These are the 10 must-know professionals examining everything from animojis to brand image.

Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than 2 new members per second. It’s becoming increasingly competitive to capture audience attention, but these 10 writers and creators are well-versed in what it takes to stand out.

To compile our 3rd annual LinkedIn Top Voices list, we used a combination of data and editorial signals designed to capture the voices making a mark in their industries. This includes engagement (specifically the likes, comments and shares across each member’s articles, posts and videos); growth of followers tied to publishing activity; and number of times the writer had been featured in editorial channels, a signal of high-quality content. We also emphasized diversity of topics and voices.

The Top Voices in marketing and social media covered a range of topics in 2017. Whether it was one of a number of PR crises that brands experienced this year or a new social media app, these members gave us the insights we needed to stay ahead. They also dug deep and asked important questions such as who consumers will trust in 2018,whether data is killing advertising and how brands can keep up as platforms get smarter alongside consumers.

Here are the Top Voices in marketing and social media this year:

Tom Goodwin | EVP, Head of Innovation at Zenith

What he talks about: Goodwin considers himself lucky to “have a platform to be an enabler of debates about the future,” in particular, the future of advertising and marketing in a tech-driven society. He talks about what is and is not changing the world, and he advocates for simplicity and ease of use in technology design.

Post he’s proudest of: His favorite post asks how we arm our kids for a future that we can’t imagine. Thanks to additional exposure from the World Economic Forum, which picked up the post, it started many conversations with teachers and students alike.

What he’s watching in 2018: Goodwin is closely watching the movement from the center to the edge, from “energy being made at home with solar cells, to cryptocurrencies and blockchain, to countries becoming smaller, to edge computing, to local brands and small businesses taking on big ones.”

See more by Tom Goodwin.

Michael Spencer | Freelance Copywriter

What he talks about: Michael Spencer isn’t exaggerating when he calls himself a content machine. His more than 750 articles on LinkedIn cover the intersection of technology and retail, providing commentary and reviews of the latest tech products and developments that are disrupting industry veterans.

Post he’s proudest of: Spencer sparked a lively discussion about the growth potential of bitcoin in 2018, generating nearly 250 comments and demonstrating “the unique interest cryptocurrency is having on professionals globally,” he says.

Where he gets his inspiration: “I’m always interacting with professionals on LinkedIn, listening to chatter on ‘Pods’ and reaching out to young people who are creating unique and original content,” Spencer tells LinkedIn. “All of the above activities affords me unlimited crowdsourced inspiration to create, curate and write.”

See more by Michael Spencer.

Shama Hyder | Founder & CEO, Zen Marketing Group

What she talks about: Hyder, founder and CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, talks about marketing, technology and the connected consumer. “My goal is to serve as a compass for leaders and brands in the chaos of the digital age,” she tells LinkedIn. This includes answering questions about social media marketing and sharing tips about how to connect with consumers in an increasingly polarizing political climate.

Post she’s proudest of: Hyder took to the selfie-cam to immediately recap the New York Times Dealbook conference, sharing the insights of CEOs from Uber, Square and J. Crew. Her takeaway? The importance of providing consumers a seamless experience in retail.

Where she finds inspiration: “Many of my ideas come from being in the trenches with clients!” Hyder says. “We see what’s working and what isn’t. I like theories but I love experimenting and reporting what’s working and what isn’t.”

See more by Shama Hyder.

Dennis Williams II | Senior Content Marketing Manager, Skillshare

What he talks about: Williams shares his insights on the future of content in the digital era and how some companies leverage it for growth and how others miss the mark entirely. “I’m an enthusiast for innovative brands who use authentic content and marketing to build an audience,” he tells LinkedIn.

Post he’s proudest of: Williams recapped an exciting moment in his career — accepting an Alumni Award from his alma mater. His success is a dramatic transformation from his senior year, when he lived partially out of his car. “In my speech, I explained that success requires all to have to thrive in times where we haven’t figured out our next step in life – times of the unknown,” he says.

Where he does his best writing: Williams does much of his writing on planes, and sometimes wishes the flights would last longer.

See more from Dennis Williams II.

Martin Lindstrom | Branding Expert & Consultant, LINDSTROM COMPANY

What he talks about: Lindstrom, a brand-building expert and best-selling author, puts the spotlight on excellence in brand development and dissects PR crises. He aims to understand “the deep psychology of our irrational behavior and the effect this has on communication, product innovation, brands and company cultures,” he tells LinkedIn.

Favorite conversation starter: In Secret addiction hidden inside the new iPhone X,” Lindstrom forecasts a major new trend for 2018 based off a new feature in the latest iPhone — the animojis.

Where he does his best writing: “When swimming in the pool, I have a notepad in each end of the pool,” Lindstrom says. “My last book ‘Small Data’ was entirely written in the pool. I call this the ‘watermoment’ — the place I coin most of my ideas.”

See more from Martin Lindstrom.

Richard Shotton | Deputy Head of Evidence, Manning Gottlieb OMD

What he talks about: Shotton talks about how social psychology findings, from the false consensus effect to expectancy theory, can be applied to advertising. “It explains why people make the decisions they do,” Shotton tells LinkedIn. “If you want to influence people, then it’s the best place to start.”

Favorite conversation starter: Truthiness in marketing: Is the evidence behind brand purpose flawed?” which examines Jim Stengel’s evidence behind the theory of brand purpose, an idea that’s been popular in marketing circles in recent years. “I showed that the famous and much cited evidence supporting the theory is deeply flawed,” says Shotton.

Where he gets his best ideas: Shotton spends a lot of time reading about psychology in articles, books and studies. “It’s then just a case of spending a bit of time thinking how to apply those findings to marketing,” he says.

See more from Richard Shotton.

Julian Gamboa-Ramos | Course Instructor, University of California, Berkeley

What he talks about: Gamboa, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, talks about the latest marketing strategies being utilized by big brands — and how those tactics can be used by small business owners. “My emphasis comes from working with small, family owned businesses that are looking to jump into creative/digital marketing but don’t know where or how to start,” he says.

Favorite conversation starter: In “Pepsi’s failed commercial: Why your marketing team should be listening,” Gamboa looks at how Pepsi could have conveyed a better message in its April commercial with Kendall Jenner. The article garnered over 90,000 pageviews and Gamboa even received a notification that the CMO of PepsiCo looked at his profile after publishing the article.

Where he gets his best ideas: When he is up and about, whether that’s cooking a meal, walking to his next class, or at the gym.

See more from Julian Gamboa.

Katie Martell | On-Demand Marketer & Consultant

What she talks about: Martell talks about issues in marketing like trust, persuasion and attention. “In addition, I seek to share helpful lessons for startup entrepreneurs and founders (my people) and call out BS when I see it on issues like faux feminism and the marketing hype cycle,” she says.

Favorite conversation starter: A look into who consumers will trust in 2018. “Marketers have shot ourselves in the foot by publishing volumes of our own ‘fake news’ — hyperbole, exaggerations, and other bullsh*t,” Martell writes. “No wonder buyers don’t trust us.”

How her writing opened new opportunities: After publishing her article on faux feminism last year, Martell was invited to present her ideas at the Women in Digital conference. “The response I received on the article itself was proof this topic struck a nerve, and I have much more planned because of this support,” Martell says.

See more from Katie Martell.

String Nguyen | Video Innovator, StringStory Media

What she talks about: As an early adopter of video on LinkedIn, Nguyen created her own show, “The String Report,” featuring videos that she describes as “B2B content, with B2C feels.” In these videos, she discusses the future of tech and marketing with professionals like Gary Vee and Shootsta CEO Mike Pritchett.

Video she’s proudest of: Nguyen’s video with speaker and consultant AJ Kulatungawas featured on CBS This Morning. She then posted about the segment and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner quoted her in the comments: “Become a channel. Be a Voice.”


This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Read more.

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