Social Proof is a Powerful Decision-Making Factor

We’ve talked about why video is the best medium for your testimonial, but if you’re not convinced that testimonials are a good marketing tool, you probably aren’t going to take the time to make a video for yours.

Here’s some evidence that could change your mind.

Social proof is one of the six factors identified in Robert Cialdini’s 1984 classic Influence: Science and Practice. This is a cornerstone book of the marketing field, and its advice is behind the most powerful marketing and advertising campaigns of all time.

Numerous studies reinforce the power of social proof. Customer reviews have been shown to be very trustworthy—sometimes even as trustworthy as personal recommendations. User reviews, ratings, comments, social media posts, and other forms of consumer-generated content are powerful tools.

Testimonials fall into a slightly different category, because your brand is involved in the creation of the video. But the same principles apply. To maximize the social proof value of your video testimonial, you’ll want the subject of the video to be a representative of your general customer base.

For example, if you sell a product primarily to banks, you’ll want a banker in your testimonial. Having the owner of an insurance company discuss the benefits of your product won’t tap into social proof to the same degree (though diversifying your testimonials is a good way to appeal to more people).

No matter how rational we think we are, social proof is always a powerful force.

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