April 15, 2021

Podcasters: The New Influencer For Brands

Podcasters: The New Influencer For Brands

How would your brand leverage an influencer who has 30 - 60 minutes with your target customers? A podcast host provides a direct link to their audience that goes well beyond a 3-second scroll-by that you get with Instagram influencers.  But no...


How would your brand leverage an influencer who has 30 - 60 minutes with your target customers? A podcast host provides a direct link to their audience that goes well beyond a 3-second scroll-by that you get with Instagram influencers. 

But no one in the marketing realm is talking about what an amazing opportunity this is. Those that have figured this out are keeping quiet because who wants a saturated market.

In today's episode, I get to talk with Shreya Sharma of Inside Podcasting, who has done a deep dive on this subject and has some great insights for us. 

She talks about how marketers are not educating themselves about their audience who are deeply passionate about audio. She also discusses how we need to bust the myth that data in podcasting doesn't exist (because it is more robust than Influencer marketing metrics), and more marketers need to understand the value of host-read ads. 

You can sign up for her newsletter to get more insights about podcasting.  

Visit Shreya on Twitter, so she loves to chat.

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Transcript

This transcript is edited.

[00:00:29] Heather Osgood: Hello, and welcome to the Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood. And today, I have Shreya Sharma on the podcast with me. I wanted to briefly introduce Shreya before we get into the meat of the show. So, this is a unique interview because Shreya is relatively new to the podcast space.

[00:00:53] Heather Osgood: She is someone with an in-depth marketing background who currently works for Elevate Ultimate Academy, an [00:01:00] ultimate frisbee company. Very cool. She also writes for Inside.com and Inside Podcasting. So, if you have not subscribed to that, I would highly recommend that you go over and subscribe to her newsletter.

[00:01:13] Heather Osgood: But one thing that fascinates me about Shreya is her passion for the industry. She is a huge podcast listener, and she couples that with all of her knowledge in the marketing industry. Today in our conversation, we're going to dive in deep to dissect what it means to understand how podcast advertising is influencer marketing.

[00:01:37] Heather Osgood: I hope you enjoy my conversation with Shreya. Hello, and welcome to the Podcast Advertising Playbook. I'm your host, Heather Osgood, and I'm so excited to join Shreya today. As you heard in the introduction, 

[00:01:51] Heather Osgood: Shreya has a very in-depth background in the marketing industry. And she has taken an interest in the podcast [00:02:00] space, which is very exciting because not all marketers do. And recently wrote an article about influencer marketing on Sounds Profitable. And if you are not subscribed to it, I would highly recommend that you go and check that out. Yeah, I'm excited to have Shreya on the show today. Welcome to the podcast. 

[00:02:23] Shreya Sharma: Hey, thank you so much, Heather, thanks for having me here. 

[00:02:26] Heather Osgood: Yeah, for sure. So you and I connected, and a mutual friend introduced us.  We started talking, and it was like, oh my gosh, this woman is saying all of the things that I feel like I have been saying for so many years.

[00:02:43] Heather Osgood: And it was exciting just to see you as a marketer understand the power of podcast advertising as it pertains to influencer marketing. And it's something that I feel like, I again have said, and it feels like it falls on [00:03:00] deaf ears a lot. And so, it was great for me to hear that you, as a marketer, were seeing the value of podcast advertising, just as it pertains to being influencer marketing.  And that you have then subsequently written this fantastic article to kind of help educate people about it.

[00:03:19] Heather Osgood: But, you know, I think before we get into dissecting that article, I would love for you to tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to the place where you felt passionate enough to write an article about podcast advertising, and how it is influencer marketing.

[00:03:39] Shreya Sharma: Yeah, well, thanks for that beautiful introduction and no pressure. I've been working in advertising in different forms and shapes for about five, six years now, and I started in a massive advertising agency. And then I realized that was not where my space was. And then [00:04:00] it led me to become a freelancer and work more hands-on with platforms and Google ads, Facebook ads, influencer marketing, and among other things like email marketing, and all of those other digital channels.

[00:04:14] Shreya Sharma: So not podcasts at all. I had enough podcasts at the time, and then last year happened, and I lost out on a lot of my regular freelancing projects. And a friend of mine said, I do marketing strategy for podcasts, so why don't you do that? Because it's a lot of fun. We'll do PR pitching outreach, and we'll go from there. And that's when I started reaching out to big and small marketing firms to advertise on a specific podcast. So, while I was doing that, I was also reaching out to, you know, Ad Results, Wondery, like everywhere to buy ad space, on both sides of the story.

[00:04:58] Shreya Sharma: And that's when I realized there [00:05:00] was so much data, like when someone at Ad Results would send me a media kit, for instance. There's so much stuff that they already have on there. Like they can tell me precisely what demographic we're going for. So they're able to tell me exactly when I'm going to get the results, how much time it's going to take, all that jazz.

[00:05:20] Shreya Sharma: It wasn't a bit surprising for me to see that sort of media kit, not that other digital channels don't have that.  But I covered this in the article. With the different digital channels, you need to have all of the information from them and then kind of put it together to make sense of it.

[00:05:40] Shreya Sharma: You can make a very decisive, bigger picture, but you need all of these information sources covered, not just one will not do. And influencer marketing will not do it at all, especially the way we're defining influencer marketing right now. So that happened, and that was, [00:06:00] I'm a big data geek.

[00:06:02] Shreya Sharma: So I was very interested in how the funnels work, and I got to work with some excellent teams, especially here in Vancouver. And the scene for podcast advertising is up-and-coming. So many people sat down with me, and we had conversations.  And then, I became part of the industry, and someone recommended me for Inside Podcasting.

[00:06:22] Shreya Sharma: They said you should write this. And I got the job, which is great. And that's how I met Bryan because we started our newsletters at the same time. So, we were both promoting the heck out of each other on social media, like, "read this person's newsletter." 

[00:06:40] Shreya Sharma: Brian and I have a lot of other things in common, such as geeking out over data, stuff like that. So when we started talking about this, I was talking to him about how I needed to collate this data from different digital channels to make sense of it, and [00:07:00] that's when he had published his article on campaign lift reports.

[00:07:03] Shreya Sharma: So reading that article, it was like, oh my God. So much data is being captured offline in podcasts because you are downloading, and we're getting so much out of it. And I can see just from writing the newsletter that the conversion rates are high. That's brand retention; that's brand recall. People are going and buying these products. And when I turned that experience inward, and I studied how many times I have gone and purchased something because of podcaster, or you know, like as I call them my imaginary friends, because at this point they are.  I mean, I'm friends with them.

[00:07:43] Heather Osgood: That's awesome. Yes. They're your imaginary friends. I've got many of them as well.

[00:07:50] Shreya Sharma: And when they suggest, like a meal kit or something like that, like a Diva Cup or something like that, I have gone and [00:08:00] purchased those things, and use them using whatever code that they had. I have never once clicked on any influencer ads like that.

[00:08:10] Shreya Sharma: They kind of turned me off, personally. And then I thought, well, maybe this is not just me. And when we started, Bryan and I started talking about it, and he just said one sentence to me. What if podcast hosts are influencers? And that was that. But he just said that sentence.

[00:08:31] Shreya Sharma: And we were like, we need to talk about this. Like, we need to write about this. We need to research and talk to other people in the industry. You know this is just a wild goose chase. That's in my head, or it's something that everybody's on the same page about, and people are talking about it in silos, but no one has written about it and made some noise around it.

[00:08:54] Shreya Sharma: So that's when I started researching, and my article opens with this, where there was this thing [00:09:00] on Tech Crunch. But I think it's Right Side Up Marketing that they published an article on Tech Crunch, and they say, and I quote, podcast ads are personalized endorsements and drive conversions.

[00:09:13] Shreya Sharma: And I was like, yeah. That's influencer marketing as well. So, you know, it's so similar. But this perceived lack of data (which your podcast is hoping to eliminate), plus the branding issue around influencer marketing and how hosts are seen differently. So that's what we want to tackle. 

[00:09:41] Heather Osgood: Yeah, for sure. Well, gosh, I think what was so interesting to me is, as someone who has been in advertising for a long time but not in influencer marketing, your article shares all the limitations that traditional social media influencer marketing brings to the table. Because I have felt for so long that podcast host-read ads are influencer marketing, but I have thought that we were at such a disadvantage because we didn't have all of the rich data that everybody in digital marketing had. 

[00:10:28] Heather Osgood: But when I read your article, I how much leg work goes into influencer marketing. And also, I have had hundreds of conversations with advertisers and brands who do influencer marketing, who like influencer marketing.

[00:10:50] Heather Osgood: But when I ask them about the results they get, you should see their faces, right? There's always like, well, I'm sure influencer marketing works.  But they don't seem to have as concrete data as I kind of thought. I guess my perception had been, people are on social media, they see these posts, and it's easy for them to click over potentially, or it's easy for them because they're already online, to go straight to that advertiser and purchase from them.

[00:11:26] Heather Osgood: But, the way you broke it down, I think, was so interesting because we're talking about this huge; I think you say it's a $10 billion industry, right? Influencer marketing is yes. And the fact that we need, like you were saying, that we need to piece together, Google Analytics, we've got web traffic, we've got the social engagement that's happening. The backend from e-commerce takes all of these pieces and uses what we use in podcasting, with unique [00:12:00] codes and trackable links and landing pages. So it blew my mind because influencer marketing campaigns on social media don't provide the level of data that traditional digital marketing offers.

[00:12:20] Heather Osgood: And if they have to piece all of that together, then what is the barrier with podcast advertising? And I think that's the big question that needs answering.

[00:12:31] Shreya Sharma: For sure, and I will preface this with two things. First, my day job is as a marketing director at a growing company. So right now, I'm handling all of the channels myself with the help of my wonderful team.

[00:12:46] Shreya Sharma: And that means at the end of every month and a quarter, collating this data from multiple channels, right? Like Google Analytics, looking at the website analytics, and then social media, influencer marketing, email marketing, all of that [00:13:00] combined. And it is then providing a big picture to the rest of the team who are not marketers.

[00:13:07] Shreya Sharma: So it's hard to tell a story that way. It's hard to get enough data to tell a story. And I, myself, and maybe this is just the perfectionist in me. All of that data has to be taken with a pinch of salt because there is like, and I don't want to get too technical. Still, there are differences in the attribution models for social media and then for Google Analytics and Google ads.

[00:13:31] Shreya Sharma: So there might be a lot of cracks in the system that I might not even know exist. A podcast ad campaign lift report is a complete report that I don't need to pull data from anywhere else. Even if I find that, that's not 100% accurate; I still know it's in its system. And so, if I make any change in that specific section, I could see if it's affected because I changed specific podcast ads, so that kind of experimentation, and then influence on the final result, make it fun to do.

[00:14:27] Shreya Sharma: And the second is that I'm not saying that one is better than the other. I am just saying that it depends on your metrics, right? Like your goals, say you want brand awareness and have deep pockets, that you're a Coca-Cola, a Nike, and Adidas.

[00:14:45] Shreya Sharma: You should do influencer marketing. You should be aligning yourself with people whose personalities are similar to your brand personality. I am in the sport, like my marketing, sorry, my marketing job is in a Sports Academy. So in a [00:15:00] new market, I'm always looking for influencers to align myself with.

[00:15:03] Shreya Sharma: So it's not something I'm not doing. But this lack of, I don't even want to say a lack of.  It goes so far as to say this nonchalance around a lack of data; it is kind of appalling to me.  Like one of these, somewhere in the article, I state that the 2021 blog report by influencer marketing hub in that the terms conversion and attribution only appear once.

[00:15:38] Shreya Sharma: So they're not shocked by that. I have to say I was shocked. I couldn't believe that. I thought that would be all over it. And they only appear once, so they're not even talking about it. And I know that I'm not talking out of my behind on this because I did speak with some [00:16:00] of my friends who run influencer marketing companies and PR agencies.

[00:16:04] Shreya Sharma: And I had this conversation, and they agreed with me that we need a better way to measure ROI for influencer marketing as a silo.  We're able to do it with all of it, but even then, they just don't seem to expect that conversion attribution from influencer marketing. This is surprising because, back to the point about it being a $10 billion industry, where is that money going?

[00:16:36] Shreya Sharma: Podcasting is only going to hit a billion by the end of this year, and what is surprising is that podcasting has been around longer, is why this discrepancy, and that was the question that this article is the way to help scratch that itch in my brain. And I think Bryan's right [00:17:00] too, for sure.

[00:17:01] Heather Osgood: Well, so, okay. So one of the things that you said in the article that I thought was so interesting is that we look at influencers as being like these kinds of pseudo-celebrities, right? And I mean, I feel like we all have them. We all follow people online, whether they've written books or, you know, created YouTube channels or whatever they have done.

[00:17:28] Heather Osgood: I mean, my nine and twelve year old have their influencers that they follow. It's just part of what our society is. Now, we identify with these people. We like what they're creating. And I can tell you that if Mariah Elizabeth walked in our front door, my daughter would meltdown. She would think it would be much more exciting to see Mariah Elizabeth than Johnny Depp or someone.

[00:17:51] Heather Osgood: Right? Like in her mind, this is a celebrity. And so, I think that there is this celebrity, the power that [00:18:00] comes with social media, and what you say, which I believe to be true. And something I've been talking about more in the last few weeks is this idea that when we listen to audio, we experience audio differently, and podcasters feel more like friends than they do celebrities.

[00:18:22] Heather Osgood: And, you know, I was thinking the other day about growing up, listening to terrestrial radio. I heard a lot of it. My parents listened to a lot of it, and you never knew what a DJ looked like. In those days, there wasn't the internet. Yes. I'm that old. And you know, you would create a picture of what this person looked like in your mind. You would think that this DJ looked a certain way, but then when you did see a picture of them, or you did see them at an event, you were like, who is that [00:19:00] person? I don't recognize them. Like, that's not what my brain created for me.  But what is so powerful about audio is how your brain interfaces with it. And this connection happens where that person feels closer to you because it feels like they're talking to you. And that power, I think, surpasses what happens in social media because we put those people at arm's length, right? Like we might, maybe we comment, perhaps we interact, but it's like we placed them in more of a celebrity bin and less of a friend bin. And I think that has a significant impact on why brands and advertisers, and really, maybe even just society at large, aren't viewing the podcast host as an influencer, or maybe as a celebrity. And so that's kind of what you talk [00:20:00] about in the article. So tell us a little more about that. 

[00:20:02] Shreya Sharma: Yeah, so many points come up in my brain.

[00:20:06] Shreya Sharma: The first thing that I want to say, and this is about what you mentioned. More-and-more people on social media, more influencers on social media, are trying to move towards authenticity. And they're trying to show; this is who I am. But podcast hosts are already there. So that's there.

[00:20:34] Heather Osgood: Such a great point. When I read that, I was like, Oh my gosh, I just started laughing almost, because it was like, I think you're so right. I feel like that's what I hear over and over again, is like, create authentic content, create authentic content. And when you said that, I was like, yeah, like no one ever says, hey, podcast hosts to be a little more authentic, right? No one asks for that. So funny. Yeah. Anyways, I thought that was a great [00:21:00] point. 

[00:21:00] Shreya Sharma: Yeah, which is fair. So that's there trying to move out of that, as you said, celebrity bin into a friend bin.  So that we will give more weight to their opinions and let them in, in a way, that's one thing. The second thing is that we very rarely seek out advertising from influencer marketing from influencers. So I'm talking here about, like, Instagram influencers, and then you're just like scrolling through it, and you see a sponsored post. It's just there. You didn't seek it out. So there is very little to almost no search intent when you do that. And so, you know, there won't be a high purchase intent in that case. But, podcasts, you seek them out. You download them; you follow them on. If you're nuts, like we are, you wait for the next episode to come out.

[00:21:58] Shreya Sharma: So, you're [00:22:00] going in with full attention, right? Like when I'm listening to a podcast, yes, sometimes I'm doing something else on the side, but I'm always listening to it. It's subconsciously feeding in there. And the power of audio now, with like, Clubhouse and Mark Cuban investing in Fireside.

[00:22:19] Shreya Sharma: And I bet today, now that Facebook's coming out with something like that, people are getting that. Audio is such an important medium that hasn't been capitalized as much as it could have to get more people buying your product or remembering your brand and building brand awareness. So, this kind of discrepancy to me is like, hey; you already have a solution that does all of that.  As a marketer, you would want to do this, ultimately connecting with your audience.  And any good marketer would like to create a community around their product or service.

[00:22:55] Shreya Sharma: Podcast hosts already have that community created. You just need to integrate [00:23:00] your brand narrative with theirs, which is similar to what you'll be doing with an influencer as well. But, it all comes back to the return on investment and not attribute conversion in both cases. 

[00:23:15] Shreya Sharma: I talked to Steve Pratt from Pacific Content about this. And Steve was awesome. He sent me a long email when I sent him five questions. He took some time and thought around this, and he said that agencies seem to be more comfortable with video than audio. And that doesn't mean that one is better than the other. It just means that in our experience, it would suggest that audio is not yet big enough or mainstream enough, to have deep expertise at most agencies or brands in this space. So that's a fascinating point that Steve makes.  And just today, I read this other article [00:24:00] by Edison's Tom Webster, and he talks about how podcasting is not yet at its peak podcasting when there's a lot of space for us to capture still.

[00:24:11] Shreya Sharma: So this industry is growing, the attribution is increasing, and what's more, people are still not stopping. I find it way ahead of other digital marketing channels already, in my naive teeth.  And people are still not stopping about growing podcast ads and podcast hosts. Like why are we not investing?

[00:24:35] Shreya Sharma:  It seemed so common-sensical to write the article, even, whereas some of the points that I was making, I felt that I shouldn't even have to be making these crimes, like anybody with enough common sense and education in both of these industries should be making that decision. Should be including audio in their integrated marketing strategy, which a [00:25:00] lot of people are not doing.

[00:25:02] Heather Osgood:  When I think about podcasts, and because I am such an audio consumer, and I have been an audio consumer since I was listening to books on cassette tapes. So, I mean, that gives you it's been 25 years or whatever, that I've been listening to audio. So I know audio resonates with me. I often feel that it gets back to the ways that people learn. Like some people like to learn by reading, some like it being spoken to them. Some people like it when it's more interactive. And so, I think there is an audio block, and some people, there's a percentage of the population that doesn't like audio.

[00:25:45] Heather Osgood: And so, yeah. I just think that it doesn't resonate with them. The other thing that I find fascinating is this last weekend, I live in a new area, and I met a woman I had not met before.  And we were talking, [00:26:00] and she was in her mid-thirties, and I said, oh, I have a podcast advertising agency. And she goes, you know, I have to be honest. I don't even really understand what podcasts are. And I was just like, it makes me shocked. But, it just makes me feel like how is it possible that podcasts have been around since 2004, and here's a woman in her mid-thirties who should be a prime target for podcasts listening, who doesn't even really understand podcasts.

[00:26:30] Heather Osgood: And I think what has happened with podcasts in particular, and I get this all the time, is when I tell somebody that I work in the podcast industry, it's like a blank face. You can tell they don't understand what podcasting is. And I think that still is a massive barrier because people don't get it. So I spoke with another woman, a little older, but I talked to her about podcasts, and she said, oh, you mean like the, are they different from the Ted Talks that you can [00:27:00] listen to on YouTube? And I'm like, yes, they are. But people don't understand podcasts. 

[00:27:06] Heather Osgood: And I have to imagine that there is a relatively significant group of marketers who don't get podcasts. And they don't want to be the person who says; I don't understand this, right? And if it's not something that resonates with them, why would they propose it, right?  Because number one, they probably just don't understand the medium at all. They don't listen to podcasts, and maybe they don't even understand podcasts. And then why would they propose something in their marketing mix when they don't understand it? I also think it is fascinating to me to talk with so many different brands and advertisers; I would say, 80 to 90% of the companies I speak to about podcast advertising, the person I'm conversing with [00:28:00] loves podcasts. So they will say things like, I love podcasts, and I'm trying hard to convince my marketing team that we should do this. Nobody on my team listens to podcasts, but I know they'll be great. So it's like, if you imagine a team, let's say of 10 marketers, and they're all working together to develop great strategies to market this company. And you've got one person in the group saying podcasts, podcasts, and everyone else in the group saying, yeah, but really what are podcasts? So, I mean, it feels so basic. And kind of like what you mentioned in your article, or when you're writing your article saying, how is it that I even have to talk about these things? But I just, I still wonder if podcasts aren't like the best-kept secret out there. What are your thoughts?

[00:28:46] Shreya Sharma: I think that any marketer worth their salt would start, or should start, with the question of where is my audience. And that is where your audience is [00:29:00] around building community. So we are moving away from that space, of those days of just yelling your product and broadcasting marketing messages which are long gone. And now you're looking at authenticity; you're looking to build a brand, build a community around that brand. And so your audience is already there.

Along with the fact that not all of them are there. Some of them might still be more prevalent on video-based platforms like Instagram, YouTube, what have you. But more-and-more people are listening to podcasts. We know this, the numbers are coming in from last year, and it has almost doubled, if not more. 

[00:29:41] Shreya Sharma: They should focus on where their audience is, see where the conversation is happening, and the conversation is happening on podcasts. So, we are going more-and-more niche every single day.  Shows are popping up on things that you wouldn't even have thought about. 

[00:29:58] Heather Osgood: Yeah. Yeah, [00:30:00] Yeah. I agree with you. So I think, just to kind of wrap it up, I believe that social media feels so much more prominent, and it is more noticeable. And I think that's why we gravitate toward social media as influencer marketing. And I believe that it is our job to, you know, really make sure everyone is aware that podcast advertising is influencer marketing. And I also think that is why we, as an industry, need to hold on to host-read endorsement ads. While I do believe programmatic ads have a place. There is so much value with host-read endorsement ads, and we need to hold on to that value, and not even hold onto it, but we need to grow it, and we need to figure out how do we get from being a $1 billion industry [00:31:00] to a $10 billion industry.

[00:31:02] Heather Osgood: Do you think that just the sheer quantities, like if I went out and I looked for an influencer on Instagram, I'm going to find thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of influencers?  Do you think that I know we had just kind of joked a bit about how, you know, we say that there are 2 million podcasts.  Are there?  But do you think that that could also be part of it? You know, there are 600 million blogs out there.

[00:31:30] Heather Osgood: And so, if there are that many blogs, how many more social media influencers are there? So, do you think that that could be part of the equation as well? 

[00:31:41] Shreya Sharma: As in, we should be creating more podcasts? 

[00:31:44] Heather Osgood: Yeah, exactly. Or just the sheer numbers. Right. So if I look to build an industry, if there are hundreds of thousands of these influencers and social media, it will be much easier for brands to invest because there are so many.  And I know [00:32:00] in the industry, it feels like, oh my gosh, podcasts are exploding. And there are so many, but I think you had alluded to this, and to like Tom Webster who had said in his article, we have just scratched the surface, I believe. I think that there are many, many more podcasts to come. And that we're going to, you know, just continue to grow that audience.

[00:32:20] Heather Osgood: But is it possible that one of the obstacles is that the quantity of podcasts out there is not great enough? 

[00:32:29] Shreya Sharma: First, I just want to speak about the audio like social media because you mentioned we're thinking of social media in a specific way, and yes, we are.  But I see us moving away from Clubhouse and whatnot coming up because they are branding themselves as social media platforms.

[00:32:50] Shreya Sharma:  So audio is pervading the social media space, and nobody can say anything about it. And just from my conversations with people, my [00:33:00] friends, and other podcasters, they are addicted to Clubhouse. They and these are the people who, like the early adopters of this kind of thing, would be your audience for podcasts posts, like host-read ads.  Because as we've talked about, audio is not for everyone.

[00:33:17] Shreya Sharma: And although I find that very hard to believe, I do respect it. But yeah, I think that we do have a lot of excellent shows, and we are by no means at peak podcasting, and we have a long way to go. Like, again, I don't want to get technical, but there seems to be a huge gap in video consumption versus audio consumption. And we are growing every single day.  And part of the reason is why so many are coming up, and like independent podcasters are getting more space. And I'm hoping with my newsletter to give them [00:34:00] a platform to share their shows and processes. But the other big one is that now, we have the more prominent players moving into this industry.

[00:34:08] Shreya Sharma: You know, Spotify is acquiring everyone. I'm seeing now, has announced Samsung podcasts. And Apple just today, I think, told an original show or something. They barely seem to do that, but yeah, they had an original show come out.  So we have big money coming into podcasting now. And with that money, there is an opportunity for an industry to grow.

[00:34:34] Shreya Sharma: And I know there's been a lot of conversation around Spotify coming in and doing this and doing that. But my firm belief is that it kind of lifts us all, because it just puts more money into the pot for taking and making, and that trickles down, or I believe, will trickle down to hosts, being able to charge more independent creators, being able to make more because [00:35:00] 

[00:35:00] Shreya Sharma: when Spotify, Apple, Samsung, et cetera are making headlines around podcasting, that's when people will start noticing. You know, you have so many other mediums as well, writing about podcasts. Like you've got Tech Crunch, you've got Verge,  and so many other newsletters are picking it up and writing about it.

[00:35:19] Shreya Sharma: It's not just a Podnews or Inside Podcasting. There are so many more talking about that. So, I think that we're getting there. I also believe that it's not going to happen overnight, because just from my understanding, we are very niche, like a wellness sort of society and sort of space.

[00:35:40] Shreya Sharma: Like, it almost feels like a community, as you mentioned.  Everybody that you talk about in podcasting, like whatever they're working on as a producer or marketer, whoever they are, they love podcasts. You can always go up to them and ask them, what are the five shows you're listening to right now? And they [00:36:00] talk about them for 30-minutes, and I am one of those.

[00:36:02] Shreya Sharma: So no judgment. But I think the barrier to entry to our industry is very, very low, and to be able to make good shows and connections, you know, everyone's welcome. And the industry is doing so much to start to get inclusive, be it with like the Black Lives Matter and the anti-Asian American violence like we're doing so much. Shows are popping out everywhere, talking about this, and taking all of these things head-on.

[00:36:36] Shreya Sharma: This is where the conversation is happening, and this is where the audience is. So, I think this is where the marketers should put their money. 

[00:36:44] Heather Osgood: Yeah, I agree with you. I agree. So I'm curious if somebody was listening to this podcast, and they had not done podcast advertising before. Maybe they were working in a marketing team or oversaw the advertising for their company. [00:37:00]  What would you recommend for them to enter the podcast advertising space and approach it from an influencer marketing perspective?

[00:37:10] Shreya Sharma: So, anyone who is approaching, coming in from a different digital channel, would have or should have, done their homework when they would have personified their brand.  They have an ideal client profile. They've got the basics, like squad customer journey, all of that sorted out. So when you look at that ideal client profile, there should be a part where you talk about where my audience is, what their watering holes are, and where they're hanging out.

[00:37:39] Shreya Sharma: When you started doing that research, you should find the podcasts their audience is listening to. That's how I did it. The second is please educate yourself on what the terms mean. And for that, I would point directly to Bryan's newsletter.

[00:37:54] Shreya Sharma: Because he's got a couple of good articles, especially in the beginning where he talks about where he actually [00:38:00] defines things. And what does attribution mean? What's conversion? What is a UTM parameter?  He breaks it down. So before having a conversation with, say, an Adswizz, you should educate yourself on that. So, that's the second thing. The third thing would be, and again, Bryan, I love Bryan. He's done some great work. So he and Magellan, AI, made something called a Podscape. And that Podscape is a one-page PDF document, which gives you a whole picture. Like who's the advertising agency, who are the hosts, who are the publishers, and the attribution platforms. So download that PDF, stick it up in your room, and you'll know exactly who to talk to. And just from my experience, like I'm relatively new to the industry.  But it's been so welcoming to me, and I get honest answers right off the bat, very [00:39:00] promptly, so I would say that. And then, of course, Reddit.  Always subscribe to the subreddit on podcasts and podcasting. So there's a lot of intelligent conversation happening there and subscribe to my newsletter. 

[00:39:12] Heather Osgood: Yes, yes, for sure. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for it. It was great having you on this show, and I know that this is a conversation that we will continue to have. And yeah, I am excited that I know the industry will continue to grow, and I want to see us established podcast hosts as influencers. So when we say influencer, we don't have to say not social media influencers. I mean, like podcast influencers, right? And they're the same thing that people will just know that an influencer is an influencer, and we have those here in podcasting.

[00:39:45] Heather Osgood: So thanks for being on the show today. 

[00:39:47] Shreya Sharma: Thank you for having me, Heather.

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Shreya Sharma

Marketing Director | Writer

Shreya lives in Vancouver and writes Inside Podcasting. She's working on creating noise for women in podcasting & indie podcasters, through the newsletter. She's a podcast geek who proclaims "ooh there's a podcast for that," at least five times a day.