If Twitter bios were an indication for our degree of expertise, a lot of us, experience aside, would be creating exceptional content and marketing. Unfortunately, it’s been proved off-and-on that amassing a social media following may also just be a function of your wallet size (or your intent) or sheer luck. In a world of movers and fakers, it’s important to follow people who help you hone your own skills and push your thinking. When coming up with a list of the five most remarkable content marketing experts to follow, I fell back on their long-form content books and blogs- not necessarily their social media feed. Here are some experts that you absolutely must follow, and learn from- with your morning cup of tea, naturally.
- Michael Brenner (@brennermichael)
Background: Michael was the ex-VP of Content at SAP before he went on to become the Head Strategy at Content marketing firm, NewsCred
What to read: Michael writes the B2Bmarketinginsider.com blog, sharing exceptionally detailed content, which is also highly practical.
Why I follow him: Michael was one of the experts I connected with when I was setting up a content marketing strategy and plan for my last employer. He’s very approachable, and responds to genuine queries, and does indulge in conversations- unlike many others on an auto-publishing mode. His ideas on content marketing are clear, precise and something everyone can learn from. My favourite insight comes from what he shared best practices of a content plan, saying,
“Our content strategy focuses on being where the market conversations are happening (often online). Organic search and social media referrals have correlations. The best content plans look at content by buyer stage first, then segment the audience into buyer personas”- @brennermichael
- Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
Background: Heidi is the president of Riverside Marketing strategies, and the Chief Content Officer of heidicohen.com
What to read: heidicohen.com is a fantastic how-to site. The content is detailed, provides great examples and fact-based insights. You can tell Heidi is a very hands-on marketer.
Why I follow her: I love the fact that Heidi’s blog is so actionable and hands-on. This means, the images appear real, and always have attributions. The curation effort on this blog is fantastic. It truly enhances separate pieces of data and brings them together in the most logical and relatable manner.
- Seth Godin
Background: Godin is an industry veteran with multiple startups (for instance Squidoo) and books under his belt. Please get out of the place under that rock, if you didn’t know who Godin was so far. Everything that Godin says is gold. I am quite clearly a fan girl. And if you’ve not read his books/ blogs, please do so now.
What to read: The most exquisite everyday blog on marketing is found at sethgodin.typepad.com. It may seem that it isn’t always about marketing or content marketing in particular, but if you allow yourself to immerse in the ideologies and insights that Seth shares, you’re in exceptional company- in any marketing or product department.
Why I follow him: To train myself on being able to write such short posts, which make me think and learn so much! Seth doesn’t need to follow industry best practices on content and blog post length for SEO or social sharing reasons. He could perhaps invent those things anew. His book, “All Marketers Are Liars/Storytellers,” is packed with examples and insights on storytelling and creating memorable brand experiences. My favourite Seth Godin idea for content marketing is hard to pick, but this one is close-
“If you do something remarkable, something new and something important, not everyone will understand it (at first). Your work is for someone, not everyone.”
Try creating content for one person, and see how your effort becomes more genuine and remarkable.
- Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
Background: Kevan is the face of the Buffer blog, or as he calls himself, the “content crafter” at Buffer.
What to read: The buffer blog, of course.
Why I follow him: The good thing about buffer blog posts is their amount of detail and empirical evidence. The topics are extremely well-researched and the headlines extremely well-crafted. You’ll immediately realise all that you’re looking for -or Googling- is at the Buffer blog. It is insanely detailed at times, which is a good thing when you start afresh. Another important aspect is that Kevan’s posts don’t shy away from sharing a view that may not be the most commonly accepted benchmark you’ve read about. I like that he challenges social wisdom through data. It’s a fun read.
- Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
Background: Jay is the founder of Convince and Convert Consulting.
What to read: The convinceandconvert.com blog/ guest posts on other sites
Why I follow him: Jay wrote a great starter book called Youtility. The book guides a user through different content marketing goals that the brand may have. It finds a well thought out, simple (not easy, but structured) method to reach these goals and track them (the full circle).
It talks about why creating useful consumer experiences on a daily basis trumps creating a single one-time viral post (although, that's wonderful, while being hardly predictable). And I am a believer of this philosophy. Great content does not happen one time. Content goals are realised on a long-term basis, and they need you to help your readers. His blog posts are equally helpful, and follow his content philosophy.
Who are your favourite content marketing experts helping you strike gold?
About the author:
Upasna Kakroo (@upasnakakroo) is the co-founder of a content marketing and branding startup, brandanew.co. Her previous experiences include- Rocket Internet, the Holtzbrinck Group, McKinsey & Co. She’s devoured urban culture through trains, art, books and travel on her blogs since 2003.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
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