Increase Your Perceived Value With Social Proof -- and Charge More
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When was the last time you went into Walmart and asked for a discount? I did it yesterday. Consumers want the biggest bang for their buck, and merchants want to make as much margin as possible.
Price shoppers are in every industry. The problem is, some people attract them, and others avoid them like the plague. There is no solution to eliminate them completely. But there are subtle tactics you can use to increase your perceived value, and get paid what you deserve. Let’s dive right in.
Don’t use words that cheapen your brand.
Let’s revisit the big box stores. Walmart, Target and Amazon are all competitors. They sell a lot of the same merchandise, but many times, the prices differ. But did you know that each store has a “best price guarantee” policy? Walk into any of these stores, prove that a competitor is selling the same item for less, and they’ll match or even beat the price on the spot.
By posting "lowest price" signs at every checkout counter and plastering them on every product page, these mega stores are organically attracting price shoppers.
Take a look through your website copy. Are you using language that focuses on price over value? Remove words that dilute your value -- cheap, most affordable, bargain -- to eliminate preconceived notions on the perceived value of your products.
Build social proof that your customers want.
Social proof is a powerful marketing tactic that has immense psychological effects for businesses. You can start establishing your presence by using customer reviews, testimonials and authority logos.
Think about the last purchase you made. You probably looked through Amazon, Yelp or even a site like RateMds.com for a medical professional.
Econsultancy reports that 63 percent of customers are more likely to make a purchase from a site with reviews. Reevoo also suggests that customer reviews produce an average 18 percent increase in sales. You can easily add a reviews plugin to almost any content management system like Wordpress, Magento or Shopify.
Alternatively, you can go where your audience looks for reviews. A simple way to find the right networks to join is to do a Google search for keyword phrases like "Best [profession] in [city]" or "[Professional title] in [city]."
Find the top Google search results that your target audience will read, and ask your customers to leave raving reviews there. To increase the number of reviews, offer your clients something in exchange for their honest feedback.
Alternatively, you can go to popular industry sites to build your social proof. For example, restaurants may want to establish the identity on Yelp.
Testimonials build trust and help buyers overcome scepticism. The key to effective testimonials is to use names and faces from people your buyers know and respect.
How did Brian get Neil to say amazing things about him? He sparked a relationship by co-creating the advanced guide to link building that benefitted the QuickSprout brand.
By using industry influencers as testimonials, you will get an instant boost in trust and establish your expertise.
Chances are, your website is puny compared to mega authority sites like Entrepreneur. It’s nice having your name mentioned, but it’s even better to be able to use their logo as a visual representation of credibility. Not all media channels will be a good fit for your brand. Since I’m in the entrepreneurial and marketing space, I use logos that my audience likely reads. If you’re in the real estate business, then authority sites like Realtor.com and Zillow would work better for you.
The easiest way to get featured on mega media sites is to join a network called HARO (Help a Reporter Out). You will get notifications from journalists seeking expert advice in various industries. If you can provide a valuable pitch on their topic, you may be quoted as a featured source or even have your company profiled. Top journalists get hundreds of pitches, so keep your emails short, sweet and on point.
Start your action plan.
There is no doubt that social proof will add benefits to your conversion goals. But I don’t want you to use this information with a haphazard approach.
If you’re just starting out, it is better to build mammoth authority in one area instead of sowing the seeds everywhere. Think about where your target audience looks for affirmation and build your house there. You can tackle each area of social proof to build your brand’s authority over time.