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The Six Principles of Video Social Proof To Help Elevate Your Brand Strategy

The average American sees around 5,000 ads per day. In this hyper-competitive and crowded marketplace, such a messaging and choice overload can overwhelm consumers, directly impacting their path to purchase. Luckily, our brains have developed some ways of helping us to overcome this issue.

Whether or not you are familiar with the term “social proof,” you’ve almost definitely experienced the concept. Think about any time you tried a new Pilates studio because your friend spoke highly of it, or bought a haircare product because your hair stylist recommended it during your last haircut - this is all social proof at work.

With the rise and proliferation of eCommerce, this social proof becomes even more valuable since online shoppers need to rely on these recommendations and opinions to make a final decision amongst their many options, especially since they aren’t able to try the product or service out for themselves first.

And technology has accelerated and evolved to meet our transforming culture, bringing to life a new era of social proof for businesses: Video Social Proof.

Video Social Proof is the discipline of capturing and sharing actual customer experiences through video. In other words, it allows companies to take advantage of customer validation and customer advocacy in order to influence potential customers. Proactive businesses will strategize around this effective form of social proof and will incorporate this strategy into their greater marketing approach.

As businesses start asking themselves, “What is my Video Social Proof strategy?,” VideoPeel put together a six-principle framework to help businesses apply Video Social Proof throughout their buyer’s journey.

Principle #1: Visual

The old adage “show, don’t tell” has stood the test of time for a reason. The human brain prefers visuals. In fact, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.

If all you provide your buyers is a written description, or maybe even just a still image, you are expecting them to believe in your product or service without actually seeing how it works, where it works, when it works, if it’s worth its price, and for whom it works best. You are leaving your buyers with critical questions that may drive them away completely, or worse, drive them to competitors who do show the answers to these questions.

Video Social Proof helps you showcase your offerings better, as well as providing better explanations. According to HubSpot, 97 percent of marketers say video has helped users gain a better understanding of their products and services.

Put Principles To Practice: Make it as easy as possible for your consumers to feel connected to your offering through video. Add video touch points across your sales channels to capture their attention and deepen their understanding wherever and whenever they are interacting with your brand.

Principle #2: Personal

It’s important to remember that you are doing business with people, therefore, your products or services are personal. Your offerings aren't made up of only the material, systems, messaging, and people who created or fulfill the product or service, it is also made up of all the people who buy them, use them, and benefit from them.

If you’re communicating your product’s story by simply describing its features and functionality, you are not telling your real product story. Your real story is made up of all the experiences people have that interact with your product or service.

Put Principles To Practice: Capture and share the real experiences of your consumers to create an experience that people trust and shows you as unique within your industry. This will go a long way when it comes to increasing brand engagement, building better relationships, and driving future conversions.

Principle #3: Contextual

We’ve already touched on the processing power of visuals. While “a picture is worth a thousand words,” video takes this concept to the next level. Dr. James McQuivey further quantified it as “video is worth 1.8 million words per minute.” When your target consumer is overwhelmed with choice, this is a critical communication opportunity to not only capture their attention through video, but to quickly relay how precisely your offering could impact them.

You can make better use of the valuable time in front of your potential customers by providing crucial context, quickly relating to them at point of need so they can assess credibility and relevance. The more you contextualize the message, the more customers identify with that message and feel more connected with your brand.

Context also keeps you top of mind with your target audience; when you are in front of your customers offering them what they want, keeping it visual (see principle #1) and personal (see principle #2), you will be their go-to brand.

Put Principles To Practice: Leverage user-generated video content to deepen a potential customer's understanding of your product or service and how it relates to them. Using remote capture and automation, like VideoPeel, allows you to do this quickly across the entire buyer’s journey so you can ensure that your message will reach them and resonate with them, wherever they are.

Principle #4: Timely

If your messaging isn’t timely, it won’t succeed. Consumers take in information quickly and, in the aforementioned crowded marketplace, there are plenty of opportunities for them to move on to a brand that they feel is speaking to their needs. Being timely shows that you care and that you’re listening.

At one time, this presented quite the challenge for brands, an expensive challenge at that. The old way of producing video was costly, running businesses on average between $2,000 and $100,000. And that’s not even considering the time associated with coordinating your team, traveling, and filming.

With Video Social Proof, the average time to get your first video from your audience is less than five days. And with an average conversion rate of more than 10 percent, the cost per video across VideoPeel clients can be less than $20. This change in economics allows video to be adopted by every role and function within an organization.

Put Principles To Practice: Run campaigns to quickly and cost-effectively collect user-generated content to turn around high-converting videos quickly and be ready to meet consumers on their time, with the perfect message for their changing needs and interests.

Principle #5: Communal

As an effective tool in building a foundation between the consumer and the brand, there’s no better way to cultivate a strong brand community than through Video Social Proof. It enables critical elements that allow your consumer-base to grow and thrive: recognition, trust, participation, and reward.

This sense of community and connection can help increase engagement and even expedite path to purchase. Authentic communities make it easy to feed brand advocacy back into your marketing cycle. But the key word in that sentence is authentic. One thing brands can’t afford to ignore when it comes to building connections is the importance of being authentic. If you’re not authentic, people won’t connect with you. Period. And this greatly increases the difficulty of building that community that can boost your brand.

Put Principles To Practice: Let your community see who is a part of their peer group, and how they use and benefit from your product or service, and allow them to participate by sharing their own experiences. Then, reward your community with benefits they can’t get anywhere else. Use Video Social Proof to bring your community to life.

Principle #6: Measurable

If you’ve gotten this far, then you’ve no doubt noticed how the previous five principles revolve around fine-tuning your message into a singular, relatable customer experience. But how can you be sure that your campaign is hitting its mark after it’s been released into the digital world? Easy: by ensuring that your efforts are Measurable.

Key metrics are vital in measuring progress towards your brand’s key business goals. Without them, you’d be unable to properly inform your decision-making and development processes, wasting valuable time and effort on false starts and convoluted guesswork that could’ve been easily avoided. The measurable aspects of your marketing output can greatly inform development as you test out various traction channels and marketing maneuvers. If you can understand how customer engagement ebbs and flows alongside your campaign adjustments, you’ll be one step closer to maximizing your resources and capturing the attention of your preferred customer base.

Linking your brand’s consumer-centric goals to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will ensure that you’ll always be able to take your campaign’s pulse and refocus your efforts on the fly. Want to find out if your communal approach is effective or off putting? Find out how long the average user is staying on a given page; if visitors are clicking into your video forum but not staying long, that might indicate a need to reformat the page’s visual elements to guide users towards the community-based value your site can offer.

As obvious as it may seem, it bears repeating: set goals for your brand and be deliberate in selecting which KPIs align with the previous Video Social Proof Principles.

Put Principles To Practice: Tie your brand’s goals and Video Social Proof strategies to specific, measurable metrics. Stay agile and responsive by taking stock of how your customers interact with and respond to your brand at different touch points throughout the buyer’s journey. Don’t be afraid to optimize your demonstrated value with help from your chosen Key Performance Indicators.

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