Need some inspiration? Take a look at our picks of the top digital marketing influencers to learn from in 2019.
When it comes to digital marketing, things are not as easy as they were before. In 2019, it does take hard work, unique ideas and a fair level of skill to be worthy of people’s attention whether it be online or in the real world. We compiled this list with the intention of inspiring and spreading these successful people’s advice. With that being said, here are our picks of the credible experts in the digital marketing field in alphabetical order.
Here are 15+ digital marketing influencers
David Meerman Scott
As a real pioneer for digital marketing as we know it, Ann Handley is easily one of the most prominent experts in this industry. She was recognized as one of the 7 people shaping modern marketing by IBM and is the first ever Chief Content Officer. She inspires people to be better content marketers by setting an example at MarketingProfs where she also manages content being written. ClickZ, one of the first digital marketing platforms was also founded by her. Aside from her work at Entrepreneur, Inc., Mashable, American Express and Wall Street Journal as a commentator; she is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of 2 books on writing amazing content which were translated into more than 15 languages.
Follow her on Twitter.
As the founder of the Search Engine Roundtable and the news editor at Search Engine Land, Barry Schwartz is the biggest search geek of them all. He founded RustyBrick, won the US Search Engine Personality of the Year Award in 2018 and Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land in 2019. During his career he has been the advisor for companies including Google, Yahoo! Search, Microsoft and many others. He participates in a number of search marketing conferences and expos like La Red Innova Madrid, Pubcon, Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo and many more as a moderator, coordinator or speaker. He also hosts the Search Marketing Expo of Israel.
Follow him on Twitter to keep up to date on what’s new in the search engine world.
Bill started in SEO in 1996 on an eCommerce site. He has since then worked on more than 100 major eCommerce brands. In 2006, he started the SEO channel at GSI Commerce (later bought by eBay) and is the founder and managing partner of Greenlane, an agency that specializes in SEO and PPC consulting and management. He also teaches at Jefferson University and writes all over the place.
He says if he’s unique, it’s because he has experience and has seen quite a bit.
“I would like to see a wider understanding that everything we do in search marketing needs to be considered an experiment. We have limited information from Google, in which most is open for interpretation. But what works for one site, may not work for another. So a culture of trial and error is important. Thus, a testing budget should always be included. I’ve yet to see a company in SEO who has been successful without welcoming the spirit of experimentation.”
Follow him on Twitter.
David Meerman Scott is a venerable business growth strategist, author, entrepreneur and public speaker. He spotted the real-time marketing revolution in its infancy and wrote five books about it including “The New Rules of Marketing and PR”, which has sold more than 400,000 copies in English and is available in 29 languages from Albanian to Vietnamese.
For 15 years, Fadhila is helping to grow brand awareness to large groups thanks to ultra-personalized support from public figures (executives, leaders, celebrities, and influencers).
Her mission is to accompany them to reveal their voice, to define a territory of singular expression, to re-enchant their social media presence and to harmonize all their speeches. (internal/external, physical and web)
Her activities have a twofold purpose: to spread the personal brand and that of their company or project to feed their respective reputations.
As a personal brander with a systemic approach and expertise in the support of change, she often proposes to her clients to create individualized courses according to the personality of the interested person including the stakeholders of the organization.
With Gareth’s knowledge in digital marketing and chatbots and constantly being innovative, Gareth has generated hundreds of qualified leads (400+) at the cost per acquisition of $1.98 via the use of Facebook Messenger chatbots. His other accomplishments include receiving personal press mentions in publications such as BBC News, Daily Express, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Reader’s Digest, Business Matters Magazine and many more which have skyrocketed social growth, brand presence and sales. He has generated a large following from sharing relevant content in the industry and his travels. With Gareth’s ever-growing knowledge in SEO, he’s grown various sites to thousands of unique users including his recent projects which received thousands of hits within the first months.
Why do you think you’re unique?
“I’d say I’m very ambitious (working on my personal brand and earning money since I was 15) and always looking to improve my knowledge, but rather than just consuming media online such as articles, videos, podcasts – I go a step further and work on side projects to increase my knowledge and skill set. If there’s something I don’t know but think it’ll help me succeed, I’ll go and learn it, as I did with PR – self-teaching the keys to success. It’s worked as I’ve been featured in major publications.
For example, one project I’ve been working on is Revealing Britain – an online magazine that reveals Britain’s hidden gems and shares the latest trending and insightful content about travel, food and drink, entertainment etc within Great Britain. This is a side project to see how fast I can get an online magazine website out there generating a large audience and monetising via ads, partnerships and more. Within the first month, it had just under 1,000 unique users and within the second month, I’ve topped that and also had a successful partnership with Gatorade (Pepsi). I’m always keeping an eye out and looking for new ways to generate a larger audience, more sales and grow successfully.
My personal branding has definitely worked off as I was verified on Twitter 2 years ago when I was 20 which has opened up a lot more opportunities. There’s no stopping me.”
Jason Falls is a leading digital strategist, speaker, author and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry. His strategies and ideas have touched iconic brands including GE Appliances, AT&T, Valvoline, Buffalo Trace, Humana, Rawlings, Maker’s Mark, Tempur-Pedic, Fireball Whisky, GM and more. Falls has been noted as a top influencer in the social technology and marketing space by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Advertising Age and others. He is the co-author of two books: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing, and The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing.
Falls is also noted for founding SocialMediaExplorer.com, one of the industry’s most widely read blogs. He is a frequently featured digital marketing keynote speaker and has informed and entertained audiences on three continents and in eight countries. He has been behind national award-winning digital efforts for Jim Beam Bourbon (SAMMY Award) and the National Center for Families Learning (Its Wonderopolis was named one of Time magazine’s top 50 most important websites.) He currently leads digital and social strategy for Cornett, a full-service ad agency in Lexington, Ky. He loves the kick-ass state of Kentucky, sports and bourbon.
What do you think makes you different?
“I’m a practitioner who focuses on driving results for clients all the time. A lot of the people on “top experts” and “top marketers” lists are speakers and authors and don’t really do hands-on work anymore. They’re personalities. And that’s fine. It’s not that they aren’t giving good advice. But I work at an agency. If I don’t deliver, I lose my job. Being a thought leader isn’t how I make my money, so I think that gives me a more practical, informed perspective than many others. That and I cut out a lot of bullshit.”
Jay Baer is one of the Hall of Fame keynote speakers, and motivates his audience like no other. With his current firm Convince & Convert, he offers marketing advice and counsel for some of the biggest companies in the world; since 1994 more than 700 companies consulted to his advisory. He has advised The United Nations, Caterpillar, Nike and 34 of the FORTUNE 500. Jay is also the author of 6 must-read books and has an awesome blog which is a must follow. He is the host of the Social Pros podcast, which had received the title of best marketing podcast in the Content Marketing Awards. Aside from these achievements, up to now, he had five different companies grown from scratch into multi-million dollar businesses.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of Content Marketing Institute, one of the most renowned marketing education organizations. He’s the author of 6 epic marketing books including Killing Marketing and Content Inc. Joe has countless accomplishments in the industry and has been recognized as such on many occasions like the 2017 Cleveland American Advertising Federation’s Inaugural Industry Impact Award, Most Influential Content Strategist and Content Marketer of the Year by Lavacon, and the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award. He was the host of 2 podcasts and wrote for Entrepreneur and Inc. Now, he continues to present new speeches at various events also founded the Orange Effect Foundation with his wife, aiming to help kids with speech and communication disorders.
Larry Kim proved himself to be a leading expert in the industry as the founder of WordStream, one of the best tools for digital marketers especially for keyword search. He is also the founder and CEO of MobileMonkey, a tool for Facebook Messenger marketing. While millions read his blogs on marketing on a regular basis, he speaks at various events. Some of the awards he has won include Search Marketer of the Year from PPC Hero, Search Engine Land, and the US Search Awards; and he has been voted the most influential PPC expert multiple times. He is also a columnist for CNBC, Inc. Magazine and Medium where he was ranked the #8 most popular author. An active social media user, he shares quality advice daily.
Leonard Kim is an author, marketing influencer and branding expert. He is the coauthor of “Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You for Greater Success” and has been named an expert in his area numerous times by Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur and AdWeek.
What do you think makes you unique?
“What makes me unique is that when it comes to personal brand building, there are a lot of nuances that go along with marketing a person, such as cultural norms, stereotypes and perceptions from people that other experts often overlook when teaching their methods, due to most of them coming from a background of privilege. Being a minority and working with other people who can be considered minorities has helped me see the broader picture of how to integrate successful marketing campaigns where people stick out. Also, by having my clients lead with vulnerability and authenticity as opposed to touting themselves as the best, they are able to stand out and drive deep connections with their audiences.”
Mike Allton has been writing and teaching in the digital marketing space for over ten years, and has established a reputation as a prolific blogger. After serving as CMO for a number of years, he recently joined Agorapulse as their Brand Evangelist where he is responsible for managing relationships with dozens of key influencers and ambassadors.
How are you different as a marketer?
“One thing that’s relatively unique about me is my focus on building relationships. For years I have been generous with my time and have striven to connect with and help other marketers without any preconceived notions or agenda. This has allowed me to create a wonderful network of friends and colleagues who, together, are willing to collaborate and work with me on any number of projects.”
Mike Schiemer is a frugal entrepreneur, digital marketer, social media influencer, and SEO consultant. He has contributed to content marketing and social media campaigns for dozens of multi-billion dollar companies and thousands of small businesses around the world. He has also bootstrapped several 6-figure businesses. He currently owns Bootstrap Business, Frugal Finance, Lean Startup Life, and 7 other profitable websites or blogs. He is the author of 2 books including “The $10 Digital Media Startup” with sales in 12 countries.
What do you think makes you unique?
“I have a lot of actual experience in sales and management outside of the marketing industry. I’ve gotten excellent results for my clients due to my additional experiences working in the retail, non-profit, and fitness industries. That actual real-world experience helps when you are marketing real products and services aside from just software, online subscriptions, and unproven future technologies.
When I am marketing myself or another company I don’t just spend money carelessly. I am a strong believer in moving more cautiously and always maintaining profitability, which doesn’t seem to matter to a lot of marketers or companies these days.”
Neil Patel is the founder of Crazy Egg, KISSmetrics, Hello Bar and QuickSprout, and probably the most visible figure in SEO education. He has been recognized by Barack Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30, and also as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by United Nations. He has helped many well-known brands such as Amazon, GM, HP and NBC with growing revenue. On his blog, you’ll find quality content about digital marketing with the motto “SEO made simple”, and he makes it easy for everyone to understand how it works. He also hosts Marketing School the podcast with more than a thousand episodes alongside Eric Siu. He makes videos on YouTube sharing advice about SEO, fully explained in detail with bonus tips.
Social media is Peg’s passion. And her job. She works day-to-day in the trenches of social media, marketing, and blogging with global brands and leaders in the social media sphere. She’s spearheaded successful social-media campaigns for Mercedes, Motorola, Audi, Canva, Google, and Virgin as well as having been a brand ambassador for Random House, Kimpton Hotels, Nestle, and Adobe Spark. Peg co-authored the best-selling book The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Silicon Valley OG Guy Kawasaki. Behind the scenes, Peg runs marketing and social media for a global brand putting all her skills into use while testing the latest strategies. In her spare time, she runs an award-winning social media blog at PegFitzpatrick.com, dreams and plans on Pinterest, and takes way too many photos for Instagram.
How are you unique as a digital marketer?
“I actually manage social media for a brand vs many people who call themselves social media marketers but are really just posting for their own personal brands. There’s a big difference! Also, I work as a brand ambassador for brands like Random House and Kimpton Hotels so I know how the influencer piece of social media works.”
Best known as the co-founder of Moz and founder SparkToro, Rand Fishkin is easily one of the most visible experts in the SEO scene. He quit Moz (one of the most widely used SEO tools on the market), and is now active on SparkToro. Quality SEO advice can be found on his blog, videos and his book “Lost and Founder”. He also frequents marketing conferences and events all around the globe for a big fraction of the year. He has been featured in the Seattle Times, Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, BusinessWeek’s 30 Under 30; and Newsweek, The Next Web, the Inc has recognized him as an expert.
Ramon has started four companies and sold two of them. He’s a best seller author who has written four books, including “Celebrity CEO”, about personal branding for entrepreneurs. Ramon’s not only a global speaker, author and entrepreneur but has also interviewed President Obama in the President’s first live video chat and was with Ivanka Trump in India for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. As an in-demand thought leader, Ramon’s been quoted or featured in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Inc, and dozens of podcasts and radio interviews.
How is Ramon unique?
Ramon’s specialty is that he knows how business owners can start and build their personal brand and become the Celebrity CEO to a niche market. It’s about being well known and having clients and customers wanting to work with you.
Ryan Foland is a communication expert who is recognized by Inc. Magazine and Brand24 as a Top Digital Marketer and has been named a Top Personal Branding Expert by Entrepreneur Magazine. In his keynote speeches, online courses, and his new book Ditch the Act (published by McGraw-Hill), he helps business leaders learn how to market themselves by harnessing the power of vulnerability and authenticity to build better, more relatable, and more profitable personal brands. He is also known for his 3-1-3® Method, a discovery process whereby core marketing messaging begins as three sentences, condenses into one sentence and then boils down to three words. Learn more about Ryan at ryan.online.
How is Ryan unique?
When it comes to digital marketing, Ryan Foland has a unique and slightly different approach, but that is why he showed up on our radar. His approach is based on the simplicity of messaging and of simply being you. A keynote speaker by trade, he has been recognized for his expertise in digital marketing when it comes to marketing people, which is most commonly known as “personal branding.” He believes that there is little difference between the online and offline worlds, arguing the utmost importance of being able to articulate the problem you solve, your solution, and your market, before setting off on any digital campaign. Ryan teaches companies how to empower their employees to learn how to market themselves as the experts they are (both online and offline). As a result, this increases the digital reach of the company through its employee’s social networks, which ultimately drives ROI. His work also spans from the corporate world to higher education. As the Communications Manager at the Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning at the University of California, Irvine, he is known for his work in successfully advancing the adoption of new forms of digital media across campus.
Sam’s been featured, linked to and/or cited as an influential figure on hundreds of websites including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., and in Fast Company magazine. He’s worked with multiple renowned companies across the globe from the USA to France, and even as far as Israel — plus, Fortune 100 brands (Oracle, IBM) and also Adobe (within the Fortune 500). Sam went from unemployed, to working in marketing, to running his own business in the space of only 5 years; during that time, he progressed his career by obtaining greater positions each and every year before launching OPTIM-EYEZ and achieving the above accolades.
What makes you unique?
“I’ve never advertised any of my services; I’ve always been dedicated to people and I prioritize relationships above all else.”
We hope that the advice and stories of the top players in the digital marketing game will benefit you in your digital marketing journey. We strongly believe that the inspiration from these successful people will give you the necessary boost towards your ultimate goal.
We’d also love to hear your suggestions and pieces of advice for all the others that are in need of some inspiration, feel free to leave your comment below!