The Top 5 Content Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2016 Jennifer Taylor January 6th, 2016 T.S. Eliot once said, “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”Ok I have a confession - I just stole that opening quote from a post by Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist. Kleon suggests that the best way to get better at what you do (in our case - content marketing) is to steal. To clarify, Kleon doesn’t mean plagiarize, but simply to observe, draw inspiration from, and emulate the people doing your craft well until you eventually evolve into your own, unique voice and style.So, if you’re a content marketer looking to improve your craft, where do you start? Who should you emulate? How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and remain in the loop on trending topics and industry insights?Here at ScribbleLive we used our own Insights app to track the most influential people in the marketing landscape. As we prepare for the New Year we want to know - who should we be keeping an eye on in 2016? Who were the top influencers at the end of 2015?We dove into the data and rounded up the top 5 content marketing influencers at the end of December* so you know who to follow, learn from, emulate, and connect with as we start the New Year.1. Content Marketing Instituteby Jen Taylor What is it?It’s no surprise that the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) topped the list. The blog has been covering all things “content marketing” since the concept first arrived on the marketing scene.CMI began as Junta42, a custom publishing service designed to bring clients and vendors together. In 2010 this project evolved into CMI, a blog dedicated to content marketing education and training, and the belief that “there is a better way for brands to market than how they’ve done in the past.” CMI is your source for...CMI is the place to go if you’re new to content marketing, need help putting together a content strategy, or looking for examples of great content. CMI is the leading content marketing educational resource for brands and marketers, and should be mandatory reading for anyone in the field.Every year CMI also hosts Content Marketing World, the industry’s largest annual conference. The event helps marketers network and mingle with the industry’s leading content marketers and influencers from around the world. The conference is also a great place to learn about strategy, measurement, and the industry’s latest developments, and should be on every content marketer’s calendar.2. Joe Pulizziby Jen Taylor Who is he?Joe Pulizzi is a best-selling and award-winning author, keynote speaker, and self-proclaimed “content marketing evangelist." He started using the term “content marketing” back in 2001, and founded the Content Marketing Institute in 2007. When Joe’s not running CMI, he can be found blogging or hosting one of his two podcasts (This Old Marketing and Content Inc.). If this impressive resume doesn’t convince you that he deserves to finish 2015 at number two on the list of influencers, you can head over to his website and check out the extensive list of awards and accolades.Joe is your source for ...Joe has both literally and figuratively written the book on content marketing. He has his finger on the pulse of the industry and is definitely someone you need to be following on Twitter and in the blog sphere. Read his books if you are looking to formulate a strategy for growing your customer base through content. Joe knows better than anyone else that content marketing isn’t just about pumping out great content - there’s a solid structure and actionable plan behind every content marketing strategy that serves as the foundation of the entire content machine. His books Get Content Get Customers, and Managing Content Marketing will help you lay the groundwork for your content marketing strategy.3. Jeff Bullasby Jen Taylor Who is he? Jeff Bullas has an impressive resume so it’s tough to figure out where to start. First and foremost Jeff is a social media marketing blogger, but he’s also a digital strategist, keynote speaker, consultant, and best-selling author. Jeff also has some serious bragging rights; he was included in the Top-100 Social Media Power Influencers in 2015, ranked number 8 on Forbes’ “The World’s Top 40 Social Marketing Talent” in 2014, and won Social media Examiner’s “Top 10 Social Media Blogs” in 2013.Jeff is your source for...Jeff is an expert in “Social Media Marketing” and his focus lies in helping businesses in “getting found online.” The digital sphere is already packed with voices, and businesses not only have to consistently create great content, but also get it in front of their audience. Become a regular reader of Jeff’s blog to learn how to drive traffic to your site, improve your blogging skills, optimize content for SEO, and anything else related to the social media sphere.4. Marissa Mayerby Jen Taylor Who is she?Marissa Mayer is the President and CEO of the Internet pioneer, Yahoo. However, Mayer first entered the tech world when she became Google’s 20th employee in 1999, and over the course of her career has become the 22nd most powerful woman according to Forbes Magazine. At the end of 2015 Mayer made headlines when she made some bold moves to reinvent the former Internet pioneer, Yahoo.Mayer is your source for...As a veteran in the tech world, Mayer knows better than anyone that the digital marketing sphere is not static. Though her management style has recently come under scrutiny, her bold moves to reinvent Yahoo dips into the field of content marketing. As Yahoo struggles to find its way in the new digital landscape, Mayer is implementing MaVeNS, a plan that dovetails with content marketing strategies to boost Yahoo’s performance and growth. MaVeNS emphasizes mobile, video, native advertising, and social - all components of a solid content marketing strategy. Though most of the media’s attention has focused on her management style, too little has focused on her MaVeNS strategy and its relevance in the shifting advertising landscape. 5. Steve Cartwrightby Jen Taylor Who is he?Steve Cartwright is a prolific blogger and tweeter. His strong influencer score at the end of January is largely due to his consistent tweeting and large Twitter network. Steve’s Twitter feed is a curated list of content marketing articles from around the web, and a great place to get started if you’re looking for the latest insights in the field. Steve helps businesses craft realistic goals and achieve them through “website design, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization.”Steve is your source for...Steve understands that content marketing is about more than just producing consistent and compelling content. To grow your funnel content must be perpetually optimized to ensure that the right content is reaching the right people at the right time. Marketers must constantly be testing their content, website design, and social media strategy to keep up with the audience. Another important component is design. Steve’s blog is a great resource for any marketer looking to understand how layout and user experience can facilitate and elevate great content.Ready, Set, Start StealingNow that you know who was making waves in the industry at the end of 2015, you’re ready to bookmark their blogs, follow them on Twitter, and start ravenously consuming their content so you can step up your content marketing game in 2016.* Insights data was gathered the week of Dec 21st, 2015 and refer to data collected between September and December.