By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Online audio content—such as podcasts, webinars, interviews and the like—have grown in popularity and availability in the past year or two…with (currently) over a million podcast downloads per month.
It’s a useful and effective marketing tool for hospitals and medical practices. And, with a little bit of preparation and practice, audio content is relatively low-cost and easy to produce and post quickly.
The popularity of smartphones, MP3 players and similar mobile devices play well with the portability and “eyes-free” nature of audio content. Multi-takers (and who isn’t these days) love the option, plus good material accessed anywhere, digested in bites, and replayed.
A few years ago—when audio content was beginning to get traction online—Healthcare Success launched a series of interviews with hospital and medical industry leaders. Here are some of the useful tips and techniques that improve the quality of podcasts, webinars and audio content:
- Know your audience interests and hot buttons. It’s a fundamental starting point, but having a clear focus on topics that interest your listeners (and sticking to it) will attract listeners, encourage sharing, and cause your audience to grow.
- The voice of authority has something of value to say. An interview that is neither insightful nor authoritative will be a tune-out. Guests with respected credentials and original or provocative ideas command attention and provide value. (Conversely, if you don’t have a point or there’s nothing to say, it may be better to wait.)
- Rehearse, prep and coach your guest. Trust me, professional broadcasters do this and guests appreciate it. Before you hit the “record” button, talk about the interview, the format, overall length, and any other helpful preparation. The best of interviews sound completely relaxed and natural because of advance preparation.
- Keep up the pace and energy. A recorded conversation that drags with slow moving questions and answers quickly seems boring to the listener. Watch the clock. Let the guest or speaker know what’s expected in terms of to-the-point answers or comments.
- Provide value and plan a strong take-away. Know what you want to deliver and provide a brief re-cap or summary of key deliverables at the end.
- Cover article, summary or transcript. When possible and appropriate, write a summary article about key ideas and valuable quotes that publishes with the audio content. A complete transcript might also be useful, but may require additional time and expense to produce.
- Additional content leverage. Promote your best interviews or audio content via social media, news release or other promotional tools as appropriate. Some material is worth repeating. Provide your guest(s) with a link to the final audio track and cover article. They may want to promote the interview through their own website, blog or other channels.
- Post your podcast on iTunes. It’s free and easily accessible for listeners…something like a branded YouTube Channel is for video. The iTunes “how-to” page explains more. For example, to find our iTunes Podcast listings (and to listen online), sign into iTunes, search for Healthcare Success Podcast. Or navigate iTunes: Podcasts > Business > Management & Marketing > Stewart Gandolf.
- Collect your audio interviews on an overview page on your website. To illustrate, you’ll find our consolidation page here: Most recent Interview/Podcast Posts. (This is in addition to the individual podcasts and cover post articles in our blog.)
Take advantage of audio content as an important tool in your healthcare marketing toolbox. It can be fun and informative and a useful format to bring interesting and educational material to the public. To spotlight an example from our leadership interview series, take a few minutes to read our post and listen to our recorded conversation with Dr. James Merlino about the Cleveland Clinic Summit: Sharable and Scalable Patient Experience Ideas.
We have additional tips about audio content, but we’d like to know about your experience. What would you add to this list?