5 TED Talks for Digital Marketers


You’ve probably come across a TED Talk or two at some point in your Internet explorations. Whether it’s a subject of interest shared by a friend or a mind-boggling presentation randomly spotted on Twitter, the quick lecture-based videos are jam-packed with information from some of the world’s brightest minds. But did you know that TED, “a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading,” is also full of valuable content for digital marketers? After all, aren’t digital content and social media just a new way to spread ideas?

Renny Gleeson: 404, The Story of a Page Not Found

Renny Gleeson is a game developer turned digital advertiser turned startup coach.

Renny Gleeson

We’ve all hit that bump in the digital road: the 404 page. It’s not a pleasant experience, but as Gleeson shares, there is an important lesson hiding behind any 404 page. “Little things, done right, matter,” he says. “Well-designed moments build brands.”


Johanna Blakley: Social Media and the End of Gender

Johanna Blakely studies the impact of mass media and entertainment at the University of Southern California. 

Johanna Blakley

In the past, media companies focused on demographics. Age, gender, race and income determined content and advertising decisions. But social media is changing that. Instead of giving companies a peek at user demographics, consuming content online gives companies an idea of what we actually do and like. Suddenly, we are being identified by our taste rather than our age or gender. Blakely argues that this social phenomenon has the power to destroy false assumptions that women like this, hispanics like that, and young people like the other.

Seth Godin: The Tribes We Lead

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger discussing the marketing of ideas in the digital age. 

Seth Godin

A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, a leader or an idea. As digital marketers, we talk to tribes every day. But to communicate with tribes, we have to actually connect with them. As Godin puts it, “tribes will change the world not because you forced them, but because they wanted to connect.”

Alexis Ohanian: How To Make A Splash In Social Media

Alexis Ohanian is co-founder of Reddit.

Alexis Ohanian

Alexis tells the story of Mr. Splashy Pants – a Reddit-influence campaign from Greenpeace. Along the way, he shares are a few lessons demonstrated by the Internet’s favorite whale, most notably that the key to any campaign, content or brand’s success online is being genuine. “It’s ok to lose control, take yourself a little less seriously and let the message come form somewhere other than just the top down,” Ohanian says.

Daphne Koller: What We’re Learning from Online Education

Daphne Koller is the co-founder of Coursera. 

Daphne Koller

Coursera lets students take courses from some of the world’s top universities completely free of charge. As she describes the dawn of free online education, Koller provides useful ideas for content marketers on how to provide valuable content for those who have the desire to learn.


Have any favorite TED Talks to add to our list? Share them in the comments below.