We’ve all heard the saying, “Content is king.” But who are the trailblazers who prove the power of content in today’s online world? Last week, we introduced you to five of them.

This week, we bring you six more innovators whose incredible successes should make anybody interested in content marketing sit up and take note.

6. Joe Pulizzi, Co-Founder/CEO, Content Marketing Institute


Pulizzi is said to have invented content marketing; that probably isn’t true, considering that John Deere’s magazine, The Furrow, has been around since 1895. But he did (partially) invent content marketing thought leadership. Pulizzi founded the Content Marketing Institute in 2007 as an educational and research hub for content marketing, which is kind of like predicting that the Internet was going to be a big thing in 1987. As far as we can tell, he seems to spend 15 hours a day blogging, hosting Twitter chats, or appearing in content marketing videos. He is possibly the most orange man on earth.

7. Brian Clark, Founder, Copyblogger


Actually, maybe Pulizzi didn’t invent content marketing thought leadership. In 2006, Brian Clark—a former lawyer—founded Copyblogger as a one-man blog. Its goal: offering easy-to-use advice to help forward-thinking marketers build communities online. Since then, Copyblogger’s ebooks have become the gold standard for content marketing advice, as it has grown into an extremely successful business and thought leader.

8. Michael Brito, Group Director, WCG


Agency folks get trashed a lot for only pretending to get this whole “Content is king” thing, but Brito is the exception. The former head digital man at Edelman writes one of the industry’s must-read social media blogs, Britopian. His new book, Your Brand, the Next Media Company, hits all the right notes as brands across the globe attempt to build newsrooms.

9. Dan Lyons, Marketing Fellow, Hubspot

Dan Lyons

The former tech editor at Newsweek and editor-in-chief at ReadWrite, Lyons was a pioneer in the trend of journalists migrating to brands to lead their content operations. “There’s a lot to learn here, and I’ll do two things I love best: write and speak,” Lyons wrote about the move. “In my mind I’m still working as a journalist. I’m just not working for a traditional newspaper or magazine.”

At Hubspot, he covers the branded content movement and technology world with an honesty you don’t normally hear from marketers—because, well, he’s not one. Best of all, he created Fake Steve Jobs, possibly the best piece of tech satire of the mid-2000s.

10. Kobe Bryant, Shooting Guard, LA Lakers

Kobe Bryant

Can you tell I’m a big basketball fan? (I swear I hate the Lakers, though. #Knicks4Life.) When Kobe Bryant gave a detailed and riveting look inside the 2012 Olympic Games through his daily blog posts on Facebook, the result was an astronomical spike in Likes—from 316,000 to 13.5 million. Kobe’s social accounts remain some of the most riveting in pro sports, and he stands at almost 18.5 million likes today.

11. Shane Snow, Co-Founder/CCO, Contently


It only makes sense that the 29-year-old founder of one of the world’s hottest content marketing startups should be a thought leadership machine. Half journalist, half tech founder, Shane is a regular contributor to Wired, Fast Company, and AdAge, as well as many other publications. He consistently tops the LinkedIn Influencer charts (his last post about Ryan Gosling and storytelling has almost half a million page views already). I call him Shane, not Snow, because (full disclosure) he’s my boss, mentor and friend at Contently, where he makes my job as editor-in-chief insanely easy. Simply put, he’s the smartest mind in content marketing—or brand publishing, as we like to call it. He’s also publishing a book this fall that will rock your socks.

Who’s your favorite content king or queen?

This post was contributed to The Conduit Mobile Blog by guest blogger Joe Lazauskas.