Content marketing is everybody's favorite love/hate buzzword, but the trend is real. Brands are spending more money on content than ever before and customers want to have a conversation with brands before they make a purchase.

I spent 7 years co-founding a content marketing company and spend a lot of time keeping up on the latest industry news and voices. I care a lot about the signal vs the noise and have developed a good filter for who knows about content marketing, and who does not.

There are a lot of long lists when it comes to content marketing, so I decided to keep this one short. Here is a list of people who know what they are talking about when it comes to content marketing based on my personal experience in the industry.  

Rebecca Lieb - Advisor/Analyst, Formerly with The Altimeter Group

Why? Lieb was easily the most influential analyst in content marketing for nearly 4 years. She literally spoke to every company in the space, and did deep dives of their products, their strengths and their weaknesses. Lieb is now a company advisor and author.

Read this: Her piece about "The Three Types of Executive Influence"

Ann Handley - Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs

Why? Handley, a LinkedIn Influencer, was named by Forbes Woman as a top 20 blogger. Her company, MarketingProfs, has what is considered to be the most influential email list of marketing professionals. Many companies rely on MarketingProfs as a source of customer acquisition.

Joe Pulizzi - Content Marketing Institute

Why? Joe Pulizzi almost single handedly pioneered the term, and the practice of Content Marketing. Pulizzi runs the largest conference in the world on content marketing, and the most influential content marketing blog, through his company, The Content Marketing Institute (recently acquired).

Read this: His piece about The Five Pillars of Content Marketing

Jason Miller - Global Content Marketing Leader at LinkedIn

Why? All Jason has done is work at the most influential content marketing companies in the world, and excelled. Prior to LinkedIn Jason worked for Marketo - considered by many to be the first B2B company to use content marketing effectively (thanks to Jon Miller). Because of the influence LinkedIn wields, when Jason speaks, everyone in content marketing listens.