Social Proofing Your (Video) Marketing Strategy

Social Proofing Your (Video) Marketing Strategy

Social Proof And Social Psychology 

Social Proof[ing] is a socio-psychological phenomenon coined by Robert Cialdini in 1984. However, in practice it has been a part of human social interaction since we were primates; it’s a fundamental part of how we learn to act within groups. In the psychological sense it’s the phenomenon of a person assuming the actions of other persons to correct their own behaviours. While it’s seen most prominently in children who learn how to act from their parents, adults use it when starting a new job or taking up a new group sport for example. Social proof happens in any situation where one is outside of their comfort zone and surrounded by others who (at least perceivably) know how to act. 


Relevance To Modern Marketing

Now, while you may not have heard it laid out theoretically before, you probably already had an implicit understanding of how the phenomenon works; we learn by observing. What you may not understand however, is how this is relevant to video marketing, or marketing in general.

In the modern day when a consumer wants to invest in a product, they are promptly bogged down with choice; in the internet age nearly every product can be delivered straight to our doors. So, consumers look to outside sources for inspiration, sometimes consciously, but often not so – forms of social proofing may affect a consumer long before they decide to purchase a product.


5 Types Of Social Proof

There’s no definitive list – but social proof marketing tends to be split into 5 distinct types…

1. Expert Social Proofing

Expert social proofing is the reaction of consumers to thought leader’s opinions of products or services, for example a positive review from a newspaper or professional critic. Because of the weight of opinion given to experts, this can be one of the most influential forms of social proof, provided it manages to reach the correct audiences. However, getting expert opinions in front of audiences is essential; not every customer researches this on their own accord. 


2. User Social Proofing

One way in which audiences experience social proofing is through testimony from other users. According to TrustPilot, 90% of consumers rely on customer testimony when making buying decisions. Of course, consumers are more likely to buy a product that is highly rated on Amazon compared to one that isn’t for example; user scores are therefore social proof of a worthy purchase.


3. Celebrity Social Proofing

Celebrity social proofing involves the celebrity endorsement of products or services and allows marketers to reach audiences via individuals they often already like or trust. While a Kardashian instagram shout out might have the greatest reach, there are more cost effective alternatives. Micro-influencers, defined as holding followings between 3,000 and 100,000 often base their content around niche subjects, attracting similarly niche audiences. Through finding a micro-influencer whose online platform is based around your own product or service type you can get your ads to the perfect audience demographic for a fraction of the cost of using a bigger name. 


4. Wisdom Of The Crowd

This form of social proof draws people towards certain practises, products or services because of the social proofing that comes from witnessing others doing or using or doing things on mass. This form can come from brand recognition; if you notice many people wearing a certain brand of jeans it can socially proof the brand within your mind causing you to recognise it as a safe choice or purchase to make. The same phenomenon happens online through shares, likes and other such equivalents within online marketing posts. 


5. Wisdom Of Friends 

When friends swear by a product, it can make us believe the product to be safe and acceptable to purchase – you may even forgo other forms of social proof completely, such as reviews based off the testimony of friends. In fact, 89% of customers say they’d be more likely to buy an unknown brand based off a friend’s wisdom.


So How Does This Relate To Video Marketing?

Video offers some unique or especially effective ways to use social proofing. For example, it allows testimonials to be brought directly to audiences through broadcast, online and social media advertising therefore utilising the power of user based social proof. On social media, these testimonial videos, or indeed all types of social proofed videos, can be directly targeting at people who may be already be in the market for a product or service, using algorithms and targeted campaigns to allow the seller to find the customer, rather than the customer finding the seller. 

Video is especially useful for the online medium, Wyzowl finding video to be preferred by 73% of people online and shared twice as much, contributing to the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ form of social proofing. Also, in the case of testimonials Wyzowl find “2 out of 3” people would be “more likely to make a purchase” after watching a testimonial video showing how a product or service has helped them. 


In Conclusion…

Social proof is a vital part of human social psychology, so it’s no surprise that it should always be considered when producing marketing content. The concept of social proof rounds up some known truths about socialisation into a straightforward and usable package which can then, with a bit of forethought, be effectively utilised within video marketing in particular. 

At Clear As Day Productions, we offer a wide variety of  production services and often incorporate Social Proofing methods into client’s videos when deemed appropriate; get in touch today for a free no-obligation consultation!


Before You Click Away, check out our latest social proof inspired video made for CrossFit Royston!


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