Are you a social butterfly or more of a lone ranger? When it comes to spending hard earned cash, the chances are you’ll seek the advice of the herd before taking the plunge. Humans are hard-wired to seek approval and reassurance from their peers and those they admire. This is especially true when we’re unable to decide on a particular course of action.
Customer advocacy, expert advice or social proof, taps into that. That’s a huge reason to pepper your campaign with evidence that people love what you’re selling, and watch your marketing reach a whole new level.
1) Get an endorsement from the girl-next-door.
Testimonials from people your audience relates to are like gold dust. Take teen sensation Zoe Sugg, known as Zoella to the millions of people worldwide who view her blog. She’s the ultimate girl-next-door who just happens to have 1.55 million followers on Twitter. Teenagers see her as one of them, and that makes her endorsements so powerful. When she says she’ll be buying the Body Shop’s Body Butters until she’s ‘old and wrinkly’ you can bet your bottom dollar their sales go through the roof.
Why not find a satisfied customer who your target audience will relate to and get them blogging on your website, or posting photos of them using your products to their Instagram feed?
2) Show credibility.
When we’re spending money, we want to know we won’t be disappointed. Reviews or advice from experts help us make decisions. The use of trust symbols, such as ethos from companies who use your brand or awards you’ve won, will persuade people you’re worth it.
Skin care brand Eau Thermale Avène needs to stand out in a competitive market, so it uses its many awards and expert recommendations to show its credentials. Its products have been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, endorsed by dermatologists and featured on The Today Show. All of this information helps buyers to trust their brand and make decisions about which products to buy.
3) Amplify the voice of your fans.
Coca-Cola is employing a different tactic in the battle to engage customers by reintroducing its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Coke is replacing its iconic label with more than 1,000 popular names and inviting fans to share a selfie on their website. Cue thousands of pictures of happy customers posing with the product. If your brand doesn’t have quite the same clout as Coke, you might need to incentivize customers.
Run a competition for posting the best selfie (or any other picture contest), featuring your product on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. The more fun you make it, the more likely fans will want to join in. We also recommend giving your contest, promotion, or event its own unique hashtag. This way you can easily track all engagement gained from the competition.
4) Create an online community.
Stain removal brand Resolve has created a Tip Exchange community where users can learn how to beat stubborn stains, and users are also encouraged to share their own tips and advice. This works as both a useful service, as well as great marketing program that leads people searching for answers straight back to Resolve’s products.
5) Ask your fans to share the love.
User statistics are all part of your product marketing ammunition. McDonald’s might have 54 million Likes on Facebook, but it’s not resting on its laurels. It has commissioned original artwork from artists around the world to grace its fry boxes in celebration of the World Cup. Now it’s asking visitors to show their favorite some love by giving it a Like, which will help share the campaign across their fans’ Facebook pages.
Originally published Nov 07, 2014, updated Aug 12, 2020