Content Marketing
The Top Content Marketing Influencers to Watch Now

The Top Content Marketing Influencers to Watch Now

January 15, 2023
6 min read

Being a content marketing influencer is no joke. In a world where the amount of stuff online continues to grow exponentially each day, developing content and a marketing strategy that makes your stuff stand out is something to be proud of.

Now more than ever, content marketing will continue to influence marketing and business in a bigger, and more impactful way. Last year saw us become remarkably more sophisticated in the types of content being offered and the level of depth and strategy being used.

As we look ahead at the latest digital marketing trends 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.

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The challenge now is to keep up – and going into this year – stay ahead of the game.

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.

Buzzsumo recently released their list of the Top 100 Content Marketing Influencers. Basically, the creme de la creme when it comes to content marketing, engagement and thought leadership.

Their data reveals 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.

Take this information one step further and you have a gold mine of information. The influencers on this list are talking about everything you really need to know when it comes to content marketing.

Why You Need to Understand Marketing Influencers

Obvious answer: they’re thought leaders in the industry. And like B2B Marketing experts, write about what they know and share their expertise often and on the regular.

Think a little bit more about it: if you follow these influencers’ lead, you’re one step closer to joining them on the list.

These influencers are constantly giving insights into the industry. From their social media presence, to email nurturing, to their blogs and ebooks, there is endless information within these names.

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You actually happen to be reading one of their blogs right now. Go #14!

So, without further ado;

The Top 25 Influencers in the World of Content Marketing

Here is the latest list of top Content Marketing influencers to watch:

Name Handle Rank
Brian Dean @backlinko 1
Rand Fishkin @randfish 2
Ross Simmonds @thecoolestcool 3
Ann Handley @MarketingProfs 4
Kaleigh Moore @kaleighf 5
Tim Soulo @timsoulo 6
Andy Crestodina @crestodina 7
Brian Clark @brianclark 8
Ross Hudgens @rosshudgens 9
Melanie Deziel @mdeziel 10
Kristina Halvorson @halvorson 11
Neal Schaffer @NealSchaffer 12
Jay Baer @jaybaer 13
Michael Brenner @brennermichael 14
Brian Honigman @brianhonigman 15
Sandeep Mallya @sanmallya 16
AJ Ghergich @seo 17
David Meerman Scott @dmscott 18
Kevan Lee @kevanlee 19
Colleen Jones @leenjones 20
Gerry Moran @gerrymoran 21
Michele Linn @michelelinn 22
Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo 23
Margot Bloomstein @mbloomstein 24
Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer 25

top content marketing influencers

Our own CEO, Michael Brenner, said he is honored to be named on this list, “I have to say I’m excited to keep the conversations going with all of these amazing influencers. Content Marketing is finally getting the attention it deserves and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”

Social Media Insights from Leading Content Influencers

The Buzzsumo report continues to go into more detail on how they rank these influencers, as well as giving some social media insight from those that dominate the field;

Brian Dean — Founder of Backlinko, co-founder of Exploding Topics

“The #1 thing that’s helped grow my social media following has been cross-pollinating my audience.

Whenever someone signs up for my email list, they get a friendly CTA to follow me on Twitter. I also share my YouTube videos on Twitter and via email to help build my following there as well.”

Rand Fishkin — Found of SparkToro

“I have three general rules for posting on social media:

  1. Make 75% of posts things that aren’t just interesting to me, but are likely of great interest to many folks that follow me
  2. Use native content (videos, images, etc) to build engagement, then draw traffic every 5th to 10th post back to
  3. Signal to Noise ratio matters more than quantity.”

Ross Simmonds — Founder of Foundation.Inc

“My Twitter strategy is pretty simple: I tweet about the things that are interesting to me (marketing, entrepreneurship, growth, 90s culture, software, sports, parenting and tech) and format everything I post in a way that is easy on the eyes and likely to resonate.

Oh. And I talk to people. It’s called “social” media for a reason.

I strive to respond to almost every person who I engage with on social media and while it’s not easy — I think that helps a ton.

I think a lot of people grow their account with the sole purpose of building a following. My goal is to build relationships & connect with likeminded people all over the globe. If I do that, I’m winning.”

Kaleigh Moore — Co-founder of Lumen Ventures

“My tweeting has led to some cool opportunities: It’s helped me get a foot in the door with new writing gigs.

It’s linked me up with editors at publications I want to write for.

It’s helped me meet fellow writers who have become my internet (and real-life!) friends.

My best advice for getting the most out of Twitter

  1. Be selective about your Twitter follows
  2. Be deliberate about participation and interaction
  3. Use your time wisely
  4. Don’t spam or stalk people
  5. Be consistent
  6. Ditch the scheduled content
  7. Remember: It’s a cocktail party, not a private conversation”

Andy Crestodina — Co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media

“Twitter is a networking tool. It’s not just for promoting content.

Yes, I’m there to share, but also to listen, learn and show gratitude.

And when I do want to drive traffic, I go all out.

On Twitter, 10x the effort will get you 100x the results.

The anatomy of a perfect social media post includes:

  1. Headline best practices (number, benefit, emotion)
  2. Secondary headline
  3. Power trigram
  4. Special characters / emojis
  5. Line breaks
  7. Hashtags
  8. Mentions
  9. Visuals”

Reminds us of our own anatomy of the perfect blog post!

What else should we be watching for this year?

According to a recent CMS Wire report, their latest studies show a few pieces to the content marketing puzzle that will take center stage in 2022.

  • Your content needs to be informed.

Analysis of data is the key to content success. It’s not enough to have the content and share it, content marketers need to develop a deep understanding of their data and put it to use. Data driven content is content that works.

Marketing experts, like Brody Dorland from DivvyHQ, explain that tech companies are continuously collecting more and more data. It’s the content marketers job to conduct the analysis the right way and meaningfully apply it to their content.

  • Your marketing technology matters.

Content in 2021 is almost entirely digital, so it needs the technology to back it up.

Optimizing current technology is key in staying successful in the content rich internet of today. The shiny new tech is always tempting, but it’s worth looking into your current technology’s updates before jumping ship.

  • Interactive Content is on the rise.

Audio, Video, Text, Oh My!

But seriously, in every realm of content marketing, the more interactive the content, the better. Post-pandemic customers are leaning into the online world more than ever.

More AR/AV acceptance, and even anticipation, has become the norm for everyone who spends a majority of their time online.

As for content marketing, the more experimental the better. Consumers are overwhelmed everyday online, so anything that catches their attention is crucial.

  • Social media continues to rise, and rise, and rise…

Ever since the launch of Facebook in 2004, the internet hasn’t been the same. Social media continues to dominate the online world.

One of the most notable changes in the social media realm is the move from shareable content to shoppable. Instagram’s latest update put the final nail in the coffin for this trend, adding a shopping page and taking away the easy to access notifications tab of the past.

But don’t fall into the trap we hear all the time: should I be on TikTok? Probably not! Unless you’re selling fashion accessories or nutritional supplements, B2B brands should juut focus on 1 or 2 platforms to get their content out there.

Social media is a great tool for measuring content engagement. But it’s not the best way to grow most brands.

So, Cheers to a New Year of Content Marketing

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With all of these tips, tricks and stats in mind, content marketers are moving into the new year with heads spinning full of trends and plans.

Content marketing is a hard to master mix of many things. From research and analysis to execution and performance, creating worthwhile content can seem like a daunting task.

Are you interested in building up your content marketing repertoire with a strategy with research and success to back it? Check out our Content Builder Service and schedule a quick consultation (with content influencer #14, Michael Brenner) today!

2 thoughts on “The Top Content Marketing Influencers to Watch Now

  1. Mark Traphagen

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

  2. Michael Brenner

    My pleasure Mark! Congrats for making it and keep up the great work.

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Giana Reno

Giana is the Director of Content for Marketing Insider Group, a top-rated Content Marketing Agency. Connect with her on LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on all things MIG.

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