An essential part of Customer Lifecycle Marketing is seeking feedback from your audience. This feedback can be used not only for your own data analysis but also as social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials that tell prospective audience members what they can expect from you.
Why Social Proof Matters
Social proof is the most powerful promotion you could hope for. Rather than you, the business/brand be regarded as bragging on itself, telling people how great you are, someone else is singing your praises.
Reviews and testimonials help people make buying decisions. Most of us read reviews before making major, or even minor, purchases. Your goal as a marketer isn’t to sell, but to help people make the right buying decisions. This is what leads to customer satisfaction. Social proof lets your customers educate each other.
The feedback you get through social proof is also valuable in itself. With a number of honest reviews, you’ll start to see patterns of things you do well and areas you can improve. A negative review gives you a chance to respond and help a customer fix a problem. Others will see this, and your stellar customer service will make you stand out from the crowd. Asking for reviews and sending surveys/questionnaires increases the likelihood of keeping your (NPS) Net Promoter Score high, which is ideal.
Finally, when a person writes a review or testimonial, they’re taking a step towards deepening their relationship with you. This form of engagement makes them feel more invested in the relationship with your brand and increases the potential of your (CLV) Customer Lifetime Value.
How to Get Social Proof
Find the right places to ask for social proof. People will sometimes write reviews spontaneously, but you’ll get better results if you simply ask. Right after purchase is usually a good time to ask, but you may find that other places work just as well or even better. For example, someone might be very happy about some of your content which helped them solve a key problem they faced.
Seize the moment. Reach out to your most vocal advocates. These are the people in your audience who have big social media followings and write often about the brands they love. Try to find bloggers who’d be willing to blog about you and/or offer to contribute to their blog. Often, people can regard those who are on well-established blogs, as being a brand/voice to check out for future business.
Make gathering and publishing social proof part of your regular routine. Many business owners get reviews and testimonials to adorn their websites and then never update them. It’s important to have fresh content, so make it a regular part of your marketing activities.
You can offer incentives as a way of saying thanks for a review, but don’t bribe people. You never want to be buying your reviews and testimonials – in order for them to be effective, they must be honest.
Customer Lifecycle Marketing is a more personal and organic way of marketing than other, more traditional methods. It focuses on relationships, and social proof is a major key to its success.
Want to learn more? Check out my new course, Customer Lifecycle Marketing. It teaches you all the practical steps you need to build long-lasting relationships with your customers and grow your business through the adoption of lifecycle marketing. Click here for the course