Case Studies – the value of social proof

Do you look at reviews before you buy a product? Have you ever queued outside a club or restaurant because the long line suggested it must be good? This is social proof at play – and you can use this to your advantage.

There’ll be many reasons your prospects want to buy from you – good product, service or price. But ultimately what convinces them to make the final decision is the reassurance that you are reliable and trustworthy. And there is no better reassurance than a peer-to-peer recommendation.

More effectively than anything else case studies can demonstrate how your product or service can help prospects achieve their goals. Having someone impartial tell their story about your business and how it has helped them, will have so much more influence on a prospect’s decision to buy, than your words alone ever could.

Social Proof is the reason why funny cat videos go viral, why we check out reviews of products before we buy something online, and why we ‘like’ on Facebook, ‘Tweet’ on Twitter and ‘pin’ on Pinterest. Social proof is the reason for the ‘first follower’ – the reason why, once one person does something or follows something, others will follow suit because it feels like a safe choice. We trust other individuals like us and are influenced by them, and we will adapt their behaviour according to what other people are doing.

‘User’ social proof is just one of many different types of social proof (including Expert, Celebrity, User, Wisdom of the Crowd and Wisdom of friends, all of which rely on others to influence us to act). User social proof is particularly beneficial for your business because it is offering positive feedback from actual users of your products.

Case studies have the effect of building trust in your business and authenticity in your brand, adding gravitas and authenticity to the story being told.

Social proof is a potent psychological motivator that businesses can utilise in order to influence potentials. Case studies capture a customer’s experience, where they can leave viewers in no doubt as to the quality of the product or service they are endorsing.

With a case study, you don’t need to blow your own horn; your happy customers will do it for you. How’s that for an endorsement!

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