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50 Top Content Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2016

Posted on Sep 6th, 2016
Written by Lee Odden
In this article

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    Content Marketing Influencers 2016
    Without question, the Content Marketing World conference is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to all things content. This is where I should segue into a Death Star reference and something about a love child between Joe or Robert and Princess Leia. Or was it Chewbacca? I kid.

    What I’m not kidding about is that there are over 150 speakers at Content Marketing World that have spent numerous hours researching, planning and crafting presentations as well as practicing and coordinating their travel and stay at the event. When you think about it, the cumulative amount of content created amongst all those speakers isn’t just formidable, it’s outright impressive.

    As you may know, I’m very interested when it comes to influence in marketing and events create an ideal opportunity to identify, qualify and rank the social influence of the speakers that have worked so hard to deliver useful information to attendees. That’s exactly what I’ve done with this post and the 2016 Content Marketing World speakers.

    influencer network - content marketing

    Keep in mind, this is not a popularity list of marketers or a subjective list of personal favorites. It is a researched group of those who are most influential for “content marketing” based on social media and blog content on the web.

    To create this list of 50 content marketing influencers, we used our client, Traackr’s, influencer marketing platform and their filtering methodology that combines topical relevance, resonance of that topic amongst the influencer’s community and overall reach. Traackr pulls data from crawlable RSS feeds, Twitter, public Facebook and LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Google+.

    “Content Marketing” is a huge topic and we could have easily added many more than 50, especially people like Stephanie Losee, Joe Chernov, Ahava Leibtag, Rand Fishkin, Ann Marinovich, Justin Levy, Jeannine Rossignol, Todd Wheatland, Kristina Halvorson and keynote speakers John von Brachel and Lars from LEGO. But, ironically, there are only 50 spots in a list of 50!

    In the end, this list is a good mix of the smart brand, agency, vendor and industry content marketing talent you can expect to meet this week in Cleveland.  Enjoy!

    Michael Brenner @brennermichael
    CEO, Marketing Insider Group, Author
    Presenting: A Content Formula for Complex B2B Organizations and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

    Juntae DeLane @juntaedelane
    Senior Digital Brand Manager, University of Southern California and founder of the Digital Branding Institute
    Presenting: Using Content Marketing with No Budget or Resources to Build Your Digital Brand

    Joe Pulizzi @joepulizzi
    Founder, Content Marketing Institute, Author
    Presenting: Welcome to the Content Marketing Revolution and Content Inc: Startups to Small Businesses

    Pam Didner @pamdidner
    Consultant, Author, Adjunct Instructor, West Virginia University
    Presenting: How to Build a Global Content Marketing Team and The Step-by-Step Guide to Create Global Content Marketing Strategy

    Ian Cleary @IanCleary
    Founder and CEO of RazorSocial
    Presenting: Tools and Technology for Building a Content Conversion Funnel

    Carla Johnson @carlajohnson
    Marketing and Customer Experience Consultant, Type A Communications, Author
    Presenting: My Employee Said What?!?! Creating a Content Strategy For Employees, The Most Vital and Ignored Audience and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

    Andy Crestodina @crestodina
    Strategic Director, Orbit Media Studios, Inc., Author
    Presenting: Keynote: Content’s Fortune and Glory: How to Make Friends, Rank High and Get Famous Online and Web Design vs. Analytics Setup: 5 Little Design Decisions That Cause Big Analytics Problems

    Lee Odden @leeodden
    CEO, TopRank Marketing, Author
    Presenting: How to Improve the ROI of Your Content Agency Investment and How B2B Executives Need to Strategize in the World of Content

    Jay Baer @jaybaer
    President of Convince & Convert, Author
    Presenting: How to Use Customer Service and Community to Create Killer Content and Evolution and Opportunities in Business Podcasting – Q&A

    Pawan Deshpande @TweetsFromPawan
    CEO, Curata
    Presenting: Ridiculously Awesome Curation Hacks to Goose Your ROI Like Crazy

    Arnie Kuenn @arniek
    CEO, Vertical Measures, Author
    Presenting: How to Get 77% More Traffic from Your Existing Content

    Chad Pollitt @chadpollitt
    Adjunct Instructor, Rutgers University, VP of Audience & Co-founder Relevance, Author
    Presenting: Paid and Unpaid Content Promotion and Distribution Methods That Actually Work

    John Jantsch @ducttape
    President, Duct Tape Marketing, Best-Selling Author
    Presenting: Workshop: Content Inc.: Startups to Small Businesses

    Robert Rose @robert_rose
    Chief Strategy Advisor, Content Marketing Institute, Author
    Presenting: Opening Keynote Q/A Interview: Content Marketing and Change Management – Making it Real, The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities in Content Marketing: A Q/A with Leading Technology Marketers, and Content Marketing is Broken – Here’s How to Fix It and Tie It to Real Business Results

    Brian Carter @briancarter
    CEO / Digital Marketing Consultant, The Carter Group, Author
    Presenting: Facebook Advertising Lead Generation and Content That Sells

    Bryan Kramer @bryankramer
    President + CEO PureMatter, Author
    Presenting: How to Create and Manage an Influencer Marketing Program

    Marcus Sheridan @TheSalesLion
    President, The Sales Lion
    Presenting: The 7 Keys to Owning the Digital Age and Dominating Your Niche: Today, Tomorrow and Beyond and How to Tear Down Sales and Marketing Silos: The Secret to Developing a Culture of Content Across the Entire Organization

    Jennifer Goforth Gregory @byjengregory
    Freelance Content Marketing Writer and Strategist
    Presenting: Hunting the Unicorn: Five Ways to Rope in Highly Qualified Freelancers

    Gini Dietrich @ginidietrich
    CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc., Author
    Presenting: Email Drop Campaigns That Work and Use PR to Fuel Your Content Marketing Efforts

    Matt Heinz @heinzmarketing
    President, Heinz Marketing Inc
    Presenting: 50 Essential Content Marketing Hacks: New Tools, Tricks, Shortcuts, Best Practices and More to Convert Readers Into Customers

    Russell Sparkman @fusionspark
    Co-founder, CEO, Fusionspark Media, Inc.
    Presenting: First, Find Your Mission: How to Use Brand Purpose to Drive Content Marketing Strategy

    Ann Handley @marketingprofs
    Chief Content Officer, MarketingProfs, Author
    Presenting: Keynote: A Look Back at the Best Marketing of 2017 and How to Level-Up Your Writing and Make it Ludicrously Spectacular

    Mari Smith @marismith
    Consultant, Facebook Small Business Training, Author
    Presenting: Social Video: How Companies Are Succeeding with Videos on Facebook

    Jay Acunzo @jayacunzo
    VP of Platform, NextView Ventures
    Presenting: The Content Talent Crunch: How Marketing Leaders Approach Hiring A New Breed of Marketer, and Unthinkable: How the World’s Most Creative Content Marketers Do What Others Wouldn’t Dare, and This Session Disappears in 10 Seconds: A Fireside Chat and Q/A on Snapchat

    Cassio Politi @tractobr
    Diretor de content marketing, Tracto
    Presenting: How Small Differences in Buyer Personas’ Behavior Impact the Global Strategy

    AJ Huisman @ajhuisman
    Founder, Y Content
    Presenting: How to Turn Highly Billable Professionals Into Extremely Productive Content Marketing Rockstars That Get Bottom Line Results

    Jonathan Crossfield @kimota
    Editorial Directoru2014Telstra Smarter Business Ideas, Bauer Media Australia
    Presenting: Social Media and Your Audience: The Proper Approach to Social Communications

    Doug Kessler @dougkessler
    Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners
    Presenting: What Great Content Looks Like: The Power of Insight

    Jeff Herrmann @jefflherrmann
    Chief Strategy Officer, Fathom: A Digital Marketing & Analytics Agency
    Presenting: Social Selling 101: 3 Methods to Enable a Social Savvy Sales Force

    Ardath Albee @ardath421
    CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions, Author
    Presenting: How to use Content to Maximize the B2B Buying Process and B2B Demand Generation – It’s Bigger Than You Think

    Bernie Borges @bernieborges
    Executive Producer: Social Business Engine, Find and Convert, Author
    Presenting: Opportunities for B2B Brands in Live Video

    Andrew Davis @drewdavishere
    CEO, Monumental Shift, Author
    Presenting: Killer Content: How Brilliant Brands Create Less Content and Deliver Bigger Success and Content Marketing ROI Simplified

    Colleen Jones @leenjones
    CEO, Content Science
    Presenting: Leveraging Content Intelligence: Lessons Learned at American Cancer Society

    Tom Webster @webby2001
    Vice President, Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research
    Presenting: The Forgotten Discipline of (Content) Marketing – What To Do When You’ve Written All the “Helpful” Content

    John Hall @johnhall
    CEO, Influence & Co.
    Presenting: The New Jedi Mind Trick: How to Dominate Your Industry By Building Your Authority and Leveraging Influencer RelationshipsThe New Jedi Mind Trick: How to Dominate Your Industry By Building Your Authority and Leveraging Influencer Relationships

    Buddy Scalera @buddyscalera
    Senior Director Content Strategy, Global Health Science, The Medicines Company
    Presenting: Creating A Visual Content Strategy that Scales

    Deana Goldasich @goldasich
    CEO, Well Planned Web, LLC
    Presenting: Getting Executive Buy-In For Content Marketing

    David Beebe @davidbeebe
    Vice President, Global Creative and Content Marketing, Marriott International
    Presenting: Between the Sheets of Marriott’s M Live

    Rebecca Lieb @lieblink
    Analyst, Advisor, Principal at Conglomotron, Author
    Presenting: Contextual Content From Websites to Wearables to Wherever and Mobile Moments: Where Content Meets People, Places and Things

    Jeff Julian @jjulian
    Chief Marketing Officer, AJi, Author
    Presenting: A Journey Through your First Agile Marketing Effort

    Susan Borst @susanborst
    Sr. Director of Industry Initiatives, IAB
    Presenting: Great Content: Now What Are you Going to Do With It? Let’s Talk Native Advertising

    Cameron Conaway @cameronconaway
    Content Marketing Manager, Flow
    Presenting: Journalism, Content Marketing and the Shared Wor(l)ds Between

    Ian Altman @ianaltman
    CEO, Keynote Speaker, Sales Advisor, Grow My Revenue, Author
    Presenting: The Right Content to Accelerate Sales

    Travis Wright @teedubya
    CMO, CCP.Digital, Author
    Presenting: How to Develop and Execute a Social Business Strategy

    Paul Roetzer @paulroetzer
    CEO PR 20/20, Author
    Presenting: Content Marketing in the Machine Age: 25+ Tools and Techniques to Make Your Content More Automate and Intelligent

    Mathew Sweezey @msweezey
    Principal of Marketing Insights, Salesforce
    Presenting: How to Improve the Value of Your Email Through Marketing Automation

    Jesper Laursen @jesperlaursen
    CEO, Native Advertising Institute
    Presenting: Panel: Great Content. Now What Are You Going To Do With It? Let’s Talk Native Advertising

    Amanda Todorovich @amandatodo
    Content Marketing Director, Cleveland Clinic
    Presenting: Team Building: How to Staff, Structure and Budget A Content Marketing Team

    Mitch Joel @mitchjoel
    President, Mirum Agency, Author
    Presenting: Keynote: Content is Dead: Focus on the Network Effect and Evolution and Opportunities in Business Podcasting -A Q/A

    Tami Cannizzaro @tamicann
    Vice President, Head of North America Marketing, Oracle
    Presenting: The New Rules of Global Customer Engagement: How to Build Momentum for Your Brand Around the World Through Content Marketing

    I’m pretty sure people that attend conferences don’t realize the aggregate volume of effort that goes into an event like Content Marketing World and the CMI staff do a great job, which is self-evident given their growth and the recent acquisition. Hats off to Joe, Pam, Robert, Cathy and the CMI team for all their hard work in making Content Marketing World the death star of content marketing. See what I did there?

    In addition to sharing this list of 50 content marketing influencers, I’ve pulled together the top 10 most popular content marketing articles from this blog from 2016. Enjoy!

    1. 6 Bad Content Marketing Habits
    2. How Social Media & Content Marketing Work Together
    3. SEO Tips and Tactics for Content Marketing
    4. Using Long-Form Content on Social Media as a Content Marketing Tactic
    5. 8 Ways to Build Credibility & Trust with Content Marketing
    6. What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
    7. 4 Elements of Successful Content Marketing on LinkedIn
    8. How to Be the Best Answer: Content Marketing Best Practices
    9. 38 B2B Content Marketing Case Studies for 2016
    10. Content Marketing: Integrity, Storytelling & Creativity

    Lee Odden CMWorld 2016
    On the topic of Content Marketing World
    – I’m presenting on Thursday at 12:05pm in Room 1 on How to Improve the ROI of your content marketing agency investment. Unlike breakout sessions, pre-registration is not required for lunch and learns. It’s first-come, first served, so you should get there early if possible to get a seat.