when posted on a company page, they feel far from personal.
The easiest way for a company to create social proof is through its employees – one of its most untapped resources. When coming directly from employees, posts about how great the company culture is, an upcoming sponsored event, or even a new job opening will always feel more authentic in the eyes of prospects than a corporate post ever will.
Employees have access to fresh and unique audiences that a marketing team has difficulty reaching, and their posts are much more likely to be considered real and trustworthy.
Quick tips for encouraging employees to share on social media:
Launch an employee advocacy program and create a set of guidelines to keep employees informed.
If your company is recruiting, ask employees to share the news on their personal social profiles.
Incentivize social sharing by rewarding employees who have generated the most likes, shares, or clicks, or found the next hire for your company.
Create a company culture hashtag, such as Adobe did with #adobelife (see below), and encourage employees to share social posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using it.
Example of employee advocacy using the #adobeLife hashtag:
2. Capture real-time social proof by listening
Social listening is an essential part of better understanding your target audience. On Twitter for example, you should track brand mentions and respond to any questions, comments or feedback as promptly as possible.
To start monitoring your brand mentions, download a free tool such as TweetDeck, and create a stream to follow mentions of your Twitter handle. Then, start favoriting, re-tweeting or interacting with any tweets about your brand. For example, this could be a prospect tweeting about helpful customer support, or an existing customer sharing feedback on one of your new products. The tendency at this stage is to only respond to positive messages, but it is also important to proactively respond to negative comments where possible.
Here is an example of the favorites timeline from KISSMetrics, a brand who regularly interacts with prospective customers on Twitter:
You may also like to track industry keywords on Twitter; if anyone is asking for suggestions on a product or solution, look for a way to get them to check yours out.
Social listening is powerful because it not only builds your brand’s image, but also offers website visitors an interactive and real-time experience. Look to leverage this form of social proof by embedding tweets on your website for prospects to see.
3. Collaborate with customers & influencers
Content marketing and social proof go hand-in-hand. There are countless opportunities for bringing customers – or even influencers, into your content marketing strategy. Partnering with another company or individual compounds the effect of promotion and amplifies your exposure. As this positive energy gains momentum it acts as “proof” that your customers and thought-leaders support your brand.
Ideas for joint content marketing initiatives:
Co-host your next webinar with a customer, or if possible, an industry influencer. Figure out a way that the event will benefit both of you, and then ask them to help promote it on social media by creating an event hashtag.
Contact one of your most active customers, and write up a case study. Publish it on your website, upload the slides to SlideShare if relevant, and share it in your nurturing emails.
Reach out to an influencer via Twitter to request an interview, and publish it as a blog post.
Ask a customer or influencer to contribute a quote to your next eBook or white paper.
Create a “Clients Page” for your website to feature testimonials (with logos and headshots).
Here is an example from the HubSpot customer testimonials webpage:
4. Ask your customers to write online reviews
When was the last time you purchased a product – or even went to a restaurant, without first reading a few reviews?
Studies show that 70% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase, while 79% of them trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reviews can make or break a brand, and motivating happy customers to share their experience online – particularly on social, can generate some much needed social proof. So be proactive about generating positive reviews by asking your best customers.
Take some time to research the niche review sites in your industry – such as Yelp, TrustRadius or G2Crowd – and seek to reward the people who have reviewed your product or service. Ask to showcase their photo, company logo, and part of their review on your website or landing page.
Here is an example of a customer review from TrustRadius:
5. Add social share counts to your site
This last one is more obvious than the others – but sometimes it’s the basic ideas that count most for social proof. Adding social media share buttons, such as the AddThis widget, is the quickest way to give readers the chance to share content on their personal profiles.
If you’re new to blogging, it might be best to only have share buttons – with no counter – since share counts will probably be low. But, when you start gaining a dedicated readership, placing a counter on your blog posts shows readers that others find your content worthy of sharing, subconsciously nudging them to follow in the footsteps of their peers.
When done well, these five actions will transform the perception of your brand. Leveraging social proof is a powerful tool for marketers, as it demonstrate to prospective clients that your solution is a legitimate part of your industry’s conversation.
Of course you need to talk about your brand – but it’s far more compelling to showcase how current clients and industry players are talking about your products and services.
About the author: Valerie Levin is the Director of Inbound Marketing at Penguin Strategies, a B2B marketing agency focused on bridging the gap between sales and marketing, and leveraging inbound marketing to generate qualified leads for clients.