CC 025: Big Data, Big Questions: Automated Content Marketing Software With Robbie Allen

Wordsmith For Marketing From Automated Insights

Wordsmith For Marketing From Automated Insights

Welcome to episode 25 of the Content Champion podcast. On the show this time it’s my pleasure to be discussing automated content marketing software with Robbie Allen, Founder and CEO of Automated Insights.

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Not only is Robbie a highly accomplished IT engineer with two masters degrees from MIT, but he’s also a prolific author, serial entrepreneur and mentor to multiple tech startups.

Robbie Allen

Robbie Allen

Big data is a hot topic at the time of writing, yet its ramifications and potential benefits for content marketers have yet to be fully explored.

That’s why I was delighted when Robbie agreed to come on the show to discuss his new automated analytics product – developed exclusively for the marketing community – ‘Wordsmith For Marketing’.

Over half an hour, we consider how automated software can process big data sources, and look at the practical applications of this for content marketing platforms. We also talk about artificial intelligence, the dot com boom and the future of the industry.

Here’s what we discussed:

  • Robbie’s career history
  • Working in Silicon Valley during the dot com boom
  • The backstory to his current company, Automated Insights
  • The role artificial intelligence plays in automated software solutions
  • The huge potential of automated software platforms
  • Wider practical applications of such software
  • How automated software solutions can help content marketers
  • How automated platforms harness big data sources to assist marketers in producing content and creating bespoke analytics
  • An introduction to the ‘Wordsmith For Marketing’ product and how it can help content marketers
  • Planned feature developments for the ‘Wordsmith For Marketing’ platform
  • How automated software frees-up our time
  • Future trends for big data and automated software
  • What’s next in the product pipeline for Automated Insights

Plus! The PS Question! Robbie shares two advanced content marketing strategies you won’t want to miss!

Items mentioned in this edition

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Podcast Transcript

Announcer: Welcome to the official podcast at Join our heroic quest to discover truly epic content marketing. Introducing your host, the Content Champion himself, Loz James.

Loz James: Hi guys. Welcome to Session 25 of the Content Champion Podcast. Thanks for listening. In this episode, I’m delighted to be chatting with distinguished IT engineer, entrepreneur, mentor and prolific author, Robbie Allen.

Robbie is an expert in the fields of big data and automated software and is founder and CEO of Automated Insights. His team has just developed an exciting piece of software called Wordsmith For Marketing, which we discuss in the context of handling big data sources and measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing campaigns.

Let’s dive in.

Many thanks for coming on, Robbie.

Robbie Allen: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Loz James: In today’s show, I’m going to be asking some big questions about big data, artificial intelligence and automated software as they relate to content marketing.

It’s great you’ve come on, because you’re not only a distinguished IT engineer with no fewer than two Master’s degrees from MIT, but you’re also a serial entrepreneur, the author of ten books and the founder and CEO of Automated Insights.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, you’ve also worked as a software engineer at some of the world’s biggest brands. Tell me about your early career, Robbie.

Robbie Allen: I did computer science as an undergrad. I learned pretty early on that my initial dream of being a professional baseball player wasn’t going to work out, so I decided to focus my efforts on computers, which this was in early nineties.

The web was just starting to come around and I just really got into it and so started to learn a lot about computers. I started doing internships. I did an internship at IBM and one at Cisco Systems.

Then I actually went to work full time and then went to school part time, so it took me a number of years to actually get my degree, but doing that time I was able to work at some cool places including live out in San Jose during the boom in the late nineties.

Loz James: What was that like, the boom? Must have been exciting times.

Robbie Allen: It was. It’s funny to look back on it in retrospect. When we were there going through it, it wasn’t like … you knew it was a special time, but you didn’t know this was going to be a seminal moment in the history of the internet.

Everybody thought that things were just changing and it was always going to be like this, but it was super exciting. Back in those days, I was in my early twenties, working eighty hours a week, literally sleeping in the office three nights a week and that was just generally accepted, just because there was so much going on.

The time when I was at Cisco, their stock was splitting every six to twelve months and just a lot of excitement in general in the Valley.

Loz James: Harking back to that time, you’ve carried on this work with startups and you’ve advised many entrepreneurs. What are some of the stand out projects you’ve worked for?

Robbie Allen: One when I was at MIT, I got to know several entrepreneurs that were a part of the original Y Combinator class, so Xobni for example; I was good friends with Adam Smith, who is one of the founders of Xobni and again, part of the original Y Combinator class, so I got to see that from the very early beginnings.

Their first class was in Boston – now they’re in California, but they originally were in Boston, so it was just fun to see them and Reddit and all those early guys, just trying to figure out what to make of this Y Combinator thing. It was just great to see them develop from the early stages.

Loz James: A lot of these companies are now household internet brand names. What’s the culture like at the startup? Is it really exciting and everyone’s really raring to go?

Robbie Allen: It’s not unlike how it is for any startup when they first get started and it’s just a couple of people working late nights. I remember there were several of the Y Combinator companies that had a flat in Cambridge and I asked Adam Smith one day if I could stop by, happy to bring them dinner or something like that.

I asked him what they ate and he said pizza and ice cream, so I brought those guys pizza and ice cream one night for dinner and they seemed very appreciative. Their living room was just a desk with people sitting, programming. It was just clearly an all consuming thing, especially at the early stages.

Loz James: Sounds like that scene from the Social Network where they’re all just programming and just eating pizzas.

Okay, that brings us up to date then with Automated Insights, your current company. Where did this all begin? I understand that artificial intelligence is at the core of your automated software solutions.

Robbie Allen: I started a company, originally when I was still working at Cisco in 2007, called StatSheet, which was a sports analytics site. Eventually, I thought I wanted to create something significant, but in order to do a sports media company nowadays, you have to be able to generate a lot of content.

The tried and true method of doing that is you hire a bunch of people to do that, but kind of went against my background.

I had spent my career automating things and the last thing I wanted to do was to go out and hire fifty writers to produce content, so as I started to think about it and analyze it, I thought for certain types of quantitative analysis, for example like sports analysis, it’s really just analyzing the numbers and describing what happened in those numbers; who won and lost the game, which players performed the best. I thought if it’s that algorithmic, then I could actually create software that replicated what a sports journalist did. That’s how it all got started.

Then in 2010, I raised a seed round of funding. In 2011, we raised our Series A and at that point, we had realized by then that this notion of automating content from data applies to more than just sports; it actually applies to just about every field nowadays that has data: finance and sales reporting and marketing and lots of different areas.

We thought instead of doing the stat sheet thing, where we’re trying to become the next generation sports media company, we’re going to pivot and become a B to B company that creates content on behalf of other companies, because the big challenge that I saw is that in my career, I spent a lot of time with visualizations and dashboards, but those solutions are largely inadequate for communicating insights at scale.

Most people just want to have it delivered in plain English or in their native tongue. There’s not really good solutions for developers to do that and so that was the initial impetus behind Automated Insights.

Loz James: I know this has great implications of course for content marketers which we’ll get onto later.

Just backing up a bit there, I’m thinking Moneyball. Have you seen the film with Brad Pitt where he’s using the mathematical models to see how well various NFL teams are going to do?

Robbie Allen: Absolutely. In fact, I read the book I think three times. I think it came out in 2002; I got it when it first came out. That described the trend and in fact, that’s been going on … it’s been applied to lots of fields now.

There’s the concept of big data is another overhyped term, but it’s something that as we see, talking to lots of different big companies, everybody now is thinking about data: how can I collect our data? Are we making sure that we’re doing everything we can to get data, but still the big challenge even today is now we have all this data, what the heck are we going to do with it? Are we going to just pump it through some sort of dashboard and hope people can decipher what it all means?

Where our solution comes in is to actually take that and describe it in the way that an expert would or the way that maybe a data scientist might, to try to make sense of that data.

Loz James: Obviously, based on your background and what you’ve said already, there are probably only a handful of people on the planet at the moment more capable of talking about this big data thing, automated software development and artificial intelligence than you are, but let’s start with the big picture if you like.

Over here in London, a super computer has just passed the Turing test, convincing over thirty percent of experts that it’s human. As you’ve intimated there, are we perhaps on the cusp of something big in terms of consumer level artificial intelligence and it’s use in automated software?

Robbie Allen: I read about that as well, in terms of the chatbot convincing thirty percent of experts that it was human. I’m not surprised; there was a study that came out, an independent study by a professor at a university earlier this year that found that our content was indistinguishable from that produced by humans.

The Turing test is a little bit of a misnomer in terms of exactly what it means. It really just means thirty percent of people that looked at something were convinced that it was produced by human, when it was really produced by software.

I think for that specific test, it would have been better, because what they did was, they emulated a thirteen year old boy and they had thirty percent of experts interpret that as a human. What would have probably been a better test is actually have a bunch of thirteen year old boys see if they believe that it was that.

Loz James: That’s a good point, because they’re using different language anyway.

Robbie Allen: That’s right, so I don’t know if that specific test was a great indicator of us passing over something. Again, we produce three hundred million personalized stories last year with our software. We couldn’t do three hundred million if people thought it sounded like it was produced by a computer.

Inevitably, all of our customers say that what we produce for them sounds just like what their people internally could produce. We’re already past the point of what the Turing test indicates or what people think is a possible for computers to replicate the writings of people. I think we’ve proven that, at least a couple of years ago, if not even longer.

Loz James: Okay, so we’ve got Siri. We all know about that. There’s Google Nearby coming up, there’s some complex financial management software available out there, artificial neural networks available in hospitals.

What other practical applications of automated software and AI can we expect to see in the next few years, coming on from that?

Robbie Allen: We just in the very early stages of what these technologies are going to do. You mentioned Siri, there’s Watson from what IBM’s doing and we’re working with them as well.

We’re just at the very early stages. We have dozens of clients now. We’re just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of the things that we can do for those clients and even just an awareness in the public about this kind of capability.

That’s the thing that we find the most, is people aren’t even still aware that you can do some of the things that you can do now with artificial intelligence, so a big piece of this is just awareness. As more people become aware of this, then there’s more ideas.

We’re surprised every day by the clients that come to us with ideas that we would have never thought of, so it’s really encouraging. I’m really excited, even just about the next two to five years, some of the big advances that you’ll see that will be far beyond even some of the ones that you’ve seen in the last couple of years.

Loz James: Looking at content marketers, how do these systems tie into automated software that can actually help content marketers? What sort of applications are we looking at in general?

Robbie Allen: The big challenge that we address isn’t really specific to an industry. The challenge is we’re overwhelmed with data. That’s only going to continue.

There’s only going to be more data. There’s not going to be less data over time, so the challenge that content marketers have and that just about everybody in every industry is going to be facing is that I’m overwhelmed with data, what does it all mean? What do I do with it?

What our solution does specifically is help people bypass having to be a data expert by providing them the insights related to their data in plain English. That way, we don’t require everybody to have a deep understanding of their data and to essentially know the ins and outs of all the analysis.

We can actually provide that for them and so they can really just make sure that they have data and we’ll take care of actually analyzing and describing it for them.

Loz James: You’ve got a two fold approach then to two problems that marketers have. One is consistently producing enough quality content, which you’ve already touched on. There’s also analyzing metrics effectively, so they can assess how well their campaigns are doing.

Walk me though Wordsmith For Marketing and your automated content solution, which you’ve already mentioned this, as we’ve said, this could potentially be game changers for content marketers.

Robbie Allen: Typically, our mode of operation is that we’ll work with clients. They’ll provide us the data and then we’ll generate content about that data. Last year we started looking around, what are some other data sources that may be available that people are trying to decipher what the data means and it’s something that we can create a product around.

We’re long time website creators and maintainers and content marketers and so one obvious one that came to mind was Google Analytics. Millions of websites use Google Analytics. The Google Analytics dashboard is almost infamous at this point around. It’s great that it provides lots of functionality, but it also can be very daunting if you’re trying to figure out what the heck’s going on with my website. What content is performing well?

We thought that would actually be a great product for us, is why don’t we build a product that allows you to authenticate your Google Analytics account and then we’ll essentially free you from the burden of having to go into the Google Analytics dashboard to figure out what’s going on with your website.

Wordsmith For Marketing, which is primarily targeted at agencies that have this problem in spades, does exactly that. You authenticate your account and then we can provide weekly, monthly or quarterly reports that can be completely white labeled and customized that go anywhere from six to ten pages in detail around your website, your traffic, social media, page search and just goes through all that, makes it very easy.

You could spend just a few minutes reading over that and get a really good understanding of exactly what’s going on with your website versus having to spend hours poring through Google Analytics.

Loz James: What’s the software behind this doing? How is it producing this functionality?

Robbie Allen: Our platform is called Wordsmith. It’s a patented platform that enables us to essentially take data, create custom and complex calculations on that data that do advanced metrics and figure out trends over time, anomalies in the data and other key statistical analysis.

Then we marry that with a language platform that allows us to describe the insights that it finds in a given data set in plain English or also in other languages.

Loz James: In theory, could I take other sources of information and use your content production software to write a blog post?

Robbie Allen: Absolutely, and that’s the direction that we’re heading in the not too distant future. We’re going to be making Wordsmith more accessible to anyone that has data that wants to be able to create content at scale, so that’s something to stay tuned for.

I think that will a big evolution of the technology for us. The key though to keep in mind, at least with our process, is that typically there has to be some sort of scale component to the content to make it worthwhile.

If it’s just a single blog post, then it probably still makes sense for you to just write it on your own, but if you have a data set and maybe you want to create an article about every country in the world and you have good data on every country related to the space that you’re looking at, then instead of writing hundreds of posts, you could then use the Wordsmith platform to essentially set up and automate posts about every single country. That’s just one example.

Loz James: Backing up a bit to the software as it currently works, what are the specific benefits for content marketers? Why would they use your software as opposed to just what they’re doing at the moment?

Perhaps they’ve got a few goals set up in Google Analytics. What sort of customizations can they do and what are the on the ground benefits of using your solution?

Robbie Allen: The trick is that Wordsmith For Marketing specifically frees up people from having to go through the drudgery of trying to do the analysis themselves.

Sometimes people will say I think there’s certain types of trends and analysis that only people can find or that there’s certain things that you have to have a person do that analysis for. That’s something that I will debate.

I think ultimately, all forms of analysis should be codified and automated. In fact, I think even within five years, ten years at the outside, that the role of data analyst or folks that are paid primarily to analyze data and produce reports out of it; those jobs are going to be gone.

They’re going to be replaced with a platform like Wordsmith that those people then program, that enables them to codify their knowledge and be able to generate reports to lots of people automatically.

For content marketers, I’d argue that and what we found was the several dozen clients that we’ve had sign up for Wordsmith For Marketing, is we consistently find insights that people have not found before.

It’s just because with our technology and we’re cloud based offering, we can do lots of processing that people just would not be able to do on a consistent basis, but we can do it week in and week out and we can continue to add to it over a time, so that over time, the analysis only gets better.

It’s not required that all right, somebody left the company and then they took all the knowledge with them and now we got to replace that person with hopefully somebody else that’s just as smart, that can also do that analysis; you don’t have that problem with software. That’s been a big benefit for Wordsmith For Marketing.

Loz James: Without wishing to put you on the spot too much, let’s look at a specific example. Say I set up ten goals to try and improve my return on investment for a specific content marketing campaign.

Can you give me an example of what you’re seeing with your current clients that is a really specific example of how that can benefit me and how that would roll out in a content marketing scenario?

Robbie Allen: Part of it could be, especially if you’re dealing with ten goals, part of what you want to find out is where is the traffic coming from? How well is it converting? What are the different pathways through your websites that people are doing to go through that process?

Again, that’s something, especially if you have one or two goals, that’s something that you can do manually; that’s not that big of a deal, but if you have ten or if you have multiple clients, for example, multiple websites that you set up goals for, then how are you going to find out answers to those questions without you having to spend time week in and week out doing that analysis on your own?

It’s the type of thing that, again you could do it, but if it could be automated which is exactly what Wordsmith For Marketing does, then it just saves you that time for having to do that initial analysis.

If nothing else, we do the baseline analysis and then if there’s something specific that maybe wasn’t captured or you have an intuition about something else that you wanted to look into, it frees you up to go off and do that, as opposed to even just having to do everything on your own.

Loz James: What’s the software pulling out, the automated part of the system that a skilled analyst couldn’t? You talked about … it’s not a secret source, but it’s that additional insight I think you called it.

What are we looking at in specific terms in that instance? What can a software pull up that I’ve missed or another marketer would miss?

Robbie Allen: It’s not so much that it’s pulling up things that people wouldn’t find, it’s just again that scale. If you compare what our report would produce one time versus what may be the best content marketing analyst would pick out one time, it might be comparable.

Now let’s say we want to do that every week of the year for twenty sites. There’s a certain point at which people are not going to be able to scale to meet that demand.

Let’s also argue that there’s likely things that the person wouldn’t find and most of that relates to historical trends and analysis, because it’s easy to compare this week’s data, maybe the last month’s worth of data, but what kind of trends can you find out related to year over year tracking? There was a certain pattern that was similar in the spring months as compared to the fall months. Maybe there’s a certain seasonality that was there in the data that you just wouldn’t have been able to tease out.

If you think about if you’re going through and looking at something like Google Analytics, you might have an internal checklist of twenty, thirty different things that you’re going to look for, but with software, the nice thing about what Wordsmith For Marketing does, we took the smartest people we could find that understood web analytics, social media analytics and had them come up with all the different ways that you might look at a website and try to figure out what’s going on with it.

We’ve codified it, so it’s not just a single person’s knowledge that’s been codified, it’s actually been several people that are very smart about this. Again, it’s not that you’re just getting the benefit of one person, it’s almost a group intellectual exercise that we’ve gone through that enables it to be automated across lots of different sites at once.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Content Champion Podcast, showcasing the best content marketing strategies across the web.

Loz James: We’re back with Robbie Allen. You’ve mentioned this as well; we’ve touched upon this: intelligent software.

What do you say to people who think that we can’t really totally emulate human thought, emotion, decision making. This isn’t designed as a replacement though, is it?

Robbie Allen: What we’re providing isn’t necessarily a replacement for humans. In fact, we often get this question and the typical response that I provide is that if anything, what we do helps free up people from having to do the mundane or the drudgery of analytical, day in, day out across lots of different instances. We can do that, computers can do that now.

There’s no reason to have people, like I mentioned before, mulling over spreadsheets and trying to figure out what are the numbers telling me in the spreadsheet.

That should be automated and what that does is then free up people to incorporate not only quantitative analysis, but what people are really good at which is qualitative analysis, so you can draw on experience and heuristics, draw on the senses and other things.

That’s something that at least currently is more problematic for computers to do. I won’t rule it out from computers ever being able to do that, because as with sensors are becoming more prevalent in society and as they collect more data around, temperature and able to analyze what’s going on in a given environment with cameras and things of that nature.

I think eventually we’ll even see computers doing that, but for the most part, humans are still the champs when it comes to qualitative analysis. I don’t see computers replacing that in the near term.

Ultimately, it’s not necessarily a negative, I think, for people. It actually frees up people from having to do the mundane work that they’re not optimized to do anyway. It’s much more optimized for computers to do.

Loz James: Let’s broaden things out a bit. You mentioned the near term there. Looking ahead into 2015, what trends do you see developing in the big data and automated software marketplace over that time?

Robbie Allen: We’re still, as I mentioned before, really early on in this process. Again, Automated Insights has been around since 2011. I originally started working on the technology on my own in 2007, but still every year as we bring on new and bigger clients, we continue to evolve the technology and every year I look back and just am amazed at how much the technology’s progressed.

For example, we generated over three hundred million personalized pieces of content last year. This year, we’re projecting to do over a billion pieces of content. To put that into perspective, that’s more than all the major media companies combined and that’s a startup out of Durham, North Carolina that’s producing that. That’s just a billion. Now imagine even years after that, it’s just going to be crazy.

The reason for that … again to me this is another big benefit of what we can provide compared to what humans can do on their own, is we can personalize the message. When it comes to, for example, Wordsmith For Marketing, we can provide versions well suited for the data analyst that really wants to know all the details, but then there can be a summary version that’s provided to executives.

That’s how we’re able to generate content in such large volumes, is again, we’re not creating a piece of content that a million people are reading, we’re creating a piece of content that’s unique to each individual person, all one million of them get their own individual version.

Loz James: It’s astonishing, that amount of content. Obviously, the outlet for all that isn’t all on the internet, but some of it would be, so we might be even reading this and not knowing we are reading it, which is a great bonus for your software.

How does Google deal with that auto-generated content or isn’t that even an issue?

Robbie Allen: I think the issue is that early on, the notion of automated content was related to spam, was related to crappy content that people were just plugging in a few words and trying to pass that off as content.

What we produce is not that at all. In fact, the bar that Google typically uses, the bar that you have to set for your own even content marketing efforts, is that you have to create content that people seek out and that they appreciate and enjoy reading, so our content passes that bar.

We’re not just creating content for content’s sake; we’re not a content farm, we’re not creating crap content that people are saying oh, I got to read this again? We’re actually creating personalized content or content that’s done at scale, but maybe it’s unique to a specific vertical that’s very specific to a certain subsegment of that vertical, but again, it’s something that somebody would want to read, it’s not just trying to capture page views.

We’ve actually not run into problems with Google with our content. Again, we’re trying to make sure that we’re always generating high quality content and if we do, the SEO benefits will take care of themselves.

We’re not going to have to worry about Google saying, wait a second, article number three hundred and fifty looks exactly the same as three hundred and fifty-one, except these three words were different; that’s not our problem. We are able to customize it so that each individual report is unique.

Loz James: It’s kind of an empty question really, because there are plenty of humans writing spammy, rubbish content and this is what these updates have been all about with Google, so if we’re not even noticing your content and getting value from it, then that is a great advertisement for what you’re doing, so you’re really raising the bar and take it to the next level.

Just a side question there about where most of this content goes to the clients you have. Is it mostly internal company reports, is it going to top management, senior management within companies? How much of it goes on the internet and what are the other sources for this auto-generated content?

Robbie Allen: It’s all over the map. We have customers that do all of those. In the case of Yahoo, we do a lot of fantasy football content for them that’s just available via the web.

In fact, it’s funny, what they found was, what happens is every week during the fantasy football season, we would generate a recap for every fantasy team that describe why their team won or the other team lost, just summarizing that week’s match up.

Typically, all of Yahoo’s fantasy content, because there’s no real SEO value to it because they have millions of users and each one of them has their own leagues, they didn’t have that indexed by Google.

But what happened was as soon as we started producing these recaps for them, people started sharing them via Facebook and Twitter, but the links would be blocked, so Yahoo actually had to reverse their policy and enable the recaps that we produced to be public because all these people were sharing this content.

Now they could actually share it and we just saw the social engagement go though the roof with that, so there’s those cases.

We’re working with some very large Fortune 100 companies that are doing sales reporting across their thousands of sales agents inside the U.S. and internationally and those are just done internally.

We have a mix of both public facing content as well as it’s just made available internally, plus even engagements where it’s not web content, it’s actually done via email.

Loz James: Let’s look at the development in progress for Wordsmith For Marketing. Where’s the product going in the next twelve months, twenty-four months, what sort of exciting things have you got in the bag there to roll out?

Robbie Allen: We’ve targeted agencies primarily for the product just because again, typically agencies we found were already writing reports that they were sending to their clients on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis.

When they saw our reports, they were like that’s what we’re trying to do, except we have to spend valuable hours every week internally, having somebody create these reports by hand.

We’ve essentially removed that burden from them and now instead of it just even being monthly, we provide the option so they can generate these reports even weekly for all of their clients, so that’s been a big success for our customers there.

We’ve made the reports so they can be completely editable. We’ll produce the full report, but say you want to go in and tweak it and add your own comments, that’s available.

We ultimately want to make the agencies look like the smart guys, so the reports can be white labeled so they look like they are still being produced by the agency. You’re going to continue to see more of that type of thing, more customization options.

We have some other features that we’ll be launching in the next month or so after we continue to get great feedback from clients and from other folks, so that will be another one that I think you’ll see some rapid iterations and evolution in terms of the features and functionality as well as even integrating additional data sources.

Currently, we support Google Analytics. We’ll also be providing hooks into other sources that content marketers would appreciate, so I’d say stay tuned to that.

Loz James: Fantastic. It’s very exciting what you’re doing. I’ve seen some of the reports over the last few days that the software produces and they’re very impressive. The language algorithm you’ve got going on there is amazing.

If my listeners want to check out the software themselves, can you remind us where we can find you online please?

Robbie Allen: Yeah, you can just go to or the Wordsmith For Marketing product is at

Announcer: Wait for it listeners. Here comes the PS question.

Loz James: This is what I call the PS Question. I like to ask everybody if they could come up with one advanced content marketing strategy that my listeners can take away and use right after this course, so I’d be really interested in your take on this, please Robbie.

Robbie Allen: Sure, first would be interviewing key stakeholders in the industry. We’ve actually started doing that and we’ve seen a lot of good results from it. It’s a good way to incorporate different and highly respected viewpoints into your marketing.

It builds trust, it helps get the word out, just overall helps your co-marketing efforts by integrating other people and getting them knowledgeable about what your efforts are and oftentimes, they’re interested in returning the favor and maybe they’ll interview you as well.

The next one would be not focusing on vanity metrics, whether it’s just looking at page views or followers. Those are good at a certain level, but they don’t actually tell you anything interesting about how it’s helping you drive new sales, for example.

Content marketers tend to get too wrapped up in metrics like those, when really they should be focusing on conversion rates and what’s impacting revenue, using AB testing to pinpoint best ways to try to generate new leads and what of your efforts are actually impacting those.

Loz James: They’re fascinating, very useful, practical strategies that we can use, Robbie.

Thanks very much for coming on today. I wish you the best of luck with it all.

Robbie Allen: Yeah, thank you so much. This has just been a blast and if anybody wants to reach out to me, I’m Robbie, R-O-B-B-I-E at

I’m always open to chatting about this and thanks again for having me on.

Loz James: So there we have it, folks. That was Session 25 of the Content Champion Podcast. Thanks again to Robbie Allen of Automated Insights for a great interview.

As always, you can find us on Stitcher, Zune, the BlackBerry network and of course on iTunes and the Content Champion website. If you like what we’re doing, please leave a review on iTunes.

Thanks very much for listening. I appreciate it as always, but until next time –

Announcer: It is a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Content Champion!

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