The use of podcasting and audio streaming is nothing new, but it is sadly underutilized in health tourism marketing and promotion.
First, you must devise a strategy for what content would be of interest to whom and why. This must be examined and driven by the type of business you are.
For example, a medical tourism seller that is a hospital or clinic will market itself in a totally different way than a thermal waters thalasso resort or balneology rehab center. A doctor or dentist attempting to establish an international "brand" for his or her authority as a specialist, researcher or surgeon takes a different path from a travel agency seeking to sell destination management coordination.
Start with a really great influencer strategy. It’s the same as any industry, but if you can get some big people or some big brands excited about what you’re doing, if you can work on booking the right people for interviews and feature stories that have a large social following to post about your new episode, that’s still a best practice that everyone must follow.
That being said, you must also take into account your target audience, the primary language and culture they bring to the mix, their interests and their information or entertainment or validation needs.
How will people find your recordings? Facebook, SoundCloud, Instagram, and Twitter are excellent channels for your sharable audio content. Each can be used to store your content and share it for free. That doesn't mean that creating the content is free, however.
Social buying has become incredibly inexpensive especially on Facebook. We still see Twitter as being a little bit more expensive. But doing highly targeted posts on Facebook can be really effective to get people aware of what you’re working on.
Content Development Strategy
A podcasting content strategy requires the very best in audio pre-production. I can do this in a very short time, but at one point in my career in the 1970s, I had a license as a radio deejay and was the first female jazz deejay at the station. They hid me from prime time because the station management was fearful that a woman may not be well received by listeners. As such, I filled my non-air work time with research of the artists we played and also with production of voice over messages, commercials and editing and planning. I cannot expect you to be able to jump into this so easily, no matter how easy it seems on the surface. If you are a beginner, planning works best from a rigorous checklist.
Here's your production ingredients checklist:
- Accent neutral voices
- Good recording equipment (preferably digital vs analog)
- Editing software (Audacity is what I use these days, and it is free and has a relatively short learning curve.)
- Clips of royalty free music (bumper music). Bumper music, or a bump, is a term used in the radio broadcasting industry to refer to short clips of signature or theme music used to buffer transitions between programming elements.
And your content production checklist:
- Fresh topics of interest to your target market (usually of the baby boomer generation)
- Research about the topics, to determine what is noteworthy and why and to whom
- Personalities to be interviewed (start with doctors, patients, clinic executives, government authorities involved and supportive of medical tourism destination development in your region)
- Outlines and questions to structure the interview
- The interviewees bio and recent relevant noteworthy achievements
- A call to action that someone can take while listening
- Photos or video or gifs to match up with your sound story to use for marketing the recording with a visual trigger. Visualising your audio content with a picture of someone in the interview just isn’t as engaging as it needs to be unless your interviewee is a celebrity that people follow.
Avoid stories about "what is gallbladder surgery" or what is "stem cell therapy" and the like. Nobody will care and they will not be interested in learning this from a medical tourism seller. They will be interested in the results of stem cell therapies you have experienced at your clinic if recounted by a patient that underwent the treatment and had a fantastic or miraculous outcome. Add the doctor who performed the procedure and why he/she felt it was the right therapy for a 3-day dialogue to keep the story interesting and add a different additional dimension to the content.
Innovative new approaches
Audiogramming is a new production tool being used in the radio broadcasting industry. Imagine a tool that producers can use to upload a clip of audio and turn that audio clip into a movie file. So the movie file can then be uploaded on video.twitter.com, on Facebook Native, on Instagram, if it’s less than 30 seconds, on Tumblr. So content can be visualized in a really interesting way. The key is that the finished product is 30 seconds maximum. WNYC is using this and has noticed a 50% uptick in engagement on Twitter and great reach on Facebook. Talented freelance editors are available on Fiverr.com that can cut costs of editing and post-production finishing and rendering for very little cash outlay.
Measuring success and ROI
Metrics to measure success include downloads, listens, likes and abandonment rates where listeners don't listen through to completion.
Observe and measure when and why the majority of listeners drop off with a bell curve study for each recording to gather informative clues to guide continual quality improvement. Video.twitter.com and also Facebook Native have the ability to do a custom call to action which is like a link overlay on top of your videos that is trackable.
Do you have a question for Maria Todd?
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is a term used to describe a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.
Podcast Marketing Objectives
Your objectives will likely be:
- Bringing people to where your content is stored
- Finding new people to listen to and share your content
- Creating a feedback loop from the audio to social media and from social media back to your audio that might be stored on your website for playback or some other conversion metric
- Earning content feedback, clicks, commentary and shares from the international audience (engagement)
Do you have a question to AskMariaTodd?
Just like this article, many of the topic ideas for my blog articles come from my mailbag and inbox.
Send me your questions and if I think it will help other readers and followers, I will feature it in a future blog post. To get in touch, email me at mtodd(at)mercuryadvisorygroup(dot)com or call me on +1.720.551.9119. (800.727.4160)