Are you taking the trust of your website visitors for granted?
The reality is; people who visit your website are skeptical. They need a very good reason to trust your business before handing over their credit card details or submitting an inquiry.
Social proof elements used strategically on your website, and other marketing channels, help to break down this skepticism – increasing your chance of a conversion.
Here are seven social proof elements that you can use on your website to build immediate trust with prospects.
#1. Brand associations
Have you worked with well-known brands that you can display on your website?
Logos, brand names, and even respected authority figures displayed on your website give visitors confidence in your business.
“Oh, Amazon has used their services, they must be good.”
On the Uplers homepage, we include brand names in the primary heading:
We also display recognizable logos further down the page to build credibility:
#2. Customer testimonials and third-party reviews
Customer testimonials alongside a photo or video of the customer, establish a personal connection with a website viewer. Allowing them to visualize what it would be like to be a happy customer.
The best customer testimonials help prospects overcome common objections about your products and services with specific information about the customer’s experience, rather than a generic “good job” style testimonial.
If you want to take this even further, encourage customers to review your business on third-party networks, and display the aggregate score from those platforms on your website. The average consumer reads ten third-party online reviews before making a purchase decision. You simply can’t fake these numbers!
See how Zoom displays their average user ratings from G2, Trust Radius, and Gartner Peer Insights:
#3. Facts and figures
As you can see with all of these social proof elements, you’re basically trying to build an unquestionable level of credibility with as many independent sources as possible.
Displaying facts and figures, such as customer numbers, the number of downloads, or people reached, is another way to do so.
HubSpot does this by showing off the huge influence of their marketing and sales community:
#4. Case studies
Product reviews and testimonials are great, but if you’re a services business, they don’t go into enough detail about the results your clients are likely to see from working with you.
Case studies take it a step further by diving deep on the problems your business has proven to solve for clients with a story, specific outcomes achieved, and the process you used to get there.
Even large, seemingly high-trust businesses such as Google provide case studies for their offerings.
#5. User-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is exactly as it sounds – it’s content ‘generated’ by your users or customers and shared with their friends and family, typically on social media.
While it may seem like UGC is something out of your control, there are steps you can take to encourage happy customers to spread the word. Things such as product-specific hashtags, photo or video contests, and follow-up emails can light the fire under a UGC strategy and create some significant social proof for your business.
Displaying UGC on your website is a compelling way to build credibility and trust with visitors like cosmetics brand Frank Body has done here with a series of Instagram posts on their homepage:
#6. Influencer collaborations
Did you know that content shared by influencers gets 8 times the engagement rate of content shared from brands?
Working with social media influencers can ignite your UGC efforts and establish significant clout for your brand in a short period of time.
Aim to be strategic with your influencer strategy by hand-selecting relevant influencers that have a lot of engagement with your ideal audience, and using the content they create across all of your marketing channels.
Also, look to choose the most appropriate social media channels for your business. If you work predominantly with B2B clients, then maybe LinkedIn influencers are most appropriate. Or, if your customers are millennials, consider collaborating with TikTok influencers. Every social media platform has its own unique target audience.
Fiji Water regularly collaborates with influencers on Instagram with the hashtag #fijifit. Here’s one example:
#7. Professional website design and minimal tech issues
It may sound like a given, but there is nothing that loses trust with customers quicker than a poorly designed website riddled with technical issues. Not only should you regularly check your website for technical issues, but you should also aim to display up-to-date best practice design.
Some common mistakes businesses make with their website is to have low definition images, hard-to-navigate menu bars, not enough white space, and inconsistent fonts or colors. Every small interaction a user has on your website contributes to your credibility and the overall perception of your brand.
Check out these stats on eCommerce shoppers and the reasons they don’t convert. A poorly designed website could be leaving lots of money on the table!
How effectively does your website use social proof elements to display credibility and build trust with prospects?
The harsh reality is, it doesn’t take much to scare a customer away. You may do 9 out of 10 things well, but if you let yourself down in one key area, the whole trust pyramid will fall like a deck of cards.
The seven social proof elements outlined in this article are a great starting point. But this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you’re serious about optimizing conversions on your website and establishing rock-solid relationships with your customers, you should be conducting regular website audits and updates. Preferably with a series of experts who understand design, conversion rate optimization, and consumer behavior.
Even with the best product or service in the world, your website could be costing you customers. Don’t underestimate social proof and its power.
The good thing is, small changes can make a huge difference. So get started today and commit to consistent improvements. Good luck!
Guest author: Aayush is Sr. Manager, Brand & Marketing at Uplers. He likes to stay on his toes when it comes to marketing and doing things worth risk-taking. He loves traveling and exploring local cuisines. In his free time reading books with coffee is all he wants.