Top 100 Content Marketing Influencers and Brands In 2016

Every day, individuals and brands are creating and publishing as many as 27 million pieces of new content online. It’s no wonder that one of the biggest challenges content marketers face today is getting their content seen.

So what can your brand do to stand out and get a customer’s attention, and ultimately turn that engagement into sales for your business?

Onalytica asked ten of the influencers they’ve identified in their Top 100 Influencers and Brands to share their content marketing insights and top tips to help you improve your own content marketing efforts.

I’m very honored to be asked to share my views this year, and also really excited to see, learn and speak along with some of these great content marketing influencers at the Content Marketing World this week!

What Influencers Are Saying About Content Marketing

Jeff Bullas – CEO at Pty Ltd

“Behind the the simple 2 words…”content marketing” is a discipline that has become an art and a science. The art is the creative process of crafting of words, visuals, videos and audio that humans and brands use as the honeypot to attract traffic and build credibility and trust. The science is the technology that enables businesses to optimize and control their strategies at scale. This includes tools and and digital marketing automation platforms that are needed for managing the splintered media channels and networks that we are now confronted with. But many content marketers are not paying enough attention to the science of conversion and just banging out blog posts and hope they work in some way. All the traffic and the engagement from persistent content creation and marketing needs to be turned into real “ROI”. Leads and sales. Big brands often have the luxury and budget to just use content for brand awareness. But small and medium entrepreneurs need to focus much more on getting a return. If you don’t focus on that then the rest is just vanity metrics and noise”.

Joe Pulizzi – Founder at The Content Marketing Institute, Author of Content Inc., Speaker & Entrepreneur

“Content marketing is the fastest growing area of marketing for a reason – brands want attention and can’t get it without creating value “outside” the products and services they offer. It will be an interesting ride as more money moves from other sources into quality, targeted and consistent content.”

Michael Brenner – CEO of Marketing Insider Group, co-author of The Content Formula,

“If I could ask brands and marketers to get one thing straight about content marketing it would be that “content” is not content marketing. An ebook or anything with the word “campaign” in it is not content marketing. Content marketing is a digital program destination owned by the brand, that consistently publishes customer-centric content in order to reach, engage and convert buyers the brand would have never reached with more traditional (campaign-based) approaches. The top content marketing trends for 2017 will see brands moving into tighter topical niches. Every financial service company can’t be the premier provider of financial education. So we will all need to move into more unique topics focused on our unique brand expertise. As a society we are consuming more visual content. This will push brands to define strategies and to hire experts in the fields of design, photography, videography, data visualization, and visual storytelling. Finally, we’ll see much more Content Personalization in 2017. It’s tough to break through the noise. Brands will start to target content down to individual preferences, desires, and interests.”

Mark Schaefer – College Educator, Marketing Consultant, and Author of Five Marketing Books including The Content Code

We are clearly in a new phase of content marketing where great content is no longer the finish line, it is the starting line. The economic value of content that is not seen is zero. The content must move, it must be understood, and shared. Smart brands must develop a strategy around content ignition, as well as content creation.”

Steve Cartwright – Founder of FX Digital Pty Ltd, Digital Business Growth Expert

“Content is simply telling stories that attract and engage an audience and marketing is making that audience do something, together this is content marketing. Nowadays it’s much more important than ever, for every business to have a content marketing strategy. With such a strategy any business even one consisting of just one person can become an influencer within their niche, they can become an authority figure on social media, drive thousands of visitors to their website and best of all they can reap the rewards for years to come…. That’s the beauty of modern content marketing, I know, I’m an army of one.”

Rand Fishkin – Wizard of Moz, creator of Keyword Explorer, host of Whiteboard Friday, co-author of a pair of books on SEO, co-founder of, board member at Haiku Deck

Content is powerful. The right content, distributed the right ways, in front of the right eyeballs can build a business, spread a message, even change the world. But that reaching those right eyeballs is getting harder and harder, because in spite of the growth in content consumers, there’s a vastly greater growth rate in content creation and the noise saturating those distribution channels. For content creators, the message is clear — hitting the publish button on your amazing work is only the start of the process.

Sujan Patel – GM & Co-Founder of Web Profits, Co-Founder of, Advisor at RealtyMogul

“Content Marketing in 2016 is all about standing out from the crowd, USP and personalization. While these things are not new to the marketing world, they are just now starting to be applied to the world of content marketing. Standing out = content promotion, USP = adding a unique angle/hook & personalization = showing the reader a different journey/content based off interest. I personally am excited to see content marketers produce more promotable content that’s not the same old info and on a topic I actually care about! ”

Gerry Moran – Global Head of Social Media, Cognizant

“Storytelling is the future of content marketing. Successful brands and individuals will need to rise above the cacophony of discordant video, graphics and assorted posts to show they know how to deliver solutions — through storytelling. Each message needs to create an ‘a-ha’ moment. Each post will be required to teach. Each piece of content will connect the reader to the next step to solve for their personal challenge. Social media channels will change, hashtags and keywords will evolve, and video, graphics, and clever copywriting will always be the foundation of break-through messaging. However, the best brands, social sellers and individual will be able to mix up these ingredients to tell a story that attracts, engages and converts. Storytelling will help to simplify the complex and long buying cycles by passing on relevant content to increase conversion— which is the business impact we’re all looking for, right?”

Robert Rose – Chief Strategy Advisor for The Content Marketing Institute, Author, Speaker, Startup Advisor & Investor

“I’ve been in marketing for more than 25 years, and I truly think it’s one of the most exciting times in history to be a marketer. Traditional advertising is fundamentally evolving, direct marketing is becoming more complex, and the entire relationship with customers is shifting to creating differentiating experiential value. The ability we have, as marketers, to move beyond simply describing the value of our products and services, and into creating valuable content-driven experiences, adds an entirely new strategic purpose to our beloved practice. Let us not waste it.”

Jason A Miller – Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn, Best Selling Author, Rock n Roll Photographer

“It’s never been a better time to be a content marketer. With the vast amount of data at our fingertips there’s really no question as to what content you should be creating for success. Once you lay that foundation then the fun begins with your content strategy: taking intelligent risks, pushing boundaries, and creating content so remarkable that it transcends a simple call to action. Playing it safe is so passé.”

Mapping The Content Marketing Community

Onalytica was interested in finding out which content marketing influencers and brands were leading the discussion online. They analyzed over 410k tweets over the last twelve months, mentioning the keyword “content marketing,” and identified the top 100 most influential individuals and brand who were leading the conversation on Twitter.

Onalytica found that there was a very engaged community with discussions taken place between brands and individuals. Using their Influencer Relationship Management software (IRM), Onalytica has created the network map below, showing the #1 influencer Jeff Bullas at the center and the online conversations to and from the influencers in his network.

Top 100 Individuals

Here’s the list of the top 50 content marketing influencers Onalytica has identified, based on their analysis of all the individuals engaging on Twitter. To see the complete list, click on the download link below.

Download The Full Report

Rank Twitter Handle Name Company Influencer Score
1 @jeffbullas Jeff Bullas 100
2 @jaybaer Jay Baer Convince & Convert 79.23
3 @JoePulizzi Joe Pulizzi Content Marketing Institute 73.99
4 @BrennerMichael Michael Brenner Marketing Insider Group 67.35
5 @neilpatel Neil Patel Crazy Egg & Hello Bar 67.24
6 @MarketingProfs Ann Handley MarketingProfs 67.1
7 @leeodden Lee Odden TopRank Marketing 56.95
8 @markwschaefer Mark Schaefer Schaefer Marketing Solutions 45.01
9 @FX_Digital Steve Cartwright FX Digital 42.29
10 @randfish Rand Fishkin Moz 40.11
11 @sujanpatel Sujan Patel Web Profits 40.08
12 @larrykim Larry Kim Wordstream 39.69
13 @GerryMoran Gerry Moran Cognizant 34.34
14 @heidicohen HeidiCohen Actionable Marketing Guide 32.4
15 @Robert_Rose Robert Rose Content Marketing Institute 31.7
16 @dougkessler Doug Kessler Velocity 30.22
17 @IanCleary Ian Cleary RazorSocial 29.45
18 @FeldmanCreative Barry Feldman FeldmanCreative 28.63
19 @NealSchaffer Neal Schaffer Maximize Your Social 28.52
20 @JasonMillerCA Jason A Miller Linkedin 28.37
21 @PamMktgNut Pam Moore Marketing Nutz 27.45
22 @Sam___Hurley Sam Hurley Optim-Eyez 27.2
23 @BrianHonigman Brian Honigman Honigman Media 26.76
24 @MariSmith Mari Smith Ⓜ️ 25.61
25 @lieblink Rebecca Lieb 25.49
26 @kimgarst Kim Garst Boom! Social 25.36
27 @PamDidner Pam Didner 24.01
28 @seosmarty Ann Smarty 23.99
29 @stonetemple Eric Enge Stone Temple Consulting 23.66
30 @crestodina Andy Crestodina Orbit Media 21.69
31 @martinjonesaz Martin Jones Cox Communications 21.44
32 @RebekahRadice Rebekah Radice PostPlanner 21.34
33 @ArnieK Arnie Kuenn Vertical Measures 21.01
34 @GlenGilmore Glen Gilmore #SocBiz Gilmore Business Network 20.92
35 @TheSalesLion Marcus Sheridan The Sales Lion 20.6
36 @ducttape John Jantsch Duct Tape Marketing 20.51
37 @bryankramer Bryan Kramer PureMatter 20.22
38 @ShellyKramer Shelly Kramer v3b 20.21
39 @TedRubin Ted Rubin GoodXChange 19.37
40 @JuntaeDeLane Juntae DeLane University of Southern California 18.96
41 @DholakiyaPratik Pratik Dholakiya E2M 18.86
42 @ardath421 Ardath Albee Marketing Interactions 18.8
43 @Steveology Steve Farnsworth The @Steveology Group 18.8
44 @Mike_Stelzner Michael A. Stelzner Social Media Examiner 17.49
45 @DrewDavisHere Andrew Davis 17.34
46 @danielnewmanUV Daniel Newman Broadsuite & V2B 17.17
47 @dannysullivan Danny Sullivan MarketingLand 17.1
48 @ChadPollitt Chad Pollitt Relevance 17.08
49 @jasoncreation Jason Burrows The Creation Agency 17.03
50 @jeffsheehan Jeff Sheehan Sheehan Marketing Strategies 16.98

Top 100 Brands

Onalytica was also interested in finding out which brands were the most influential in content marketing, and below you’ll find the top 50. Download the full report to see which other brands made the top 100 list this year.

Rank Twitter Handle Name Influencer Score
1 @CMIContent Content Marketing 100
2 @HubSpot HubSpot 84.25
3 @Inc Inc. 77.09
4 @Moz Moz 72.36
5 @newscred NewsCred 71.63
6 @B2Community Business 2 Community 67.55
7 @hootsuite Hootsuite 64.83
8 @copyblogger Copyblogger 62.48
9 @SlideShare LinkedIn SlideShare 61.86
10 @Entrepreneur Entrepreneur 61.34
11 @toprank 55.06
12 @socialmedia2day Social Media Today 54.35
13 @contently Contently 51.2
14 @Kissmetrics Kissmetrics 49.52
15 @Econsultancy Econsultancy 45.63
16 @Marketingland Marketing Land 45.49
17 @marketo Marketo 42.12
18 @SMExaminer SocialMedia Examiner 41.26
19 @curata Curata 36.14
20 @sejournal SearchEngineJournal® 35.04
21 @semrush SEMrush 34.48
22 @sewatch Search Engine Watch 34.19
23 @eMarketer eMarketer 32.65
24 @adexchanger AdExchanger 31.36
25 @kapost Kapost 28.92
26 @googleanalytics Google Analytics 28.91
27 @Uberflip Uberflip 27.99
28 @sengineland Search Engine Land 26.89
29 @LinkedInMktg LinkedIn Marketing 26.8
30 @ClickZ ClickZ 26.74
31 @Adweek Adweek 26.37
32 @addthis AddThis 26.36
33 @CoSchedule CoSchedule 25.33
34 @MarketingUK Campaign: Brands 24.69
35 @Visually Visually 24.5
36 @BuzzSumo BuzzSumo 23.98
37 @unbounce Unbounce 23.84
38 @mashsocialmedia Mashable SocialMedia 23.28
39 @GrowthHackers GrowthHackers 22.78
40 @Outbrain Outbrain 22.05
41 @scoopit 21.62
42 @Crowdfire Crowdfire 21.27
43 @convince Convince & Convert 20.24
44 @Skyword Skyword 20.22
45 @PRDaily PR Daily 19.68
46 @CMO_com 19.1
47 @TrackMaven TrackMaven 19.1
48 @TheSocialMs The Social Marketers 17.88
49 @relevance Relevance 17.56
50 @cmswire 17.23

Will you be at the Content Marketing World this week? If so, I’d love to meet you all so please come by and say hello!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedInTwitterFacebook and if you like what you see, Subscribe here for regular updates.

Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

2 thoughts on “Top 100 Content Marketing Influencers and Brands In 2016

  1. Interesting list. Many of these have large followings but almost no engagement with their accounts. Seems strange to consider someone an influencer if the stats show they influence almost no one.

    This is an issue many influencer programs miss. They assume a large following makes someone an influencer when it simply isn’t the case.

    1. Hi Ben, I can understand that it would seem that way on the surface. Follower size is only one metric used to calculate influence by Onalytica. They also look at overall engagement on their content (among other things).

      So audience size matters but only in helping to achieve an overall engagement with content.

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