The Top 25 Content Marketing Influencers

In 2018, content marketing will continue to influence marketing and business in a bigger, and more impactful way. 2017 saw us become remarkably more sophisticated in the types of content being offered and the level of depth and strategy being used.

As we move into 2018, factors such as more widespread adoption of marketing automation, the massive shift to video marketing, and the precipice of AI and real personalization in content marketing being behind us, the pace of change certainly isn’t going to slow down.

Which means the challenge for all of us is to keep up.

The push behind making content better – more engaging, richer content that resonates with the content consumer like it was made for them – is being driven by dozens of content marketing influencers who are sharing their insights, experience and knowledge of how to do content well – really well.

If you want to make your content marketing better in 2018, tap into the minds who have been cultivating this area of marketing for years.

(Want to learn my secret for becoming more influential? Contact me today.)

Onalytica recently shared their list of the leading content marketing influencers (with me exclusively) for 2018.

Their data reveals what’s being discussed more than any other area of content and it also identifies the most influential voices, based on how much engagement they are driving, how much they are talking, number of followers, and how much they are referenced.

Yours truly is happy to be named on this list, and I have to say I’m excited to keep the conversations going with all of these great minds. Can’t wait to see what we’re doing by the end of this 12-month ride around the sun!

Insights into 2018 from Leading Content Influencers

When asked about what is expected for the year ahead, here’s what some of the influencers had to say:

Ted Rubin – Social Media Strategist, CMO of Brand Innovators and Co-Founder of Prevailing Path

“Social media platforms are essentially huge AI systems designed to keep users tuned in by showing them things they want to see and using data to increase conversions each time a user engages. But AI isn’t really that smart yet. AI is big data pattern recognition…It’s not actually ‘thinking’.” 

Joe Pulizzi – Founder of the Content Marketing Institute

“While so many brands get a story idea and decide to publish everywhere, the strategy that works the best is true focus. Communicate your message through (for the most part) one content type (audio, video, textual, imagery), one main platform (website, YouTube, iTunes), and deliver consistently over a long period of time. This is how great brands and loyal audiences are built. We actually don’t have to publish everywhere.” 

Lilach Bullock – Content Marketing Specialist

“I also think that we will be seeing more employee advocacy programs in 2018. Businesses are finding it more and more difficult to stand out and audiences are (quite understandably) not that trusting of brands. That’s why businesses need to leverage the reach of their employees and make them an integral part of their content marketing strategy.”

Sam Hurley – Content Marketer and Founder of Optim-Eyez

“It’s (video) an incredibly relevant form of content that aligns perfectly with the explosion of mobile usage; video isn’t going anywhere – it sparks deeper engagement, and audiences crave it.” 

My content marketing prediction for 2018:

2018 is the year marketing leaders realize that our greatest source of content and power of distribution is in our employees. The most authentic and engaging content will come from the experts inside our own company, sharing what they know and what they love. HR is the new Marketing.

Video and personalization are still the hottest trends in content marketing right now. And AI is the hottest buzzword. All of which require special skills, technology and most of all a focus on storytelling.

The Top 25 Influencers in the World of Content Marketing

Here is the latest list of top Content Marketing influencers for 2018 from Onalytica:

Influencer Score
Jeff Bullas
Joe Pulizzi
Neil Patel
Ann Handley
Michael Brenner
Mark Schaefer
Steve Cartwright
Jay Baer
Marcus Miller
Lilach Bullock
Lee Odden
Neal Schaffer
Larry Kim
Pam Moore
Robert Rose
Martin Butters
Andy Crestodina
Sujan Patel
John Hall
Aaron Agius #SEO
Mark Traphagen
Christoph Trappe
Shane Barker
Jose Javier Garde
Rand Fishkin

According to Onalytica’s 2017 report, the most talked about content marketing topics in 2017 were social media, and analytics and data. These two combined made up the lion’s share of the conversation, followed by sales, video and B2B.

In addition to just the top 2018 Content Marketing Influencers, here are the top 25 social media marketing and analytics influencers from the 2017 report

Top 50 Influencers for Social Media

Rank                     Name                                  Twitter Handle                  Influencer Score

1                            Lee Odden                          @leeodden                      100.00

2                            Neal Schaffer                    @NealSchaffer                  74.80

3                            Mark Fidelman                  @markfidelman                 58.33

4                            Brian Solis                          @briansolis                       51.94

5                            Mark Schaefer                   @markwschaefer             47.62

6                            Jeff Bullas                           @jeffbullas                       42.51

7                            Sean Gardner                     @2morrowknight             38.17

8                            Pam Moore                        @PamMktgNut                  36.50

9                            Ann Handley                      @MarketingProfs              35.67

10                          Brian Fanzo                        @iSocialFanz                     35.38

11                          Michael Brenner               @BrennerMichael                33.32

12                          Guy Kawasaki                    @GuyKawasaki                  32.08

13                          Jay Baer                              @jaybaer                          31.79

14                          Bryan Kramer                    @bryankramer                   30.19

15                          Rachel Miller                     @rachelloumiller                30.10

16                          Travis Wright                     @teedubya                         29.49

17                          Ted Rubin                           @TedRubin                        27.71

18                          AJ Agrawal                         @ajagrawal24                   24.61

19                          Tamara McCleary             @TamaraMcCleary              24.01

20                          Gary Vaynerchuk              @garyvee                          23.53

21                          Sujan Patel                         @sujanpatel                       23.31

22                          Cynthia Johnson              @CynthiaLIVE                    22.21

23                          Amisha                              @AmishaGandhi                21.89

24                          Tim Hughes                        @Timothy_Hughes          21.76

25                          Lilach Bullock                    @lilachbullock                   21.58

You can download the 2017 report here to see the complete list.


I use a combination of personal branding, consistent social audience building, and support in creating authentic and ongoing thought leadership content. I’ve done it for myself. I’ve done it for the companies I’ve worked for. I’ve helped activate hundreds, even thousands of thought leaders. I’ve done it for numerous clients. And I can do it for you. 

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 “The Top 25 Content Marketing Influencers

  1. Thanks for letting me know I made the list, Michael, and thanks to Onalytica for putting this together each year.

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