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Top Marketing Influencers You Should Be Following in 2017

As marketing professionals it is important to stay on top of the trends and be aware of what is happening in our vertical and in the world. This makes marketing influencers extremely valuable for us. There are so many resources out there and it can become extremely difficult to weed out bad advice from good, or valuable information from the less valuable. Through the years I have met and worked with many digital marketing influencers and looked to them for advice, guidance, and information. Through my experience, I have narrowed down the ever-growing list to give to you the top influencers in marketing for 2017.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is an entrepreneur at and, investor and definitely an original influencer in the digital marketing space. He founded the SaaS analytics tool which helps to track the clicks of every visitor landed on your website with heatmap & confetti reports.

He is a master in personal branding, SEO, and content development. Neil has all the answers for you. Also, he is the hot columnist for Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post and many more.

Twitter Handle: @neilpatel

Brian Fanzo

Brian Fanzo has been a long-time social media friend of mine. He is a keynote speaker and founder/CEO of iSocialFanz LLC, a social strategy-consulting agency. Brian also co-hosts SMACtalk Podcast & #Cloudtalk weekly social show.

Brian’s #ThinkLikeAFan philosophy has powered first-of-their-kind storytelling campaigns for many Fortune 50 enterprise companies leveraging Periscope, SnapChat, and Facebook Live. He was awarded the Top 25 Social Business Leaders of 2014 by The Economist Intelligence Unit and was nominated for the first ever #ShortyAwards Periscoper Of The Year 2016.

In 2016, Brian will keynote in 10 countries at more than 40 events highlighting his passion for change, collaboration and community – dubbed the 3 C’s these elements are the foundation of his first book A Millennial Mindset due out Spring 2017.

Twitter Handle: @iSocialFanz

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, investor, and social media influencer. He writes for several publications, including Forbes, Business Insider, Inc., and many more. Mashable listed his as top marketers to follow on Snapchat, and is often a guest commentator on television on the topic of influencer marketing.

Murray is also founder of Due an online invoicing company helping 75k+ business based in San Francisco. Newlands is also an adviser to the Draper Nexus Network of Things Fund that invests in IOT companies. He gives practice advice from the 1000’s of pitches he has heard for entrepreneurs and startups to grow their companies, get investment and succeed. Newlands received a Bachelor of Laws and he is qualified as a Lawyer.

Twitter Handle: @MurrayNewlands

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones is CEO of MoxieDot, a digital marketing consultancy, and StoryShout, the first and only news content marketing agency. She is also a marketing consultant, and has been a featured as a speaker at Pubcon, SEJ Summit, and SMX East, as well as a US Search Awards judge in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The Online Marketing Institute also named her one of the Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014.  She is currently the Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal, one of the top search marketing publications.

Twitter Handle: @WonderWall7

Aaron Orendorff

Aaron Orendorff is an entrepreneur, columnist, speaker, and teacher. He writes for Inc., Huffington Post, Life Hacker, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Business Insider, and Copy Blogger.  He is CEO and Founder of iconiContent, a content marketing company.  By day, he teaches communication and philosophy at the local college. He is known for “saving the world from bad content.”

Twitter Handle: @iconiContent

John Rampton

John Rampton is a serial entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and social media influencer.  Best known as an Entrepreneur and Connector. John was recently named #3 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. Awarded Top 10 Most Influential PPC Experts in the World for the past 3 years. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.

John is founder of Due, an online invoicing company helping 75k+ business based in San Francisco. He is the real deal and you won’t be upset that you decided to follow him.  He also writes for several publications.

Twitter Handle: @JohnRampton

Aaron Agius

Aaron Agius is an entrepreneur, speaker, columnist, and marketing expert. He co-found the highly-successful search and content marketing agency, Louder Online.

Aaron has helped hundreds of businesses to drive dramatic growth through both strategic and tactical marketing approaches.  He has worked with SMB and enterprise clients, including Salesforce, IBM, Coca-Cola, Ford, LG, Unilever, McAfee, Intel and many more.

Twitter Handle: @IAmAaronAgius

Tomas Laurinavicius

Traveling lifestyle entrepreneur and blogger Tomas Laurinavicius

has the ambitious goal of empowering 1 million people to change their lifestyle for good. With a strong background in design and a book on the subject Tomas has launched Despreneur, a magazine for design entrepreneurs and Despreneur Academy, an online education platform to help designers learn about business and how to gain financial independence.

Twitter Handle: @tomaslau

Jordan Kasteler

Digital Marketing Consultant, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Activist, Jordan Kasteler’s work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, and Search Engine Land. He’s also spoken at SMX Advanced and Pubcon. Even with this busy schedule Jordan finds time to blog and work on such topics as SEO, Marketing Strategy and PR consulting.

Twitter Handle: @jordankasteler

Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, investor and co-founder of Primarily working with emerging and distressed small and medium businesses, Matthew provides insight in management concepts, marketing and finance. Matthew has started business and revitalized and sold existing business, from digital to brick and mortar he’s always found success.

Twitter Handle: @matthewtoren

Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer wears many hats, teacher, author, speaker, Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer. As a speaker on the topic of social media he’s spoken on three continents, 10 countries and at more than 200 events. As a writer, he founded Maximize Social Business, a leading social for media blog and has written three books. In his work as a social media consultant and content creator Neal has worked with small startups and Fortune 500 companies, helping them leverage their social accounts to align with business objectives.

Twitter Handle: @nealschaffer


Now that you know my top marketing influencers for 2017, I would love to hear yours! What are you looking for when you follow marketing influencers? Did I miss someone that you think should be on this list?

Let me know!


Cynthia Johnson is the Director of Social Media Marketing for RankLab, a digital marketing agency in Santa Monica, CA. She is the Editorial Director and a member on the Global Board of Directors for Social Media Club, She is a contributing columnist for Entrepreneur, Search Engine Journal, Startup Grind, SheKnows and SharpHeels. She also hosts a weekly Twitter chat, #TheSMGirl, Tuesdays at 1 p.m. PST, where she discusses social media marketing and PR. Cynthia is a professional with 6 years of diverse work experience in entertainment, marketing and digital advertising. She has work experience in both corporate companies as well as small tech startups. In 2010 Cynthia worked for the live stream video website for teens called Stickam. There she worked with a team to manage the social media engagement of their 7 million member community, and ran advertising operations for all major live events hosted on the site. She has been involved on social media and viral campaigns for Levi’s, Vans, Chevy, Susan G. Komen, Peta2 and Maker Studios. She has also consulted on campaigns for Here Media, West Management Group and several other startup ecommerce brands. She is knowledgeable in social media marketing for SEO, viral campaign strategy, branding, reputation management and community building.