If you were unable to attend this worthwhile SHSMD webinar yesterday, take these few minutes to note the key highlights. Presented in succinct, best-practices podcasting fashion by Bill Klaproth, Director of Marketing for Doctor Podcasting, here are my top nine takeaways:
- Podcasts give your doctors a voice. They bring your doctors, who are usually deep behind the walls, out into the community, showcasing their expertise and humanity, while displaying what differentiates your hospital’s care.
- Podcasts should focus on the top health concerns of the community. Whether it’s monkeypox, RSV or a new study, winning podcasts will answer FAQs, solve problems and address trending health topics. They will also reflect hospital business plan priorities, including key service lines, new procedures and medical devices. “People are not on your website for entertainment. They are there because they have a problem,” espouses Klaproth. Not sure what problems to address? Send a quick survey to your docs to fuel topics.
- Include physician podcasts on their physician bio pages. As physician biographies are a common patient entry to your website, hearing from a doctor right from their bio page could be the differentiator that results in booking a first appointment. And builds loyalty to your hospital.
- Podcasts efficiently facilitate repurposed content. It’s easy. Turn your podcast into a blog, post on social media, aggregate a blog list for enewsletters or printed newsletters and use for internal communications. Hospital examples shared include the WakeMed daily COVID-19 Employee Update podcast during the pandemic, and the McLaren Leadership Podcast, a platform for thought leadership.
- Podcasts are great for peer-to-peer physician relations. Physician relations staff can create a leave-behind flyer promoting your physician-to-physician podcast series, with topics relevant to doctors and of course, presented in a quick format. Klaproth shared the impressive “UAB MedCast,” a CME-accredited University of Alabama Birmingham podcast, promoted to medical professionals via Facebook, web, YouTube and newsletters.
- Video podcasts are becoming a reality. This twofer strategy begins with recording a video, posting on YouTube, then stripping the audio component for your podcast. Again, YouTube videos can be added to your physician bio pages, humanizing doctors with a “getting to know you” type of series endearing patients to docs.
- Keep SEO in mind for your podcast. Use an attention-grabbing title no longer than seven words, which is indexable and SEO-friendly, incorporating keywords and phrases for which your audience is searching. Use the same phrases/keywords in your description. Also, space permitting, include the transcript copy to further boost your SEO.
- Recommended podcast timing is at least twice a month. And the length should be around 10 to 15 minutes max for consumer podcasts, with peer podcasts 20 to 30 minutes for a deeper medical dive. Complete your content calendar and plan to record at least three or four podcasts at a time in advance. Simply set up a recording area including microphone, headphones and editing equipment in your marketing office for less than $500.
- Some common podcasting pitfalls. Poor audio, production or editing (e.g., sounds like the podcaster is in a cave, excessive “ums” and “uhs”), lack of frequency (one and done ‘til next quarter just won’t cut it), not repurposing the content into other elements and lack of promotion all make the list. Klaproth recommends building a podcast library, including each service line, for long-term success. He also recommends a podcast button on your home page and peppering the podcasts throughout your hospital website, relative to topics (e.g., “When is it time for knee surgery?” podcast on your Orthopedics landing page).
If you’re not yet sold on adding podcasts to your toolkit, consider the coolness factor. “Podcasts are cool. They’re the hottest marketing tool and it’s cool to say ‘yeah, we’re on the leading edge of physician marketing,’”says Klaproth. Sounds to me like an interesting alternative to that next request for a doctor billboard, which you know is just around the corner!
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