Our next trend is incorporate social proof. This trend is something that isn’t new, but is set to become even more important in 2022. Social proof is evidence that other consumers have purchased and found value in a product or service. Typically social proof comes in the form of user generated content, testimonials and product reviews. User generated content is a great way to share social proof with your prospects. Also referred to as UGC user generated content is any type of content created and shared online by consumers. This content can include videos, pictures, tweets, testimonials, audio, blog posts, and more. So an example of user generated content would be if a consumer went into a coffee shop and they took a photo of their drink and uploaded it. In other words, it’s consumers promoting and advertising a brand by themselves without being paid to do so.
User generated content can also be utilised beyond social media. You can include it on your website, on screens at events in print media and in paid ad campaigns. User generated content also helps to build a community around your brand, which helps make you appear more approachable and humanized. 93% of marketers agree that consumers place or trust in user generated content than content created by a company itself. One of the best parts about user generated content is that it can be extremely cost effective. Your audience does not create this content for payment. They may create it simply to share their experience or to be in with a chance of being shared on your brand’s page or in some cases to try and win a prize. So testimonials and product reviews are also immensely beneficial to a business. They give you the power to connect with your audience on a deeper level, by showing someone’s real personal experience with your business. Both testimonials and product reviews are something that customers will look at before making a purchase decision.
So for example, a customer deciding whether or not they want to purchase a set of Sony headphones might look at Sony’s Google reviews and then head over to YouTube to watch a few product reviews. It might surprise you to know that 91% of 18 to 34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So what should you do about this trend? Our best advice is to encourage your customers to leave testimonials and to create user generated content. And the best way to do this is to simply ask. This isn’t something that comes easy to a lot of business owners, but you’d be amazed at how effective sending out an email, asking for feedback can be. Just explain how beneficial it is for your business and make it as easy as possible for them. I recommend including a link to your Google, my business review section to simplify things, and you can encourage user generated content
a number of ways, simply ask customers to share their content online, using certain hashtags or by tagging you. If possible work with clients to produce video testimonials while testimonials in text format are much easier to gather and display, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of video social proof. Video testimonials can be more impactful and authentic. 79% of consumers have even watched a video testimonial to learn more about a company, product or service. This helps show just how important a role video social proof plays for brands. Let’s take a look at an example of a brand taking advantage of this trend. So Aldi have excellently incorporated social proof into their marketing, by sharing real families and their experience in shopping in Aldi. They focus on products that they buy and how much money they save when they choose shop to shop with Aldi. They share this campaign via social media posts, video, blog posts, TV, print media and billboards. It’s a great way to humanize their brand and boost their credibility.