In Part 1 of the three part series on the Psychology of Social Product Launches we discussed the first key element: Social Proof. In this post, let’s examine the next key element: Proof.
Proof consists of evidence that can be used to demonstrate the truth about something. This evidence convinces someone about what is true and what is not. In marketing, we see many forms of evidence used to assert proof that what we say is true.
Since buyers realize we are selling something, their default assumption is that we could be stretching the truth or even lying to make the sale. And since online buyers are often not dealing directly with another human being they can already know or feel they can trust, there is an inherent lack of trust at first.
This trust gap must be bridged in order to attract buyers and make more sales. This is where Proof comes in.
Coming up with an effective plan for providing proof is critically important, especially when launching anything new or selling to someone new (who hasn’t bought from you before).
It’s even more important if you are a new company without established brand recognition. One of the reasons established brands enjoy so many advantages is that consumer already know and trust the brand. The buyer may, therefore, be willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the seller.
There are many forms of evidence that you are telling the truth and are trustworthy that people may accept, including:
- Independent reviews by someone the buyer knows and trusts; e.g., bloggers, testing labs, magazines, consumer agencies, etc.
- Free trials that enable a buyer to try the product themselves before buying
- Interviews with experts who have first-hand experience with what’s being launched
- Videos and demonstrations showing actual results
- Testimonials and interviews with real people who are already getting the intended results (not paid promos)
- Specific numbers, data, charts or statistics from a respected 3rd party
- Credentials that certify your qualifications; e.g., PhD, CCIT, Certified Platinum Reseller, etc.
- Endorsements by celebrities, recognized experts and authorities.
There is no substitute for providing proof that what you say is true. Social proof complements and amplifies actual proof, but is not a substitute for real proof.
Unfortunately, it is tempting to just assume that people will trust what you are saying is true, but the reality is, people are trained not to trust strangers. And whether we like it or not, when we first meet someone (or their website), they are considered a stranger – unless someone we know and already trust has referred us.
Don’t assume people will trust you or what you have to say. Instead, have a deliberate Proof Plan that provides sufficient evidence so that newcomers will be convinced you and your site are indeed trustworthy.
We provide our clients with a number of services that help build trust, develop a relationship between buyer and seller and generate improved sales results both during and after launches. Learn more about these solutions.