The digital education landscape is ever-changing and ever-intricate. Teaching marketers, brands and businesses of all sizes how to get more ROI from digital is an exciting and innovative task. Because of that, we’ve seen lots of great marketing coaches, teachers and mentors helping people learn more about all the different niches in digital marketing.
On the half year mark, we’ve measured the most influential educators in the industry. We’ve taken a look at conferences, course engagement, activity and engagement with the audience, and are highlighting the 15 most influential educators in digital marketing for 2015 thus far.
The influencers highlighted in this year’s list are known for the following areas:
- Concept innovation
- Marketing relevance
- Course penetration
- Course comprehension
- Practical application
With digital evolving so much in specific niches like social media, cross-platform marketing and agency services training, our education evolves as well. Adapting to change and learning new things is the theme underlying these marketers’ mantras. The leaders on this list show the most advanced, relevant ideas and practical education material in the industry.
Their taught marketing strategies help marketing professionals and brands, globally and at a constant, always-on speed. These leaders are known for their innovation and ease of application, and are a combination of bloggers, brands, teachers, mentors and speakers. Here’s the list of the 15 most influential educators in digital for 2015.
1. Neil Patel
Co-Founder | kissmetrics
Neil is one of the top marketers in the world, and walks the talk with 3 major influencer brands in digital. He was one of the leaders who preached the effectiveness of blogging (and content marketing in general) as a tool, long before it was mainstream. As the years have gone by, his personal brand’s blog NeilPatel.com has evolved into one of the best blogs on the internet.
A master of pushing the edge of marketing efforts and measuring their effectiveness, Neil always brings things back to ROI. From testing out lifestyle marketing, social media, and personal branding, Neil has a masterful way of writing that motivates you to market and leaves you feeling like you’ve learned a ton.
2. Ryan Holiday
Ryan’s worked with some of the most successful projects in the industry and is known for launching projects with large success. He understands the media, and knows how to gain loyalty quickly and get users to stick to the brand. He’s also one of the most sought after teachers in the industry.
We’ve been watching his work for years, and in 2015, he’s been teaching fellow marketers how to break through the never-ending content overload, and how to stay focused. He’s got one of the most respected book lists out there, and we LOVE all of the books on it.
3. Phil Pallen
Brand Strategist | PhilPallen.co
Phil was holding strong on our last marketing strategy ranking because he’s helped many people without digital backgrounds to build their brands. Today he’s on the list again, because of the new strategic direction he’s moving toward on his blog, PhilPallen.co.
His coaching is a masterful combination of teaching personal branding, understanding the audience and motivating each brand to gain media attention, and how to recover from crisis, too. These areas aren’t much of a focus in the general digital population, but Phil understands how critical they are.
4. Neal Schaffer
Neal’s a dynamic teacher who works great in front of crowds. It’s a skill set not everyone has and it’s extremely valuable. Noted as the LinkedIn expert, Neal’s 2015 strategies so far are cutting edge. He talks recently, in a post on his curated marketing strategy, about how carefully choosing your LinkedIn network can benefit you in a big way.
Neal moves around a lot, but if he’s ever near you, listen carefully about how to leverage making connections on social networks to extend your real network’s reach. Neal is one of the hardest working leaders this year, and offers podcasts and just about every other form of marketing communication to learn from.
5. Mari Smith
Speaker, Coach & Author | MariSmith.com
Mari is one of our most inspirational teachers in the business. She’s constantly doing a blog, podcast or coaching session about how to market better on social media. Facebook is her specialty and, coming up in the next few months, Mari will be helping Facebook by teaching at a series of pop up events. What can you expect? It’s all about practical advice.
The last time I heard Mari on a topic, I took a full page of notes. No one matches Mari when it comes to understanding timing, messaging and the technical details needed to get as much ROI as possible out of your social efforts. This year alone she’s been more innovative than anyone else in social, with a series of game-changing author pieces about the new marketing on Facebook – and it’s this that helped secure her spot on our list.
6. Martin Shervington
Martin’s got a knack for teaching and training at a level that few can operate on. It’s in his delivery and mindset on new marketing strategies that we find the innovation that lands him on this list. In addition to his site MartinShervington.com, he evangelizes at PlusYourBusiness.com and is a dynamic speaker. If you ever get the chance to see him at a conference, listen and take plenty of notes. Until then, check out his many eLearning classes via OMI.
Martin’s the Google+ guy, and in the remaining half of 2015, it will be a more competitive space than ever. Following Martin’s principles on his blog will give you more reach, and teach you how to market with your audience (or create one) on Google+. Too many businesses and marketers are overlooking Google+, and Martin is there to explain why that’s a big problem.
7. Kevin Popovic
Kevin is hailed as the ‘King of Social Media’ by some heavy hitter brands in the industry, and has been teaching social media to brands relentlessly this year. His recent advanced teaching, about curating your brand before deciding to invest in social media, shows a new trend in an old stigma in the industry. Social media just isn’t for every brand.
Kevin teaches businesses that understanding when and how to achieve your marketing goals is the second part of the digital marketing marathon. The first part, for many, is knowing if social media is for you or not. Kevin’s style of education shows that careful strategy, with thought to brand image and audience, is the only way your business can reach its goals. Watch out for more of this type of teaching in the future from Kevin (and others if they’re smart!).
8. Jessica Lee
Jessica’s eLearning courses with us on content marketing are some of the most informative and actionable pieces out there (and there’s more on the way!). Practical and engaging, Jessica provides the right formula for using great content for inbound marketing. Her Web Content Playbook feels like a practical guide to 2015 content strategy.
Before Jessica started her content boutique, she worked with top expert Bruce Clay. She’s one of the most innovative, forward-thinking strategist today, and has the background to support it. Some of her strategy is even featured in a college textbook, and we’re proud to have her strategy available on the OMI site.
9. Bernie Borges
Bernie has one of the most unique teaching abilities in the industry. He’s recently been teaching about one of the most interesting topics for me in the industry, influencer marketing. There are niche social media stars in every industry on YouTube, Facebook and everywhere. Connecting these influencers with the right brands, in front of the right audiences, is one of the keys to digital success in 2016 and beyond.
If you want to get ahead of this shift, start doing your research and listen to Bernie, because he’s onto something. Renowned as one of the most respected teachers in digital, we’re happy to highlight what Bernie’s taught this year.
10. Chad Pollitt
Chad’s experiences span both content marketing and social. He’s made the Forbes Top 100 list for Ad Agencies in Social Content, and is an all-around great teacher. We’ve enjoyed our partnership with him, featuring his eLearning classes, and our subscribers have as well.
This year, he’s on our list for teaching fresh strategy on how to make content work to drive traffic quickly, and how to incentivize brand loyalty. You’ll find his authored pieces in numerous large media publications and his courses on our website.
11. John Lee Dumas
John has been one of the industry’s most active marketers for a long time, and this year, he’s been especially on fire (pun intended). We’ve been following his podcast, where he’s got an incredible knack for discussing practical, relevant teachings that help you achieve your business goals.
As a host, he’s got a ton of knowledge and is one of the best for leading by example in the industry. Anyone can learn valuable takeaways from John, specifically in building a loyal audience that keep coming back for more. His podcast is one of the most popular in the industry, so listen and learn.
12. Chris Boggs
Chris specializes in design and conversion, as well as both paid and organic marketing. He’s got years of valuable experience in understanding a brand’s audience, and knowing what to recommend for specific goals. It’s something no marketer should miss in his eLearning course – he masters this flawlessly. His 2015 strategy is cutting edge because he teaches cross platform strategy.
Chris serves as a board member on a number of industry-leading search brands. You can hear Chris’s 2015 strategy in his OMI eclasses with your membership, and his All Star summit session (coming soon!).
13. Courtney Herda
Courtney helps small businesses by teaching them how to drive traffic to their site. She’s got 8 years of experience in optimizing local businesses for search engines, and doing the same for national brands as well. Her OMI eLearning classes take a deep dive into how to leverage optimized technical and off-page assets to drive traffic.
This specific niche of the industry is the fastest changing, and Courtney’s 2015 principles are some of the most innovative in the industry, probably because she’s worked in some of the most competitive industries online.
14. Ouali Benmeziane
CEO | WebCongress.com
Ouali runs one of the top conference events in the industry currently, and also takes the time to instruct marketers in an often-neglected area. He’s an expert in all things organization, events, and promotion online. What’s little known is that he often can give more practical advice than many other speakers.
Located in Los Angeles, Ouali is constantly organizing some of the best teachers in the industry for his events. He is easily someone we all can learn more from, particularly when it comes to the exploding niche of virtual and in-person learning and marketing events.
15. Mary Wallace
VP Marketing Services | Activate.com
Mary teaches some of the most popular courses in the OMI catalogue. For 2015 she’s focusing on business to business marketing campaigns. In this little-covered niche, Mary is a huge help to B2B focused brands, and teaches how to take something boring and drive traffic through storytelling and other strategy.
She’s been in the industry for over 25 years and uses a fresh look at consistent testing and analytics to prove her marketing model. She’s one of the most advanced analytics teachers around.
There it is, your list of innovators in the industry halfway through 2015. Since things change so quickly in our industry, you’ll want to follow these industry leaders and learn as much as you can from the course material. Our instructors are here to help you achieve marketing success.
With so many voices in the industry, we want to give some added direction into niche, leadership, format and dynamic of who we know will benefit you the most. We’d love to hear from you as well, contact us for any questions or sign up now and start getting more out of digital.