Ad Infinitum

Sound Business is Sound Business

June 26, 2024 Stew Redwine
Sound Business is Sound Business
Ad Infinitum
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Ad Infinitum
Sound Business is Sound Business
Jun 26, 2024
Stew Redwine

Season 2 Episode 5 of Ad Infinitum is titled "Sound Business is Sound Business" and is all about B2B advertising in audio.

We discuss some of the best practices for B2B ad reads, why is audio such a good fit for B2B, particularly podcast, and then rank 4 recent B2B podcast ad spots with one of the best in the business of podcasting and B2B advertising; Hala Taha, CEO and Founder of YAP Media and host of the Young and Profiting Podcast.

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Ad Infinitum is Presented by Oxford Road, Produced by Caitlyn Spring & Ezra Fox, mixed & sound designed by Zach Hahn, and written & hosted by Stew Redwine.

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Show Notes Transcript

Season 2 Episode 5 of Ad Infinitum is titled "Sound Business is Sound Business" and is all about B2B advertising in audio.

We discuss some of the best practices for B2B ad reads, why is audio such a good fit for B2B, particularly podcast, and then rank 4 recent B2B podcast ad spots with one of the best in the business of podcasting and B2B advertising; Hala Taha, CEO and Founder of YAP Media and host of the Young and Profiting Podcast.

Support the Show.

Ad Infinitum is Presented by Oxford Road, Produced by Caitlyn Spring & Ezra Fox, mixed & sound designed by Zach Hahn, and written & hosted by Stew Redwine.

Stew Redwine (00:00):
Hit it. Ad Infinitum is the only podcast solely focused on audio ads, advertising the creative who make them and are the latest thinking that informs them how the space is evolving. And my favorite part, a roundup of recent audio ads and analysis by yours truly Ad campaign Stu Redwine, VP Creative at Oxford Road and each episode's guest. This is season two, episode five of Ad Infinitum and this episode's title is Sound Business is Sound Business Discussing B2B Advertising and Audio Best Practices for B2B ad reads and ranking for recent B2B podcast ad spots. And that's why our guest is Hala Taha, CEO and founder of Yap Media and host of the Young and Profiting podcast. Hala is an expert on networking, marketing, social media, personal branding, side hustles, entrepreneurship and podcasting. No question. We showcase her work frequently. She's an awesome partner of Oxford Roads and the brands that we have the opportunity to represent. So welcome to Add Infinitum Holla. Thank you very much for coming on the show,

Hala Taha (01:02):
Stew. I'm very excited to be here. It's a very unique show and I'm happy to give my experience,

Stew Redwine (01:07):
No question. And I'm thrilled to have you here because you truly are expert at everything that you do. And we'll get into ad reads here. Like I said, you understand the mission when it comes to a post read personal endorsement, which is what we're all about at Oxford Road and we're diving in today, particularly sound businesses sound business into B2B advertising and audio. And that is something that is near and dear to my heart. It's been a large part of what we've done here at Oxford Road over the years and just some stats to give us a lay of the land. So according to a Westwood One study from February 26th of this year, AM and FM radio reaches 85% of all business decision makers. Weekly and podcast reach 40%. This significant reach highlights the growing importance of audio as a primary source of information for key decision makers.

Furthermore, a Radio Inc article for May 22nd, 2024 reveals that 53% of weekly podcast listeners are involved in purchase decisions at work with 32% being primary decision makers. Now, something that is important to keep in mind is those are people that are making decisions, but as we know, decisions are not made completely, solely with information. Emotion is a huge piece and in the decision making process, even in B2B and recent research from the Berg Bass Institute has emphasized the need for emotional connections in B2B advertising. According to Professor Ginny Romanak, effective B2B marketing should not just focus on narrow targeting but aim for broader emotional engagement to create lasting brand memories. This approach is crucial as 95% of B2B buyers are not actively in the market for most products at any given time, highlighting the importance of building mental availability and emotional connections over time. And that was from Marketing Week of April of 2024.

So why is audio so effective for B2B marketing? I think one key reason is the medium's ability to build a personal connection. It's inherently intimate. We talk about that a lot. The hosts that you listen to, you trust them, you form a relationship with them. Audio advertising leverages the power of voice to convey authenticity and trust, creating a unique bond between the brand and the listener. This is particularly important in B2B contexts. We're building those long-term relationships and establishing credibility are crucial because like we said, only 95% of them are even in market at any given time. But how do you ensure your B2B audio campaigns truly resonate? Connect. Let's talk about some strategies. First, it's all about incentivizing engagement. Simply saying call now for a free consultation won't always cut it. You need to offer something of high perceived value to get those hands raised.

I think the higher the perceived value, the more hand raising goes on. And that's really how I think of B2B advertising. So think about what they truly value and then craft your offer around that. And personal endorsements and relationship building are also crucial in B2B, especially for bigger ticket items. Trust is paramount. Use the power of voice to create personal connections and endorsements that build credibility once again over time. That's a real key piece. There's a handy rule of thumb from Pierre Bovard of Westwood one where he talks about the 18 24 58 rule and that's when you start a new campaign. You expect to see 18% of its impact in the first month, 24% in the next two to five months, and 58% in six months and beyond. So in other words, you need to let your B2B audio campaigns cook and patients will yield results.

So whether you're a seasoned chief audio officer or you're just starting out in the B2B space, this episode is going to be packed with actionable insights for you from an expert when it comes to B2B audio. And I'm excited to get started holla. So here we go. My first question before we get into all of that, I think to get a little bit of the lore of Hala Taha, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you turned your Side Hustle podcast into the Yap Media empire, just to give those who don't know a sense for who you are and what you've accomplished?

Hala Taha (05:02):
Sure. So I started my podcast Young and Profiting six and a half years ago now as a side hustle. I was working in corporate at the time at Disney Streaming Services. And so I launched this podcast as a way to basically help other people. I had actually been a failed entrepreneur in the past. I was an entrepreneur straight out of college and it didn't work out. And then I went into corporate pretty late in my life and knew how to become successful in corporate. So I had two people to speak to, entrepreneurs and corporate professionals. I decided to start this Side Hustle podcast. I had been in radio in the past, I used to work at Hot 97, hot nine seven. I was Angie Martinez's assistant who was the voice of New York for three years. And I used to run the ette boards at the radio station and run the phones and do the commercials and just really got my feet wet in the radio world at Hot 97 and I would have online radio shows and then I had a blog.

And so by the time I was in corporate, I actually had like five or six shows before I launched my first solo podcast. And this time, instead of having a music culture focus, I decided to have a business focus because I suddenly had all this business experience and I wanted to help change other people's lives. Now when I started my podcast, I literally thought I would never make any money. I thought that it was just gonna be a hobby forever, that it was just a passion project because I didn't understand the money and the business side of podcasting yet. So I launched my podcast two years later, it became really popular. I became an influencer on LinkedIn. That's when I launched my social agency. It was the first time that I actually monetized my podcast. It was Suze guest that would come on my show and they would always ask me about my LinkedIn following and podcasts.

And I started doing those services for other people. And that's a lot of the pattern in my career is basically doing it really good for myself, doing something good for myself, whether that's building LinkedIn or starting a podcast, growing a podcast monetizing, and then turning that into services for other people. So I did that with my social agency. Anything I did for myself, I would then just serve other clients with that service. We became an award-winning agency called Yap Media. And then two and a half years ago I launched my business and Self-Improvement podcast network, which is now one of the top business networks in the industry. I've got Jenna Kutcher's Gold Digger on my network, Amy Porterfield, Trent Shelton, John Lee Dumas. We've got so many great podcasters in my network and it all started from my podcast and like I said, turning what I do well for myself as a service for other people. I monetized my podcast and figured that out and started doing that for other people with my network. Now the App Media Podcast network,

Stew Redwine (07:27):
I think that's so excellent 'cause it's like you system test, you pressure test on yourself and discover the hand of the market and the solution and then you're able to scale it out to other people. I wanna ask you a question that is really fascinating about you is that you have the background in radio because there's so many folks in podcasting that like it's been interesting in my time at Oxford Road and I've been at Oxford Road since the beginning. You know, you bump into folks in podcasting that like they don't even know radio exists or in a sense are learning the lessons from a hundred years of radio are like being relearned by podcasting as podcasting's coming of age. How pivotal or critical do you think it was that you had that radio experience going into podcasting?

Hala Taha (08:11):
I think it really did help because I saw how, for example, how to read commercials well 'cause I actually used to read commercials even back then. So I've been reading commercials for 20 years now. You know what I mean? Radio really did help and also helped me understand how to be quick. It helped me learn how to audio edit, how to produce shows, research for guests, all those kinds of things. So I definitely went in as a brand new podcaster, which with so many years under my belt, which is why I think my podcast was really popular from the start. 'cause I did have all this production experience and radio experience that I could bring to the table even as a brand new podcaster. So for sure it helped me.

Stew Redwine (08:47):
And I think that experience, like the pressure experience is so important. Like it's cool you had those early, like anybody early in their career, if you can be in some sort of dynamic where you have to deliver broadcast radio, like it has to be done, the ad break's coming, like it has to go on air and then you're able to do a whole lot more reps as opposed to on demand media. It can sit and you can be in your garage practicing and practicing and practicing and trying to make it perfect and you never actually ship. But that's a separate show. So when you, given that you had radio experience, that's awesome. And then into podcasting. In your experience over the years that you've been in audio, where do you see B2B advertising fitting into audio in general?

Hala Taha (09:27):
Yeah, I think podcasting is a really great place for B2B advertising because there's different categories of podcasts that really cater to business owners. So the entrepreneurship category and on Apple for example, where my show fits, where almost all the shows in my network are business shows, marketing shows, entrepreneurship shows, technology shows, right? These are the shows where the listeners are super niche and interested in business products that they're actually gonna be using their services. So when you're advertising on the radio, you're reaching a broad audience where only a small subset of them might actually be interested in your products and services. Whereas a podcaster is gonna be talking to your exact target audience. So like I said, a lot of the entrepreneurship shows and marketing shows especially are a great place for people to advertise their B2B softwares. The other thing to know about B2B advertising and podcasting is that a lot of the biggest thought leaders in industries are podcast hosts.

And you'll be able to advertise on their shows for a far lesser amount than you would to be able to like hire a celebrity to do a TV commercial for example. So it's way cheaper to actually speak to a thought leader in somebody's niche than to produce some whole big TV commercial and this and that. On top of that, the listeners of podcasts are in their prime earning years. 90% of podcast listeners are 18 to 54, whereas radio and TV users are a generation older, right? The average radio and TV viewer or listener is in their fifties, right? So they're kind of starting to retire, not really looking at different B2B opportunities out there. So podcast listeners are usually a better target fit for B2B advertisers.

Stew Redwine (11:03):
You know it's funny, on a recent podcast year on launch your business with Terry Rice, I did notice that you said there's nothing you could ask me about podcasting that I don't really know the answer to. And you pretty much proved it with that answer. You've got the whole thing worked out, you take this stuff deadly serious, don't you? I

Hala Taha (11:20):
Do. I mean I'm always presenting about podcasting. I own a podcast network. They call me the podcast princess for a reason. I know everything about monetizing, growing, producing a podcast. And that's why literally the top podcasters in the world whose shows are larger than mine often, like I'm not the biggest podcaster in my network because I just know the business of podcasting better than anyone else. Not necessarily I'm the best podcaster that ever was, right? I am the best podcaster that knows the business of podcasting

Stew Redwine (11:50):
<laugh>. That has been my experience and you're proving it right now. And I think it makes a larger point that you know, you've been using the word niche just like audio is niche and then you go within it even further and like podcasts, like there's a lot of nuance to all of it. And that's what we're all about at Oxford Road. And with that infinitum, our listeners, the chief audio officer, which are the individuals that are responsible for the dollars that are being deployed in audio and they're responsible to make them work and report back to their organizations, Hey, I made this work and for a long time audio has been treated as an afterthought that it's getting increased attention, but it's still a very small slice of everything that's being spent in advertising. So it's good to hear and to express to others that there is a tremendous amount to get educated about and to become expert at so that you can make the ads work very well in a medium where ads work particularly well. And as a podcast host yourself and then also running your business, how do you coach others? And then how do you yourself approach ad reads specifically for B2B advertisers to make them effective?

Hala Taha (12:54):
So first of all, actually trying to know and use the product, like really understanding like what is the product? Who does it cater for? What problems does this product solve, right? Understanding the price points of the product and thinking about what would your listeners actually want to understand about the product. What do I actually need to focus on in this ad read to get my listeners to take action and convert? The other thing is the way that you read your ads. So incorporating storytelling, right? People learn the most with story. So what story can I tell about myself and how this advertiser solved my problem? How can I do this in an entertaining way? In a funny way, I try to make my ad reads as funny as possible. A lot of the times I remember I went on Cal Fussman podcast and he basically was like, holla, I listened to your show and the most entertaining part about your show in my opinion was the ads.

He is like, I've never listened to ads and felt like entertained and I don't have ads on my podcast and you have changed my mind that now I wanna start playing ads on my podcast 'cause you taught me that I can do it in a way that's actually entertaining and interesting. And that's how I think about my ads. How can I bring in my own personal life? How can I tell my own stories? Because I'm always interviewing other people. So how can I use this as an opportunity for my fans to hear more about my life and how this brand helped me solve my problems? The other thing is you really gotta repeat yourself, right? You've gotta make sure you say the brand very quickly in the beginning. So one of the things I see a lot of people doing wrong is that they mention the brand. Like at the end you've gotta figure out a way to mention the brand name over and over and over again in your, you know, one minute read or one and a half minute read. So making sure you say the brand right up front, making sure you clearly communicate what it does, who it's gonna help, how it's gonna help your specific listeners, how it helped you infusing story and humor and being entertaining. All those things make a really solid read. So those are some of my tips for the reads

Stew Redwine (14:47):
When you talk about having a deep understanding of how the thing, like let's talk about a cloud-based ERP system that a company that wants to use that you're talking about a massive financial commitment and a big change for their organization. So it may not be a product you could necessarily use. Like if your network doesn't go, you know, in order to do this read, I'm gonna switch my whole accounting software over to this thing. It's like that's not practical. It would be awesome if it happened, but it's unlikely. So when you're presented with a product like that in B2B, which there are many examples, we could think of some massive system, it sounds like what you're saying is make sure you get as much depth of knowledge of the product as you can and how people do use it. And then decide what aspect of it to focus on

Hala Taha (15:28):
100%. And even if in the ideal scenario, I will try to use that product. So as you become a big podcaster, you basically have exclusivity per category for your podcast. And as like a business podcast, you might have an exclusive e-commerce platform, an exclusive hiring platform, an exclusive project management tool, and literally exclusive email provider. And I do have that. So I have constant contact as my email. Shopify is my e-commerce. Pipedrive is my sales CRM. And I only advertise those brands. And if I just like for example, just works, right? Justworks is one of my brands and I use Justworks for my company. I use Shopify for my company. I choose to use the brands that are investing in me and I invest back in them by having really good ad reads. So I will literally switch my platforms from my own business. And many of the podcasters in my network are entrepreneurs with their own business who really wanna rep the brands that they use.

So we're also reverse engineering that and asking everybody what are the brands you use so that we can try to get you your exclusive brand partner in a way that you can speak authentically about them. And nothing is better than hiring a podcast host that is intelligent who can speak authentically about your brand, who is a thought leader in their niche and can tell people about how they literally use their product. So that's why my reads are believable because I am using Shopify for example. I do use Indeed for example, right? So it's important to use it, but there are definitely times where like for example, a bank is sponsoring me. I can't have a hundred banks, right? And in that case I'm reading through their entire website. I don't just take the talk points and use the talk points. 'cause a lot of the times that's just not enough clarity for me to really understand how does this differentiate from other banks? What do I need to talk about in this commercial? So I'm scanning their website, I'm reading their customer reviews and I'm seeing how do their customers talk about it? What stories do their customers say? And I'm trying to get a demo. If I can get a demo, I'm clicking around, I'm watching YouTube videos. So I really am like researching about the brand to make sure that I can communicate it effectively so that people do convert and I can get Rebus and keep the brands happy.

Stew Redwine (17:36):
So when at all possible, put your money where your mouth is and actually use the thing. And if you can't use the thing, definitely understand it. But I love your additional advice there is understand the words that real people use to talk about this brand, the people that do use it. Yeah.

Hala Taha (17:51):
Because a lot of the times the talk points will be pretty jargony and they'll try to make it seem like it's everything for everyone. It's a one stop business shop. You know what I'm saying? And it's like, but what does that mean? It's a one stop shop. Many people don't want a one stop shop. You want the best of everything, right? So I try to distill like what is it exactly that they sell that they're the best at that I can sort of hone in on as the differentiator for this brand.

Stew Redwine (18:16):
It's a one-stop shop and they cut out the middleman <laugh>

Hala Taha (18:20):
No fees, right?

Stew Redwine (18:21):
Yes, it is so fun to like make an ad for nothing. It's just jargon <laugh>. And before we get into grading the ads, since you run the number one business podcast network, looking forward, like your fingers definitely on the pulse, how do you see the space evolving and what are the trends that you see in B2B advertising and podcast?

Hala Taha (18:44):
Mm, such a good question. I see so many trends in this space. So first of all, I see podcasts becoming more than just audio, right? So nowadays when you ask somebody where do you listen to podcasts? If I ask my fans this, some of them will say I listen on LinkedIn or I listen on YouTube, right? So podcasts are becoming much more than just audio only. And this opens up a whole new audience for advertisers where they can now advertise across podcasters, platforms, across audio, YouTube, live streams, social media. And I also see a lot of deepened integration. So especially once you find a business influencer that uses your brand that can talk intelligently about your brand, that has an active engaged following, if you are able to then advertise across their different channels and deepen your partnerships with branded content like interviews, custom episodes, webinars, email challenges, right? So there's so many different ways that you can leverage a podcaster's audience, not only on audio. So for example, Shopify is one of my biggest sponsors. And by the way, I'm the number one podcaster for Shopify. If you go into Magellan, I have the most podcast commercials for Shopify, Shopify

Stew Redwine (19:52):
Where my sales at.

Hala Taha (19:54):
I love that sound. And Shopify, because I am their top podcaster, wanted to do deeper integration. So I actually worked with Oxford Road to put on this creative sponsorship. So we did a three part series and basically I interviewed their top entrepreneurs who use Shopify. So I interviewed the CEO of Allbirds, the CEO of Thrive Cosmetics. And I interviewed the CEO of Shopify and I put it out like I would any other podcast. I asked, you know, the guest, how they use Shopify in their business, how it was able to help them focus on their core business. I incorporated my own use case with Shopify in the interviews and it was super organic. My audience loved it because it had perfect brand fit. It didn't feel out of place. I would've interviewed these people anyway from my podcast and we just incorporated Shopify in a very organic, authentic way.

So that's just one example of some of the creative branded content that you can do with B2B with podcasts that are just simply not possible on TV and radio. Could you imagine doing a whole TV episode that incorporates your brand? It just wouldn't really happen. And also B2B software is not very visible. So you can't do like product placement, right? This is basically doing product placement, but in a audio podcast, right? So it works really well. The last thing I'll say is that when you work with business podcast hosts, they tend to be entrepreneurs that sell their own products and services. So what does this mean? A, we're all marketers, we're all sellers. We all know how to speak authentically and convincingly to persuade people to do what we want because we do that in our own businesses. We also have systems to promote our own products and services that we then turn into podcast sponsorship.

So for example, the way that I sell my courses is through webinars. I've turned that strategy into something that I offer as a podcast sponsorship. So for example, constant Contact is one of my sponsors. And I'll do a webinar about email marketing where in the webinar I ask people to sign up for a Constant Contact demo and I get people on the call on the webinar, Hey, did everybody sign up as pre-work of this webinar? You've gotta sign up. Or I'll make it mandatory. They sign up to the free trial basically to actually join the webinar. And so this has become a great super innovative approach to get signups for free trials. So Shopify is interested in doing this, for example, and other brands that we work with and webinars are becoming super hot as well as podcast email challenges, right? So incorporating not just the podcast channel but meshing email lists. Because again, when you're a business influencer, chances are that you have a large email list with a similar target audience as your podcast. So just leveraging all the different podcast channels, getting creative, deepening your partnerships with your top performers in podcasting, and then creating cross channel branded campaigns with them.

Stew Redwine (22:32):
Well thank you for the masterclass on B2B audio advertising. You're delivering the goods. I'm curious on the webinar, so what you're saying, so I understand you're then present on the webinar as well.

Hala Taha (22:43):
Yeah, so it's basically a custom webinar that our entrepreneur podcast influencers can create. So like we'll do like an email webinar for Constant Contact for Shopify, for example, it would be like a How to start a Side Hustle webinar. And the pre-work of this webinar will be signing up to the demo and in the actual webinar there might be a thousand people there. Hey, let me know in the chat when you guys are done signing up. Yes, yes, yes, yes. The brands are so happy. They're like, you got 600 signups in one hour. That's really hard to do without having a live event. Then we take that webinar, we turn it into an audio episode, we turn it into a YouTube episode, we turn it into social content, do DM retargeting, we turn it into an email blast that then gets replayed, right? So we're crushing for people with these campaigns that we take. Like I said, almost everybody in our network are very successful entrepreneurs. What are the ways that they promote their own products and services? We turn that into sponsorship. So for me it's webinars. I do that for my own courses. So I've turned that into sponsorship opportunities for my brands and they love it. It's a way to deepen your partnerships with your top performers.

Stew Redwine (23:45):
That's outstanding. 'cause what we've seen works in B2B so well and particularly in audio, is this idea of hand waving and going like, Hey, it's just you're trying to get them in the door to get them in the funnel to begin the process of communicating. And then something like a webinar is so powerful as you're testing to be able to do further demonstration, right? Like Aristotle told us 2300 years ago, a person is not fully persuaded until they see a thing demonstrated, particularly B2B 95% of 'em aren't in market, but maybe they're considering or maybe they are starting to build preference for you. It's something they can wave their hand, they can come attend this thing and the opportunity there then to close them once you've got them in that environment goes through the roof

Hala Taha (24:30):
100%. And the way that you need to think about podcasting is that every channel has a purpose, right? So the audio part is really for awareness, engagement, trust, right? And then when you go to social, that's more about the clicking, the buying, the exploring, getting actual purchase action. So if you merge the two, you literally have the best of both worlds with your podcast influencers.

Stew Redwine (24:51):
That is awesome. Hat is off to you in that regard. And it's so great to hear how much uh, premium you put on the personal endorsement aspect of it. That's something that we talk about a lot as well is so critical as podcast advertising is evolving with dynamic insertion and then with generative ai, that piece that has always been a part of audio, which is the intimate connection of a real person that you're listening to. It's great to hear that somebody who's in your seat, who has so much influence holds that in such high regard. And we could go on and on, I know we could, but let's get into grading some ads. Are you ready?

Hala Taha (25:28):
So ready.

Stew Redwine (25:30):
All right. So now we get into the heart of ad infinitum where we're gonna listen to how some folks are showing up in audio that are B2B advertisers. We're gonna listen to four recent top B2B podcast advertisers from Magellan's Top Movers and Shakers in April of 2024. And we'll get your take on them and your rating of them. And then I will also provide the Oxford Road Audio Lytics score, which is the framework that we use to construct and audit messages for their persuasive potential. So let's get right into it. The first one is for Slack and it's from the Colin Cow Herd podcast.

Slack Ad | Announcer (26:09):
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Stew Redwine (26:39):
All right, let's get started.

Hala Taha (26:41):
All right, was that a prerecorded ad or a host red

Stew Redwine (26:44):
Ad? That's a produced ad. So prerecorded,

Hala Taha (26:46):
So it was good. But when it's a produced prerecorded ad, you lose the almost, not the point of podcasting, but you lose the host red ad, right? So it's like listeners wanna hear hosts. When I'm even trying to grow podcasts and I'm putting commercials on other podcasts, it will perform significantly less. If it's not the host reading the ad, if it's like me reading the ad on somebody else's podcast is gonna convert less. So that's why run of Network podcast ads convert less because it's typically prerecorded or it's a different host of the actual podcast host. Listeners wanna hear from the actual host. If it's the host, they will listen just to give respect to the host. If it's somebody they never heard before, they're gonna cut right over it. The second thing is music. Music is distracting. Music is actually not something that I would recommend to have on your commercials. First of all, it signifies it's an ad. It's signifies it's different than the podcast content, right? So too much music, no storytelling. I clearly understood what the product was and I noticed that there was no tracking involved. So whoever's doing this commercial is not gonna really under, well, if there's pixels they'll understand the performance, but there's no promo code. So I know it's a little bit harder to judge performance when you don't have a promo code. So those are all my thoughts.

Stew Redwine (27:56):
Yeah, you at least you don't get the directional piece. And then also I think that there's a promo codes aren't all just about measurement. To me it's also like it's that additional thing, especially if you have a meaningful offer and then you give someone a specific path, it's like it creates more engagement because it feels more special. Nevertheless, out of 10, this is the first one. We're gonna listen to three more outta 10. What would you give this one? Just, I know we're shooting in the dark here.

Hala Taha (28:19):
I mean I'm really against programmatic prerecorded ads, so I would give it a six.

Stew Redwine (28:24):
Okay, six outta 10. I like you're coming in strong and you've got points of view <laugh>. That is awesome. So well that came up on the last episode of ad Infinitum where it's like, it's amazing to me that those of us who make all of these things that there's like group think or like a collective kind of hypnosis that can occur working on a thing to talk yourself into a lower standard frankly than when you're viewing someone else's work just objectively, all of a sudden you can be honest. And it's like the takeaway for chief audio officers is like try to treat your own work or get someone else to get another view on what you guys are working on. So you don't all talk yourselves into something that if another advertiser were to do it and you were on ad infinitum, you would ding it.

Hala Taha (29:08):
So for instance, with this Slack commercial, I actually use Slack in my business. So had Slack actually done a host red commercial on my podcast for example, instead of recording this prerecorded ad, they would've gotten an authentic story from a marketing thought leader. And I would've rewrote their talk points and given them new material essentially that then could then roll out to podcasters who might not be marketing experts, right? So I know for a fact that when I do reads for other podcasts, I bet you they're using my content as fuel for other future reads for other people. So if you choose the right, they'll actually write the scripts for you.

Stew Redwine (29:44):
One, I love that you're taking a hard line on podcast is the place for those host read personal endorsements.

Hala Taha (29:50):
Personal personal endorsements. That's what it's all about. And it's worth to hire CPM really worth the hire CPM.

Stew Redwine (29:57):
And looking at the slack ad through the lens of audio lytics, which is the nine key components of a persuasive message, set up value prop, positioning, demonstration, substantiation, offer scarcity, path and execution like we do on every episode. The Slack ad came in at a 71%. Our target for all in market creative is a 90%. And there's just, there's good information in there and it is speaking to a need that business owners have, which is finding more time. It's like it could just do it better. Like it could make every word count more that's in the execution section. Like let's tighten it up. There's nothing incentivizing anyone to take action, any kind of offer. And an offer isn't always a financial incentive or anything like that, but there's nothing in it that's going like, and this is why you need to do this right now.

Like it'd even be about lost opportunity or whipping back around to that loss of time. So there's a few things that it could do if we accept we've gotta work within the box that we're in. I like that you're challenging it on the face of it and going like, Hey, let's do a personal endorsement. Just grading what's there. Lands pretty similarly to where you're at. You gave it a six outta 10 audio Lytics gives it a 71%. So let's go on to the next one and see what kind of job they did. And this is speaking of, we were talking about banks earlier. This one is from Bank of America.

Bank of America Ad | Janice Torres (31:13):
Hi, this is Janice Torres from Joo Dero. If you own or operate a business, whether it's a local operation or a global corporation, partnering with Bank of America could be your smartest move by teaming with Bank of America. You'll enjoy exclusive digital tools, award-winning insights and business solutions. So powerful you'll make every move matter. Position your business to capitalize on opportunity in a moment's notice. Visit bank of for business to learn more. What would you like the power to do? Bank of America? Na copyright 2024.

Stew Redwine (31:53):
All right, so they didn't get your music note either. What else do you think about this ad? So

Hala Taha (31:57):
This actually sounds like a radio ad to me. I'm pretty surprised that this was on a podcast. However, I did think the sound effects, the music it worked in this case, it felt like a story. So the host actually had a bit of an accent and I liked that because it made her seem different, unique. I think that she would speak to other people who might have a native Spanish as their language, where they might feel more connected to the person who's actually reading the read. So even though I don't think this was a host read ad, the personality they chose really spoke, I think to the target audience, they were probably looking for minority business owners to switch to Bank of America or minority folks to switch to Bank of America, period. 'cause I think it was a business ad, so probably business owners that are minority owned, right? So it seems like that's a better way to go about it. If you are gonna be doing a programmatic ad, at least pick somebody who's gonna read the ad who can connect with your audience. So again, I liked it. I think this one I would give a eight out of 10. It had a unique offer at the end. You knew exactly who you were talking to. It felt inspiring. I think the person who read the ad probably connected well with the audience.

Stew Redwine (33:04):
Yeah, and I think you bring up a good point. It's interesting, it's Denise Torres from Yo Carro Dero, which is another podcast, and this ad is on the Intelligence podcast by the Economist, which is interesting to me. I wonder, do you ever see that where it's like, for instance, we could use an ad of Hala Taha for Shopify that runs on other podcasts. Like what do you think about that?

Hala Taha (33:26):
I think that's appropriate. If they probably loved that Girl's ad they felt like it was converting super well and they wanted to test it on other ads. I see that a lot is run of network ads. So for example, at Yeah, media, we'll do a run of network ad that I read across all of our different business podcasts. That can work well, especially I think the fact that this lady had an accent made it immediately obvious to the listener if they were a minority that this person is one of them, right? So it's a little bit harder if you don't like have a way to communicate that, but it could be similarly, if you're talking to women and somebody who's a woman reading the read or whatever, it's,

Stew Redwine (34:00):
That's massive, right? Because it's, you want to hear yourself and you're going to respond more to someone that you feel connected to. I mean, that is still the magic of audio working. So Audio Lytics gave this one a slightly higher score at 76%. You gave it eight outta 10.

Hala Taha (34:16):
Oh, I was right on the money.

Stew Redwine (34:17):
Yeah, like we're right there. And as audio lytics, the weighting is based on performance. There's 71 sub components. And as you approach the speed of light, which 90% for all in market creative, it gets increasingly difficult to move one percentage point. And it's same kind of thing on this one, you know, it's like it could be sharpened a little bit more specifically as far as the setup goes. You know, it does, well it's banking on recognition. I think you bring up a great point on the voice and the accent. If you don't know who Denise Torres is, or yo Carro Dero, you know, that might be lost on you. So that'd just be something to think about. But like you said, perhaps this is a test, but that would be an area to look at, you know, and even with someone as massive as Bank of America, they talk about some digital tools and award-winning insights.

Sometimes something I notice even with the most massive advertisers is they'll still substantiate themselves with a third party, which they kind of did with award-winning. But it's like, well what award? What? You know it's the JD Power and Associates, right? So what specifically sets Bank of America apart from the competition? And then at the end, to your point, they did have a vanity URL America Bank of So there was a path there. But again, it's kind of like, what's a really good reason to take action now? Like why do I need to do this right now? That's also missing. So that's part of reason this one came in at is 76%. And let's get to the next ad, which is from FedEx. And this was from Hidden Brain.

FedEx | Announcer (35:45):
This podcast is supported by FedEx. Dear Small and medium businesses, no one wants happy customers more than you do. That's why FedEx offers you picture proof of delivery package lists and paperless returns as well as weekend home delivery to 98% of the US on Saturday and 50% on Sunday. See the FedEx service guide for delivery information? FedEx Ground Service is also faster to more locations than UPS ground. See what FedEx can do for your business. Absolutely positively, FedEx.

Stew Redwine (36:15):
All right, so yet another produced one. What do you

Hala Taha (36:17):
Think? Yeah, I just don't jive with these produced ads. It felt like very, very commercial did not feel authentic at all. The music made it feel even more like a commercial. It just like felt like a commercial. You don't want your reads to actually feel like a commercial. You want it to be entertaining connect. This one did not connect for me at all. I would give it a five.

Stew Redwine (36:38):
All right, audio lytics gave it a 63% and for a lot of the same things you were bringing up, how can it be a more compelling setup that grabs the attention? It's just speaking to, it's like, dear small and medium businesses, no one wants happy customers more than you do that to me. And I hear this a lot in ads, like that to me actually sounds like the line for the brief, for the creative team to come up with the ad. Like, hey, our insider, our observation about the audience is that no one wants their customers happier more than the small and business owner come up with something based on that. And it's like, no, this is just like, I'm gonna state this thing and that doesn't get any hooks in me right now. It did have some nice specifics in there and it did mention, you know, from a positioning standpoint, FedEx ground services faster to more locations than UPS ground, which I do like seeing that in an advertisement, just having clarity about like how I stack up against the competition.

So I'm trying to, you know, give them a little something there. But like I said, it got a 63% 'cause there's a lot missing from it. There's no strong offer or a call to action with a sense of urgency. And even though it does mention these different aspects of how things are delivered, it's missing a little bit of how FedEx works, which might sound kind of ridiculous, but sometimes I also feel like that's something that gets lost is that like, well everybody knows that sometimes it's the stuff that everybody knows that we need to reiterate. I mean you gave it a five out of 10, what else are you seeing that they could do better? It's

Hala Taha (38:03):
Just not memorable. It wasn't memorable. I remember the boring music and I don't remember what they said. I can't remember one thing that was said. I remember the music, which is the last thing that you want somebody to remember. I remember the boring music.

Stew Redwine (38:16):
Okay, so let's go to one that you're gonna be familiar with, I believe, which this is for Shopify and this is our final ad that we're going to review. And this read is from Young and Profiting with Hala Taha. Here we go.

Hala Taha (38:32):
Young Anders, as you may know, I launched my LinkedIn Secrets masterclass a little bit over a year ago. It was my first course and so far I've generated well over $500,000. And the best part is I didn't have to figure out how to set up my mastermind subscriptions, how to do abandoned cart targeting and all of that tech geeky stuff. I just left that all to Shopify. Shopify is the global commerce platform that helps you sell at every stage of your business. And if you're in that, I need to sell more with less stage. Shopify Magic is your AI superpowered sidekick ready to whip up captivating content that converts. And it doesn't matter if you're selling digital products or vegan cosmetics. Shopify helps you sell anything anywhere from their all-in-one e-commerce platform to their in-person POS system. Stop those online window shoppers in their tracks and turn them into loyal customers.

With the Internet's best converting checkout, I'm talking 36% better on average compared to the other options out there. It's no wonder Shopify powers 10% of all e-commerce in the us, including huge global brands like Allbirds and Thrive Cosmetics. It took me a day to set up my Shopify store. I set up chat, took two minutes and I was done one month from thinking of the idea to implementation. A year later I've made half a million dollars on the idea. That's what it takes in 2024, just a good idea. And then utilizing a platform like Shopify that can help you make it a reality. There is no excuse these days. If you've got a good business idea and you think you'll be a good entrepreneur, you don't have to wait any longer. You don't have to be super techie and you never have to worry about figuring it out on your own. Shopify's award-winning help is there to support your success every step of the way. Sign up for a $1 per month trial period at That's all lowercase. Go to now to grow your business, no matter what stage you're in

Stew Redwine (40:37):
Okay, so before you have to grade yourself, I wanna let you know to put some wind in your sails that the audio lytics score for this ad is an 88%. Our top score is a 90%. You nailed all of it and that's a combo of the copy and your delivery and your personal story. But how would you grade yourself? Well,

Hala Taha (40:58):
It's funny, whenever I listen to my own ads, I'm like, oh, I think I did a different cut that was funnier. I think my team edited this and I probably did it better this time. So like as I'm listening to it, I'm like, oh, that's not the funniest version that I read, or that's not the best version that I read. But people can't read your mind when they're editing your your commercial. And it was a great commercial. So I think I did a great job. I've read like 500 Shopify commercials, so there's so many good ones out there. Honestly, some of the earlier ones are so funny where I'm at the end and I'm like, you be an entrepreneur and you could be an entrepreneur. And I go like crazy at the end. I think some of those older reads are really funny. I should like resurrect them.

But yeah, I think I did a really good job. Here's the thing, I weaved a story in the beginning and if you notice, I tied it at the end. I said I earned half a million dollars with Shopify in the beginning. And then I tied it again at the end and was like back to my personal story about how you don't need to figure it out. You could do this on your own, you could become an entrepreneur. What's gonna incentivize them to sign up to a trial? Me showing them like, Hey, I did this, I had no experience and look how successful I was with Shopify. Right? And I gave other examples and I gave the talk points that Shopify wanted me to give, you know? And I also just weaved in my story to kind of tie it all together and also dumb it down for people, right? You can do subscription, you can do a bandit cart, right? So like through my story, I also like all the features I could have just read it and been like, Shopify let's you do subscription, abandoned cart, blah blah blah. But instead I weaved it into the story and talked about it that way, which is easier to learn that way.

Stew Redwine (42:28):
And you did that in the middle too, where you talked about how quick it was to set up. Yep. And you had set that up in the beginning as well, that you don't have to know all the techie stuff. And look, I mean I am involved in creating this copy and I know it's a lot. And sometimes we ask the host to do a lot and you know, I did a previous episode of Ad Infinitum called Hosts or people too, where it's like, that's a tough nut to crack when you're given, let's say a hundred and sixty, a hundred eighty, two hundred, two hundred and fifty words for a minute. Read and add your own personal endorsement on top of it. And another thing is you did a two minute read and like this wasn't intentional, you know, for ad infin, it's like I'm looking at the top spenders or the top movers and shakers. So the people that are investing, people who are responsible for these dollars and then just let it be what it is. The three other ones are all produced spots and we're coming in at 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 30 seconds. And then boom here as we're going through and grading them, you're calling for, we need to have personal endorsements, we need to have that magic on podcasting. And that's exactly what you delivered. And it's not even just a minute, it's actually two minutes.

Hala Taha (43:30):
Yeah, I'm not afraid of long ad reads. I think most of my ad reads average about two minutes. And if you look at the data, actually the highest performing ad reads are around two minutes long. You need a little bit of time to tell that story, to get creative to again like, you know, tie things together. Otherwise people listen for a minute and they're like, what did I, I don't even understand what this is. So I'll take as long as I need to help people understand what the product is. And it gives me an opportunity to have room to be creative. Again, don't be long-winded 'cause you don't wanna have a boring commercial, but I don't think that commercial was boring at all. It's like you were paying attention the whole time because I was switching it up, going from talking about the product to going back to the story and so on. So I'll give myself a 90% on that ad.

Stew Redwine (44:14):
Yes, nine out 10. So we have our rankings. We've got Shopify at nine out of 10, bank of America, eight out of 10, slack, six out of 10 in FedEx at five out of 10. And that tracked right along with Audio lytics. It was 88% for Shopify, 76% for Bank of America, 71% for Slack, 63% for FedEx. And I think we've covered a ton for Chief Audio Officers to keep in mind when they're advertising B2B in audio. And I think to summarize, I would say if you're going to do produced and you're going to go shorter, you've really gotta earn it. You've gotta make it engaging and interesting and different. However, ideally you're doing host read endorsements and what I got from you today was make sure you've used it nine times outta 10. Use the product and if you absolutely can't use it, understand in human language from the people that can use the product.

Then two would be to focus, choose your focus, what are you focused on in the advertisement? Use storytelling, which you gave us a masterclass on how to do that. And then lastly, it's like 1 0 1, but you mentioned it and it's absolutely true. Mention the brand name early and mention it often. So the big takeaways I'm seeing right now for CAOs is have the host use the product, do anything you can to help the host use the product or understand the product from those who do use it. Decide what the message is focused on. Use storytelling and mention the brand name early and often. And if you're gonna do produce instead of Host Red, make something that really is noteworthy and memorable.

Hala Taha (45:48):
And I just wanna call out that just in case it wasn't clear that Young and Profiting won that competition <laugh> with 88% the highest score. And from my understanding, 90% is the top score. So just 2% off the top score.

Stew Redwine (46:03):
Yeah, at 88%, 90% is as good as it gets. Somebody comes in the door with a 88% and that's exactly where you wanna be. So yeah, hats off to you. This was amazing. Thank you so much for joining at Infinitum. So much. Great advice, practical advice for CAOs who are investing in audio specifically for B2B. If there was one last piece of advice that you would give to folks who are responsible for AD dollars for B2B and audio, what would it be?

Hala Taha (46:30):
My recommendation is to find the right podcast influencers. Find your brand ambassadors and invest in them. Buy month long campaigns, deepen your partnerships, buy social posts from them, email blasts, branded content, custom episodes, find your top podcasters and then deepen your partnerships with them. That's where the game is at. That's where everything is trending to. You wanna just find the right influencers and you'll get more ROI out of your campaigns if you do that.

Stew Redwine (46:58):
Business is always personal. In the words of Michael Scott, well you are incredible, obviously an expert, very accomplished, very grateful that you joined at Infinitum to share your expertise. Where can listeners go to learn more about you and connect?

Hala Taha (47:12):
Yes, so advertisers, if you're interested in working with YAP Media, you can work with us through Oxford. So if you are interested in my show Young and Profiting, we've got Jenna Kutcher's, gold Digger, Amy Porterfield's, online Marketing Made Easy. We've got so many amazing shows. I just signed Russell Brunson. So like I said, some of the most iconic entrepreneurs and podcast influencers are in the YAP Media network. You can also go to yap to learn more about our network. And if you're looking for me Young and Profiting podcast,

Stew Redwine (47:41):
Well thanks again. And to our listeners, remember, if you like what you heard today, show us some love with an honest five star review. And if there's an ad you can't get out of your head that you want us to dissect, let me know. It's And until next time, remember, have fun making the ads work.

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