In order to answer the important question of who are the top digital marketing influencers of 2018, I reached out to Magdalena Urbaniak, the Global Communications Manager for social media monitoring leader, Brand24.
- How do you define influence?
Influence is the power of changing people’s opinions, and their minds or decisions intentionally – without knowing them personally.
- Why is influence important today?
Influence has always been important. Today, we’re able to label it specifically and try to manage it for marketing and communication purposes. It’s important to know who, why, how, and where we can influence other people.
First of all, we do this to stay aware of the opportunities that we have, and secondly – so we can use them, as well as we can, to build a strong brand with communications that are full of trust.
- Are you seeing brands look to influencer marketing to help them reach new customers? What are they doing that makes them successful?
Yes, of course! Influencer marketing is the fastest growing and most effective way to reach new customers. Based on research, we can see this trend will be increasing in the following months and years. No surprise. We’re bored and annoyed by ads that interrupt us instead of providing value about their product or service.
This is exactly the opposite of what influencer marketing does. As brands and individuals, we can talk to our audience through someone who has respect and influence. What’s important here? Crafting the right message for the right target group and always remembering to present usage.
- So we’re all dying to know, who are the top digital marketing influencers?
For the second year in a row, Gary Vaynerchuk is number one. This man is super effective and makes me wonder who has the power to get more exposure. We do see changes in subsequent positions. Seth Godin took position number two, right before Tim Ferris (#3). Who is next?
Neil Patel and Guy Kawasaki are #4 and #5. Worth mentioning are the awesome Ann Handley (#6), who is in the top 10, along with Michael Hyatt, Jeff Bullas, Lilach Bullock and of course you, Michael Brenner round out the top 10.
- How did you gather all that data?
It was a very long process. We improved it compared to the last year. What did we exactly do? Over a period of 7 months, we collected and analyzed more than 2.8 million mentions and 14 million interactions.
This data was key to helping us narrow down the top 100 digital marketers who consistently influence general public opinions through their work. Using Brand24, we created hundreds of media monitoring projects dedicated to finding the most appreciated, mentioned, quoted and popular key opinion leaders in digital marketing.
That’s why we can proudly say it’s a report that is 100% based on data.
- You identify some VIBPs? What does that stand for and can you share the 1 or 2 most important ones with us?
Sure, VIBP stands for Very Important Best Practices, and this something that we always want to provide our readers.
When we have so many experts who are all super effective, it’s way easier to sum those activities up and craft a couple of tips. If we want to underline two, I’d say that people love when you provide them with value and are authentic.
There is so much noise out there, stepping out of the crowd can be challenging. But once you do, and your audience sees that you are offering them essential support to make their work more efficient while showing a human face with all your flaws, you earn their interest and make them like you.
It’s a great way to build strong personal branding. And be as effective as the top influencers in our report.
- For younger marketers just starting out the idea of gaining influence can seem overwhelming. What advice do you have for them to grow their influence?
To sit and think – what’s your major goal and what resources do you have and need? Once you write it all down, you’ll see what you can do next.
Then, identify the influencers who have a similar, or the same, audience as you and you’ll have assets to offer in cooperation (it doesn’t always have to be money, maybe for some, your product and brilliant customer care will be enough for them to share a kind word about you).
After that, contact, inform, and give value when you kindly invite these influencers to collaborate with you.
And always remember to nurture your relations, not just during the cooperation, but also after it comes to an end.
- Where can we find the report?
There is a dedicated landing page:http://bit.ly/Top100DigitalMarketers2018 Hope you’re gonna like it!
Huge thanks to Magdalena Urbaniak for the chance to get her thought in digital marketing influence.