TED talks are a great way to develop yourself and relax at the same time. All you have to do is sit back, relax and watch a video that will teach you something awesome.
I’ve watched nearly every TED talk over the years, so I wanted to share what I consider to be the very best TED talks for digital marketers – whether you are an SEO, blogger or social media specialist.
Each of the talks below will help you to develop your digital marketing skills and best of all? They cost absolutely nothning to watch but are jam packed with lessons you cannot find anywhere else.
Talks 0-6 Minutes
#1 – Derek Sivers: How To Start A Movement
In this short but content packed talk, Derek goes into detail about how to create a community and why it is important to help build momentum for you business.
This is a fast paced, entertaining talk will teach you everything you need to know to start a movement of your own.
#2 – Matt Cutts: Try Something New For 30 Days
Now I know Matt Cutt’s isn’t exactly a favourite in the SEO community for a lot of you – but he is a pretty cool guy behind the scenes.
He takes a light hearted look at trying something new for 30 days and a fun way at setting goals. He has written a novel and learnt to play the ukulele.
#3 – Richard St. John: 8 Secrets Of Success
Richard has spent more than a decade of his life researching success which he has boiled down into 8 simple secrets that anyone can follow.
Although this is a short video, it is packed end to end with great information that should be compulsory viewing in every school in my opinion.
#4 – Renny Gleeson: 404, The Story Of A Page Not Found
Renny Gleeson takes us through the story of 404 pages and how to turn them into something cool.
He looks at a range of creative and funny 404 pages that turn the page not found error into something useful.
If you want to customise your 404 page check out this plugin.
Talks 6-12 Minutes
#5 – Kevin Allocca: Why Videos Go Viral
Kevin is a YouTube video trends manager and one of the world’s leading experts in viral videos.
In this video he shares the 4 key reasons that videos go viral and you can engineer each of those reasons for your own marketing campaigns with real world examples.
#6 – Dan Cobley: What Physics Taught Me About Marketing
In this engaging talk Dan combines his passion for physics and marketing to explain the fundamental theories of branding.
He breaks down Newton’s second law, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, thermodynamics in layman’s terms and shows you how to apply them to your marketing to create deeper connections with your audience.
#7 – James Veitch: What Happens When You Reply To Spam Email?
As a digital marketer it’s likely you have received your fair share of spam email in your time. Everything from pharmaceutical sales to unclaimed money in a foreign bank account.
But what happens if you actually reply to these emails and engage the people that are trying to scam you?
This hilarious talk focuses on exactly that when James put the spammers to the test in true comedy fashion-
#8 – Black: My Journey To Yo-Yo Mastery
One of my favourite talks about finding your passion in life and then finding a way to make money with it.
Black dedicated his life to his passion expecting fame & fortune after he become the world Yo-Yo champion – that’s not quite how it worked out though.
Follow your passion. Even if no one else cares about it.
Talks 12-18 Minutes
#9 – Amanda Palmer: The Art Of Asking
Amanda is an artist that relies entirely on her fans and other artists to help her become a success much like bloggers rely on their regular readers and new traffic.
This talk focuses on the relationship between artist (blogger) and fan through the power of asking after Amanda was able to raise $1.2 million from her fans.
#10 – Steve Jobs: How To Live Before You Die
If you haven’t seen this talk where have you been for the last years?
Steve Jobs teaches you how to live before you die through a series of personal stories and experiences in his life.
At the time of the talk he was diagnosed with terminal cancer – inspiring words from one of the world’s greatest innovators.
#11 – Kevin Slavin: How Algorithms Shape Our World
As a digital marketer, nearly everything you do is affected by an algorithm in one way or another. Whether you are trying to rank a website or run Facebook Ads – algorithms are core to everything.
What you might not realise though is just how much algorithms shape our world and control our daily life including things like movie scripts, architecture, stock prices and even your grocery shopping.
Warning – this talk will make your jaw drop.
#12 – Gary Vaynerchuk: Do What You Love (No Excuses!)
If you only watch 1 video in this post it should be this one. Gary Vaynerchuk is my kind of guy, down to earth and straight to the point.
He built his success by turning his back on his multimillion dollar business to follow his passion with Wine Library TV.
#13 – Rory Sutherland: Life Lessons From An Ad Man
Rory has spent his whole career in copywriting and advertising and shares his lessons in a fun talk.
He looks at how value is perceived and how by changing that perception we can add real tangible value.
This talk will teach you how to challenge peoples perceptions in order to increase perceived value and make more sales – whether that is affiliate sales, digital product sales or physical product sales.
#14 – Mena Trott: On Blogs
If you don’t know who Mena Trott is, you could say she is the founding mother of the blogging revolution.
Mena and her husband Benn have created products like Moveable Type, TypePad, LiveJournal & Vox – they know a thing or two about blogging!
In her talk she shows how blogging can connect people all over the world to break down social barriers and cross cultural boundaries.
#15 – Seth Godin – The Tribes We Lead
Seth Godin gets his first listing here with his tribes we lead talk.
He takes a look at how the internet has changed mass marketing and inspired trible like human social units.
A very thought provoking talk!
#16 – Stefan Sagmeister: The Power Of Time Off
I’ve spent the last years of my life working stupid hours rarely taking time off. Although that’s because I’m an internet marketing addict we all need a break!
In an effort to readjust my work/life balance this talk from designer Stefan Sagmeister provided great inspiration!
Talks 18+ Minutes
#17 – Chris Anderson: How Web Video Powers Global Innovation
Way back in 2010 Chris Anderson gave a talk about the importance of online video and how video is going to change how the entire world learns forever.
If you’ve been paying attention in the past few years you would have seen the rise of platforms like Udemy and more video training courses than you can shake a stick at in every niche you can think of.
Chris (the owner of TED) predicted this trend in 2010 and shares how small businesses and blogs can take advantage of this trend for profit.
#18 – Steven Johnson: Where Good Ideas Come From
If you have ever had a problem coming up with good ideas then this TED talk is for you.
Steven explains how good ideas are developed over time and shows you how some of the most creative people in history were able to tap into their creative conscious to develop good ideas.
Watch this talk with your marketing hat on as the concepts he teaches are directly related.
#19 – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, The Secret To Happiness
This talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi hit me personally.
He describes how we enter a state of flow that is ecstasy like achieving a heightened focus and immersion in what we are doing.
If you’ve ever had that rush from doing what you love you’ll know what I mean! Internet marketing is my ‘flow’ – what is yours?
#20 – Seth Godin: How To Get Your Ideas To Spread
Seth Godin has done some remarkable things in his life – he is the guy that created Squidoo don’t ya know!
In this talk he explores why bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.
Some great advice from one of the world’s leading digital marketers!
#21 – Morgan Spurlock: The Greatest TED Talk Ever Sold
I love everything Morgan Spurlock does and the unique angles he cuts with his documentaries.
This talk looks at the path Morgan took to create The Greatest Movie Ever Sold documentary – which is awesome by the way!
Be sure to check out his other stuff as well!