According to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.’s 2020 Digital Advertising and Marketing report, the United States (U.S.) market is estimated at $87.1 billion.
It’s an astounding number, but it comes as no surprise.
Statista’s 2020 digital population research revealed 87% of Americans are active on the Internet.
Digital marketing is a rapidly evolving industry and to make your mark you need to be up-to-date with the latest trends, keep an eye on all the new and upcoming platforms, be creative, and know how to choose the most suited platforms for your business.
All this can be quite confusing for entrepreneurs, small businesses, or someone who’s trying to build a solo enterprise.
Following influencers and digital marketing experts is one of the easiest ways to stay abreast with all the news and trends. These experts also share different kinds of strategies or marketing tactics one can use to grow their business, which, as any good marketer knows, is important.
The digital marketing experts listed in the article are fantastic resources not only for the insights that they share but also for the tips and best practices that can help you evaluate your marketing efforts and improve them.
Let’s get started. These are five of the best digital marketers to follow right now.
1. Neil Patel
“You can get bitter or you can get busy.”
If you’ve been reading about SEO or anything that’s remotely related to digital marketing then this name won’t come as a surprise to you. With a collective social media following of over one million, Neil Patel has been a top marketing expert for years and he continues to be influential today.
He is a New York Times bestselling author and has received numerous other accolades for his work including being named a top 100 entrepreneur under 30 by former President Barack Obama.
One of his initial major successes was a software app called CrazyEgg that tracked user engagement by mapping where on a web page do they spend the most time. After this, he founded Kissmetrics which gave marketers an even deeper view into their web analytics.
2. Rand Fishkin
“Best way to sell something: don’t sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, and trust of those who might buy.”
A name that is almost synonymous with SEO and digital marketing, Rand Fishkin is the co-founder and former CEO of Moz, one of the leading search engine optimization tools.
What started in 2003 as a blog, later turned into a consulting company, which then transformed into a software business used by anyone who’s trying to understand or is an expert at SEO.
After he left Moz, he founded SparkToro in 2018, a software and data business that gives you information about your online audience’s attributes, behavior, & sources of influence. It crawls millions of social and web profiles to find what (and who) your audience reads, listens to, watches, follows, shares, and talks about online so that you can better target your marketing communication to them.
3. Guy Kawasaki
“Simple and to the point is always the best way to get your point across.”
A one-of-a-kind Chief Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki is known for his marketing work at Apple in the ‘80s and today he’s a part of the online graphic design company, Canva. Guy grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and he holds degrees from Stanford and UCLA.
In addition to being the Chief Evangelist at Canva, Guy Kawasaki has written 13 books including Wise guy: Lessons From a Life, The Art of Social Media, and Rules for Revolutionaries. He gives numerous keynote speeches every year and has also given a TEDx talk on The Art of Innovation. You can also check out his courses on how to grow a business at Udemy and Skillshare.
If you want your customers to get excited about your product, follow Guy Kawasaki’s advice.
4. Larry Kim
“Be funny, ironic, or outrageous–just don’t be BORING.”
Larry Kim is the CEO of MobileMonkey Inc. and WordStream, both leading names in the digital marketing industry. While the former is a leading platform when it comes to optimizing Facebook Messenger, the latter has been a leading provider in keyword research (the foundation of your SEO efforts).
Larry was ranked as the #8 most popular author on Medium and he also shares his insights on CNBC and Inc. magazine. If you need help with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and scaling a start-up, he’s the guy to watch.
5. Andy Crestodina
“Don’t take shortcuts. They take too long.”
He is the champion of long-form content and shares results-driven ideas that can help you improve your digital marketing. He has written hundreds of useful articles on digital marketing strategies and tips on how to rank on search engines.
On his social media channels, Andy shared data-backed insights on how to create better content, optimize your website for a great user experience, and improve your overall SEO.
6. Gary Vaynerchuck
“It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or middle class. People will remember you for your impact on society and your impact on those close to you while you were alive.”
A list of best digital marketers is incomplete without Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary is a motivated and successful entrepreneur, public speaker, author, and brand content creator.
Gary founded the powerhouse marketing ad agency VaynerMedia through his early learning of digital marketing techniques. He also dabbled into email marketing long before anyone thought to do it.
Truly an innovator, Gary found marketing opportunities in every crevice and utilized them to the best of his abilities. So much so that he was able to turn his parent’s winery into a multimillion-dollar company.
Gary is a five-time New York Times bestselling author, a member on countless marketing boards and organizations, and an active contributor on everything from restaurant reservation applications to charity organizations.
7. Ann Handley
“Good writing serves the reader, not the writer. It isn’t self-indulgent. Good writing anticipates the questions that readers might have as they read a piece, and it answers them.”
Ann has been a journalist since 1985. She shifted to marketing in 1997 when she and her husband noticed the rising trend of digital marketing. This prompted them to create an online marketing directory known as Clickz. In three years, she sold the company for $16 million.
From then on, she went to become a successful author, public speaker, and the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a business that guides aspiring entrepreneurs in learning everything they need to know about marketing in the digital age. Ann is the first person ever to have a Chief Content Officer position.
Ann believes that you cannot be a good marketer if you can’t write. She also blogs about writing, highlighting how good writing can improve marketing performance.
8. Shama Hyder
“I think regardless of the type of field you want to be in, what’s really important is figuring out how you’re going to add value to that given field.”
Shama is the founder and CEO of Zen Media. Shama has been called the “Millennial Master of the Universe” and the “Zen Master of Marketing.”
Her book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, is a best-seller. She has been featured as an expert in digital marketing on major television networks like Fox and CBS and major publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Business Week.
Shama is on the list of the Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25, created by Business Week. Furthermore, she was honored in the United Nations and the White House as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in North America.
Shama advocates for gender equality in the business world, publishing articles on female empowerment in the workplace on her website.
9. Seth Godin
“Plans are great, but missions are better. Missions survive when plans fail, and plans almost always fail.”
Seth has been writing, speaking, and inspiring others about unconventional entrepreneurship for over 30 years. Eighteen of his books are bestsellers and on the must-read list for anybody interested in learning the ways of a business owner.
Godin’s blog, where he posts about all things marketing, is widely loved and recognized. You can also find his writing on Medium and speeches on his YouTube channel. One of his most famous videos is his TED talk on “How To Get Your Ideas To Spread” and it has over 1.5 million views.
Godin has been inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame in 2018, and his website is full of helpful information and links to more resources.
You can learn more about him on his website.
10. Tim Ferriss
“Someday is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pros and cons lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it eventually, just do it and correct the course along the way.”
Tim Ferriss is a successful and widely known entrepreneur with a podcast and blog that reach millions of listeners. Tim also has multiple books on The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
His content highlights the importance of helping people start and build their own businesses. He is in Fortune’s 40 Under 40 list and has been coined as one of the most innovative marketers by Fast Company.
Tim has a Twitter following of over 1.6 million, and his podcast episodes have been downloaded over 300 million times. His writing on marketing success, personal health, and general wellbeing is published on Medium for over 107,000 followers.
Ferriss sees entrepreneurship as lifestyle design, a manner where one lives a healthier and more fulfilling life. He has been invited to speak at Google, MIT, and Harvard. Wired named him the “Greatest Self-Promoter of 2008.”
11. Jay Baer
“Turn customers into more customers.”
Jay Baer is a best-selling author and the founder of five multi-million dollar companies.
He specializes in word-of-mouth and viral marketing, which ultimately makes customers bring more customers. Jay Baer is an expert in customer engagement and retention. He is also regarded for his podcasts and his digital marketing agency known as Convince & Convert. The agency works with clients like Cisco.
Jay Baer is a marketing influencer that teaches people how to understand their customers and turn them into brand advocates.
12. Victoria Boyd
“You, my dear, are a brand.”
Victoria is a digital marketing expert and creator of the Make it Marketable course, where she guides entrepreneurs on how to get clients and market their businesses efficiently.
With over seven years of digital marketing experience, Victoria brings an impressive skill set to the table. She works with various brands at different stages of their careers, from solopreneurs to global brands looking for either marketing development and creative direction.
Her marketing knowledge is a testament to her abilities as she matched her full-time income (a regular 9-5 desk job) in less than six weeks! That says so much.
13. Pam Moore
“If you aren’t using social media, you are creating language barriers with your audience.”
Pam Moore is one of the top social media influencers specializing in social media marketing and conversion optimization. She is an expert in building the best brand strategies and techniques for boosting presence, optimizing social media, developing a business, and much more.
Pam has accumulated an audience of over one million people, itching to know her newest marketing discoveries.
She started as a social media marketing specialist, teaching people about solid branding and business development skills. Currently, she helps other digital marketers improve their branding and reach on social media.
14. Krista Mashore
“If you always put people before things, then the things will eventually come.”
Krista Mashore is a digital marketing coach, expert, and author of four best-selling books that teach people how to market a business in this digital age effectively. Krista was a former teacher and has a strong passion for serving people.
She gets fulfillment by sharing the secrets and keys to her success with business owners that need guidance. Krista evolved her business from zero to $7.4 million in only 25 months. She achieved this using online digital strategies.
She started as a real estate agent and quickly became a community market leader, selling over 2,200 residential homes. She continues to be among the top 1% of successful realtors for 17 years. Krista has taught over 5,000 business owners how to create a massive digital footprint and become leaders in their industry.
15. Lauren Fraser
“Reach out for more, reach beyond your comfort zone, reach out for new connections and experiences, and extend your own reach to continue supporting others.”
Lauren Fraser is the CEO of LMF Marketing, a digital marketing agency specializing in increasing online visibility, gaining more traffic, and building conversion and retention for businesses of all sizes.
Based in Australia, Lauren works closely with business owners to educate and empower them. She aims to demystify digital marketing and set business owners up for long-term success.
Her mission is to connect with business owners everywhere and intimately understand the essence and direction of their ventures. Lauren and the LMF Marketing Team have a passion for sustainability, making positive changes, and beneficially impacting others through their business. Lauren donates a portion of the company’s revenue to responsible tree planting every month.
Whether you are a digital marketing novice or someone who’s constantly looking for the next big idea, these experts can help you. They share data-backed ideas and their experiences which can help you form your digital marketing strategy.