In my experience

I’d like to start by saying I’ve always considered myself as someone who is in control of their online behaviour, be it buying and “following” habits. I have found myself following people and accounts recommend to me by instagram but not before checking out their profile and seeing who else follows them. It’s the same with a particular service, the first thing I do is to look for recommendations from the people close to me or through groups online.

I want to feel reassured before a purchase and usually consider these purchases for a while before handing over my money. However, there have been occasions when I have found myself putting in my credit card details to buy something I had only discovered minutes ago! For me personally, the triggers are usually in Instagram stories, Facebook groups or YouTube videos.

Have you ever found yourself watching videos about reviews or recommendations because you were curious about another person’s view?

I love to see the reviews on all things tech before going on Amazon and buying it, or simply to find which movies to watch next.

Unconsciously this is because I assume that these people will have a useful insight to share with me and that they probably know more than me on the subject. This makes me trust them and their opinions.

Ok, after this long introduction what is the point I’m trying to make?

Well, this was an example of how we are all subject to the influence of social proof.

Here’s a more in-depth description of what social proof is as it can shed a light on what I’m talking about.

Social proof

Social proof goes back to 1984 and it’s a term that has been coined by one Robert Cialdini.

It’s been described as a psychological and social phenomenon. It’s when our own behaviour becomes influenced by the action or attitude of other people around us. 

This can happen both online or in real life.

The assumption that we make is that the people around us or the people online have more knowledge about the current situation we are in.

This assumption we make gives the power to others opinion and automatically gives authority to them. 

At this point, you’re probably thinking what all of these as do with video.

Video marketing applications

With video marketing we have different goals and all of them can be connected to social proof.

Brand awareness, spreading the word about the business, the product or the brand, has the main objective of getting people to recognize your brand and remember it for a particular reason.

Social proof, in this case, would help immensely when people recommend you for that particular reason. 

The video marketing example for brand awareness would be to either repurpose the video that these people made on your brand or even to create a video with many of these recommendations.

Boosting sales is another big one in terms of objectives. Affiliate programs and other rewarding programs for influential people that endorse your brand with the intent of pushing sees pushing sales, is based on social proof concepts.

Video marketing works on top of these where creates video material for your landing page, for your Amazon listing or even for Instagram posts that are connected to your Instagram shopping.

Build your community. This is the most natural outcome when it comes to social proof. You are getting people together that shares the same needs and the same views. Everyone that joins the community do so because they are looking for someone that knows more than they currently do while feeling like an integral part of a supporting group. Video marketing works by putting all of the community values, thoughts, tips, experiences on video. Anything that is related to the community views should be translated into video, getting current members to share all of these is the ultimate proof for new members to join.

As you can see I’m not telling you which camera to use, which microphone works best because sometimes the best video marketing strategy has to do with the objective of it.

Always start by understanding the goal behind every video marketing campaign you want to embark on.

Pair that with good qualitative video and you get the best content you can create.

Having this knowledge of our behaviour, we can try to work with it helping our businesses working with the testimonials, comments or shoutouts of satisfied customers and create videos that can prove our worth.

This greatly differs from a sales video because, in those, you are telling your own story.

Instead, when using an outside perspective, we are letting the brand speak for itself.

Think about this; the influencer marketing trend is based around the impact that influential people have on the awareness and sales of a brand.

That’s why the big brands are spending a lot of their marketing budgets on influencers, bringing them on to endorse their products and services.

Social proof examples

Some examples of social proof that is in our life that you may recognize:

  • Expert’s stamp of approval of brands or products.
  • Shoutouts or endorsements from celebrities.
  • Testimonial or rating from current/past users.
  • Reviews from YouTubers or influencers.
  • Approval from large groups of other people also called “Wisdom of crowds”, leading to FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Social Media Shares, a positive share of content regarding brands.
  • Recommendations from your friends or people we trust.

You can rely on support to help spread the good word and translating these examples through video content will get the business more credibility, sales and more loyal users/customers/members. 

Building a library of community-created videos, images, screenshots is the first thing you should start doing. Get inspired by your community, these videos are not only going to be beneficial for your brand but are also a way to make them feel appreciated and heard.

What if you don’t have the resources?

Even if you don’t have budget or resources right now, start gathering the material, so when it comes the time you are ready to start with this vision of letting your customers tell your story.

All the tactics mentioned are going to appear more clearly now, every time someone posts a positive comment, sends you a kind message or gives you a public review I’m sure you’ll be ready to save it and store it for your next video.

Resources links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_proof

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-proof/


About the Author

Lucia managing director of Loom of ideas, is the co-founder of Keyframes and LOLAB. Born in Italy she is now based in the UK. Thanks to her experience in TV, Film and Athletics to Theatre and Communications, she gained a creative problem-solving attitude. With Keyframes she helps founders to plan and create video content strategically. Lucia is a video marketing strategist and video content producer but also a product designer and a visionary. What makes her happy is to talk about business.

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