Testimonials and personal stories have long been reliable methods of helping spread the word about a business. People don’t necessarily want to hear what a business owner or salesperson has to say about a product or service. They’d rather hear real stories from real people sharing real experiences.
At the same time, most people love to talk about themselves, their families, and what’s going on in their lives, so if they get a chance to do so, they will usually jump at it. You can take advantage of both of these truths and create interesting blog posts people will want to read.
One effective way to do this is to invite customers to participate in a short email interview. The average person is rarely asked to be interviewed and they are almost always flattered and happy to participate. Your blog can give them the fun of sharing their story while at the same time providing a testimonial for your business needs.
In addition, the people you interview will enjoy their time in the spotlight and will want their friends and relatives to read it, so they will very likely point people to your blog. In turn, those people will probably take some time to look around while they are there and read other posts they find interesting.
You’ll want to make your interview short and fun; you don’t want this to be a chore. Create a few (no more than 5) simple questions and ask the interviewee to just write a few sentences for each one. This makes it very easy for them and since it’s for a blog, you don’t want it to be long anyway. On the other hand, if someone ends up being quite wordy, you could break it into more than one post.
Craft your questions so you can highlight whatever benefits or common concerns you’d like to see addressed in their answers. Just doing this exercise will be helpful because it forces you to think about the points, benefits and concerns you want to focus on in your blog. If your product or service allows for it, try to include a question to solicit something funny or unusual.
It should not be difficult to find people to interview. If you are not doing so already, you should be checking in with your customers in some manner and/or providing some sort of feedback loop. Then you can contact people from there. (And if you get unsatisfactory feedback, you should of course be contacting those people too and finding a way to make it right if possible. This has the potential to be another interview of course, one that would be particularly interesting to readers.)
Don’t forget to let your interviewees promote a little too if they want. You might gather some basic biographical information and ask where they work or what they do for a living and provide a link to their business or blog if they have one.
Over time, you will compile an interesting category of posts of many different people answering the same set of questions. There will probably be patterns and interesting similarities in their answers and that in itself may end up speaking to your prospects.
Who knows, once you get enough responses, you may learn something new yourself about a benefit or perhaps even a new use that you never really thought about before and you can start using that as you continue to market your product or service.