13 April 2021

Social Proof Psychology: How to Use It in Your SaaS Marketing

Have you ever been in an unfamiliar situation and looked for cues from people around you to help decide on your next move? This is a common tendency wired into all of us by evolution, and this behavior underlies the concept of social proof psychology.

As a B2B SaaS marketer, you’re likely well aware of the power word that mouth marketing still holds today, despite the fact that the way we communicate has changed drastically over the years. 

Leveraging social proof psychology in your content marketing efforts is a smart move, because your prospects are more likely to trust the opinions of your customers than your company’s marketing messages. 

In this post, we’ll dig deeper into why using social proof in marketing is key to your SaaS content success, and we’ll also give you 5 concrete examples of how to use social proof effectively.

What is social proof psychology and why is it so powerful?

Marketers can thank psychologist Robert Cialdini for developing the social proof theory. Here’s how it plays out:

“A person who doesn’t know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is will look to other people to imitate what they’re doing and to provide guidance for [their own] actions. In other words, social proof is one way for us to discern what’s correct through reference to what other people think is correct,” according to Psychology Notes HQ.

Think back to SaaS marketing conferences you’ve attended, whether in-person or virtual. The speakers were likely experts in their fields. Or, consider high ticket products you’ve purchased. When parting with your hard earned dollars, you probably researched product reviews before you decided to make the purchase. These are examples of social proof psychology in action.

Using social proof psychology to position your B2B SaaS products or services as the premier choice for your market is an effective strategy that you can execute with a variety of content types. More than 90% of buyers read product reviews before they commit to a purchase, which means it’s worth your time to gather and publish this kind of social proof, among others.

How to use social proof psychology in your SaaS content

Let’s explore 5 social proof marketing examples you can use to kick your B2B SaaS content up a notch.

1. Customer logos and user counts

Showcasing your customers’ logos on your website and in other marketing materials is a solid way to illustrate the breadth and caliber of organizations that have put their trust in your SaaS company. You can also promote the size of your user base in your marketing to tap into social proof psychology, like this example from graphic design software company Canva, which combines both a user count and customer testimonials.

Source: SproutSocial

2. Product or service reviews

It’s important to have a presence on the sites where your customers are searching for vendor information, so all SaaS companies should aim to get stellar reviews on the industry site G2 Crowd. But don’t stop there—make sure you respond to every review you receive, because nearly 90% of buyers read companies’ responses.

Source: G2 

3. Case studies

Creating B2B SaaS case studies is an excellent way to incorporate social proof psychology into your content marketing. These original stories illustrate the challenges and goals of real, relatable people—your customers. Case studies go beyond product reviews and give your prospects thorough insight into what it’s like to work with your company, like this example from the DevOps platform GitLab, which packs a punch right from the start with its executive summary section.

Source: GitLab

4. Testimonials

Testimonials give your audience what they’re looking for, which is confirmation from other B2B buyers—in their own words—that your products and services are the real deal. The best testimonials involve your customer telling the world that they enjoyed working with you, the results were dramatic and they recommend your services to others. You can use these nuggets of gold on your sales pages, case studies and post-purchase marketing materials like onboarding emails and guides.

Source: BambooHR

5. Referrals

Referral programs are sometimes overlooked as a social proof psychology tactic, because they take a bit more time and effort to formalize than the previous examples. However, 78% of B2B marketers report generating “good or excellent” quality leads from referral programs, and 60% say they’ve gotten a large volume of leads from referrals. For example, Dropbox’s referral program helped the company grow by 3,900% in 15 months.

Source: Dropbox

Create compelling case studies with social proof

You now know why you should incorporate social proof psychology into SaaS content marketing tools like case studies. If you want to elevate your SaaS case studies even further, download Uplift Content’s case study checklist to ensure your content has what it takes to convert prospects into customers.

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Emily Amos

As the founder of Uplift Content, Emily leads her team in creating done-for-you case studies, ebooks and blog posts for high-growth SaaS companies like ClickUp, Calendly and WalkMe. Connect with Emily on Linkedin

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