Social proof is a powerful psychological phenomenon that has real effects on human beings. Say there’s an item the majority chooses and also receives lots of positive reviews, simultaneously there is also an alternative that no one really buys. So the question here is: which one would you choose?
In this article, we will review everything related to social proof from start to finish, starting off with the simplest definition and ending with ways how to create social proof to sell more online courses.
So, if you are ready, let’s start!
The following article covers:
What is social proof?
In business terms, social proof is basically informational social influence. The idea of social proof is partially relying on the fact that we tend to follow the majority, plus the authorities on the subject matter. For example, if an expert or authority figure in a specific niche recommends you to use a specific product, you will most likely, find it trustworthy and start using it. That is called expert proof.
Or, if an influencer orders cosmetics, tests it, and shares a positive experience, you and other followers most likely will trust the recommendation and purchase the product. This one is influencer proof, again, one more type of social proof.
In marketing, social proof is needed because it is proven that while looking for a product, people tend to choose the tested one that has positive reviews & recommendations. As social creatures, we are highly influenced by others’ experiences & opinions.
Why is social proof essential?
Social proof is essential because, in the majority of cases, it simply works. However, basing your entire marketing strategy on using only this won’t be sufficient. Make sure that you have come up with a thorough, one of the elements of which is social proof.
However, now let’s take a look at the main reasons why social proof works:
- Statistics. According to statistics, more than 90% of online shoppers read reviews before purchasing an item. The same statistics reveal that more than 80% of US citizens tend to ask for recommendations from friends & family members (the opinion of the one they trust) before making a physical or online purchase.
- Safety. Social proof, which mostly takes the form of written reviews, indicates the quality of the product. If the customer is satisfied with a high-quality product, they will write a positive review, and a person who reads it will automatically trust your store (or maybe product?) more. Therefore, it will directly contribute to the increased chance of a new purchase. Besides, the original customer who wrote the review may also recommend the product to friends and family members through verbal reviews.
So, now as far as we are clear on what social proof is, how it works, and why it is essential, let’s move on to the practical ways you can use it for your marketing in order to sell more online courses.
5 ways to create social proof for your online course
Being an online course creator is not an easy task. Yes, the market grows daily, and with every single day, more and more students prefer e-learning over traditional ones. However, the competition also grows as fast. Therefore, in order to stand out, you need to provide not only high-quality materials but also have to implement the right marketing strategies for promotion.
Now, let’s take a look at the Top working ways to create social proof for your online course.
Way 1 - Client Testimonials
Client testimonials and reviews are extremely important. You can use those for your marketing strategy to have a dedicated space on your website where your clients leave their reviews, and everyone interested can read those.
Another way you can display client testimonials is on your website’s home page. You can have a separate section displaying the top 3-5 best testimonials. This will automatically increase the trust factor of the new prospects towards you.
Therefore, make sure to collect clients’ testimonials. And even when someone doesn’t write the very “praising” review, take into account the mistakes you made and consider it as feedback that will help you to improve.
Way 2 - Off-site customer reviews
Those are basically the same testimonials, however, off your website. And this can work even better. Why? Because customers realize that you have total control over your website, you may just easily delete the bad reviews. Meanwhile, they tend to trust third-party resources that you do not control, as those can be more reliable.
Many businesses nowadays buy paid reviews from customers on those third-party resources in order to increase awareness and improve overall public image.
You can, of course, buy paid reviews; however, generally, work on quality and encourage your real customers to leave reviews and give you free feedback on third-party resources as well.
Way 3 - User-generated content
Imagine if you saw hundreds of social media posts that wrote about a positive experience on a course that changed their lives. Most likely, you yourself would be interested and may even purchase it.
When users post about their experience with a specific service or product on their personal media (basically generate content), this will positively affect the opinions of their network, increasing brand awareness alongside improving the public image in the eyes of other potential customers.
You can encourage several user-generated content types starting off with unboxing and ending with a video where they tell in which aspects the product was useful. Of course, as a course creator, you must contribute to the creation of more verbal content. E.g., a video where they tell how your course helped them, or a story under the post sharing the experience of, e.g., earning twice as much money after taking your course. This will create buzz around your product.
Way 4 - Awards & Certifications
Students are motivated to learn, especially if they will get a certificate as proof of their knowledge. However, they also need proof that they have expert certification from a professional. Therefore, as a form of social proof, you can display in a specific section on your website - the “About You” part, where you showcase certifications, courses, and awards you have.
Way 5 - Influencer Marketing
People tend to trust influencers more than celebrities, as influencers communicate with the audience and seem more “real.” Therefore, many businesses nowadays increasingly focus efforts on influencer marketing as if done right, it can bring awesome results.
First of all, you need to choose the right influencer, meaning that the audience interested in them should also be interested in your product. For example, if a gamer does the review of a yoga course, it would generate almost no leads. However, if a lifestyle blogger shares an incredible experience with your Yoga course, you will most likely gain new clients.
So, basically, choose the right influencer, and increase the trustworthiness of your brand in collaboration with them.
Make your course reliable now
If you want to be at the top of your market, you have to make sure that you can provide the reliability needed in this competitive industry. First and foremost, the website you publish your courses on should have a good user interface, easy to use, and have a section for reviews as social proof.
How to create such a website, and isn’t it costly? Well, that depends. There are plenty of good website builders available. However, most of them require huge time and financial investments. Meanwhile, Uteach offers up-to-date and cost-efficient solutions.
Uteach is an all-in-one website builder and e-learning business management tool. You can create a website in less than 2 minutes, choose from flexible pricing plans available (or even the free version), and get started. Following our guides, you will be able to create new pages, choose themes, easily publish courses and even have a blog.
Moreover, Uteach is the first-ever platform to offer end-to-end live sessions, and you can also have a separate page on your website for client testimonials or showcase testimonials on the home page.
Uteach is fast, cost-efficient, reliable, and offers everything to help you succeed.