Providing immediate value can turn a prospect scrolling through social media into a long-term customer. The best way to provide value is through inbound marketing.
It helps brands attract, convert, close sales, and build lasting relationships with prospects. Paired with social proof, it becomes a powerful tool in any marketer’s arsenal.
But, with marketing evolving at a rapid pace, can these strategies keep up with new trends? To answer this question, we need to learn the basics.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is similar to lead generation—but, it gives great emphasis on providing value through informational content. That’s why it also draws a lot of similarities to content marketing.
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The key difference between the two is that inbound marketing is a more holistic strategy. It considers every step of a prospect’s journey in the sales funnel from awareness to nurturing.
There are several ways to do inbound marketing but they also follow four simple principles:
- Attract: Can be considered as lead generation. Driving traffic to key landing pages through high-quality content.
- Convert: Enticing prospects to move forward in the sales funnel through strategically placed CTAs on the landing pages.
- Close: Closing the sale and establishing a “vendor-customer” relationship.
- Delight: Nurturing converted prospects and providing consistent quality content.
What is Social Proof?
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that brands can use to build authenticity and authority in their space. It follows the basic principle that if the majority deems something correct, then it must be. Think of it like a digital bandwagon.
The following are the most popular social proof strategies:
- User-generated Content (UGC)
- Customer Reviews and Testimonials
- Influencer Marketing
- Case Studies
- Customer Base
Types of Inbound Marketing Perfect for Social Proof
Social proof supports the content you publish during inbound marketing campaigns. Combining the two strategies, you get content that can be deemed more authoritative and organic.
Here are some of the best inbound marketing tactics you can pair with social proof:
Blogging or writing informative articles is essential for any inbound marketing campaign. It supports both social media and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Within the article itself, you can add as many social proofs as you want as long as it’s relevant to the topic you’re writing on. It could have statistics, customer reviews, and more.
E-books & White Papers
Ebooks and White Papers serve the same purpose with different tones. White papers are informational and academic in nature. Ebooks serve as an extension of a guide or topic.
These are best for showcasing testimonials of previous customers, case studies, and how a product or service is used to solve a specific problem.
Infographics use cleverly designed visuals to show snippets of key details, statistics, and much more. You can have several infographics on a variety of topics strategically placed on key landing pages.
Leveraging Social Proof in Inbound Marketing
Now that we know the basics, here are five social proof strategies that can help boost the results of your inbound marketing campaigns:
Customer Reviews and Testimonials
According to statistics, 88% of customers say reviews and testimonials influence their purchases online. Marketing head for Pull Digital, Chris Bullick also cited that 72% of customers will only take action after reading a positive review online.
Social Media Social Proof
There is a lot of social proof on social media. Among the most effective is user-generated content or UGC. It leverages content from your brand’s customers and followers.
But, because of how compression works on social media, you can’t just use an image that’s been uploaded on Facebook or Instagram. The quality won’t be that good due to compression.
Luckily, you can use a free image upscaler tool like PixelCut to help ensure that your brand has high-quality content despite the source.
Customer Base Social Proof
Showcasing the number of customers that use your products or service is another great example of social proof. It uses the basic principles of bandwagon marketing. This also shows that your brand is experienced and well-known within its niche.
Influencer Marketing Social Proof
Influencers can help your brand in two important ways: increasing brand awareness or engagement. You can work with either macro or micro-influencers to achieve this.
Macro influencers have more followers and offer a wider reach. You can even reach a demographic that your brand might not reach organically.
On the other hand, micro-influencers have a smaller following but have greater engagement compared to macro-influencers.
Expert Social Proof
When an industry expert or thought leader reviews or has a positive review of your product and services, you can quote them, post about them on social media, or even ask them to write a guest post for you.
If your brand has a platform for podcasting, that’s also a great way to provide value to your audience and drive traffic for both you and the expert.
Inbound marketing campaigns are a holistic approach to converting prospects. Paired with social proof strategies, your campaigns can be deemed more authoritative and organic.
Here are some key details you might’ve missed:
- There are several tactics you can use for inbound marketing that make good use of social proof such as blogs, eBooks, and infographics.
- User-generated content can be used to drive more engagement from your followers.
- Use macro-influencers for more reach and brand awareness.
- Use micro-influencers for increased engagement and conversion.