Everyone’s an expert and an influencer nowadays. And everyone’s on social media. Heck, even celebrity dogs and cats are considered influencers in their respective fields in 2020.
When it comes to B2B marketing thought leaders, the COVID-19 crisis has driven experts and influencers in the field further into the digital realm. As speaking opportunities at events and conferences dried up, online channels took front and center for influencers across industries.
So, if your social media media feeds start to look like an echo chamber of morning routines and inspirational quotes you’re not alone, and you may be in need of some guidance on how to clean up your influencer feed.
But, before we deep dive into social profiles let’s take a step back and realize why is influencer marketing booming for B2B marketing?
Last year, influencer marketing spending demonstrated a 70% growth rate year-over-year, reaching $2.6 billion for the year, and is expected to reach over $3.6 billion by the end of 2020. Moreover, 89% of marketers consider influencers comparable or superior in ROI to other popular marketing tactics. Need we say more?!
Coronavirus, impactful on pretty much every aspect of our lives, has not skipped over social media. 44% of people worldwide find themselves on social media more now than before the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, more than ever, you should take the time to refresh your social media and blog feeds. As the world adjusts to the new normal, we marketers have to keep our proverbial ear to the ground. That means following the right people on social media to learn from and be inspired by.
How we picked our top 10 B2B influencers
Picking our top favorites was not a simple task. There are hundreds if not thousands of people worth following if you’re looking to hone your B2B marketing skills. In our search, we focused on four primary traits:
- Relevance, trustworthiness, and insightfulness
- The frequency and “freshness” of posts
- Engagement with followers
- Expertise in their field
So keeping these qualities in mind, meet are our top 10 B2B experts to follow in 2020 and beyond.
Top 10 B2B experts to follow
1. Ann Handley
Ann Handley is a name synonymous with digital marketing. She was the world’s first Chief Content Officer, recognized by Forbes as both “The Most Influential Woman in Social Media”, and one of the “Top 20 Female Bloggers”. She is also a Wall Street Journal best-seller for her books “Everybody Writes” and “Content Rules.”
Ann is very active across her social media accounts, many times taking the time to personally interact with her followers. Her Twitter feed is also a great place to glean her favorite insights and tips from the MarketingProfs blog, with her own online events and musings mixed in as well.
The best channel to get genuine insights from Ann is through her blog. One of her recent pieces was about the importance of brand voice during a social crisis. The post is extremely relevant to the current global climate, and successfully navigating your business through these trying times.
2. Jay Baer
Jay Baer is the President of Convince & Convert, a marketing strategy firm that owns the world’s premier content marketing blog. He is also one of the 200 living members of the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, and the Word of Mouth Marketing Hall of Fame. Jay has consulted for over 700 top global brands, including 36 of the Fortune 500, Nike, IBM, and even the United Nations.
You can glean valuable tips and insights from his Convince & Convert blog. Jay posts articles consistently, with topics like B2B SEO Strategies. On social media, he mostly promotes his Social Pros and Standing Ovation podcasts, but will on occasion, will share interesting industry insights that stood out to him.
3. Seth Godin
Seth Godin is the creator of the largest blog on the internet – Seth’s Blog, with over one million readers and seven thousand posts over the past 2 decades. He is the founder of altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, in addition to being a guerilla marketing, direct marketing, and Marketing Hall of Fame inductee. As an author of 19 bestsellers, mostly on the topics related to marketing, Godin is a leading authority on marketing best practices.
The majority of his social media activity is reposts and links to his latest Seth’s Blog post. On Instagram, however, Seth has recently begun posting live casts along with many leading industry experts for his followers. They discuss various industry-related topics, interspersed with friendly witty banter, and respond to questions from the viewers. His post on Wants and needs is brief but to the point about prioritizing honestly.
4. Rand Fishkin
Rand Fishkin is the disputed reigning SEO king and “Wizard of Moz”. He is the co-founder of SparkToro, and previous founder and CEO of MOZ, one of the leading SEO tools on the market. His two books on SEO are bread and butter for the field, and his seoMOZ blog became world-renowned after he started it while in high school. He also probably has the most impressive marriage proposal you’ve never heard of.
Rand frequently uses LinkedIn and Twitter to highlight various influencers and businesses and promote his own latest articles. He focuses on those he collaborates with and entities that found novel ways to improve their digital marketing strategy. One of his more recent posts discusses the age-old debate – where is it worthwhile to market a new business or product.
5. Joe Pulizzi
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Content Marketing World, and the Orange Effect. He is a marketing bestseller with Corona Marketing, Killing Marketing, Content Inc., and Epic Content Marketing; the latter lauded as a “Must-Read Business Book” by Fortune Magazine. His podcast This Old Marketing has millions of downloads in over 150 countries.
Joe offers a nice variety of social media posts across his profiles, from personal articles to retweets, and some more personal glimpses at his private life. It is also worthwhile to follow his newsletter for the most up to date insights and information. He offers his insights sporadically besides, including his article if you’re guilty of marketing’s cardinal sin.
6. Adam Grant
Adam Grant has been Wharton Business School’s top professor for seven years running. Thinkers50 recognized him as one of the ten most influential management thinkers, and Fortune ranked him in their 40 Under 40. His Ted talks have more than 20 million views, and his Ted-sponsored podcast WorkLife is chart-topping across streaming platforms.
Adam is excellent to follow on Twitter, offering both personal tips and insights daily. He also promotes a select few posts by others on controversial social issues facing society and adds his take to the topic. Another way to keep up to date with Adam’s pearls of wisdom is through his monthly Granted newsletter, which is also viewable as an archive.
Dave Gerhardt is one of the leading brand builders in the B2B market today. As the VP of Drift, he turned it into one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in history and now serves as CMO for Shopify’s number one app, Privy. Dave has a Patreon marketing group with over 1300 members called DGMG, and his Conversational Marketing Book was one of Amazon’s top 20 business books and #1 in the marketing & sales genres.
On social media, he is only active on Twitter and LinkedIn, though he posts several times a day, including his insights as well as highlighting others. He actively engages with his followers and recently started hosting the Ecommerce Marketing Show on several streaming platforms. He is less productive in article writing, but one newer post covered how to start your podcast and stop making excuses.
Houston Golden is a part of a newer generation in the B2B influencer field and considered the “#1 LinkedIn Marketer”. As Co-Founder and CEO of BAMF Media, he has led growth teams and marketing campaigns for companies including Pioneer, Mindvalley, TEDx, and Volcom, among other global brands.
Houston uses his LinkedIn to promote BAMF’s latest trends and insights in several bi-weekly updates about the state of marketing, SEO, and digital market trends. His Twitter is more devoted to his musings and favorite quotes that inspire him, in addition to shoutouts for his partners and collaborators. The BAMF blog is also an excellent source, like a recent post on leveraging social media as a primary sales conduit.
9. Ryan Deiss
Ryan Deiss is the CEO and founder of DigitalMarketer.com and hailed by Shark Tank’s Daymond John as “one of the world’s leading digital marketers”. He also founded Scalable.co and Recess.io, and invented the novel online business tactic “Customer Value Optimization.”
He doesn’t post on his blog regularly, but you can find him providing regular insights on the Digital Marketer website, such as his post on the modern marketing commandments. Deiss posts several times a week on LinkedIn, offering wisdom for founders, team leaders, and digital marketers alike. Twitter and Facebook are both places to repost content from LinkedIn, and the posts are usually grouped every ~week or so.
10. Lilach Bullock
Lilach Bullock is one of the premier digital marketing authorities today, featured amongst Forbes Top 20 Women Social Media Influencers. Lilach was also named the #1 Digital Marketer by Career Experts, and the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle.
She is extremely active across social media, frequently using her profiles to repost and link to her numerous blog posts that reach across the digital marketing spectrum. Her SEO tips are particularly renowned, including her “7 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid and How to Fix Them.” The challenge with her frequent posting is finding the material that is relevant for your business amongst the crowd.
Staying out of the gloom and doom zone during a pandemic is not easy. Especially as the B2B marketing world shifts at unprecedented speeds in yet unknown directions. To get a glimpse into what those directions might be, and how B2B marketing will look when the dust settles? You should probably follow the influencers and experts listed above.
Of course, if you sense we’ve left out someone every B2B marketer should follow? Please share some links to your favorite B2B marketing influencers in the comments section.