If you’re looking for creative blog ideas, consider using well-written testimonials.
When I’m looking to make a big purchase, I want to know how others who’ve made similar purchases feel about their decisions. Think about how often you lean on your peers’ advice when it comes to making choices. Brides want to read customer testimonials before booking a wedding venue. Pregnant women want to know friends’ experiences before choosing which hospital they will deliver in. Landlords want recommendations from previous property managers before allowing new tenants to sign a lease.
Before choosing which graduate school I’d attend, I was fortunate to speak with students at each school who shared their honest opinions on what they loved, and didn’t so much love, about their programs. The best part was that these student views were offered to me by the programs I was considering. The schools trusted their reputation enough that they allowed their current students to speak for them.
Everyone is looking for creative blog ideas to make their company shine. If you’re using your blog as a way to turn readers into customers, consider incorporating testimonials – from your customers and your employees – into your editorial calendar.
What makes a great testimonial?
It’s easy to think that a great testimonial is one that sings the praises of your product or company, but the information shared is just as important as the enthusiasm behind it. For example, which customer quote do you think holds more weight?
“This product is awesome! It has changed my life for the better. Great value for the price!”
“At first I was worried about the cost of your product, but I’m now able to streamline my process. Not only does it take less time for me to manage and complete, the system keeps me better organized. I can now pay more attention to other aspects of my business and worry about this less! The cost was absolutely worth it. I would have paid more knowing what I now know.”
I’m guessing you chose the second option.
Well, the second choice is more detailed, confronts the original fear, and notes how the product exceeded expectations. A great testimonial actually speaks to your product. In fact, testimonials should help your prospective clients overcome their individual fears, by learning how others have succeeded with your product or services.
How do you turn testimonials into creative blog ideas?
If you want to impress your readers, do more than copying and pasting a customer testimonial into your blog post. As with all storytelling marketing, a story should develop. Consider using various forms of media and add creativity to these posts.
If you find a customer who’s a pro at using your product, ask them if you can share a video of them in action. Prospective clients will be able to see your product at work, and respect that the video is coming from a client – not your sales department or paid actor. This type of post will teach your readers something, while enticing them to purchase for themselves.
Are your customers using your product in a way you never thought of? Interview them. If you’re sharing ideas on how to use your products in unique ways, consumers are more likely to buy. We wrote recently about how Mixer Direct did exactly that – they showed potential customers how existing customers are using their mixers.
But don’t just stop there. If you’re looking for creative blog ideas, consider featuring your employees, as well. People want to see behind-the-scenes. If you can share employee triumphs and even concerns, they’ll feel more connected with your organization. There are many ways to include your employees on your blog. Have them guest post for you. Interview them at various stages of their careers. Post pictures of them at work, and ask them to write descriptions for each picture. Just get them involved!
Looking for testimonials?
Consider searching YouTube, which is filled with video unveilings of products, how-tos, and general reviews from customers you may not even know exist. Video testimonials may also show your product being used in ways other than intended, and this may be a selling point for some future buyers. For the paper industry, Erin Condren planners are widely discussed on YouTube.
Her product has lots of videos, from the “reveal” of the planner once received in the mail, to comparisons of her planner to competitors, to a year-in-review video detailing how that specific customer personalized the planner to suit her lifestyle. If you’re still searching for creative blog ideas, embed some of your favorite videos into a blog post, and shout out the creator on social media!
I’d also suggest taking a more direct approach to testimonials. Seek them out yourself. Here are a few examples of companies that are doing a great job of sharing customer and employee testimonials on their company blogs:
Mojotech’s employees regularly guest post on the company blog. One particular post stood out to me, from a new employee who wrote about the company’s hiring process from their own perspective. Not only does the post give prospective employees a glimpse into company practices, but it also speaks a lot for company culture, which may comfort current and future clients.
Zappos follows suit, but actually dedicates an entire blog to the Zappos family. Mostly featuring employees, this blog allows readers to learn about all of the people who make Zappos run smoothly – quite an accomplishment in and of itself this time of year! It includes videos of employees at work, interviews, guest posts on various company topics, and spotlights of various positions.
If you prefer to focus on your customers, follow JetBlue’s lead and create an entire web category for your customers. SoFly encourages their customers’ use of social media and asks them to submit tips, travel tricks, or advice. This type of site is good for JetBlue as well as future fliers.
CoSchedule is another company who understands how valuable customer testimonials are to their brand. While they don’t invite customers to guest author the company blog, CoSchedule devotes a page on their website to the customer review. Here they request users to come up with creative blog posts about their product and submit the link of the testimonial. CoSchedule then links to all posts written about them for prospective or current clients.
Are you unsure how to turn testimonials into creative blog ideas? All you have to do is contact us, and we can help!