87% of shoppers will do some online research before making a purchasing decision. On average, a consumer will read ten online reviews in the process, and they will trust these reviews as much as they trust the recommendations given to them by friends and family.
Testimonials, another effective form of social proof, can increase conversion rates by 34%. They are inherently more trusted than brand-generated copy. Typically, they are considered to be more genuine and often more relatable.
What do these statistics mean for you? It’s time to level up your social proof game and explore what you can learn from brands that have nailed their own strategies. Here are nine examples to get you started.
Showcase Your Current Clients
A staggeringly simple yet highly effective way to add an extra element of trust to your website is to display the logos of your past and current clients. They will demonstrate your expertise and reassure your leads that you can be trusted.
Don’t worry if none of your clients are major brands or household names. Your only goal is to show that you have a couple of rodeos under your belt.
Ideally, you will try to feature clients from various industries of various sizes who will appeal to different members of your target audience.
Take a look at Vetter. They’ve added their client logos near the bottom of the page, and not all of them are major brands. However, they clearly tell you that all kinds of organizations are using the brand’s product to collect employee suggestions with great success.
What they’ve also done well is pair this section with the one just above, which features client testimonials. Note how they only quote from one of these brands, showcasing even more of their clients.
Add It to the Hero Section
Where to place social proof on a page is a dilemma most designers face. Ideally, you want it as high as possible to make sure visitors see it. Most of them won’t scroll all the way down to the footer but are likely to look at the hero and a couple of sections just below it.
Don’t overwhelm your visitors with too much social proof, though. You want one or two facts to stand out next to your value proposition. ShopSolarKits does a great job of this and is a good example to look at. Their main social proof element in the hero section is the line “30,000+ Happy Customers” right at the top.
Coupled with the rest of this section, this simple statement instantly puts you in the right mindset to further explore the brand’s offer. Since this is a somewhat niche product and given its complexity, knowing that many, many others have already made a purchase makes a lot of difference.
Use Reviews to Highlight Certain Product Aspects
Product reviews should also become a feature of your homepage. If you restrict them to your product pages, chances are a lot of your visitors will never see them.
When selecting the reviews you want to use, choose the ones that highlight certain important aspects of your product that you know your audience will care about. Remember, your customers are inherently more trustworthy than you are. Let them shine a light on your key features.
Kopi Luwak Direct does an excellent job with their homepage reviews. They rave about the uniqueness of the product, the eco-friendliness of its production, and the legitimacy of the business. None of these statements would be as impactful had they come from the brand itself. As they stand, they testify to the company’s commitment to nature and the quality of their product.
Let Them Say It with a Video
While you should definitely aim to include written testimonials on your pages (since they can be understood by search engines and they are likely to be read by the majority of your visitors), you can also explore asking customers and clients to shoot some video ones as well.
Video testimonials are more personable and more relatable. Your visitors will have an easier time connecting with someone when they see their face and hear their voice. You don’t have to have too many of them: even one is a great way to elevate your social proof.
Seller Plex features three. All of them are quite casual, but they do a great job of highlighting the benefits of working with the brand. Hearing these business owners talk about the ways they were able to grow and expand with the help of Seller Plex certainly helps visitors imagine what they themselves might be able to achieve.
Lean on Expert Input
While social proof can come from anyone who’s had experience with a brand and be valuable, we can argue that it is worth a bit more when it comes from a certified expert.
If a professional in your industry, a peer, someone who has the credentials and the experience to generate a large amount of trust, claims you are the real deal, it will carry an enormous amount of weight.
Take a look at the Sensodyne homepage. They claim to be the number one brand for sensitive teeth recommended by dentists. Medical professionals have added their seal of approval, and this instantly makes you feel more confident in their product.
You don’t need expert input on that scale, though. Look at how Medical Alert Buyers Guide has leveraged expert knowledge in their medical alert system reviews. Having an RN medically review their articles instantly makes them more trustworthy, especially in a niche where leaning on the wrong information can come at quite a price.
Utilize Third-Party Reviews
Third-party review sites, like Trustpilot, are among the most trusted review sources. Customers will often check out your profile there before making a purchasing decision. Why not lend them a hand and save them some time by displaying your start ratings from third parties on your homepage?
Make sure to also ask your customers to rate you once you have established a profile. Direct them to your Google My Business page, to your Trustpilot profile, or to any other relevant website in your industry.
For example, Debutify highlighted their star ratings from Capterra and collated all their reviews from major third parties into a 4.5 rating. Knowing that these reviews come from reputable sources and the fact that they are missing half a star makes this rating more credible and relevant.
Grab UGC from Social Media
User-generated content is an amazing type of social proof that can help you showcase your products from all kinds of angles, being used in real life. User-generated photos are also more relatable, as they are not overly polished or staged. They are genuine, snapped by someone who wanted to share a snippet of their life.
Alongside allowing shoppers to attach photos and videos to product reviews, aim to also include a bit of love from social media on your homepage. It’s a simple way to make it more visually appealing while at the same time utilizing the power of social proof.
Look at Hello Fresh. They have featured four images from their customers’ Instagram accounts that celebrate different aspects of their meals: they are easy to make, healthy, and fun for the whole family. These images convey emotions much better than any professionally shot photos of a family having dinner ever could.
Publish Compelling Case Studies
Case studies are a more complex form of social proof that demonstrates your value, expertise, and experience in a very concrete way. While creating them requires effort, they can be your ticket to increased conversion rates, especially in the B2C landscape.
The focus of your case studies should never be your own brand. Instead, aim to convey what you have done for the client, how you have helped them solve a pain point, what methods were used, which aspects of your product or service were particularly valuable, what the challenges were and how they were overcome, and so on. Aim to demonstrate clear results.
You can take a look at any of OptinMonster’s case studies to get inspired. They are on the shorter side and don’t demand a lot of your time to get through. They tell you exactly what was done and how; plus, they even show concrete numbers to prove their solution is worth it.
Showcase Your Certifications
Depending on the nature of your product or service, sometimes the best social proof you can offer will come from a recognized body or group.
Here’s what we mean by that. If your products are not tested on animals, for example, a Leaping Bunny certificate will be the most valuable element you need on your pages. Highlighting what makes you different and what laws or requirements you adhere to will sway a large portion of your audience.
Take a look at Kettle and Fire and their product pages. They display all the most relevant information in the form of logos: they are Whole 30 approved, gluten- and dairy-free, paleo and keto friendly. This section alone does a lot to help customers overcome any initial doubts they may have about the product. It instantly tells them whether it will fit into their lifestyle.
Take a look at the social proof you are currently featuring across your website. Analyze each page individually and determine how well your current social proof elements align with its goal and purpose.
Note that you don’t have to emulate our examples completely. You may find that you’re able to blend several of them into one great tactic or that what you already have in place is working really well for your brand. Let us know how you are generating trust!