Every content firm seems to talk about “social proof” – but what is it exactly, and how does it use content to achieve its purposes? That’s what this article is all about.
Social proof is simply the idea that individuals are more likely to trust something if others have trusted it already. In the case of a product on Amazon, for instance, you’re psychologically wired so that you’re more likely to make a purchase if others have already clearly reviewed and bought it.
In financial services, social proof similarly works by encouraging prospects, clients and business partners to engage with your firm in a meaningful way – due to previous client success stories, product/service reviews and similar content features.
These might feature on your website, newsletter and other marketing materials.
Ways to Build Social Proof in Financial Services
We can easily see how social proof works with regards to an online store like Amazon. Yet with financial services, it often works in a more subtle (and perhaps, therefore, a more powerful) way.
Take logos as an example. Featuring the logos of firms that you work (or partner) with as a financial firm can be a powerful display of social proof. If you regularly help certain, recognisable charities with their investment and pension strategies, for instance, then showing their logos on your website or brochure can be a great way to show your credentials.
In this case, not only would you be showing that your advice and services are trusted by established organisations – you would also be creating a helpful positioning for your brand (i.e. you specialise in financial solutions for the charity sector).
Fund performance charts are also unique ways for investment firms to show social proof. By demonstrating to your audience, in graphical form, how people have continued to invest with you and that these investments have steadily gone up over time, this encourages current clients to stay invested. It also encourages prospects to get on board.
Yet there are other great ways to build credibility and social proof too, using content…
Of course, a great way to build social proof is to film your clients and record their positive comments and experiences of your business. Another approach is to embed a recording of a well-attended webinar on your website or blog (to show that people came to hear what you had to say).
The possibilities don’t stop there, however. Here at Clients+, for instance, our content library offers a range of great animated videos on a wide range of financial topics (e.g. pensions and investments). These are powerful resources for reinforcing the social proof of your brand, showing that your business is leveraging modern technology and digital communication tools used by the audiences.
Downloadable Guides & Factsheets
Another powerful way to impress clients and prospects of financial firms is to demonstrate that you have your ear “close to the ground” regarding changes in your industry, the markets and similar financial matters which affect their lives.
This calls for regular, short and “punchy” content resources which can summarise these kinds of developments in a clear, accessible and engaging way. There are many ways to do this, but one great approach is to make use of downloadable guides and factsheets (like the ones we offer here at Clients+).
A weekly or monthly market update can be a great way to engage and update a group of investors in your network, for instance. For financial planners and advisers it could be a regular “financial planning update” which could be incorporated into a newsletter, blog or social media presence.
Social Media Content
By the very nature of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, social proof is built into the algorithms. Certain posts and news items make the way to the tops of users’ feeds because they are more “popular” than the millions of others out there.
Sometimes, this even results in a “viral” post or video which is seen millions of times.
To even begin tapping into this type of social proof opportunity, financial firms need great content to push out on the right platforms, to the right audience and in the right way.
Here, this is where our pre-made social media content at Clients+ can come in tremendously useful. Whilst we cannot guarantee that any of these will go “viral” if you post them (they almost certainly will not), they are a great way to engage your social media audiences and build social proof on the platforms.
A Regular Newsletter
Financial firms don’t often realise it, but a newsletter to you clients is an amazing way to build social proof. Think about it – if you didn’t have a significant number of people to email your newsletter to, then it wouldn’t really be a newsletter. It’d be an individual email!
Calling it a newsletter, in other words, helps each recipient feel like they are part of a wide community of people who share a common experience with your brand – and who trust it. They are not the only ones who have “bought” you.
A good newsletter, however, needs excellent content to make it worth opening and reading. Again, here a solution offered by Clients+ can be ideal. Simply log into your account and download the latest newsletter you need for your clients, along with the content you need to populate it. From there, tailor your recipient list, subject line and time of seeing to get the best results.