Published December 23rd 2014

Top 10 Content Marketing Sumos of 2014

buzz sumoLots of content marketers entered the ring this year. But who was still standing at the end? Which authors and posts had the most impact on your thinking? Which posts did you share with your colleagues?

We have been analyzing this year’s social data with the help of our new Top Author Report to produce our first league table of the sumos that are making the most buzz. We call them the Buzz Sumos. For no reason.


We wanted a clean fight, so you have to have some rules. We analyzed articles that were specifically about content marketing and we included any author who wrote at least 5 posts about content marketing this year. Our list includes authors that focus almost exclusively on content marketing and authors that write about a broad range of topics including content marketing.

We have produced two BuzzSumo top ten league tables:

  1. authors with the highest total shares of all their content marketing posts, and
  2. authors with the highest average shares for their articles on content marketing.

We have also provided a handy link to the most shared articles of each author, so you can review what has been working so well for them this year. Maybe my young friend, you will step into the ring next year.

You can argue some authors benefited by publishing on sites with very large audiences but they still produced content which was consistently shared more than other content. But is this really a time to argue? The fight’s over, here are the winners…

Top 10 Content Marketing Sumos

(Based on Total Shares)

The top Sumo creating the most buzz in 2014 was Neil Patel. His content marketing posts were shared a remarkable 115,000 times this year.  In a word: BOOM.
But there were nine other Sumos with stellar shares too – and here they are  (the number of posts are the number of posts about content marketing remember):

Author No Posts Total Shares Most Shared Posts
neil-patel-80 Neil Patel 71 115148 View posts
lee-odden-80 Lee Odden 78 66362 View posts
kevan-lee-80 Kevan Lee 24 57914 View posts
joe-pulizzi-80 Joe Pulizzi 53 35432 View posts
jayson-demers-80 Jayson Demers 27 34324 View posts
eric-siu-80 Eric Siu 11 29273 View posts
jeff-bullas-80 Jeff Bullas 23 28311 View posts
jay-baer-80 Jay Baer 37 24938 View posts
demian-farnworth-80 Demian Farnworth 14 23670 View posts
michael-brenner-80 Michael Brenner 65 23440 View posts


What’s their secret? They can’t tell you, because it’s a secret. But one thing they share is persistence.

These 10 inaugural content marketing Buzz Sumos write regularly and consistently about content marketing sharing their views on trends, tools and top tips. They collectively wrote over 400 posts on content marketing this year. If you were reading about content marketing in the last 12 months you are very likely to have read articles by them. Quality and quantity.

The most shared content marketing post was by Kevan Lee on the ideal length for online content, which was shared over 30,000 times. (it was 5,288 words and some nice charts, which it now turns out is empirically ideal). You can see the most shared posts on content marketing this year on Buzzsumo.

Top 10 Content Marketing Sumos

(Based On Average Shares Per Post)

So total shares is one way to keep score. But is it better to look at who got the highest average shares per post? Maybe that shows more consistency?

You don’t have to choose, because we did both lists. Roll up the 10 Sumos with highest average share per content marketing post.

Rebekah Radice tops our second top ten league table which is based on the average shares for an author’s posts on content marketing. Rebekah writes about a wide range of topics and is well known for her advice and tips on social media marketing. Rebekah wrote  5 great posts on content marketing this year and achieved an average of 3,200 shares per post. Rebekah’s top post was “5 Ways Brands Use Visual Content to Maximum Effect” which was shared more than 4,000 times.

Neil Patel is remarkable for producing consistently high quality content. Neil wrote 71 articles, more than 1 a week, and still achieved an average of 1,600 shares per post.

Author No Posts Average Shares Per Post Most Shared Posts
rebekah-radice-80 Rebekah Radice 5 3217 View posts
John-Boitnott-80 John Boitnott 5 3109 View posts
eric-siu-80 Eric Siu 11 2661 View posts
kevan-lee-80 Kevan Lee 24 2413 View posts
demian-farnworth-80 Demian Farnworth 14 1690 View posts
neil-patel-80 Neil Patel 71 1621 View posts
brian-clark-80 Brian Clark 16 1376 View posts
Lindsay-Kolowich-80 Lindsay Kolowich 13 1357 View posts
jayson-demers-80 Jayson Demers 27 1271 View posts
kelsey-libert-80 Kelsey Libert 14 1252 View posts


There’s some overlap as you can see, but there are some different players in here too. So what matters more – breakout posts that go huge (Neil Patel’s top post had nearly 16,000 shares),  or consistent form?
If Rebecca had written 71 posts and maintained her average across them, she’d be top of the totals table too.

It’ll be interesting to see who shakes these lists up in 2015. Place your bets…

Who Are Your Top Content Marketing Sumos?

Who is your content marketing sumo this year? Share the people that had an impact on you this year. Check out how their posts were shared using BuzzSumo, just use the author operator, for example:  author:steve rayson

You can also run reports similar to the one above using our brand new Top Author Report. Available on our BuzzSumo Agency and Enterprise plans.

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