professional woman listens to podcast on phone

Podcasts Are On The Rise And Healthcare Organizations Should Take Notice

Solomon was right. There really is nothing new under the sun. Back in the 1930s, families spent time together by sitting around this cool new thingamajig called a radio listening to comedians, news, even soap operas.

Then, technology advanced to televisions, computers, and now tablets and smartphones. But our love affair with listening has come full circle. Except today, it isn’t called radio. It’s called podcasts.

Podcasts have taken off over the last 10+ years. Hospitals, patient medical foundations, professional medical associations, and healthcare organizations should take notice.

Ten years ago, 1 in 10 people over age 12 had listened to a podcast in the previous month. Today, it’s 1 in 3.

Monthly podcast listening for total population from 2008 to 2019
Source: Edison Research

Podcasts are the digital medium of choice for young professionals.


Monthly podcast listening by age bracket from 2017 to 2019
Source: Edison Research

Here are 4 reasons why a podcast might be the best tool for your hospital or medical foundation or professional association.

1. You have a niche audience or can speak to a niche interest.

If your podcast focuses on being general interest, you’re jumping in a wider pool of competition. Don’t be afraid to get laser-sharp with your target audience or topic area.

For example, my favorite podcast is called Kingdom-Driven Entrepreneur. It’s a podcast for Christian business owners who prioritize family and pursue business growth based on faith rather than working everyone to death. Super niche, I get it. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it speaks to me directly, and I never miss an episode.

Rebecca Steurer, our VP of Client Strategy, is addicted to a podcast about Keto. She’ll literally listen to the whole hour-long episode. That’s because it’s speaking to something that’s relevant every time she eats.

Here’s something to think about:

  • Who are the cliques within your larger audience? I’m talking about those folks who’d probably walk off together to do their own huddle while ignoring the larger group.
  • What’s a pain point that your organization can speak to for these groups? I mean some challenge they are working to overcome every day.

This would mean targeting not just consumers, for example, but people who have a chronic condition while working full time. Not just physicians, but early-career physicians who are struggling with work-life balance and burnout.

2. You have experts with amazing personalities.

They’re funny, interesting, or super direct — and people love it. If you have experts with compelling personalities, your target audience needs to know them. And podcasts are an excellent introduction because ideally, your podcast episodes are conversations with these unique people. That will drive more people to your organization more than shiny awards or bragging on your gee-whiz offerings.

3. You’re targeting busy people.

Parents. Professionals. Pretty much anyone breathing is multi-tasking. I’m convinced that’s why podcasts have blowuptuated. They allow you to consume huge chunks of information while doing other things — driving, cooking, or those tedious tasks that require effort but not brainpower (like folding laundry or organizing papers).

Podcasts are the content format for people who need to be productive and still receive the insight, information, or instruction you have to offer.

4. You don’t have a huge budget.

Podcasts take the least amount of resources compared to other content marketing formats. Yes, there’s an investment in getting set up with a location and sound equipment. The heaviest lift is probably scheduling interviews. But after that, it’s recording a conversation or sharing thoughts and editing. The time, money, and effort to produce a podcast is far less than a written blog or video. You could literally start a podcast in the next two hours right now if you have a good voice recorder.

If podcasts sound like a content marketing format your hospital, medical foundation, or medical association would like to explore, reach out to me via email. I’ll share the steps to develop a podcast strategy and produce the first episode.