Saturday, 23 August 2014

User-Generated Content: The Newest Social Proof In Software

While professional advertising and personal selling will always have their place in your marketing mix, there’s a new major contender in the ring of marketing solutions. When it comes to your software sales process, it’s an element you can’t ignore: the social proof of user-generated content.

User Generated Content: The Newest Social Proof In Software Sales image 177577770 e1407171076291

While we covered more general social proof for software sales in an earlier blog, the specific power of user-generated content to drive lead generation and help close sales is too great to ignore. Here are just a few points to keep in mind when it comes to harnessing user-generated content for your software sales process:

The Most Trusted Form Of Media

Because user-generated content isn’t produced by an advertising agency or marketing company, consumers are more likely to trust the message behind the media. User-generated content comes across more like a peer-to-peer conversation than an advertisement, so a consumer’s mental defenses are lowered when considering the benefits of your software product or service.

Consider the example of GoPro cameras: By harnessing the content generated by users of their video cameras, they’ve created the ultimate form of social proof. In this case, GoPro spent minimal time and budget on advertising and instead let the user-generated content from their cameras – the videos – spread the word for them.

Related Resources from B2C

When it comes to software sales, brainstorm how your company might do the same with user reviews, integrated social media functions, user-built templates or user-generated demos.

Peers Before Professionals

User-generated content also thrives because most consumers (including B2B consumers) would rather hear about a new product or service from a peer or colleague than from a distant, unrelated professional.

This is why your sales team should always ask your customers for business referrals after you’ve closed a deal and implemented your new software. Referred prospects close at a much higher rate than prospects generated from a completely cold call, because a business referral is a brief form of user-generated content. Referrals and reviews of your company work as social proof that your business is trustworthy and dependable.

Social Proof And Social Media

User-generated content without the means or methods to appropriately share it is useless. That’s why your software sales team needs to harness the power of social media to deliver user-generated content to the right prospects and at the right time.

In addition, not only does social media give your team the means to get user-generated content in front of your leads and prospects, but social media platforms also allow those same prospects and customers to share it with their own networks that are completely beyond your initial reach.

The Proof Is In The Conversions

User-generated content isn’t just about buzz or getting your name “out there”; rather, this form of social proof also generates results. According to a study by BazaarVoice, consumers are twice as likely to purchase a product or service after they’ve read at least one positive review.

This is why you should utilize user-generated content throughout the software sales process: from initial lead generation via social media to closing a sale with a critical user-generated demo or case study. Not only do you help relieve the fears and pains of your prospects, but you also help close the deal.

While every form of social proof is important to use in the software sales process, your sales team should no longer ignore the power of user-generated content. With the right approach and strategy, your user-generated content could be selling your business software for you.

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