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Show Me The Money: How Video Social Proof Became The Future Of Business

Today, most businesses believe that content is king, and that video content is the most powerful and effective growth tool, but how can businesses capture more videos and utilize them effectively? The key is Video Social Proof.

The influence of groups over individual behavior has been studied for decades, and the theories of social psychologists have long been revered and evangelized by marketers looking to boost consumer buy-in and confidence. These theories, and their resulting best practices, have evolved right alongside business and culture as technology has changed the way we interact, shop, speak, learn, watch, bank, eat - you name it. 

And with these evolutions, marketers have had to keep pace in order to be most effective in applying the social theories they know will help influence and engage their target audiences, a primary being the concept of Social Proof.

Safety in Numbers

The term “Social Proof” was first coined by Robert Cialdini in his 1984 book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” Through experimentation Cialdini proves that, while we all indeed have personal preferences, people will conform and make certain decisions in order to be liked by, similar to, or accepted by others.

An example of Social Proof might be:

  • Our coworkers work late, so other coworkers are likelier to do the same;
  • A restaurant that is constantly booked for reservations becomes increasingly popular the more difficult it is to get a table;
  • A charity that highlights celebrity spokespeople in their advertisements so fans and followers are more likely to contribute to their cause; or
  • A testimonial or recommendation from a fellow consumer for a product that addresses a particular interest or need of yours.

In any of these examples, being a part of the “group” leaves you less open to scrutiny, ridicule, or isolation. This is a powerful motivator that has been leveraged by marketers for some time. During the Golden Age of Advertising (think: “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” Era), capital-rich businesses used print, radio, and TV to create and disseminate a world in which their customers would want to live, and where they could do so if they only purchased their product. But technology, business, and culture limited the implementation of social proof. Using these very unidirectional, one-way communications, with no opportunity for feedback, there was no push for businesses to pursue trust or authenticity; the lever for growth was readership/viewership/listenership and reach.

A Tech-tonic Shift

As the Information Age matured, computer networks, the World Wide Web, and social networks introduced two-way communications to the masses. This finally allowed for a feedback loop that never existed before, where consumers had more ready access to the thoughts, opinions, and recommendations of not only businesses, but of family, friends, communities, and even their favorite celebrities. This trend sparked the growth of the influencer economy and the growth of peer reviews and input as a social proof solution for commerce.

Today, you see Social Proof being leveraged across even more channels and at increasingly varied degrees. Whether it’s as small as Netflix recommending titles based on what’s currently most popular with other viewers or as big as Nespresso spending $40 million dollars to have George Clooney, one of the world’s most recognizable and admired celebrities, endorse their product, the effect of this phenomenon is undeniable. 

Concurrently, consumers have begun to take more control of the growth of marketplaces like Amazon, Alibaba, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (among others), turning consumers into prosumers, driving the growth of their own businesses and agendas. Introducing more conflict of interest that has led to the proliferation of Fake News and Fake Reviews. Consumers now more than ever are looking for ways to find the truth, especially from people they can trust. Therefore, businesses today are looking for ways to be more authentic and trusted, while maintaining control of their brand. 

Combined with the advancement in business technology, it seems clear that we are entering into the next generation of Social Proof: Video Social Proof

Why Video?

Though we’ve come a long way since the silver screen antics of Buster Keaton, video has always captivated audiences. In fact, 90 percent of the information processed by the brain is visual, a process which is 60,000 times faster than processing text. Since we are clearly visual by nature, it makes sense that video would be a preferred way to consume and create our content. 

Over the years, new video technologies have equipped more and more people with the ability to capture thoughts, feelings, and life’s moments. These technologies have influenced production processes, job functions, and the fundamental way in which companies incorporate video into their greater strategies for business growth and success. People respond to the storytelling modality of video whether it be news, entertainment, or eCommerce sites.

And with the technological innovations of higher resolution smartphone cameras and the cultural change in consumer’s willingness to participate in video communications, video is an incredibly powerful way to share information, and do so quickly and cost effectively. The improvement of smartphone cameras has given the average consumer as much power as a former video production studio to capture high quality video, arming real people to capture and share their experience through video.

Video Social Proof Is Born

Video Social Proof is the strategic capability of using remote video capturing and publishing to apply the phenomenon of social proof to every aspect of your business. Whether it’s building brand awareness, driving traffic, increasing website engagement, curating engagement, creating content, conducting market research, evaluating employees, or preparing presentations, Video Social Proof helps businesses build trust and drive conversions by highlighting the real experiences people are having with their products or services.

No matter what line of business you are, an empathetic value proposition is a powerful one, and businesses can establish this empathy, and therefore trust, with their brand’s community by igniting emotions and compassion through consumer stories. Without keeping pace with today’s technology for leveraging this powerful user-generated video content, businesses risk getting stuck in a cycle of producing costly, stale brand moments and rapidly lose mindshare with their consumers.

As the leader in Video Social Proof, VideoPeel is defining this critical new business growth lever, and outlining how it can build trust and drive conversions, and show you the money. 

Over the next series of blog posts, we will describe how businesses can implement the practice of capturing, managing, publishing, and measuring social proof through video. You will see real-world examples of Video Social Proof broken out by the six principles of Video Social Proof: Visual, Personal, Contextual, Timely, Communal, Experience.

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