Content marketing thought leaders drive and shape our industry. They inspire the rest of us. A single tweet or LinkedIn post from one of these thinkers can motivate us to try something new or adopt a fresh perspective on a problem.

Here are our top 20 content marketing thought leaders to follow in 2020, in no particular order. You’ll see a mix of established names and a few lesser-known folks who are emerging with interesting things to say.

1. Lily Ray

@lilyraynyc
Specialty: SEO

Love the nitty-gritty of SEO? Lily Ray is an SEO pro who digs into what’s happening in the SERPs for her followers. She publishes details from her work that can help others make sense of Google’s Quality Guidelines, algorithm updates, and other SEO-related developments.

Check out: what she says about a shakeup in how Google displays featured snippets:

 

2. Andy Crestodina

@crestodina
Specialty: content marketing

The co-founder of Orbit Media and author of Content Chemistry, Andy Crestodina regularly tweets about content marketing trends and strategies, especially blogging and SEO. His posts are a gold mine for honing your content marketing knowledge. You can learn a lot with just a quick scan, and if you want to dig in more, the material he links to is top-notch, too.

Check out: what his annual blogging survey says on how many headlines the most successful bloggers draft.

3. Chris Gillespie

@cgillespie317
Specialty: writing

Chris Gillespie runs B2B content marketing studio Find A Way Media with his wife. Many of his personal Twitter posts revolve around techniques for writing blog posts. He shares inspiring material for those who are serious about writing great content. His perspectives will remind you how important empathy and a great idea are to your craft.

Check out: his ideas to solve writing troubles.

4. Derek Gleason

@derek_gleason
Specialty: content marketing

Derek Gleason, content lead at CXL Institute, has a knack for going against the grain when it comes to popular content marketing approaches. (See his Twitter feed for thoughts on gated content and the skyscraper approach, for starters.) His approach to benchmarking content performance will make you a better content marketer. We’ve featured his comments before in articles on writing tips and outbound links.

Check out: his tweetstorm on finding the foundational content that built big sites.

5. Michael Brenner

@BrennerMichael
Specialty: content marketing operations

The author of Mean People Suckk and CEO of Marketing Insider Group, Michael Brenner posts a frequent, curated mix of articles about leading content marketing activities for your organization. Follow him to learn about budgeting, content strategies, implementing automation and tools, and how content fits into the marketing function.

Check out: his tweet on the importance of the visual appeal of content.

6. AJ Kohn

@ajkohn
Specialty: SEO

AJ Kohn operates a search marketing firm called Blind Five Year Old. He shares original thoughts on SEO and technology in marketing. He also researches and writes SEO thought leadership in his own blog, which you’ll be privy to as a follower.

Check out: what he says about the root of success in search.

7. Mark Traphagen

@marktraphagen
Specialty: digital marketing

You can depend on Mark Traphagen to distill the latest upheavals in the world of SEO into plain-speak for you. A digital marketing consultant and vice president of content strategy for Aimclear, he shares pithy and sometimes hilarious quotes. Follow him for insights on content marketing and SEO woven with humanity.

Check out: what he says about the importance of a background in marketing for SEOs.

8. Joanna Wiebe

@copyhackers
Specialty: copywriting

The creator of Copyhackers, Joanna Wiebe is the go-to for marketing copy fails — and techniques to help you not fail. Her tweets hit on ecommerce trends, social media, and conversions, with some humor and advice for freelance writers thrown in.

Check out: her tweet that sparked a love/hate discussion about a marketing email from Everlane.

9. Ross Simmonds

@TheCoolestCool
Specialty: content distribution

Ross Simmonds is a digital marketing strategist and the brains behind Foundation Marketing. He shares interesting articles and thought-provoking one-off tweets about content distribution strategies, like how to use Reddit and LinkedIn to reach more people. He also digs into marketing experiments, SaaS, technology, and automation.

Check out: a tweet where he questions whether all B2B brands really need a blog.

10. Katie Martell

@KatieMartell
Specialty: marketing

Follow Katie Martell, a freelance marketing and communications consultant, to level up your knowledge of marketing in the tech industry. She also curates interesting content about diversity, making the move to freelancing, and building a positive mindset, all mixed in with her original thoughts on standing out in a crowded market.

Check out: her tweet on 3 things to do to be a better communicator:

11. Aleyda Solis

@aleyda
Specialty: SEO

An SEO consultant, speaker, and author, Aleyda Solis has founded numerous companies and was named European Search Personality of 2018. Look to her feed for jobs in digital marketing, curated content on Google updates, and useful tools.

Check out: her tweet on the step-by-step framework she uses for SEO.

12. Louis Grenier

@LouisSlices
Specialty: content marketing

There’s never a dull moment with the opinionated senior marketing strategist at Hotjar, Louis Grenier. His Twitter feed is a great way to catch the latest episodes on his podcast, Everyone Hates Marketers, which features rousing discussions with marketing personalities.

Check out: his follower poll on how they define an ecommerce website.

13. Jimmy Daly

@jimmy_daly
Specialty: content marketing

Currently, the vice president of growth at content marketing agency Animalz, Jimmy Daly shares his know-how from years of experience writing and managing content marketing and, most recently, selling it. He shares material from the Animalz blog and podcast, peppered with his own thoughts.

Check out: his tweet on how marketing strategy drives the type of content to produce.

14. Robbie Richards

@RobbieRichMktg
Specialty: content marketing

Follow speaker, blogger, and marketer Robbie Richards for material on how to succeed in business with content marketing. Expect to learn about tools, models, frameworks, and study results that will help you improve your content operations.

Check out: his advice on how to evolve content marketing as a startup grows.

15. Chris Von Wilpert

@vonwilpert
Specialty: building a content marketing agency

Chris Von Wilpert, the founder of Content Mavericks and Rocketship Agency, has big thoughts on processes, finding new ideas, and content marketing on a budget. We dig the positive energy in his tweets. Follow him to learn about the ups and downs of building an agency.

Check out: a tweet where he highlights a follower who has decided to create and promote an epic piece of content.

16. Ann Handley

@annhandley
Specialty: content marketing

When we asked other content marketers who to follow, the chief content officer at MarketingProfs Ann Handley was mentioned the most frequently. Her newsletter, Total ANNARCHY, comes highly recommended. (You can find new issues in her tweets.) Many of her tweets feature events she speaks at, and she also posts valuable content from MarketingProfs.

Check out: MarketingProfs’ 2020 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report — a must-read for B2B marketers.

17. Neal Schaffer

@NealSchaffer
Specialty: social media

If you’re looking for who to follow among today’s social media marketing thought leaders, try prolific author and consultant Neal Schaffer. Follow his tweets for material about marketing on popular social mediums as well as up-and-coming channels. His Pinterest boards are worth exploring to see complex concepts distilled into visuals.

Check out: his post on LinkedIn on marketing tools for 2020.

18. Joel Klettke

LinkedIn
Specialty: copywriting

If you’re looking for fresh B2B marketing thought leaders to learn from, don’t skip Joel Klettke. He shows how to differentiate your company using writing techniques and, especially, how to produce case studies that rock.

Check out: his technique for expressing a complicated idea with simple language.

19. Doug Kessler

LinkedIn
Specialty: B2B marketing

Doug Kessler shares a mix of events, interviews, podcasts, and articles, many of which originate from his B2B marketing agency, Velocity Partners. His material gravitates toward martech and growth, in particular.

Check out: his post on how confusion may be the culprit behind the lack of reader action.

20. Leslie Talbot

LinkedIn
Specialty: sales and marketing

Leslie Talbot is vice president of customer and commercial excellence at Corporate Visions. She shares thought leadership on how to grow business relationships and get the attention of stakeholders in the sales process. Much of her advice centers around creating conversations that begin with storytelling.

Check out: her post debunking conventional wisdom on how to get the attention of busy executives.

Any Content Marketing Thought Leaders You’d Add Here?

Who is your favorite? Anyone you’d add to this list? We’d love to hear from you. Just drop a note on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to let us know!

And give our new Content Exploration tool a try while you’re here. It’s included when you try our Advanced Plan for 14 days free. Just enter a topic to surface the content in your niche that micro-influencers are engaging with most.

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