PR & Communications | 3 minute read
The evidence for including social proof in your B2B marketing strategy, such as testimonials and case studies, is pretty conclusive. 71% of B2B buyers check out product reviews when considering a purchase and 92% of B2B marketers are more likely to buy a product or service after reading a review from a trusted source.
The key term in that last sentence is ‘trusted source’. People trust fellow buyers more than brands as the messaging is considered unbiased and authentic. It’s why it’ll come as no surprise that adding a testimonial to a landing page can boost conversion by up to 34%.
Before we discuss the importance of getting your customers talking about you in more detail, let’s first unpack the term ‘social proof’.
What is social proof?
Social proof is the phenomenon where people copy other people’s actions based on the belief that those actions represent the correct behaviour.
Also known as informational social influence, social proof in B2B marketing can be a hugely influential way to persuade potential customers that you are the correct choice by presenting validation from existing or past customers.
Types of social proof
User reviews or ratings, embedded tweets, and social advertising (e.g. ‘X company uses our product. You should too’) are all forms of social proof in B2B marketing.
Yet, there’s a clear winner when it comes to the best way of validating your brand’s credentials: 89% of B2B marketers say that testimonials and case studies are the most effective type of content marketing.
The importance of sharing great case studies or testimonials
With testimonials and case studies, quality trumps quantity. Earlier we discussed the power of a ‘trusted source’. In a B2B context this includes getting industry experts and publications specific to your sector to validate your business capabilities.
Valued opinions from industry experts go a long way to establishing your company’s credibility. One study found that industry experts and analysts are one of the top resources buyers rely on when researching potential vendors.
When a buyer is comparing two businesses with a similar offering, validation in the form of expert testimonials and case studies can have a major influence on decision-making. In fact, even name-dropping credible clients or experts you’re associated with in email marketing can increase email open rate by up to 465%.
How to build a library of testimonials and case studies
The easiest solution is to reach out to your long-term clients. Usually, they are more than happy to sing your praises and explain the ways in which you make their professional lives easier. One of the best times to ask is at the end of a project when they’re starting to enjoy the value of your offering.
You can also reach out to thought leaders in your sector who understand the challenges your clients face, by incentivising the request with free access to your product or solution.
Gaining the competitive advantage
As you can see, getting your customers talking about your products and services can have a huge impact on your business. Whether it’s a juicy case study or expert testimonial from a trusted source, influential social proof can be a game-changing, client-winning element of your B2B marketing.