Marketing is a complex, constantly evolving industry, and it's very hard to keep up with it as a business owner--and harder still to establish yourself as a reputable marketer in 2014.
This list highlights 30 of the world's top marketers, all of whom you should be following if you're a business owner or marketing professional seeking to break through the noise. These distinguished marketers are the top influencers within their particular fields and have proven that they are the very best of the best. If you're new to marketing or simply in need of some inspiration, this list is exactly what you need to reinvigorate your efforts and start making progress on the right path.
When looking for a public relations specialist or an expert marketer, you should look for certain traits. Professionals will always have an outstanding, recognizable online presence, a large and engaged following, awards to their credit for excellence in their field, and often they've written books on their specific expertise to further their role as a thought leader within their niche.
These 30 people are some of the best public relations and marketing experts in the world, and if you're not already following them on LinkedIn, here's why you should:
1. Drew Hendricks is an experienced social-media strategist. He has written for top websites such as Forbes, National Wildlife Federation, Inc.com, and The Huffington Post. He has more than 500 connections on LinkedIn, as well as more than 99 SEO endorsements.
5 Tips for Perfecting Mobile Marketing http://onforb.es/1CVN8OJ via @forbes#Marketing
-- Drew Hendricks (@DrewAHendricks) September 11, 2014
2. Peter Shankman is an aggressive and successful entrepreneur. He currently runs ShankMinds, which is a Business MasterMind Series, and is the co-host of The Mistake Podcast, a show that's renowned across the globe. Shankman also founded Help A Reporter Out, a website (and service) connecting journalists with expert sources to quote in stories they're working on. He is a top professional in the business and well worth the follow.
Entrepreneur: Someone willing to work 50 times harder than everyone else so they don't have to work like everyone else.
-- Peter Shankman (@petershankman) September 12, 2014
3. John Rampton is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word and an Inc.com writer. He is a top editor for Search Engine Journal, along with being a founder for Hostt.com. Rampton is a specialized freelance writer, and Forbes has listed him as a blogging expert. He's also a leading PPC expert (one of the 10 most influential PPC experts in the world, to be precise). If you aren't following him on LinkedIn, you should be.
5 Ways to Boost Your Influence in Your Niche http://onforb.es/1p3d0Og via @forbes
-- John Rampton (@johnrampton) September 9, 2014
4. Ben Kaplan is another great inspiration. He's been working in this field for 18 years and has held many highly sought after, reputable positions. Some of his jobs include being the founder and owner of his company Ben Kaplan Technologies, as well as the co-founder for COO, a highly efficient website that has been around since August 2009.
Deep thoughts for #prhacking copywriters: "Some have a way with words. Others not have way."--Steve Martin
-- Ben Kaplan (@benjaminkaplan) April 2, 2014
5. Shaun Sanders is a man who knows how to be a great manager. Saunders was educated at UC Berkeley and worked in the corporate sector as a sales executive for many years prior to founding his company. As a dynamic and diversified niche media company, Graffiti PR brings a cutting-edge perspective to media relations.
Bebo Founder Michael Birch Sends Cease and Desist to Airbnb for Infringement on "Genital Marketing" http://t.co/tZzRuXKqnx via @techcrunch
-- Shaun Saunders (@graffitipr) July 19, 2014
6. Mary Long is a talented ghostwriter and digital marketer who knows how to produce results using "strategies you've yet to consider." She heads Digital Media Ghost, one of the top ghostwriting sites in the world. You've seen her on Forbes, Inc.com, The Huffington Post, and many others--though you probably didn't know it. Her opinion is highly regarded, and her blog offers exceptional insight for marketers and brands.
Do you know how to handle negative search results about you or your business? Don't let that first impression be the... http://t.co/bsUS4P2Pq5
-- Mary C Long (@MaryCLong) June 21, 2014
7. Matt Wayne is an entertainment and social-media marketing expert who inspires countless individuals, businesses, and corporate brands to "be seen via world of mouth." Since 2007, his flagship company (No Social Limits) has been the go-to source for targeted audience growth, as well as social-media management solutions.
6 Questions to Ask Before You Outsource Your Marketing http://t.co/qRDbF4IiN6 #BizGrowth #OutsourceSmart pic.twitter.com/pksFbXFMVZ
-- Matt Wayne (@RealMattWayne) September 15, 2014
8. Ann Smarty knows everything there is to know about SEO. She has been specializing in the topic for quite some time and is the founder of the website MyBlogU.com. Her company focuses on content marketing and helps advertisers connect with writers to promote their content in a way that is both noticeable and successful.
Practical Tips to Reach More People on Social Media http://t.co/Dl4y3pASEF
-- Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) September 17, 2014
9. Eder Holguin is an entrepreneur who understands how to get progress on projects. He is the founder and CEO of Ideal Media, a website that lets users display their content so they can get more exposure. Holguin developed a system that gets views through advertising and the Audience Amplification Network. He is very knowledgeable and can help your business just by following some of his revolutionary leads.
#Getitdone great infographic with 35 habits of the most productive people http://t.co/GYBy8NwPYa #entrepreneur
-- Eder Holguin (@ederman1) September 15, 2014
10. Amy Vernon is the owner of a company that specializes in freelance writing and editing. She covers many different topics and uses social-marketing strategies to make people more successful. She also helps companies promote products and messages. If you want to see a good marketing model, she is the person to follow.
Five Must-Have Free Visual Marketing Tools http://t.co/xVdIElwnmI via @ginidietrich
-- Amy Vernon (@AmyVernon) September 15, 2014
11. Brent Csutoras is a marketing specialist who spends his time helping people build strong social teams for better production. He knows how to take a rough draft of a social-media plan and turn it into a fully functioning, highly organized system that gets you the results you want to see.
The Evolution of Digital Media Buying and Omni-Channel Personalization by @teedubya http://t.co/Uj6wKx1Z2u #ContextualAdvertising
-- Brent Csutoras (@brentcsutoras) September 15, 2014
12. Charise Strandberg is another great example of a social-media strategist. She knows that getting the right audience to your page can sometimes be a challenge, but she strives to make sure that people get the audience they deserve through her customer relationship management skills and marketing expertise.
How and Why You Should Diversify Your Social Media--http://t.co/OWRlNvaoVr pic.twitter.com/jB9Em2Q7Zm
-- Charise Strandberg (@Chari_S) September 4, 2014
13. Marcus Tober is the president at Searchmetrics. He specializes in leveraging companies' data to discover which kinds of advertising they should be doing to improve performance and enhance visibility.
Google Panda 4, and blocking your CSS and JS https://t.co/0jJPP17bJ7 via @yoast
-- Marcus Tober (@marcustober) June 19, 2014
14. Cynthia Johnson is an active social-media marketing consultant and educator. She is the director of social-media marketing at RankLab, a digital marketing agency in Santa Monica, California. She operates a weekly Twitter chat, #TheSMGirl, on social-media marketing and is an active blogger for several social-media blogs, including SocialMediaClub.org.
Vine for marketing--has it lost its way or still relevant ? #sweigh http://t.co/NgqR7277mC
-- Cynthia Johnson (@CynthiaLive) September 17, 2014
15. Anita Newton is a rock star expert marketer and marketing vice president at AdKnowledge, where she is in charge of the big picture, making sure customers are getting a steady supply of consumers for their products. She knows what it takes to get a product selling and can effectively market your business on many platforms. Businesses take note of her latest marketing publications for valuable tips. Newton also writes for Inc.com.
Is Your Target Market Lazy? http://t.co/JJu0HcXGF7 via @StartupGrind
-- Anita B. Newton (@AnitaBNewton) September 11, 2014
16. Brian Solis is a principal analyst for a company called Altimeter Group. He works with a range of businesses on projects requiring new media strategies and emerging technologies. He is well-known as a "futurist" and has a long history of creating successful frameworks that influence not only business and marketing but also society. Solis is very talented at what he does, and his page should not be missed.
The answer to digital Darwinism is #digitaltransformation http://t.co/sdZMdfkbNX
-- Brian Solis (@briansolis) September 16, 2014
17. Greg Rollett is a best-selling author and the CEO for a marketing company named The ProductPros. Rollett has worked his entire life to get where he is today, and he excels in marketing. He knows how to bring a product to the consumer efficiently and effectively and how to use social media to reach the largest possible audience.
Do your clients and prospects trust you? http://t.co/QQP4PXEn1C
-- Greg Rollett (@gregrollett) July 17, 2014
18. Shawn Collins has been an affiliate marketer since 1997 and is the co-founder of the world's largest affiliate-focused conference, Affiliate Summit. With two conferences a year, Affiliate Summit hosts thousands of attendees and is the top-notch event in the affiliate space. With years of experience and valuable insights into affiliate marketing, Collins is truly a leader in the field and someone you really must follow to understand this space.
Mobile Optimization Begins With the Customer Experience--By Lisa Riolo http://t.co/hkRmgzN8eC via @feedfront
-- Shawn Collins (@affiliatetip) September 15, 2014
19. Dennis Goedegebuure is the head of global SEO at Airbnb, where he specializes in search engine marketing and optimization strategies. He is full of original ideas that will help your company increase sales and visibility.
Useful Photography Tip No. 111: Why You Need at Least an 85mm Lens for Portraits http://t.co/QEutLuiOxz
-- Dennis Goedegebuure (@TheNextCorner) September 15, 2014
20. Neil Patel is a true marketing legend. He is the co-founder of KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg. Both of these websites help business owners analyze their website traffic using methods that even other expert marketers sit up and pay attention to. When business owners get this detailed information, they're able to develop marketing strategies that are more targeted for their specific audience and much more effective at driving clicks and conversions.
Five Questions That Smart Conversion Optimization Consultants Should Ask http://t.co/MN6tcDfaKg
-- Neil Patel (@neilpatel) September 15, 2014
21. Jeff Bullas is a CEO of his own company, jeffbullas.com, where he helps companies with new media and Web services. More specifically, he helps companies with social-media marketing, content marketing, and any other form of promotion suited to a company's target audience. Bullas is a very influential member of the marketing community.
Free Webinar--How to Create Brand Names and Domain Names That Don't Suck! http://t.co/ZkYgzkZxsQ pic.twitter.com/2bHFgWCzsM
-- Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas) September 15, 2014
22. Chris Brogan is an adviser and strategist to professionals and business owners, helping them thrive in their day-to-day business ventures. Through courses, consulting, coaching, and events, Brogan offers clients a clear-cut vision that (quite simply) gets results. Beyond that, his social proof includes being a seven-time New York Times best-selling author.
Blogging and content marketing important for your business? Join me--http://t.co/5q2AIsciXI
-- Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) September 15, 2014
23. Heidi Cohen is a business specialist who uses her outstanding marketing skills to drive traffic and increase sales for advertisers. Beyond her marketing skills, Cohen is also a public relations specialist who is able to keep customers happy long after the sale, which often leads to repeat business (and is a skill in itself!). She is someone you should follow if you want to learn exactly how to speak to people to get results.
3 Post-Sale Content Marketing Strategies You Need http://t.co/jA4yluiH7s #contentmarketing #cmworld
-- Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen) September 16, 2014
24. Darren Rowse is a blogging legend. He currently writes for two websites, ProBlogger and Digital Photography School, both of which are wildly successful and generate roughly five million visitors each month. He leads seminars that share blogging--and the business of blogging--best practices and is one of the most influential voices in the blogging space.
New at ProBlogger: Four Ways to Crush Your Email Challenge and Build the List http://t.co/OaQ6Ar3let
-- Darren Rowse (@problogger) September 15, 2014
25. Brian Clark is the founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media and is an angel investor and master entrepreneur. He works to create outstanding content by using keywords to help businesses drive more sales and build positive reputations. He studies trends and adjusts his marketing in a way that is pretty much guaranteed to bring more customers (and consistently does). This marketing mogul is one to watch, for sure.
Follow This Superstar's 7-Step Example to Dominate Your Industry: http://t.co/eQsdxRS30a
-- Brian Clark (@brianclark) September 15, 2014
26. Derek Halpern is the founder and CEO of Social Triggers, a company that publishes a blog with more than 105,000 subscribers, a top marketing podcast on iTunes, and a widely watched Web TV show that reaches more than 250,000 people. His multimedia expertise makes Halpern a true marketing innovator and industry leader.
There's only one thing that separates businesses that survive and businesses that die--http://t.co/WNs9rNSHEZ
-- Derek Halpern (@derekhalpern) September 11, 2014
27. Bruce Clay is the founder of his company Bruce Clay, Inc., a worldwide marketing optimization firm that helps companies increase their sales by using SEO, pay-per-click, and social-media marketing. He is also an expert in Web design that is aesthetically pleasing and attracts target audiences.
All along there has been a difference between data and wisdom. http://t.co/j2Tz57NuEc
-- Bruce Clay (@bruce_clay) August 20, 2014
28. Mike Stelzner is the founder of Social Media Examiner and also the host of the company's podcast. Social Media Examiner is an online magazine that offers expert social-media marketing and communication tactics. Stelzner has tons of great information on modern advertising strategies and is an influential leader in the marketing world.
6 Essential Social Media Lessons From Top Executives http://t.co/Z0owccH9i3 via @hubspot
-- Michael A. Stelzner (@Mike_Stelzner) September 15, 2014
29. Jay Baer is a best-selling author who knows how to attract and retain customers in the business world. He works as a consultant, helping businesses new and old with their marketing needs, specifically in the realms of social media and digital marketing. Baer is an inspirational speaker and has years of wisdom to share. He is well worth a follow.
The 4 Ways to Find Online Influencers | Convince and Convert: Social Media Strategy and Content Marketing Strategy--http://t.co/a0vyCCZ3V4
-- Jay Baer (@jaybaer) September 14, 2014