Why Social Proof, Word of Mouth, and Influencers Are the Future of Digital Marketing Strategy


Future of Digital Marketing: Social Proof, Word of Mouth, and Influencers - Eric Sachs SEO

We get it: it’s hard to admit that your industry is changing.

Despite how cutting-edge we can feel as marketing experts and small business owners, the reality of existing in this space is that once you’ve found one way to make money and develop your business, it can be tough to move onto the next thing.

And yet, change is the order of the day. The digital marketing landscape is shifting under our feet every day, whether we like it or not. The more you’re willing to embrace that, the more effective your marketing efforts can be and the easier they’ll be to implement.

Fortunately for us, the future of digital media marketing strategy seems like it’ll reflect the core principles of effective marketing (but more on that later). What’s important to keep in mind now is that your digital marketing strategy needs to move forward, and there are some tangible steps you can take today to keep up with the times.

So, let’s start from the ground up. If you had no digital marketing strategy in place right now, how would you build one for the future?

Social Proof

The first (and arguably most important) pillar of any digital marketing strategy that intends to survive this new digital media landscape is going to be an emphasis on building social proof. To be fair, social proof itself is far from a new, revolutionary concept. Entire advertising campaigns revolved around building social proof and hoping that translated into sales.

But things have changed. It’s harder than ever to build that social proof, but accurately tracking it has never been easier. Once you break through the barrier to entry when it comes to social proof, you’re likely to enjoy higher consumer engagement and an uptick in sales because of it.

Social proof has a lot more to do with the effectiveness of a digital marketing strategy than people might care to admit, but it’s not difficult to see why. The modern consumer lives and dies by social proof A) because that’s the way the internet was set up and B) because of the chronic lack of trust modern consumers have for businesses that feel to ‘clinical’ and ‘corporate’.

Over the years, the internet has proven to be an interactive hub, which people use to both consume and provide others with information. The internet was made for social media sites, places where the average person could express their opinion and have it be respected solely on its merit as either valuable or worthless. The highly selective, well-educated modern consumer has come to expect more than a catchy jingle that says that your company is the best. Other people need to think it’s the best too, if you want that idea to gain any traction.

Which leads us to our second issue: the lack of humanity in social media and digital marketing strategies overall. If we’re being fair, it’s important to acknowledge that yes, marketing is an aspect of your business and because of that, it needs to be taken seriously.

But being serious about helping your consumers and taking yourself too seriously aren’t the same thing.

The easiest way of developing social proof is by connecting with people and hoping that your positive interaction and overall willingness to engage will convince them that your business is worth their time. All of this is very hard to do when you refuse to appear accessible or approachable on social media, like so many businesses still do today.

So, what exactly can you do to make sure you’re building social proof? Focus on creating positive interactions via engagement. If a customer loved your product/service enough to leave a comment or message, respond to them. It might seem meaningless and appear to have no traceable ROI, but it actually accomplishes a few things.

It ensures that your social media presence is something you’re in control of (something that many small business owners struggle with) when they first get started. Your social media presence should be proactive and constantly on the offensive.

Beyond that, it helps to improve the quality of the environment on your social media sites. Your community, the people who willingly choose to follow you, rely on a healthy environment. That’s what can turn an audience into a community in the first place.

Take the time to engage with your community. Whether it’s a positive comment or a negative one, what’s important is that you’re constantly engaged in some way and that you show a willingness to create a positive experience for them.

Word of Mouth

Some of you who aren’t familiar with these terms may respond to this sub-header by asking what on earth is the difference between social proof and word of mouth?

Well, while social proof is the overall presence of your business as it relates to social media, word of mouth is specifically about one method of sharing: person to person. With actual person to person marketing efforts being so effective, is it any wonder that digital word of mouth efforts have become such an important part of the digital media landscape?

Digital word of mouth is a lot easier to track, but much harder to get. The go-to method for this is the online review, which offers unbiased opinions to other fellow modern consumers. The online review may not be the sexiest aspect of social media marketing, but it’s certainly easy to see why this was the next step in the right direction.


The general consensus on influencers is divided among both marketing experts and small business owners. On one hand, there are the marketers who believe that anything modern and underutilized should be considered as an acceptable part of the marketing strategy. On the other hand we have the traditionalists, who seem convinced that this fad will fade.

The reality, of course, lies somewhere in the middle. Businesses shouldn’t rely exclusively on micro-celebrities for buzz. But they also can’t afford to miss out on the benefits of having a reliable advocate, championing your brand. If you’ve never worked with any influencers, there are a variety of sites you can visit to start chatting with a microcelebrity quickly and easily.

What’s important to understand about all of this is that these three principles make up fundamentals of an effective digital marketing strategy today. Whether you agree with the direction the industry is headed in doesn’t matter at this point. The only question left is: how much money are you willing to lose due to stubbornness?

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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