Today is International Women’s Day! The growth of woman-owned businesses is larger than it’s ever been, with a surge that really took off in 2016.
In fact, 2016 might have been the best year to-date to be a woman in business. Forbes reports that woman-owned companies increased by 18% between 2007-2016: the strongest peak then was in small businesses with between 50-99 employees.
Companies across the board and in virtually all industries are seeing a major increase in the involvement of creative, talented, influential women. The construction industry, for example, saw a massive 56% increase in the number of businesses owned by women over the last 9 years.
Crossing paths with some incredible women in business over the past few years, through Twitter chats, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and “IRL” at events has inspired me to honor these amazing ladies by putting together a list of 50 of the top women in business for International Women’s Day this March 8.
A few notes before you start reading: I’ve placed the Twitter handles of all the women in marketing that I recommend following, and a few notable links of their stories where applicable, but don’t limit yourself to just following them on Twitter! Dig deeper! Find their websites, blogs, and the platforms where they write—get to know them as you follow them. You’ll be inspired. Also, this is by no means a full list. Add the women in marketing YOU follow to the comments below. Lastly: this is in no particular order!
50 Groundbreaking Women Marketers to Add To Your Must-Follow List
From the new to the known, these 50 women are something to follow.
1. Mari Smith (@MariSmith)
Known around the web as Facebook’s “Small Business and Facebook Marketing Expert,” Mari Smith has been featured on the Buffer Blog (for earning more than 500K followers after starting with only $ 50 in her pocket, no less), and has penned a notable marketing book titled The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web.
2. Bri Clark (@Bri_Clark)
Bri Clark has made a name for herself working with more than 2,000 business owners to take the pain out of social media marketing. She is the Founder of Belle Consult, which advertises that it “takes the struggle out of the marketing juggle,” so you’ve got to give her some points for a great rhyme! One of the things I love the most about Bri Clark is that she’s a great example of what it looks like when founders bring their personalities into their businesses.
3. Sonja Simone (@soniasimone)
Sonja Simone is the CCO of Rainmaker Digital, and was a founding partner of Copyblogger Media. She hosts two podcasts: Confessions of a Pink-Haired Marketer and Copyblogger.FM. Her creative voice, incredible writing talents, and shining authenticity often gets her content in the top-read and top-shared category on the Copyblogger blog. For example: How to Quit Being so Damned Boring.
4. Brittany Berger (@thatbberg)
Brittany Berger calls herself a “content unicorn,” which is a great title, if you ask me. She’s the head of Content & PR at Mention and the founder of BrittanyBerger.com, a website dedicated to helping solopreneurs work smarter, not harder. She’s a pro at teaching people how to automate their businesses without coming off as robotic, and her profiles are definitely worth a follow.
5. Avery Swartz (@AverySwartz)
Avery Swartz is the Founder of Camp Tech, a workshop that helps non-tech people excel in the tech world and provides training for big companies like CPA Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, Kobo, and Canadian Living Magazine. She’s also the co-host of Gather North and a resident Tech Expert at CTV. Follow her for practical tech advice and up-to-the-minute digital marketing trends.
6. Tracy Hermans (@tracysurfs)
Tracy Hermans is the Director of Global E-commerce at Urban Decay Cosmetics. She has also worked as the Digital Marketing Manager and Web Analyst at Wet Seal. She believes a career in tech is what’s allowed her to build her happiest life.
7. Ashley Chapokas (@AChapokas)
Ashley Chapokas is the Lead Frontend Developer at WebLinc Commerce. She’s also active as a volunteer front-end developer at Coded by Kids, an organization that teaches kids about coding and user experience design.
8. Olga Andrienko (@Olgandrienko)
Olga Andrienko is the head of Social Media at SEMrush, where she specializes in conversion and relationship marketing. In a single year at SEMrush, she managed (together with her team) to increase the company’s social engagement by a massive 400%. While she obviously excels at marketing, she’s also a great example of what it means to put yourself out there in the name of customer service. She tells her followers that she’s the most passionate about building relationships online and enjoys chatting with followers via her personal profiles.
9. Purna Virji (@purnavirji)
Purna Virji is the Senior Bing Ads PPC Training Manager at Microsoft. She has also worked as a writer with Search Engine Watch and the Director of Communications at Petplan Pet Insurance. This woman is a force to be reckoned with! She’s been named Bing’s “#1 Most Influential PPC Expert” and has appeared on Jeffalytics podcast and many others. She’s also slated to speak at SEJ Summit in just a few weeks.
10. Henneke Duistermaat (@HennekeD)
Henneke is a regular contributor at Copyblogger and runs an incredibly creative blog called Enchanting Marketing. I’ve been following her for years. You won’t find another blogger that quite has Henneke’s very engaging, storified, rich style.
11. Maile Ohye (@maileohye)
Maile Ohye is the former Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google. She spends her life “optimizing for genuine moments.” She’s appeared on stage at the SEJ Summit and SES Miami. As a woman in tech who spent nearly 12 years leading the path at Google, you can bet Maile is always up to cool stuff.
12. Pam Neely (@PamellaNeely)
Neely is a Copyblogger Certified Master Content Marketer and a recipient of the 2016 Hermes Award for Blogging. She was named as one of the 20 most influential content marketers last year. Her site is chock-full of free, useful tips. She contributes to both Forbes and Entrepreneur writer and is the author of 50 Ways To Build Your Email Marketing List.
13. Madalyn Sklar (@MadalynSklar)
Madalyn Sklar is the host of the #TwitterSmarter twitter chat and podcast, and a weekly #SocialROI chat. She blogs, creates, speaks, and teaches courses at madalynsklar.com. A business coach, consultant, and Twitter marketing expert, Madalyn is a real force to be reckoned with. She’s known for being the #1 social media influencer in Houston, a city of more than 2 million. She’s been founding communities since 1996.
14. Tara Clapper (@irishtara)
I have the honor of having Tara as a staff member (Content Development Specialist) at my agency, Express Writers. Tara is also the founder and Senior Editor of The Geek Initiative, a community for women in geek culture. She was the Blog Editor at SEMrush before moving Express Writers, and has over 20 years in freelance writing, editing, and content marketing. She’s down-to-earth and incredibly savvy in content marketing!
15. Clare McDermott (@soloportfolio)
Clare McDermott is the Editor of Chief Content Officer Magazine, put out by Content Marketing Institute. She is also the owner of a Boston-based content firm called SoloPortfolio. She’s a great person to follow if you have a non-traditional career path and want to learn how to weave your various expertise together into a cohesive approach to content marketing.
16. Margaret Magnarelli (@mmagnarelli)
Margaret Magnarelli is the Managing editor at Monster.com. She is also the former Executive Editor of Money. In her first year at Monster, her team won the Content Marketing Institute’s award for Best Content Program 2016. Margaret is a terrific influencer to follow!
17. Ann Smarty (@seosmarty)
Ann Smarty is the Brand Manager at Internet Ninjas Marketing, Founder of MyBlogU.com and ViralContentBee.com. This woman has established a strong, celebrity-level online presence by now. She has been featured on sites like Search Engine Land, NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, and more. She contributes regularly to platforms like Small Biz Trends and Business.com.
18. Stephanie Schwab (@stephanies)
Stephanie Schwab is the Founder of Crackerjack Marketing, a social, influencer, and content marketing agency based in Chicago. She’s got 20 years’ experience in online marketing and has been a serial entrepreneur since the dawn of the internet.
19. Keesa Schreane (@KeesaCamille)
Keesa is the host of the recently-launched “You’ve Been Served” podcast, and works as the Marketing Platforms, API, and Analytics Marketing Director at Thomson Reuters. She’s spoken on stage at the SEJ Summit and is slated to speak on many more stages this year. Her podcast, not to miss, discusses greatness in customer service, a topic for businesses at any stage. Keesa is a rising star in the content marketing arena.
10. Pamela Vaughn (@pamelump)
Pamela Vaughn is the Principal Marketing Manager of web strategy at HubSpot. She’s best known for introducing the concept of historical optimization, which boosted HubSpot’s organic search traffic and leads by upwards of 200% in just two years.
21. Nisha Chittal (@NishaChittal)
Nisha Chittal is the Director of Audience Development at Tasting Table. She’s also a recipient of the Forbes #30Under30 award. She has spoken at South by Southwest, George Washington University, and Social Media Week NY and DC.
22. Sarah Hofstetter (@Pezmeister1)
Sarah Hofstetter is the creative genius who owns the agency (360i), which was behind Oreo’s tweet in 2013 that got over 10,000 retweets per hour. What better reason to follow someone?!
23. Kate Lee (@katelaurielee)
Kate Lee is the Former Content Director at Medium. She has also held positions as the Assistant Editor of US Weekly and a Literary Agent at ICM Partners. In 2013, she was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business.
24. Ashley Zeckman (@azeckman)
Ashley Zeckman is the TopRank Director of Agency Marketing. Throughout her career, she’s written more than 200 articles on TopRankBlog.com, which have earned more than 200,000 page views.
25. Pam Kozelka (@pamkozelka)
Pam Kozelka is the COO of Content Marketing Institute. Joe Pulizzi calls her a “customer service wizard,” and she’s definitely one to follow for common-sense marketing advice meant for the real world.
26. Stephanie Diamond (@diamondsf)
Stephanie Diamond is one of the original content marketers. She started her career at AOL in 1994 and has since gone on to write 8 books, including Social Media Marketing for Dummies.
27. Stephanie Tilton (@StephanieTilton)
Stephanie Tilton is a content marketing consultant for B2B and the Principal Marketing/Writing Consultant for TenTon Marketing. She’s spent more than 20 years in the content marketing industry and runs a great blog of her own.
28. Ann Handley (@MarketingProfs)
Ann Handley is the Head of Content Marketing at Marketing Profs. She’s also the bestselling author of one of the foremost books on content out there, Everybody Writes. Ann has done it all, when it comes to content marketing: she’s a LinkedIn influencer, keynote speaker, and recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 20 women bloggers, and the most influential woman in social media.
29. Pam Didner (@PamDidner)
Pam Didner is a Marketing Strategist, Speaker, and Adjunct Professor at West Virginia University. She’s also the author of the book Global Content Marketing.
30. Pam Moore (@PamMktgNut)
Pam Moore is one of the most in-demand speakers out there. She’s also a top 10 social media influencer on Forbes, and the host of the Social Zoom podcast. In the past, she’s presented on behalf of IBM, Adobe, and Sony.
31. Deana Goldasich (@goldasich)
Deana Goldasich calls herself a “content marketing monster.” She is the CEO of Well Planned Web, a company that helps B2B clients grow their leads.
32. Sue B. Zimmerman (@SueBZimmerman)
Sue B. Zimmerman is an Instagram expert, social media consultant, and the Founder of Insta-Results. She’s also a prominent key speaker and presenter. She launched her first multi-million dollar business at 22 years old, and is a leader today in the Instagram industry.
33. Kathleen Burns (@katbu)
Kathleen Burns is the Community Manager and Managing Editor at SEMrush. In the past, she’s worked as a Marketing Coordinator and Professional Voice Over Artist.
34. Jade Phillips (@lifeofaworkgirl)
Jade Phillips is a prominent blogger, social media marketing guru, and the founder of #BizGalz, a Twitter chat and community which supports female entrepreneurs around the country.
35. Joanna Wiebe (@copyhackers)
Joanna Wiebe is “the original conversion copywriter” and the creator of Copy Hackers. She plays a major role in the copywriting sphere as a leading thinker, early trend adapter, writer and speaker. She also founded Airstory, a drag-and-drop document builder for content teams.
36. Kelsey Jones (@wonderwall7)
This amazing woman balances a lot for one woman. I had the chance to meet her at the NYC SEJ Summit in 2016, and she’s just as wonderful in person! She’s the founder of MoxieDot, and StoryShout, a news content marketing agency; the Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal, marketing consultant and frequent public speaker at events like PubCon, SMX, to name a few. She writes at SEJ and I’ve seen her frequently as an early adapter in the industry talking trends and building community (especially for women in tech).
37. Becky Shindell (@BeckyShindell)
Becky Shindell is the talented host of one of my favorite Twitter chats: #semrushchat. Dedicated o helping the major SEO software company, @SEMRush, connect with customers through content, Becky Shindell has created a career that specializes in helping brands excel “through intelligent use of social media.”
38. Erika Heald (@SFerika)
Erika Heald is the CCO at Spin Sucks, a PR company that’s out to change the way people perceive the PR industry. In the past, she’s worked with Charles Schwab, SmartRecruiters, and Highwire PR. If that weren’t enough, she also hosts the #ContentChat every Monday and maintains an active gluten-free food blog.
39. Heather Lutze (@Heather Lutze)
Heather Lutze’s claim to fame is a big one: she conducted a complete makeover, live on Oprah. She’s the Master Trainer & Owner of Findability University, a learning platform that offers SEO and findability training tor businesses and individuals. She’s a Search Engine Marketing Speaker and the powerhouse behind Findability’s series of certifications and training materials.
40. Ann Rockley (@arockley)
Ann Rockley is the CEO of Rockley Group and the Founder of the Intelligent Content Conference. She’s also the author of the bestselling book Managing Enterprise Content: a Unified Content Strategy. She has spoken at various conferences throughout North America and Europe.
41. Wendy Stengel (@wendywoowho)
Wendy Stengel is a content strategist for the National Association of REALTORS, where she specializes in user-centered web design and “unifying the content ecosystem.” She’ll be speaking at the Intelligent Content Conference in just a few weeks.
42. Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich)
Gini Dietrich is the author of Spin Sucks: Communication and Reputation Management in the Digital Age, which is her second book. She’s also the founder of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm, and the lead blogger at the marketing blog Spin Sucks. She also co-hosts Inside PR, a podcast that deals with social media and communications.
43. Morgan Eisler (@mogasaur)
Morgan Eisler leads the User Experience research center at Okta. She will be speaking at the upcoming Intelligent Content Conference and is making a legacy for herself in the worlds of UX research and strategy. I love her for her accessible and down-to-earth way of making complex tech topics accessible and simple.
44. Carro Ford (@Carroford)
Carro Ford is another speaker at the upcoming Intelligent Content Conference. She ran a content and PR agency for 14 years, in-between handling agency jobs. She’s the author of The Smartass Marketer’s Handbook, a personality and lesson-packed book just for marketers.
45. Danielle Tate (@Elegant_Entre)
Founder and CEO of MissNowMrs.com, a site that makes it easy for women to change their names after marriage, Danielle Tate is also the author of The Elegant Entrepreneur, a book that celebrates and uplifts female entrepreneurs around the world. As someone with a background a lot like mine (she started her first company at 25 and grew it to multi-million dollar valuation), she helps women be successful and driven on a daily basis.
46. Courtney Seiter (@courtneyseiter)
Courtney Seiter is the current Inclusivity Catalyst at Buffer. She’s also the co-founder and CMO of Girls to the Moon, a fun, unique, uplifting online community that helps “launch girls to be their best selves.”
47. Andrea Ames (@aames)
Andrea Ames is IBM’s Enterprise Content Experience Strategist, where she works to make the company’s content more strategic and impactful. She’s a speaker at the upcoming Intelligent Content Conference and has previously spoken at several major conferences and professional organization meetings around the country. She also designed the current curriculum of the University of California – Santa Cruz’s Silicon Valley Certificate Program for Communication and Technical writing, so she’s a great source for learning the inner details of this industry.
48. Rita Cidre (@ritacidre)
Rita is currently the Marketing Director at Zillow Group. With a fun, vibrant approach to modern content marketing, Rita is a great source for dynamic information and an easy-to-follow educational style.
49. Yael Kochman (@yaelkochman)
Yael Kochman currently works as the Head of Content and Inbound at Mapp. She’s been in the content industry for five years and is the founder of Fash&Tech, a content marketing strategy community that helps Israeli fashion and technology businesses grow. You can find her work on Fast Company and SEMrush regularly.
50. Julia McCoy (@JuliaEMcCoy)
As for me, I’ve been a self-sustained female entrepreneur since 2011. I landed here through a lot of disciplined self-learning, sweat, and a natural passion for my industry. I was just 19 years old when I launched my content creation agency, Express Writers, with a pocket change investment of $ 75, which is a team of 60 creators by now, with thousands of clients around the globe. In 2016, I launched The Write Podcast and a bestseller on Amazon, So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing, and in the same year was awarded Top 50 Content Marketer for 2016.
50 Women to Keep Your Eyes On in the Marketing Sphere: Who Would You Add?
While these women all impact the world of content marketing in different ways, they’re all worth a follow.
Although some are new to the industry and others are experienced veterans, each has something unique, dynamic, applicable, and valuable to teach each of us.
Hats off to influential women in marketing!
2016 Data Screenshot: Womenable
Feature image: Express Writers