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The Original List: 50 Content Marketing Influencers and Experts to Follow 2018

Posted on Aug 29th, 2018
Written by Lee Odden
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    Content Marketing Influencers 2018

    Content Marketing World 2018 will be here before you know it. The largest content marketing conference in the world brings together an incredible cornucopia of talent, curiosity, knowledge and aspirations for success. Marketers from all over the world come to Cleveland, Ohio for this event of epic proportions.

    Readers of our blog know we have a long history with the conference starting at the beginning with 8 years of speaking and attending plus 6 years of partnering with Content Marketing Institute to develop speaker/influencer content marketing campaigns, aka “conference ebooks”, to help promote the event.

    Another tradition that has recently been imitated but hardly duplicated, is something we started several years ago: sort through the 200 or more speakers and publish a ranked list of content marketing experts according to their social influence.

    List Methodology: For this list we use the Traackr influencer marketing platform to filter the content marketing experts who are speaking at the current year’s Content Marketing World conference using a number of criteria including the relevance of the individuals to the topic, the degree to which their networks engage, and the size of their networks. Online data is pulled from blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SlideShare, Flickr and several other platforms.

    Of course the topic in question is: “content marketing”. Everyone included on this list is a) a speaker at CMWorld 2018, b) ranked in the top 50 for “content marketing” according to relevance, resonance, reach and audience metrics.

    CMWorld 2018 Influencer network

    People always thank me for including them in these lists and there’s no thanks to be given other than to the people who worked hard sharing useful content about content marketing to their social channels, in blogs, in videos and online in general.

    Thanks goes to ALL of the people who are actively sharing knowledge about content marketing by engaging and helping others with opinions, insights and expertise on the social web. This list is just the beginning of understanding all of the top experts and influencers around the topic of content marketing.

    In this year’s list there are many familiar faces and some that are new. I hope you find new and inspiring content marketing experts to follow through the rest of this year and into 2019.

    50 Content Marketing Influencers Speaking at CMWorld 2018

    Erika Heald
    BIG congratulations to Erika Heald for the top spot and to the other 3 women in the top spots: Pam Didner, Carla Johnson and Kelly Hungerford.

    Ann Handley
    Congrats AGAIN to Ann Handley for being the Most Engaging Content Marketing Influencer out of this year’s group of speakers, based on Traackr’s analysis.

    Erika Heald @SFerika
    Marketing Consultant, Erika Heald Consulting
    Presenting: Your Lack of Social Media Guidelines is Killing Your Employee Brand Advocacy

    Pam Didner @PamDidner
    B2B Marketing Consultant & Speaker, Relentless Pursuit
    Presenting: 5 Creative Ways Marketers Can Enable Their Sales Teams
    Presenting: Create A Scalable Global Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps

    Carla Johnson @CarlaJohnson
    Chief Innovator, Type A Communications
    Presenting: The Innovation Factory

    Kelly Hungerford @KDHungerford
    Digital Strategy & Marketing Operations Consultant, Sunstar Europe SA
    Presenting: Transforming Teams: How to Transition Traditional Marketers into Content Marketers

    Michael Brenner @BrennerMichael
    CEO, Marketing Insider Group
    Presenting: How to Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy, Start Showing Your Content Marketing ROI Today

    Lee Odden @leeodden
    CEO, TopRank Marketing
    Presenting: Rocket Science Simplified: How to Optimize, Socialize and Publicize B2B Content
    Presenting: The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

    Ian Cleary @IanCleary
    Founder, OutreachPlus & RazorSocial
    Presenting: A Content Promotion Framework with Actionable Tips to Optimize Results from your Content Marketing
    Presenting: Content Optimization and Distribution Strategies

    Michael Gass @michaelgass
    Owner, Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC
    Presenting: Agency Workshop: A New Approach to New Business,

    Heidi Cohen @heidicohen
    Chief Content Officer, Actionable Marketing Guide
    Presenting: The Secret 3 Steps For Content Amplification And Distribution Success

    Christopher Penn @cspenn
    Co-Founder and Chief Innovator, BrainTrust Insights
    Presenting: How To Use AI To Boost Your Content Marketing Impact
    Presenting: How to Use Artificial Intelligence to Build and Optimize Content

    Bernie Borges @bernieborges
    Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Vengreso
    Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

    Andrew Pickering @AndrewAndPete
    Pete Gartland @AndrewAndPete
    Co-Founders, Andrew and Pete
    Presenting: The Competitive Edge: How to Create a Unique Content Spin in a World of Copycats

    Melanie Deziel @mdeziel
    Founder, StoryFuel
    Presenting: Think Like A Journalist: The 5 Keys To Compelling Content

    John Jantsch @ducttape
    President, Duct Tape Marketing
    Presenting: How to Grow a Highly Profitable Agency Without Adding Overhead

    Robert Rose @Robert_Rose
    Chief Troublemaker, The Content Advisory
    Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

    Andrew Davis @DrewDavisHere
    Keynote Speaker & Best-selling Author, Monumental Shift
    Presenting: Video Marketing Makeover – Transforming boring case studies and testimonials into stories that inspire action
    Presenting: Curiosity Factor: The psychological phenomenon creative content marketers employ to earn and own attention in a noisy world

    Viveka Von Rosen @LinkedInExpert
    Co-founder & Chief Visibility Officer, Vengreso
    Presenting: 3 LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategies that will Drive Visibility, Credibility and Traffic

    Douglas Burdett @MarketingBook
    Host, The Marketing Book Podcast
    Presenting: Industrial Manufacturing Lab: Applying Content Marketing Best Practices to the Challenging Audience of Engineers

    Andy Crestodina @crestodina
    Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios
    Presenting: Complete Search Optimization: SEO Master Class, Content Strategy and SEO for B2B Lead Generation

    Matt Heinz @HeinzMarketing
    President, Heinz Marketing Inc
    Presenting: Sales Content That Sells: A Proven Approach To Sales Enablement Success

    Ann Handley @MarketingProfs
    Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs
    Presenting: An Important Keynote by Ann Handley, The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

    Jay Baer @jaybaer
    Founder, Convince & Convert
    Presenting: Talk Triggers: How Killer Content Creates Conversation and Clones Customers

    Jesper Laursen @jesperlaursen
    Founder and CEO, Native Advertising Institute
    Presenting: 5 killer cases: how to grow your audience with native advertising

    Cathy McPhillips @cmcphillips
    Vice President of Marketing, Content Marketing Institute
    Presenting: Getting the Most From CMWorld 2018

    Joe Lazauskas @JoeLazauskas
    Head of Content Strategy, Executive Editor, Contently
    Presenting: Stories for the Win: The Hidden Neuroscience of Content Marketing
    Presenting: Why Great Stories Make Our Brains Want to Buy

    John Hall @johnhall
    Keynote Speaker,
    Presenting: Influencer Marketing and PR Workshop
    Presenting: Relationship Building That’s Vital to Make Your Content Marketing Thrive

    Berrak Sarikaya @BerrakBiz
    Sr. Social Media Manager, Yesler
    Presenting: Lean Content Marketing for Startups

    Stephan Spencer @sspencer
    Founder, Science of SEO
    Presenting: The Most Common SEO Mistakes in Demand Generation Campaigns

    Michele Linn @michelelinn
    Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Mantis Research
    Presenting: The Unsung Hero of Content Marketing: Original Research

    Drew McLellan @DrewMcLellan
    Top Dog, Agency Management Institute
    Presenting: The Agency Edge 2018: When, What — and Why — Clients Outsource to Agencies

    Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
    Founder, Six Pixels Group
    Presenting: The Long Tales: How Longform Content Beats Snaps, Tweets & Chatbots All Day Every Day

    Cassio Politi @tractoBR
    Consultor de content marketing, Comunique-se Group
    Presenting: How to Hold an Online Event that Generates Real Results

    Andrea Fryrear @AndreaFryrear
    President and Lead Trainer, AgileSherpas
    Presenting: Going with the Flow: Adapting Scrum Practices for Marketing

    Garrett Moon @garrett_moon
    CEO & Co-Founder, CoSchedule
    Presenting: Got Leads? How To Find Your Content Core And Actually Drive Revenue From Content

    Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer
    CEO, PR 20/20
    Presenting: How to Get Started with Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing

    Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo
    Founder, Unthinkable Media
    Presenting: Break the Wheel: Stories and Ideas for Being Better than Best Practices

    Juntae DeLane @JuntaeDeLane
    Sr. Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California
    Presenting: Digital Brand Building: Optimizing Content for Engagements, Search, and Reviews

    Kathy Klotz-Guest @kathyklotzguest
    Ms. Chief Officer, Keeping it Human
    Presenting: Yes And! Turn Your Culture (OR CONTENT TEAM) into a Fresh-Idea Startup

    Peg Sieren Miller @PegMiller
    Senior Director, Growth Marketing, Xactly Corp
    Presenting: You Did a Content Inventory, Now What? How to Find the Hidden Gems Within Your Content Audit

    Albert Jan Huisman @AJHuisman
    Founder, Y Content
    Presenting: How to Turn Highly Billable Professionals into Extremely Productive Content Marketing Rock Stars that get Bottom-Line Results
    Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

    Maureen Jann @SuperDeluxeMo
    Managing Director, SuperDeluxe Marketing
    Presenting: Bringing Home the Bacon: Cultivating Thought Leaders to Break Down Trust Barriers with Prospects
    Presenting: The Content Marketing Diamond Model for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

    Stephanie Stahl @EditorStahl
    General Manager, Content Marketing Institute, UBM
    Presenting: Welcome to Content Marketing World 2018

    Ahava Leibtag @ahaval
    President, Aha Media Group
    Presenting: The Top 7 Writing Secrets of Hit-Making Songwriters”, CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

    Shafqat Islam @shafqatislam
    Cofounder & CEO, NewsCred
    Presenting: The other side of performance – operational efficiency: How to build, measure, and optimize high-performing teams that deliver high-performing content

    Doug Kessler @dougkessler
    Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
    Presenting: The elephant in a nutshell: We need to talk about metaphors in marketing.

    Zontee Hou @ZonteeHou
    President and Founder, Media Volery LLC
    Presenting: Let’s Chat: How Messaging Apps, Chatbots, and Voice Assistants Will Impact Your Business in the Next 3-5 Years

    Tim Washer @timwasher
    Keynote Speaker, Event Emcee, PowerPoint Comedian, Ridiculous Media
    Presenting: CMWorld Chatter

    Tamsen Webster @tamadear
    Founder and Chief Message Strategist, Find The Red Thread
    Presenting: How to Make Your Ideas Irresistible

    Leslie Carruthers @TheSearchGuru
    President and Founder, The Search Guru
    Presenting: A-Z Conversion tracking issues for B2B and how to solve them.
    Presenting: Retail & eCommerce Lab

    Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo
    Senior Director, Content & Creative Services, Cleveland Clinic
    Presenting: Building a “Media Company” inside a Marketing Department
    Presenting: CMWorld Cleveland Clinic Health Summit

    Now it’s your turn. As with any lists, there are many people that I would love to see included that were not. I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing (Joe Pulizzi for example). If the person that influences YOU most isn’t on this list, please share their name and Twitter handle in the comments.

    In the spirit of content marketing and in sharing our own expertise, I’ve assembled a list of our top 10 posts about content marketing from the past 12 months:

    The Ultimate Guide to Conquering Content Marketing that we developed in partnership with CMI and CMWorld is a great example of influencer driven content. This approach has been successful enough for Content Marketing Institute that they’ve run the program over 6 years.

    If you would like to learn more about how to create successful influencer content collaborations, you’re in luck! Both Ashley Zeckman and I will be presenting at Content Marketing World on the topic. Here are more details:

    September 5th – 1:45pm – 2:30pm
    Solo Presentation with Lee Odden
    The Confluence Equation: How Content and Influencers Drive B2B Marketing Success

    September 6th – 12:05pm – 12:50pm
    Solo Presentation with Ashley Zeckman
    Influencer Marketing is only for B2C Brands (& Other Lies Your Parents Told You)

    Along with our TopRank Marketing teammates Jane, Nick and Annie, we hope to see you at the Content Marketing World conference. Check out what we’re looking forward to most at CMWorld and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @toprank for real time updates during the conference and this blog for liveblogging coverage of select presentations.