If you are like many B2B business owners and managers, you will have put some considerable thought into how to get people to visit your website. But once the visitors have arrived on your website, what are the key elements that will help convince them that you are the right company to do business with?
Social proof is a key element that will give website visitors confidence in your business.
Social proof is the ‘virtual queue out of the door’ that shows people that not only do you supply the product or solution that they want, but you are good at it. And that’s why other people are choosing to use you.
You might think twice about eating in an empty restaurant when there is a buzzing eatery a few doors up.
You need your site to emulate the buzzing eatery and not the empty restaurant.
You want to be the restaurant that makes people confident that they have come to the best place in town when they walk through the door.
Websites are no different.
How to demonstrate social proof on your B2B website
This is one of the oldest and well used tricks in the book. And for good reason.
Prospects will trust what other customers have to say more than they will trust what you say.
Testimonials need to be genuine and ideally use a photo of the happy customer. It will further increase trust.
Try and make sure any testimonials represent your typical customer. The more the prospect can relate to that person, the better.
Don’t use a testimonial that features a pensioner from Florida when most of your customers are middle managers based in south east England for example.
2. Case studies
Case studies are great if you have a slightly more complicated product or service.
Not only do they act as a form of endorsement, but they also give you a chance to demonstrate practical examples of how your product or service can help.
Again you should take care to create case studies that focus on the client segment that represents the greatest opportunity to your business, so that the prospect feels it’s directly relevant to them.
3. Ratings and reviews
The good thing about ratings and reviews is they are more independent and therefore considered more trustworthy than reviews that are shown directly on your website.
The downside is you have no control of what they say publicly. This can serve as a very strong motivator to ensure you are addressing issues and building a first class business.
There are plenty of places where customers can leave ratings and reviews such as Google, Facebook, Trustpilot, Feefo, reviews.io.
You should decide which will be most important for your business and encourage happy customers to leave you reviews there.
Some review platforms require a subscription. If you are just starting out, Google reviews is probably the best place to start.
4. Usage statistics
Unless you are en established player or a big brand, there is a fairly high probability that prospects on your website have never heard of you and will be visiting for the first time.
Usage statistics can help prospects understand that you are not a small bucket shop business but a serious and trustworthy player. If for example you have served over 10,000 customers or stock over 500,000 items in your warehouse you should say this. It tells the prospect that you are a serious player and can be trusted.
5. Live usage stats
If you have ever booked a hotel on a website like booking.com, you may be used to seeing messages like:
“This hotel was last booked 8 minutes ago” or “there is only 1 room remaining”
These are great examples of social proof using live data. Other examples that could work for you are:
“Sarah from Lincoln just placed an order” or “Pete from Birmingham just signed up for the newsletter”.
Also on job boards you see this quite frequently:
“We have over 8,000 candidates registered in London”.
These can really help prospects coming to your website get a sense that they are in a ‘busy restaurant’ rather than an empty one.
There are tools like www.fomo.com that can help you display live usage stats on your website.
Every business is different so some of these suggestions may be more relevant than others, but they should as a framework to help you think about what could work for your business.