Influencers Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz break down how they turned YouTube fame into a hit podcast with ‘Pretty Basic’
Category : entrepreneur
- The YouTube and Instagram influencers Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz are among the first in a wave of online-content creators to make names for themselves in podcasting.
- Their show “Pretty Basic” has been running for over a year, and the hosts said podcasting has allowed them to take a step back from editing and be more honest with their fans.
- They also use dynamic ad insertion to make money from the podcast.
- “At first we saw the podcast as the brand-deal route, but it’s actually a lot more similar to YouTube’s AdSense in a way,” Alisha said.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are known as hubs for influencer content, but social-media stars with millions of fans are trying something new with their content: podcasting.
Influencers like Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz see podcasting as a way to connect more intimately and honestly with their followers.
“I think the ability to be vulnerable and open up on the podcast created such a strong bond with our listeners and with our fans,” Cruz told Business Insider.
Alisha and Cruz, who have a combined 10.8 million YouTube subscribers and 5 million Instagram followers, launched their podcast “Pretty Basic” with the Ramble podcast network in October and are still in their first season.
Ramble, a joint venture between the Cadence13 podcast company and United Talent Agency, is dedicated to working exclusively with online-content creators like Emma Chamberlain and The Try Guys, positioning itself as a home for influencers like Alisha and Cruz.
When Alisha and Cruz’s agent told the two friends that their chemistry would work well on a podcast, they saw an opportunity for greater creative freedom on a new platform. But the transition to audio was not without challenges, they said.
“We were new to the space, and no one told us what to do, but we definitely have gotten into the routine now,” Cruz said.
The “Pretty Basic” hosts typically talk about their daily lives, presenting listeners with a closer look at their personalities and interests than what might come across on YouTube or social media. Occasionally, they venture into more serious topics like anxiety.
While Cruz said it felt natural to open up on microphone right away, Alisha said she initially found it much more difficult to create audio-only content, as opposed to crafting Snapchat stories or Instagram posts.
“We didn’t realize how different the platforms would be,” Alisha said. “Podcasting so much more raw.”
Influencer audio content works best with minimal editing, according to Alisha and Cruz
For the first several episodes, Alisha said she approached the podcast the same way she approached editing her YouTube videos, cutting out all vocal tics and pauses. Soon after, she realized the podcast audience wanted to hear her realistic thought process.
Alisha said she now typically gives the show’s audio editors full permission to use any content they see fit. Cruz and Alisha have taken a hands-off approach to editing the show, but they do approve all of their advertisements, as all Ramble hosts read ads themselves.
The “Pretty Basic” ad rates are dynamic, Alisha said, as podcast ads allow for more specific targeting than some other platforms. For instance, Ramble uses a process called dynamic insertion to switch ads in and out of shows as opposed to baking them in, Cadence13 Chief Content Officer Chris Corcoran said, so advertisers can insert ads in back-catalogued episodes if they gain impressions.
Ramble does not publicly share its ad cost per impression, but host-read ads are significantly more expensive than programmatic ads in general. (Ramble offers only host-read ads.)
“At first we saw the podcast as the brand-deal route, but it’s actually a lot more similar to YouTube’s AdSense in a way,” Alisha said, referring to the process by which Google dynamically places ads in YouTube videos.
The podcast has helped them ‘age up’
The content of the podcast is different from what YouTube subscribers are used to from Alisha and Cruz. It’s more “aged up,” said Cruz, who has even used the skills she’s learned in podcasting to mature her YouTube presence.
“It took some time for Alisha to open up, but right off the bat I said everything,” Cruz said. “I forget that the video is going online and people are going to see it.”
Though it didn’t happen right away, Alisha said she has also come to see the benefits of such an intimate medium. She said that during fan meetups in the spring, she felt a stronger sense of loyalty among her fans because the podcast was a truer representation of herself.
“You don’t need to get all dolled up and put on a whole show,” Alisha said. “It’s just you talking.”
The show has broken Spotify’s top 10 list in the Health and Lifestyle category in the US several times, and now sits comfortably in the top 20.
Season two of “Pretty Basic” kicks off at the start of 2020.