By Janette Speyer and Alison Brown, Web Success Team
The Web Success Team follows a wide variety of online marketing experts so we thought that we would create an annual summary of those that we like the best or highly recommend. Every category from SEO to content curation and social media all have an expert or platform that can help you stay organized or teach you about cutting-edge, innovative techniques. With so many talented people and platforms to choose from it was a difficult decision, but below is the short list of 16 industry professionals that we follow and why.
1. General Online Marketing:
- HubSpot: “All-in-one inbound marketing software” – Hubspot is a great resource for online marketing experts. It rolls blogging, tweeting, email, and other online marketing tools into one platform. Hubspot also give away downloads such as eBooks and whitepapers that offer practical and insightful information on topics ranging from SEO to social media strategy.
- SEOMoz: SEO Software – Rand Fishkin, CEO and Co-Founder of SEOMoz, is a great source for SEO and link development information. He also has great SEO tools hat manage your SEO campaigns. The software is easy to use and provides you with a wealth of information about topics such as page authority and keyword strength.
- Mari Smith – Mari Smith is a Facebook expert that has helped hundreds of companies with their Facebook marketing strategies. She is an expert on cultivating online relationships via social media. In other words, Mari is the Facebook genius, but she is also responsive, knowledgeable and kind: making her all that more appealing and approachable.
4. Social Networking:
- Michelle Hummel – Michelle takes social networking to another level, particularly with fan engagement. Her social media agency gives you access to the top industry experts in design, strategy, marketing, content, branding and technology. They have the knowledge to truly help your business from start to finish resulting in quickly building web traffic, sales, leads, fans and followers!
- JD Gershbein – JD is the ultimate LinkedIn guru and he can do wonders. He does a lot of speaking engagements on personal branding, as well as offers tips for crafting your LinkedIn profile for maximum results. He is also an expert in the acquisition of talented employees and brand building on LinkedIn. His specialty is helping opportunity-oriented salespeople generate revenue in using LinkedIn
- Warren Whitlock – Warren Whitlock is a Twitter guru that is worth following. He is a best-selling author known for the book Twitter Revolution, which is all about the social media world and how it changes the way we do business and market online. Warren is not only a fountain of knowledge, but he is very approachable and will give you great advice.
- Top Rank Blog – Lee Odden writes informative, clear and direct articles. He has been involved in the online marketing industry for many years, and has proven to be a very helpful resource. He is often quoted for his advice on social media and has been featured in the Economist and Fortune Magazine.
- Guy Kawasaki – Online marketing expert Guy Kawasaki is known for his content curation expertise as he always posts the best links. Even though Google+ is still in its infancy, Guy Kawasaki has proven that it is a useful and effective platform for sharing relevant information that has a lot of visibility.
9. Customer Relations / Lead Generation:
- Marketo – Marketo is a great platform for customer relations management. It’s easy to use and allows you to manage customer service issues while also increasing revenue. This platform also focuses on lead management and sales insight, and has helped a variety of industries ranging from “high technology, financial services, healthcare, communications and professional services.”
- Mashable – Not only is Mashable is the best resource for Twitter, but it is also the best resource for finding pertinent content. Some have even compared it being the Newsweek of social media news. With 20 million unique monthly visitors, you can be sure that if a topic is worth reading about, it will be featured on mashable.com.
11. Social Media:
- Brian Solis – Brian Solis is the social media expert of today. Even though he is very informative and technical, he is recognized globally as the authority on new media. In his most recent book, Engage, he talks about “the evolution of new media and how to integrate new technologies and methodologies into everyday activity.”
12. Social Media Analytics:
- Klout – Klout was developed several years ago for the purpose of measuring a user’s social media influence. It combines several factors, such as “True Reach: How many people you influence, Amplification: How much you influence them, and Network Impact: The influence of your network.” The score is based on a scale from 1 to 100 and can fluctuate based on how interactive you are with your social networks on a given day.
- Google Analytics – Google analytics is the frontrunner for website analytics tracking. It’s fairly easy to embed in your website and allows you to track visitor’s information based on their demographic, behavior, and technology. It also keeps track of traffic sources and you can see what keywords are driving people to your site. You can see everything from the number of page views to the average time someone spent on your website and the analytics can all be summarized on a presentable graph.
14. Inspiring Speaker:
- Steve Jobs – Steve Jobs, the mastermind behind Apple and Macintosh computers, was not only a pioneer in the technology field, but he was also an amazing inspirational speaker. He gave a number of speeches over the years and even gave a commencement speech at Stanford in 2005 where he told the graduating class, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Though Jobs recently passed away due to cancer, his wisdom and impact will be forever felt by millions around the globe.
15. Best Social Media Platform for Posting:
- HootSuite – HootSuite is a great platform for monitoring all your social media accounts. It is known as a “social media dashboard” where you can update profiles, schedule tweets, share content, and view all social streams on one page. If you are running several online marketing campaigns and using social media, HootSuite is a necessary component that will ensure that you stay organized and on track.
16. Industry Expert You Would Love to Hate but Can’t:
- Mark Zuckerberg – The creator of Facebook has always been depicted in a controversial limelight. Zuckerberg has received a lot of mixed press over the years and there was even a movie made about him that uncovered the controversy over who actually started the site. But whether you like him or not, Facebook is here to stay and it has revolutionized the way people interact. Not only are people in rural areas are able to easily communicate and connect with the outside world, but the world as a whole has become a lot more connected because of it. Facebook is even responsible for giving demonstrators the resource they needed to assemble organized protests that ultimately resulted in the Egyptian revolution earlier this year. Despite its controversy, Facebook has the potential for doing a lot of good in the world.
All of these resources have amazing appeal and potential, and each have helped shape the online world that we know today. New technologies, platforms, websites, and software are constantly being developed to help online marketing experts reach their goals and increase revenues. Whether you are an expert in online marketing or just a beginner, if you take advantage of some of these resources you will be surprised at just how much information is available and how quickly you could enhance your authority on a specific subject.
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