Social proof has been a “thing” for years, but it’s still one of the hottest trends in marketing today. Why? Because it works, and it’s just what you need to send your digital product sales into the stratosphere. Simply put, people like what other people like and they buy what other people are buying. It’s the same dynamic that is making influencer marketing is so hot right now.
But how can you leverage social proof to make a difference in your bottom line and your digital product sales?
With the growth of social media and the corresponding growth of technology, social proof is relevant to marketing on a scale that Robert Cialdini likely never imagined when he first coined the term in his 1984 book, Influence.And while influencer marketing is important, social proof goes far beyond influencers, with testimonials, good reviews, expert opinions and blurbs, personal recommendations, and more, playing a role. Let’s dive deeper into how you can capitalize on several forms of social proof to grow your digital product sales.
The Power of a Good Review
People want to be where the action is and they tend to buy what other people like. The numbers show this is resoundingly true as at least 85% of us read reviews online before spending money at a business!
In fact, according to BrightLocal, 91% of us trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So while you definitely want to leverage influencers and personal recommendations as much as possible, you want to focus heavily on getting reviews, especially those in the four-star and five-star range. Reviews can make a difference in 66% of all purchase decisions – that’s huge.
Why Bad Reviews Matter for Digital Product Sales
People may not always speak up about good experiences, but they definitely speak up about bad ones. Having a bad customer experience go viral can be very damaging to your future sales as well as your business’ brand. When your overall rating loses a single star or goes from a four-star rating to three, you can lose 5-9% in sales.
These numbers are significant, however realistically, not everyone will decide not to purchase based on a single bad review, and in fact, having some negative reviews can actually help your digital product sales. After all, people prefer to buy from brands that have a four-star rating, and actually trust these products more than those with five-star ratings. Why? Because no one has a perfect reputation, and people are naturally suspicious of products that have all five-star reviews.
So how can you leverage a bad review into higher digital product sales?
That’s where this aspect of social proof gets really interesting. People tend to trust brands that acknowledge the bad reviews and respond to them over those that sweep the problem under the rug. So turning bad reviews into an opportunity to improve client communication and solve new problems, you can actually turn a bad review into higher digital product sales.
And there’s something else to consider, too. Some consumers search specifically for negative reviews and these folks can actually end up being some of the highest converting, by as much as 85%. So when you handle your reputation management the right way, not only do you appear trustworthy and authentic, you demonstrate that you care about your clients and their needs. Plus, it may yield an opportunity for an updated review or a new positive one. And there’s no better social proof than that!
The dangers of using negative social proof
There should be no doubt in your mind by this point that social proof is a powerful option to grow your digital product sales. However, keep a close eye on your messaging. You want to focus on positive aspects rather than negative. For an example this, consider when the Arizona Petrified Forest posted three different signs to keep people from stealing petrified wood.
This one actually reversed the effect and led to more vandalism: “Your heritage is being vandalized every day by theft losses of petrified wood of 14 tons a year.”
Can you guess why?
It sends the message that everyone else is doing it. And with that, people tend to figure: “why not me, too?”
So, while you want to use social proof to increase your digital product sales, you want to be sure you’re doing it the right way.
How to integrate social proof into your product page
At this point, it’s really a no-brainer that you want to start leveraging social proof to increase your digital product sales. But what types of social proof do you want to add to your product page?
Testimonials & Reviews
Testimonials from clients you’ve worked with can be indispensable, as can those great reviews. Choose a few that are really great, and select short, meaningful blurbs from each that will really speak to your target client.
Are there some big names you’ve worked with? Adding their logos to your sales page boosts your credibility. After all, if big names are working with you, you become that much more attractive to more clients.
Badges and accreditations
If you have trust seals, certifications, or accreditations, add those too. Just like logos, these badges offer social proof that will grow your digital product sales, to the tune of up to 30% and sometimes higher! In fact, Blue Fountain Media’s A/B test with a Verisign trust seal increased sales by 42%.
Live sales numbers/notifications
These are a relatively new addition to the social proof game. Notifications pop up on your screen showing when other people purchase the product. Remember how social proof is about liking what other people like? This gives social proof in real time and shows how popular the product is. If you add this to your page, your digital product sales will start converting higher!
The bottom line
No matter how you slice it, social proof is the key to increasing your share of the digital product sales pie. However, be sure to start integrating social proof mindfully to make the most of its power. And, don’t be surprised when your digital product sales grow in a big way!