Natalie Robinson, the founder of Mum’s Garage, explains the benefits of using content to create social proof and drive brand adoption.
At Mum’s Garage, we work with early-stage companies, to help turn an idea into a revenue-generating business. One of the challenges with starting a business is that you’re new and unknown. You’re also trying to get your customers to change their behaviour by buying your product or service.
People don’t like the unknown, they tend to not like change, and they don’t like the thought of wasting money on something that doesn’t give them the value they’re looking for. So when you’re new to the market the odds are stacked against you.
You need to quickly become good at influencing people, to change their perception of your product or service so it becomes trusted and popular. Playing to the phenomenon of social proof will help you build a trusted brand faster, and sharing content through publishers who are already trusted by their readers is one good way to do this.
What is social proof?
“Social proof, sometimes called herd instinct, dictates that individuals feel they are behaving correctly when they act the same as other people. In other words, the more people who follow a certain idea, the better (truer) we deem the idea to be. And the more people who display a certain behaviour the more appropriate this behaviour is judged to be by others.” – Rolf Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly.
It’s why when you share a piece of content and one or two people comment, more will start to follow suit, why it’s easier to grow your followers once you already have a decent number and why testimonials and case studies work so well as a marketing and sales tool.
How content can help with social proof
Publishing content through existing platforms helps to create social proof for your product or service. Trust has already been built with the viewers or readers of the publication, which is then associated with your brand when the publisher shares your content.
A good analogy could be comparing meeting someone new who has no common connections, with being introduced to someone by a mutual friend. It’s likely that you’ll be more receptive to the person with a mutual friend in common. If your friend thinks they’re ok, you assume you should too.
This is not necessarily a rational approach, but it is a phenomenon that has a significant influence on humans, and their adoption of new products and services.
Use this to your advantage by leveraging the social validation of publishers who have an audience of your target market. But also keep in mind that publishers value this trust, and will likely only publish content that they know their audience will also value. So make sure you are creating content that publishers can get on board with.
Contento makes this process easy, which is why we love the product. It’s removing some of the distribution barriers for companies, especially those without PR budgets, making it easier for brands to reach the right people, in a meaningful way.