Using audience feedback to create award-winning content marketing

by Rachael Healy

Identifying reader needs is key in our work with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), where the print and digital content we create could have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of readers. We do all the obvious analytics work to test whether and how our digital output hits the mark, and combine it with the results of an issue-by-issue survey of the print magazine. This provides great insight, allowing us to see which topics are consistently popular and where we could do more to engage readers.

But the BHF, the nation’s leading heart charity, has gone even further, setting up a group of 50 heart patients who give feedback on Heart Matters and all other patient information materials, including booklets and web pages. For Heart Matters, they not only provide valuable opinions on published pieces, but also work with us to decide what topics and issues to cover in future.

“At the BHF we believe that listening to patients helps us improve our work,” says Sarah Brealey, Heart Matters editor at the BHF. “We set up the Patient Information Panel to give us real patient insight into Heart Matters magazine and the other patient information resources we produce. Because these resources are designed to inform and support patients, it makes complete sense that we learn from patients about how we can make them better.”

We work with the BHF to create Heart Matters – a quarterly print magazine and online content programme, offering articles, animations, videos and interactive tools. Our brief is to inform, inspire and empower people with heart and circulatory conditions, so it’s crucial we ask our audience what they need and listen carefully to their replies.

We get the opportunity to meet the Patient Information Panel in person and share editorial ideas with its members. We discuss whether they would find specific articles, animations or videos interesting, inspirational or empowering.

And once we’ve hit on a popular idea, we can probe around the common questions or misconceptions and address them to ensure our audience gets the most out of an article or animation.

Engaging with our readers is helping us take Heart Matters from strength to strength. In the past 12 months our efforts have been recognised with awards for Best Membership Magazine and Best Microsite from the IOIC, and Best Branded Content Publication at the Corporate Content awards. We’ve also attracted 80,000 (and growing!) views on Heart Matters animations and videos, with above-average viewer retention, and consistently great feedback on quarterly reader surveys.

But we know there’s always room for improvement, so we’ll continue to be influenced by Heart Matters readers in 2018.

To find out more about how you can use audience feedback to improve your content marketing, contact us at: hello@wardour.co.uk

Published Feb 22, 2018

Read more

Bright thinking: Five ideas for keeping your content fresh

Keeping an audience engaged is easy – if you keep your content appealing

Six steps to creating the perfect animation

Animations can supercharge your content marketing but how can you make sure your animator delivers what you want?