Smart Marketing Tips: The Top 8 Digital Marketers to Follow This Year

Digital marketing is constantly changing, with new technology paving the way for new marketing trends, channels, and strategies. This week, in the final installment of our Smart Marketing Tips series, we share our top 8 favorite digital marketing influencers.

Everyone on this list of influencers offers a wealth of marketing best practices, tips, and tricks that will keep you learning year-round. Read on to discover the best of the best in SEO, paid search, data analytics, social media, and more. We encourage you to follow them, learn from them, and become better digital marketers because of them.

1. Neil Patel (NeilPatel.com)

Photo credit: NeilPatel.com

If you follow Your Marketing People on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you’ve probably seen us share some of Neil Patel’s blogs. That’s because the 33-year-old is a brilliant SEO marketer who helps brands get more traffic, leads, and sales on their websites.   

Patel is a self-made marketer—at age 16, he created his first website and decided to learn marketing after wasting money on a few marketing firms that weren’t producing good results. In addition to being a New York Times best-selling author, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine all recognize him as a top digital marketer/influencer.

What We Love:
“Neil Patel pushes out a constant stream of useful content. The free tips and guidelines he gives, from how to get better rankings to what will and won’t work for SEO in 2019, are better than much of the paid content out there. His positive attitude and confidence are also contagious.” –Chris Casarez, SEO Manager, Your Marketing People

2. Tim Ferriss (Tim.blog)

Photo Credit: Tim.blog

The New York Times calls Tim Ferriss “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” He not only offers leadership and management advice to entrepreneurs and business owners, but he also explores how to live a happy (and productive) life. His podcast, The Tom Ferriss Show, has been downloaded more than 300 million times and his blog is often ranked No. 1 on management and leadership blog lists.

In his New York Times best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss teaches readers how to escape their 9 to 5s and live life to the fullest while still making money. Although he doesn’t always focus specifically on digital marketing in his podcasts and blogs, his own following is a testament to his ability to excel in the field.

What We Love:
“If you want to learn how to work efficiently and effectively while still achieving a work-life balance, Tim Ferriss’ knowledge and advice will exceed your expectations. As a CEO of a digital marketing agency and a mom of two kids, balance is everything.” –Ishani DePillo, CEO and Co-Founder, Your Marketing People

3. Avinash Kaushik (Kaushik.net)

Photo credit: Kaushik.net

Avinash Kaushik is an Indian entrepreneur whose goal is to make the complexity of web analytics teachable to anyone. He started his blog Occam’s Razor in 2006, and it is a gem for all digital marketers seeking to understand how data analysis can be used for the highest advantage.

Kaushik is the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google and the best-selling author of two books, Web Analytics 2.0 and Web Analytics: An Hour a Day. His co-funded company, Market Motive, offers online education and certification courses in SEO, paid search, social media, web analytics, conversion, and public relations.

What We Love:
“Avinash Kaushik’s blog explains the ins and outs of data analytics so well that you get excited to learn and then do more with all the information at your fingertips.” –Emily Briggs, Reporting/Email/Video Production Manager, Your Marketing People

4. Amy Porterfield (AmyPorterfield.com)

Photo credit: AmyPorterfield.com

Amy Porterfield has helped thousands of entrepreneurs, marketing experts, and educators build flourishing online brands through her top-ranked business podcast and online marketing courses. Rather than taking your marketing efforts “step by step,” Porterfield suggests doing everything “action by action,” because details matter when growing your brand.

From building email lists to content marketing (through webinars, social media, etc) to automation, Porterfield has the knowledge and expertise to help you scale your business both efficiently and effectively.  

What We Love:
“Amy Porterfield is a great resource for beginners! She offers easy-to-listen-to online courses and inspirational podcasts that give great tips, execution plans, and real-life examples from her own big marketing launches.” –Alisha Chocha, President and Co-Founder, Your Marketing People

5. Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner (SocialMediaExaminer.com)

Photo credit: SocialMediaExaminer.com

First of all, if you haven’t yet read Social Media Examiner’s 2018 free industry report, what are you waiting for? The 10th-annual report surveyed more than 5,700 marketers to discover the social networks they plan on focusing on, organic social activities, paid social media plans, etc. If you’re looking for real insider tips, there’s no better place than this online community built for sharing social media strategies, obstacles, and more.

Founder Michael Stelzner established Social Media Examiner in 2009 and it has since become the world’s largest social media marketing resource, having reached 60 million people. Business owners and marketers learn from each other how to best connect with their target audience, drive traffic, build brand awareness, and increase sales through social media platforms.  

What We Love:
“Where else can you learn which social media campaigns worked and which didn’t from your own competitors? Social Media Examiner is a community you’ll want to be a part of if you are involved in your company’s social media, whether organic or paid.” –Courtney Tarrant, Paid Social Specialist, Your Marketing People

6. PPC Hero, Hanapin Marketing (PPCHero.com)

Indiana-based Hanapin Marketing is the digital marketing agency behind PPCHero.com and the annual PPC Hero Summit, a conference for paid search marketers. If you want to know anything and everything about pay-per-click advertising, PPC Hero is for you.

PPC Hero is an excellent resource for new and veteran PPC marketers, led by Hanapin’s team of experts. The articles, industry guides, etc, cover the basics from coding for beginners and Google AdWords setup to the more advanced ways to use geotargeting and remarketing for successful ad campaigns.   

What We Love:
“PPC Hero is a good go-to website for all things paid search-related. As someone who has been working in the marketing industry for more than 10 years, I especially love being able to stay on top of shifting trends and new developments in the world of paid search advertising.” –Emily Sugano, Paid Search Manager, Your Marketing People

7. Ryan Holiday (RyanHoliday.net)

Photo credit: RyanHoliday.net

Ryan Holiday is a media strategist and entrepreneur whose decade-long blog gives readers a real perspective on marketing, work, and life. At the age of 22, Holiday became a marketing director for American Apparel and an advisor the company’s CEO Dov Charney. He led a series of controversial ad campaigns for the clothing retailer that, despite their small budgets of only $1,500 each, earned millions of media impressions across the world.

In his best-selling book, Trust Me, I’m Lying, he calls himself a “media manipulator” and explains how the media really works through strategically placing information, whether truthful or not, in front of its readers. Holiday has more than 80,000 email subscribers and continues to offer his followers his honest thoughts on life and marketing strategy.

What We Love:
“Ryan Holiday basically predicted the popularity of fake news that we see all over the media today. His honest take on the media and marketing industries, and how they are often interwoven, pushes marketers to rise above the dishonesty and demonstrate real integrity.” –Carissa Rogers, Digital Marketing Specialist, Your Marketing People

8. Ann Handley (AnnHandley.com)

Photo credit: AnnHandley.com

A content-writing guru, Ann Handley is a digital marketing veteran who helps marketers not only find their voice but create engaging content that produces real results. She runs MarketingProfs, a marketing training and education company with more than 600,000 subscribers.

Handley’s Wall Street Journal best-selling book Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content is a lesson on stepping above the mediocre and creating meaningful content that attracts and engages your audience in an effort to drive sales. She is a LinkedIn influencer and has over 400,000 followers on Twitter.

What We Love:
“In an age where the majority of online content is rapidly written and only quickly scanned by readers, content creators everywhere can learn more than a thing or two from Ann Handley. She is engaging and easily teaches marketers how to write impactful content that matters to their ideal audiences.” –Jenna Sims, Copywriter, Your Marketing People

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Our approach to marketing is data-driven and centered on creativity. Because no two brands are exactly alike, we develop strategic service packages and campaigns that are fully customizable to your operation. To learn more, contact us, subscribe to our blog, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.