Beyond Testimonials: Fresh Ideas for Customer Content

Beyond Testimonials: Fresh Ideas for Customer Content
October 24, 2012

As I discussed in my previous post, customer testimonials are high-value pieces of content to have in your marketing arsenal.  But once you have a nice collection of these and have repurposed them for their full content potential, what’s next?

If your company provides a strategic, complex and/or technical solution like ours, it’s time to think beyond the testimonial.  For example, you can work with customers and partners to create content that discusses the value of your product category or even themes that you’re building authority on -- not just your product offering itself. 

Instead of asking your champions to say great things about your brand, ask them to discuss why using the product category makes them more competitive and adds value.  Ideally, the contributors will not mention your brand by name, allowing the piece to become true thought leadership content, not an advertisement for your company. 

This material not only has a broader appeal than a traditional testimonial, but it also gives your customer, partner and influencer community the opportunity to share their business insights and provide thought leadership to their peer sets.  In other words, it helps them promote themselves as much as your company.

We’ve used “beyond testimonial” content in areas such as:

  • Blog posts – We’ve made it easy for our customers to share tips, tricks and best practices on relevant themes.  Here’s an example from our own blog, on the topic of bringing video creation in-house.

  • Video presentations – We also interview partners, customers, influencers and fans on various thought leadership topics for online video marketing content.  In the example below, various contributors provide their perspectives on video communications. 

To make sure the content is perceived as thought leadership, we resist the urge to include a lot of branding or mention our products and company names.  In the video example above, the Brainshark brand is not mentioned at all by the interviewees, and our logo shows up for only 12 seconds during the entire 2-minute video. 

While testimonial content is great for specific pages on your website or to use in the later stages of a sales cycle, “beyond testimonial” content, with its broader appeal, can be used on higher-level pages of company websites, YouTube channels (in the case of video), social media and even some lead nurturing campaigns.

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