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3 Powerful Ways To Jam-Pack Proof In Your Copywriting (To Drive More Credibility And Trust)

Your offer is the best of its kind. It’s everything you ever wanted to bring to the market.

That’s a good start, but is it something your audience wants? Does it fit their needs?

First, imagine you’re selling freeze-dried banana chips. Your audience should love them.

What about keto dieters who have to limit their carbs? Do you need to spend time convincing them to take you up on your offer?

The short answer is yes. That’s why you have to pick your audience.

  • You can please some of the people all the time.
  • You can please all the people some of the time.
  • You can't please all the people all the time.

Don’t try to appeal to a broad market. Focus on one group that would be more likely to buy it in the first place.

First, you need to determine who this audience is. That always involves market research like surveys and focus groups.

There are other, less expensive ways to do it such as keyword searches on sites like Google Trends. You can also do social media eavesdropping where you pick a hashtag and seek it out. 

You know what they want now, but how do you reach your audience? It’s not enough to say that your banana chips are the best. Show how.

Tell stories, give examples, and provide evidence. Give statistics or other scientific information. Explain how delicious they are with peanut butter. 

Make your audience picture themselves using your product and enjoying it.

Tell them about a teenager whose snack cake consumption is ruining their skin. Explain how much better they look and feel without the acne. Tell them how much more attractive and popular they are when their face clears up.

Without fail, some of your audience will have doubts. Address their concerns and anything they might not understand. Consider their backgrounds and shared experiences.

Where do you expect the most resistance? How do you combat their skepticism? 

This is where good market research comes into play. Social media eavesdropping helps a lot, too. Once you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you’ll know how to measure it.

Gain their trust, prove that your product has these features. Convince them these features will have benefits. Establish yourself as a legitimate source.

People make their decisions based on emotions, with their “gut instincts.” Later, they try to justify those decisions with logical facts. It’s your job to assure them that their gut is steering them in the right direction.

Many people believe, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Fight this feeling.

Understand their beliefs, and come up with a premise to match. That’s the importance of providing proof in your copywriting.

 

Types Of Proof In Copywriting

3 Powerful Ways To Jam-Pack Proof In Your Copywriting (To Drive More Credibility And Trust)

Imagine you’re a lawyer and you need to convince your audience, the jury, of your client’s innocence. You’d need to present evidence, or proof, wouldn’t you? There are so many ways to provide proof that you might not be sure where to start.

The PESO model will categorize some of these methods:

  • Paid 
  • Earned
  • Shared
  • Owned

 

Paid

What’s the first thing you think of when you think of marketing? Paid advertisements. These can come in the form of commercials, banner ads, pop-ups, or paid search results on Google. Advertisements on many sites like Facebook read cookies and remind users of products they already own.

  • Commercials — They’ve always needed to capture people’s attention, that's never been more true than it is right now. While in the past consumers would have to watch advertisements, now there are ways to skip them. For instance, users of Hulu can pay a little extra for a commercial-free experience.

People use AdBlocker to get rid of advertisements like banner ads and pop-ups. Speaking of pop-ups, try not to use them.

Consumers find them irritating and often close them without reading a single word. If you’re determined to have pop-up ads, use discretion and don't overdo it.

  • Celebrity endorsements — These are a great way to get your audience’s attention, many people admire celebrities and accept them as authorities on any subject. That goes for anything, from banana-infused tonic water to banana flour for gluten-free pancakes. Celebrities might endorse you, but you often have to seek them out and offer compensation.
  • Sponsored content — This blends in with regular content so that it appears to be “seamless.” Viewers might not even notice that it’s an advertisement at first. Native advertisements provide informative content beyond an explicit ad, but there are drawbacks. 

Sometimes viewers feel “tricked” into accepting the article as an organic endorsement. That could lead to them losing faith in your company. You need to provide valuable and informative content.

One of the more blatant forms of native advertising is beauty articles in women’s magazines. Imagine a headline like, “15 Makeup Items You Can’t Live Without.” It appears to be a regular article, but it’s only a list of things they want you to buy with a little blurb of information.

Other magazines achieve this with success. “Architectural Digest” has beautiful photos of decorated living rooms. The magazine includes line-by-line footnotes telling you where to get each item and how much it costs.

Boosted content includes paid advertisements shown near the top of social media feeds. It introduces already-popular content and presents it to a new, cold audience.

  • Email — One of the most effective mediums of advertising. Once someone has agreed to be on your list, you can send them content on a regular basis. Even when they don’t buy anything, they are still reminded of your company when they log in and check their email. This will lead to sales at some point. But don’t bombard them with too many — it’ll put people off and make them hit the unsubscribe link.
  • Contests and quizzes — These both do a great job of engaging the reader. “Naming contests'' for new flavors or products engage the viewer in the creation of your media. In the 90s, M&Ms retired their tan M&M and held a contest to determine the replacement color. Consumers could choose from blue, purple, and pink. It created a lot of publicity and encouraged people to buy more M&Ms.

You might also remember the Monopoly Game at McDonald’s. People buy their food, and the containers for their fries or drink have a small ticket attached. They can redeem them for free items or they can collect all the tickets to find out if they won the grand prize. 

Paid content is easier to control, and you can shape it in whatever way you want. Remember, audiences can become jaded if it’s too obvious that you bought the proof. You need a genuine, organic reason to convince them to buy your product.

Earned

Media relations involve reviews and articles that media companies publish.  For example, a restaurant’s positive review builds credibility as it’s earned on merit.

There are other kinds of “free” publicity whenever your company becomes part of the news. Sometimes this happens as a matter of chance, or other times they might need a little push. Celebrity romances draw lots of attention to whatever movie they’re making together. Is it a real relationship, or is it a rumor created by the studio? Who knows, but you have their attention.

  • Link building — This results from providing content that encourages websites to link to yours. You earn this kind of endorsement by publishing content that enhances other sites. You can also make a deal to link to each other’s sites. Keep in mind, you still have to impress them before they’re willing to reference your content on their page.
  • Bloggers — They’re more influential than you might think. They might mention their favorite banana-flavored tonic water or banana-themed wallpaper. It's because they love these products, not because you’ve paid them. Bloggers can be as influential as traditional media in today's market. The reason is that most younger audiences don't consume traditional media.
  • Word of mouth —  One of the most effective kinds of endorsement you can earn. People tell their friends and family how great you are, how your product works, and how it’s benefitted them. They create the proof for you without any direct compensation.
  • Experts — They’re also useful in swaying consumer opinion. Expert endorsements are like celebrity endorsements, only more authentic. People trust PhDs and medical doctors to be authorities on their subject of study. Sometimes people will take their word for it, even if it’s not the professional's specialty. A dermatologist may not have much direct knowledge about cooking. That doesn't mean they can't tell you that banana bread lowers cholesterol or smooths skin.

The best part about earned proof is that consumers find it to be the most trustworthy. It’s not an advertisement that you paid to have boosted to the top of their Facebook feed. It’s a review in a magazine, blog, or even a scientific article that someone else wrote on their own accord. At least, it appears to be.

The truth is that you have little to no creative control over the content other sources provide. Some say that there's no such thing as bad publicity. They think anything that increases the audience’s awareness leads to more sales. That couldn't be further from the truth. Some publicity is so bad that it turns off people that were already enjoying your product. This could work if you’re pivoting to a new demographic but proceed with caution. 

 

Shared

  • User-generated content — Social media is an excellent forum for shared content. Fans write about the subject for the love of it and share the information on their feeds. Imagine someone sharing a story about their Mom’s banana bread recipe when they were growing up. They’re sharing a childhood memory, but their content boosts your company, too.
  • Recommendations from friends — Social media shows whose friends recommended or followed your product. They see their friends enjoying it and they’ll believe their friends over anything you say. Reviews on company pages also provide the proof customers need. Then they'll remember you and visit your page the next time the right situation arises.
  • Social media posts — Any time a user mentions your company in a post or a tweet, they create content that could prove your claims. Whether it’s an entertaining article or a funny meme, anything can raise brand awareness.

Be careful with paid “trending topic” campaigns. Some users will resent the artificial hashtag and turn it into something undesirable. Make sure to review all social media campaigns before you launch them. Don’t leave campaigns in an intern’s hands without making sure higher-ups have approved.

 

Owned

  • Visual Evidence — You might own a plethora of material about your product. Pictures of the products in action. Happy people getting the benefits you promised. You can use the information you already have to produce demonstration videos. Even webinars can help keep customers engaged with your company.

One point of contention to remember is that you may not want to use stock photos that are too obvious. Rather than buying from another site, take the time to produce quality images. That'll foster a sense of trust and personality.

  • Facts, figures, and statistics — This is where in-house research comes into play. Any strong numbers that can back up your claims are useful here. One trick is to be sure not to round up a percentage. “87.53% of banana farmers agree,” sounds more effective than “90%.” Even though “90% is a higher number, it’s also a rounded number, which sounds like a guess.
  • Product descriptions — This one’s easy to overlook. Sales sites like Amazon have ample space to explain your product specifications. It’s like having advertising space without paying for it. The more you can show how your product is fun or useful, the more likely you are to promote credibility.
  • Diagrams and graphs — Plenty of programs, like Excel, make it easy to present your statistics in a clear format. Readers can comprehend a whole page of facts and figures in an instant with a good graph.
  • Audio and podcasts — Another kind of entertainment media that’ll grab your audience’s attention. Regular podcasts and other audio content keep your audience engaged and informed.
  • Books and pamphlets — Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? Ever wonder how it came to have that name? Before search engines, people used to argue in bars about the "most" things that ever existed. You know: fastest, strongest, or biggest. Fights would break out because people didn’t have any way of settling the argument. 

Then, Guinness, a brewery, created a compilation of records through its own research. Every bar could now have a copy to show who was right and who was wrong. This convenient guide also reminded them of their brand of beer.

Owned content can be expensive and time-intensive to produce. Evergreen content continues to garner interest for years, but some gets replaced. The Guinness Book of World Records still exists, but it’s not as vital now that we can solve bar fights with Google. Now Guinness publishes a website.

Here are some ways to skyrocket your conversions using social proof.

 

Use Psychology To Provide Proof With Copywriting

3 Powerful Ways To Jam-Pack Proof In Your Copywriting (To Drive More Credibility And Trust)

Copywriters use psychology in their writing without even realizing it. To be more effective, look into some psychology books and courses. Many of them have information you can apply to the advertising sphere. 

  • Fear of missing out (FOMO) — Social media bombards us with information about our friends and family every day. Every trend and activity gets amplified. Then, people want to try whatever the flavor of the moment is and share their experiences.

Good copywriting employs the “Bandwagon” argument to make people want to be part of the group. Look, cousin Bobby is using it — it must be terrific. “Wisdom of the crowd” and “wisdom of their friends” play a part in the bandwagon technique.

  • Create a sense of urgency — Make them feel that they might not get another chance if they don’t buy it now. Fast food restaurants create new, limited offerings that people try because they’re exclusive.

Some sites show the quantity of a product in stock so people feel like they're getting the last one or might miss out. Others have countdown timers at the top of the page — only 6 hours, 30 minutes, and 15 seconds left for the mega sale!

  • Testimonials — These stories show how others had a problem, how your offer solved it, and the benefits you provided. This doesn’t have to stop with customers. You can also use testimonials from satisfied employees.
    1. Case studies — need be relevant, comparable
    2. Customer base — other companies you work with to improve credibility by association

  • Be specific
    1. Names, positions, titles
    2. Institutions, divisions, companies
    3. Publications, media outlets

“No soup for you,” (referencing a famous Seinfeld episode) uses reverse psychology to make people want your product. Think about a statement like, “This banana candy isn't for you if you can’t handle a flavor explosion.” Any concept that makes something sound sought after can work in the same way. Waiting lists at country clubs are famous for this. Exclusive content makes your audience want to qualify for this unique product.

Learn how to write B2B case studies that convert here.

 

More Techniques To Provide Proof With Copywriting

3 Powerful Ways To Jam-Pack Proof In Your Copywriting (To Drive More Credibility And Trust)

Guarantees — The consumer is right there with you, ready to take action. The thing is, they don’t want to feel like a fool. They need some reassurance that they aren’t going to waste their money and time. The solution to this aversion to risk is implementing a risk reversal — such as a money-back guarantee. 

You can also offer limited-time warranties so they won’t worry about losing out if the item breaks. Sometimes it’s a matter of replacing one broken item with a new one, instead of going as far as a refund.

Niche expertise — People are more likely to buy something if they feel like it’s catered to their interests. Even if the product isn’t any different, specializing it can give it a sales boost.

Consider the advent of “Secret” brand gendered deodorants. “Strong enough for a man, but pH balanced for a woman.” The only difference is the scent of the perfume. Once you’ve sold people on the idea, you’ve got a new hook.

Before and after — Show the benefits of your product in the most concrete manner possible. Show a “before” picture followed by an “after” picture. This strategy is common with weight-loss ads. That doesn't mean the ad couldn't show a happier family or any reality your offer promises.

Five-year-old technique — Ask why? Over and over. Get out a sheet of paper or open a new file in your word processor. It’s more effective on paper, but you can do it the modern way, too. Make a pitch. Ask “Why?” and answer with “Because…” until you’ve run out of space. 

Why should I buy banana-scented deodorant? Because it’s all-natural. Why is it all-natural? Because it’s made from 100% organic bananas and baking soda. Why does it matter if the bananas are organic? Because bananas that are pesticide-free won’t introduce toxins into the bloodstream. You see how this can go on for a while.

Know the strategies for building credibility and trust with your customers here.

 

Prove Your Offer With Your Copywriting

3 Powerful Ways To Jam-Pack Proof In Your Copywriting (To Drive More Credibility And Trust)

The end goal of copywriting is to compel readers to take action. People won’t take action without considerable proof that your offer is what you claim. The good news is that there are hundreds of ways to provide evidence with copywriting. What you just read is only the tip of the iceberg.

One popular model for considering proof is the PESO method. Paid advertisements, earned accolades, shared media, and owned content that you created yourself. These categories overlap, so don’t limit yourself when you’re considering them. Think of it as a simple way to organize your thoughts.

A good Psychology 101 course also helps with copywriting. If you don’t have time for that, there are plenty of ways to influence your audience into doing what you want. Some of the tried and true advertising techniques even go back a century. The context may be different, but the psychology behind it is the same.

Try a few methods and see what works for you and your business. Mix and match to your heart’s content. You’ll never know what works best until you start experimenting.

Want higher conversions on your landing pages, sales letters, emails, or ads? It might be time for you to work with an expert copywriter. I’ve driven tens of millions of dollars in revenue for hundreds of clients over the past 10 years — including some of the largest B2B companies and digital brands in America.

Using my words, I’ll tap into your prospects’ deepest desires, deploy my menagerie of psychological sales triggers, and prime them for the sale. The result? More wins for your business and more revenue and profits in your pocket. Sound interesting to you? Click HERE to learn more about my copywriting work and see if we’re a good match.

About Daniel Doan

Daniel is a conversion copywriter known for helping some of the largest B2B companies and digital brands in America convert more traffic into sales.

When he's not writing about himself in the third person on his website, he's focused on partnering with growing companies to squeeze the juice out of every marketing dollar.

Because when companies bridge the gap between what they want to say and what their customers will read...

Clicks, conversions, and sales, will go absolutely bananas.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DANIEL

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100+ Potassium Powered Copywriting Guides

About Daniel Doan

Daniel is a direct-response copywriter with over a decade of expertise writing words that bridge the gap between what your business want to say and what your customers want to read.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DANIEL'S HIGH-CONVERTING POTASSIUM POWER

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