A look at the thought leaders you should be following on Twitter within several categories of marketing automation, including Content Creation, User Experience, Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and Sales/Marketing Alignment.
I had just stepped off the stage at Dreamforce 2013 when I was asked by an audience member, "Who are other thought leaders I should follow in the marketing automation industry?" I had a very hard time giving her names because marketing automation is made up of so many differing tactics, all of which have their own thought leaders. Without knowing which areas she wanted to know more about, I couldn't pinpoint the one person she should follow to help her obtain the knowledge she wanted. This question quickly helped me realize that people currently consider marketing automation to be a singular tactic, when in reality it is a combination of many tactics. And to be proficient at marketing automation, you must be proficient at these underlying tactics.
To help better answer this question in the future, and make it easier for people to find the thought leaders they are seeking, I have broken down marketing automation into its underlying elements: Content Creation, User Experience, Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Marketing, and Sales/Marketing Alignment. Let's take a look at some of the thought leaders that you should be following within each category.
Video Content: This includes webinars and videos. The three Twitter handles that you need to follow are:
Written Content: This includes white papers, e-books, and anything else you might be writing. There are many people in this category, but only a few I follow on a regular basis.
B2B Content Thought Leaders: This includes content like slide decks, infographics, and video animations. The brightest minds are the ones who are pushing the envelope with new mediums, great execution on ideas, and creating content that converts.
User Experience (UX) Thought Leaders: User experience is one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing automation, yet it is a must if you want your content to be easy to engage with. The better you understand how to design for engagement, the more engagement you will get out of your content.
SEO Thought Leaders: For organic marketing, you'll need to know the ins and outs of how the world's largest search engines rank websites, and ways you can improve your ranking.
Social Media Thought Leaders: Social is a constantly changing and growing area of focus for many companies. These people are truly the best in the business, and will keep you informed when it comes to maximizing your social marketing efforts.
Marketing Strategy Thought Leaders: Marketing automation needs to be grounded in modern marketing strategy. If you are not keeping up with modern marketing best practices, you will end up automating a lot of bad marketing processes. Following these people will help you stay at the forefront of marketing strategy so you can get the most out of your marketing automation tool.
Email Marketing Thought Leaders: Email marketing is the workhorse of a marketing automation solution. Many of the people mentioned on this list talk about lead nurturing - and email marketing in general - but these two thought leaders are only focused on email marketing.
Sales/Marketing Alignment Thought Leaders: Marketing automation involves CRM integration, and aligning your sales and marketing teams. The following people will help you understand the best marketing automation techniques to use to help improve the alignment between your sales and marketing teams.
I hope you can learn as much from these people as I have, and please feel free to add your favorite thought B2B marketing thought leader in the comments below.
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Mathew is the head of thought leadership for B2B marketing at Pardot, a Salesforce.com Company. A consummate writer, he has been featured in numerous publications such as Marketing Automation Times, DemandGen Report, Marketing Sherpa, ZDNet, and is the author of Marketing Automation for Dummies (published by Wiley February 2014). As a speaker Mathew speaks around the world at events such as Conversion Conference, Dreamforce, SugarCon, and to companies including Microsoft, Investec, NetJets, and Restaurants.com, to name a few.
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