The #Influencer50 is an annual initiative that recognises the wealth of talent within the ever-growing influencer marketing industry. The alphabetical list is curated from a B2B perspective from peer nominations and research conducted by the team at Talking Influence.

Adesuwa Ajayi *Rising Star*
Founder, Influencer Pay Gap

Through her Instagram page InfluencerPayGap, Adesuwa has been able to provide much-needed transparency in the influencer industry and helped influencers make more informed decisions regarding payment. She has caught the attention of global brands and press and built a forum for brands and influencers to promote clearer communication and a better understanding of the influencer industry.

Alexander De Leon
Regional Product Marketing Lead, APAC, Instagram

Alexander spends his time building products for Instagram Asia-Pacific. The new products he quickly helped create during Coronavirus, from the “support small business” sticker to “stay at home” sticker, has helped businesses reach new customers and stay connected with the people they serve throughout the Coronavirus pandemic at a time when people needed community the most.

Amy Choi
Head of Brand & Retailer Partnerships, Shopstyle Collective

Amy spearheads and builds strategic influencer campaigns and grew a team that would support the agency’s needs. She created ShopStyle’s brand lift study product along with legal templates that are making this work much smoother and more efficient. As a big advocate for inclusivity, diversity, and equality, she’s a great brand and creator matchmaker and empowers everyone to be seen and heard. The Ray-Ban campaign she ran is a clear example of this and led it to win a Digiday Award.

Anna Anderson
Social Talent Director, Condé Nast

Anna has in the last 12 months solely launched and been fully responsible of Condé Nast’s newly launched Social Talent offering. She has devised and executed massive global campaigns with Samsung, PUMA, Audemars Piquet and many others in the last 12 months. She has managed to take a very traditional publisher into the world of social talent and influencers.

Bonin Bough
Chief Growth Officer, Triller

Bough has been the man behind the initiative dubbed Crosshype, which opens an entirely new world for influencers as it provides them with wide-ranging business opportunities and allows them to connect with brands on long-term deals. Triller’s ability to guarantee views allows influencers to post across multiple platforms, and the effective CPM will be lower than any other influencer purchase to date. Crosshype allows influencer marketing to be bought with guaranteed views and a calculable CPM. Never before has an app been able to guarantee views on their platform while also allowing influencers to post across multiple other platforms, transforming the way influence can be purchased and planned.

Brian Salzman
Founder & CEO, RQ

HBO’s launch of “Perry Mason” was covered in the Wall Street Journal recently because Covid changed the meaning of experiences. Brian’s team came up with a solution overnight. The most important and impactful way Brian has led not only the influencer marketing industry but also the wider marketing industry, by his unwavering passion for cultivating a better understanding of just how critical influencer is. He’s not selling, but instead just sharing the impact influence can have on their brand. Within his agency, Brian does the same thing as a mentor, inspiring the next generation of thought leaders. He’s committed to positioning influencer marketing at the epicentre of the marketing mix of the future, eliminating internal silos by focusing on the authentic people whose influence can drive the messaging for a brand.

Calum Watson
Global Partnerships Director, GymShark

Gymshark has grown from a small start-up to a global business that has just become a £1billion+ company. The brand’s ingenious use of influencer marketing has often been considered a key factor in stimulating the company’s growth. Working for the brand, Calum builds relationships with influencers who resonate with the brand and creates campaigns that are aligned with the values of an influencer’s followers. He works closely with a wide array of names from micro to the largest influencers within the fitness space ensuring they abide by best practices and showcases full transparency with their social media practices. What’s more, he also leveraged the influencers’ that work for the brand to raise money for the NHS during the lockdown period – helping to raise over £180k for the NHS.

Chikay Lo
Global Markets Growth and Partnerships Lead, Cult Beauty

Chikay worked up the ranks in Cult Beauty and has steered for innovation within the performance marketing and influencer marketing space, working with Rakuten Advertising on key campaigns. The campaign she worked on just won Best Influencer Marketing Campaign and Best Managed Affiliate Programme – Enterprise Level at the virtual Performance Marketing Awards 2020.

Danielle Bernstein
Founder + CEO, Moe Assist

Influencer and businesswoman Danielle, along with a team of 30 people, created Moe Assist – the first project management and payments tool created to help influencers centralize and manage collaborations, brand partnerships, and payments. Moe aims to unlock and solve major pain points that hold up creators, and so Danielle is proving that being an influencer is a business.

Danielle Wiley
Founder & CEO, Sway Group

During this year of uncertainty and unrest, Danielle has been a voice for brand activism through influencer outreach, helping her clients tap the trust and credibility created by her industry to share corporate initiatives designed to serve social, environmental and political issues. Importantly, she has urged brands to go beyond token public statements to share what they’re doing to create meaningful change. What’s more, in 2019, Sway Group was selected by Chief Marketer as one of just three influencer agencies for the “2020 Chief Marketer 200.”

Detch Singh
AIMCO Chair (and founder and CEO of Hypetap), Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO)

AIMCO was founded in 2019 to drive trust, accountability and transparency in the growing sector of Australian influencer marketing. This year, Detch helped AIMCO launched The Influencer Marketing Code of Practice – its first major initiative and has been developed collaboratively with input from more than 50 companies including founding member companies that represent all sides of the influencer marketplace. The Influencer Marketing Code of Practice has been specifically designed for Australia, but with global considerations, to extend confidence in influencer marketing by establishing a common language and providing clear guidance.

Earnest Pettie
Trends and Insights Lead, YouTube

Earnest is in charge of the trends and insights team at YouTube. He looks for connections with things that YouTube has researched before, or other trends they have seen emerge so that YouTube can build a larger picture of what’s happening on the platform. His team works to help people understand content trends on YouTube, and highlight underrepresented communities on the platform, and he is highlighting the trends Black creators are responsible for. Earnest helps take the data on trending content and package it into reports to inform brands and marketers on the state of the platform.

Emmi Nuorgam
Influencer Matchmaker, PING Helsinki

Emmi leads the Finnish Government’s campaign for supporting social media influencers in spreading responsible information on the coronavirus and was a key part of the #coronafacts campaign. The campaign was innovative and first of its kind, with the purpose to spread factual information about coronavirus to the general public through influencers. The campaign was executed in partnership with The Finnish Government and recognised not only in the Finnish media but internationally too.

Ethan Curtis
President, PushPlay

Ethan is an honest and hardworking agent in the influencer industry. He has been bringing work to up-and-coming TikTok influencers since TikTok was called Musical.ly and has helped mould some of the most influential influencers online who he personally manages.

Firdaous El Honsali
Director of Global Communications, Dove

Firdaous knows that corporations have a role to play in implementing positive change in the world; the larger the company, the bigger the impact. That’s what lead her to partnering with influencers who are aligned with their brand values and fighting beauty stereotypes organically, to help bring Dove’s purpose to life and harness their shared values. This year, she took some influencers to schools to see the work Dove is doing with children around self-esteem. When the COVID-19 epidemic hit, Dove launched Courage is Beautiful campaign to honour the medical workers on the front line. Additionally, she helped create the #washtocare campaign, encouraging hand washing to reduce infections and moving causes forward with the help of influencers.

Gary Orellana
Head of Brand Partnerships, Gleam

Gary serves as the figurehead of the Influencer Marketing Council within the Dentsu Aegis Network in addition to his role as head of brand partnerships at Gleam. He is a driving force in getting the agencies to consider ‘influencer’ as it’s own marketing channel rather than an ‘add-on’ or simply used to amplify other forms of media. In the eight months of joining Gleam, Gary knows how to use and dissect the data and insights while still pushing creative ideas and boundaries for the agency.