The Key to Influencing an Overwhelmed Generation of Consumers
These consumers spend an estimated 18 hours per day surrounded by content channels, which explains why 45 percent of Millennials say they aren’t interested or compelled by traditional content marketing.
The average Millennial consumer is so overwhelmed and inundated with marketing messages on a daily basis that it’s hard to penetrate their thick skin and actually engage in meaningful ways.
These consumers spend an estimated 18 hours per day surrounded by content channels, which explains why 45 percent of Millennials say they aren’t interested or compelled by traditional content marketing. If you want to reach them, you have to go about it in a different way.
Social Proof: The Key to a Millennial’s Lock
In the most basic sense, social proof is the concept that people are intrinsically persuaded to conform to the actions of others based on the assumption that those actions are reflective of appropriate behavior.
Social proof has been in the marketing toolbox for decades, but the value of it is just now being maximized – thanks to social media and the rise of a “look at me” approach to using the internet.
However, despite the confirmed efficacy of social proof, many marketers have been reluctant to invest time and energy into it. It’s unclear why, as data and experience clearly show that social proof is the answer to engaging this generation of overexposed consumers.
Studies show that roughly 70 percent of consumers report looking at product reviews before making a purchase. Even more incredible is the fact that product reviews are a whopping 12-times more trusted than product descriptions that are posted by manufacturers.
4 Tips for Effective Use of Social Proof
If you want to influence this overwhelmed generation of Millennial consumers, you must understand how you can properly use social proof techniques to produce higher conversions. Keep the following in mind:
1. Use Blog Sidebars
When it comes to on-site marketing, fewer areas are more underused or misused than the blog sidebar. Too often, marketers fill a sidebar with irrelevant information that’s far too generic to generate any traction – or they forget to use it altogether. In reality, the sidebar is the perfect place to naturally incorporate social proof for your products and services.
If you want an example of this in action, check out Timothy Sykes’ website on penny stock investing. While the primary focus of the page is on the content in the middle, it’s hard for the reader to avoid drifting to the right-hand column which features charts, graphs, and referrals. When combined with the main copy in the middle, the social proof in the sidebar greatly enhances conversions.
2. Tap Into Influencers
While a consumer can potentially be influenced by anyone, they’re more likely to be influenced by someone they already recognize and trust. This is why it’s helpful to forge relationships with industry influencers and celebrities. It’s why brands frequently hire actors and athletes to endorse their brands on TV commercials.
A current, relevant example is Samuel L. Jackson endorsing Capital One.
3. Share Testimonials
Testimonials are always considered powerful. People like reading reviews that come directly from customers, because they feel like they’re genuine and transparent. While you can’t necessarily control what people write on third-party review sites, you can use these positive reviews to your advantage.
Send people to these links and (if legally allowed) share good reviews on social media for other potential customers to see. This is a great way to naturally enhance trust with your target market.
4. Let Social Proof Work for You
While it can take some legwork on the backend to gather information and develop specific strategies that resonate with your target audience, an investment in social proof will not go unrewarded. Consider these tips and make sure you aren’t overlooking the powerful marketing tactic that is social proof.
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