5 TED Talks That Can Teach You Everything About Content Marketing

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 9/04/215 min read
5 TED Talks That Can Teach You Everything About Content Marketing
These powerful TED talks are a great way to get inspired about your next content marketing campaign. Or simply if you’re looking to level up on your content marketing game. Read on.

Are you looking for inspiration, information, and insight? Well, TED Talks and TEDx Talks (a few of them) can bring you all of this in less than twenty minutes. They are based on a variety of topics and today we are going to talk about TEDx videos that will help you understand more about content marketing. 

These five TED videos are of people who have a deep understanding of the market. These talks are really interesting because of the way marketing is explained with well-crafted content marketing examples. 

Here is the list of videos you MUST watch. 

Ted Talks You Must Watch for a Lesson on Content Marketing Strategy

1. Why Videos Go Viral – Kevin Alloca

Video marketing has become synonymous with content marketing today. This type of content–from a small Reel on Instagram to an hour-long video on Youtube–has become a tried-and-tested recipe for success.

As videos take over our lives and the world of content marketing, author and technology professional Kevin Allocca’s TED video from 2012 that talks about video marketing still remains relevant to this date. The Head of Culture & Trends at YouTube broadly gives four reasons why videos go viral according to him. 

He explains how viral videos are not just well-made content with a substantial production value but they are a source of some kind of change in society. Videos, once viral, become a part of our daily lifestyle and influence other market trends. 

Alloca’s talk is witty, filled with numerous content marketing examples, and very well structured. The key takeaways from his video are his three influencers of virality — tastemakers, communities of participation, and unexpectedness. 

What do those three facts entail; you will have to watch the whole video and find out.   

2. How To Get Your Ideas To Spread – Seth Godin

While this talk is from 2007, the insights from Seth Godin are timeless and packed with information. This talk in specific gives you a barrage of aha moments with every anecdote. 

Right at the start, Godin talks about sliced bread. The invention of sliced bread was a remarkable breakthrough in the culinary world. Till today, we fail to comprehend how this simple alteration in bread serving made bread easier to consume and sell. 

But the day sliced bread hit the markets; it was a disaster. For many years consumers never warmed up to the idea. This went on until the day a brand called ‘Wonder Bread’ made it a big deal. Merely owning the great product was not enough; it was the brand that took the idea and convinced people about it. 

Through his talk, he put the spotlight on how you can get your idea to spread to more people. Regardless of what business you run or what you do daily, we all live in a world where we want to spread ideas to others. 

Godin’s talk will make you question your product choices — What was it about this product that made you reach for it? You will realize that it was nothing but the brands’ ability to spread the idea to more people.

3. Neuromarketing: The new science of consumer decisions – Terry Wu

Marketing is all about playing with the psychology of a buyer, and this talk will bring out the subtleties of such marketing. Dr. Terry Wu holds a master’s degree in Neuroscience from Duke University. He also earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University. He focuses on research related to learning and memory.

Well, how does this learning help with content marketing? 

In his TEDx video, Dr. Wu talks about a phenomenon called Neuromarketing — the underlying and unseen side of marketing that influences a user without any ads or in-your-face techniques. He explains this with many content marketing examples. 

He opens with an experiment with shoppers making a wine selection. Shoppers pick from two batches of wine — French and German. While shoppers pass through the aisles, French music is played for one section of people and German music for the other. 

It is noticed that this ambient music influences the choice of the shoppers. The same music promotes better sales of their equivalent countries. The shoppers were then quizzed about their selection of wine and were asked if the music played any role in it. Surprisingly, they said that their choice was made on a subconscious level and most of them never really paid attention to the music. 

This talk is filled with subtle and convincing content marketing examples from Coca-Cola to cookies. Dr. Wu breaks down the science behind neuromarketing and provides incredible insights into user behavior. 

4. How Influencers Have Transformed Modern Marketing – Rachel David

Influencers are an enormous rage in today’s digital world. Using well-known online celebrities or people with large social media followings to promote brands is an effective marketing strategy for the tech-savvy world. Unboxing videos, tutorials, or even just a shout-out play a crucial role in this transformation. 

Rachel David runs an influencer marketing company called Hashtag Communication. After noticing how every country deals with influencers, she shares her learnings on TED’s open platform. 

She explains how we are yet to understand statistics like ROI and content types for this domain. Even without concrete data, this type of marketing is also almost foolproof. It’s one of the best ways to gain attention in just one specific genre. 

More than 60% of all e-commerce sales come from online influencers today. And as more and more millennials spend half their days online, YouTubers and social media creators are becoming like friends to them. David draws a parallel explaining the relation between ‘word-of-mouth’ and ‘influencer marketing.’ 

“The keyword is relatability,” says David as she explains how we look at celebrity ads and realize that they might not use the same products as the typical buyer. But when you look at an influencer who talks, lives, and behaves the same as the target audience, the sale is faster. 

Her TED Talk contains case studies, content marketing lessons, and facts about the world of influencer marketing. If you are on edge about this form of content marketing, then you can gain incredible knowledge about this domain by watching her video. 

5. The Four-letter Code To Selling Anything – Derek Thompson

“Is there a formula to selling anything?” [SPOILER] — the answer is ‘novelty.’  This statement forms the basis of Derek Thompson’s talk. Thompson is a senior editor at ‘The Atlantic’. During his time there, he talks about economics, technology, and media trends. He also worked with NPR to create a fascinating show called ‘Here and Now’. 

His content marketing examples range from Coca-Cola and Lucky Strike packets to modern cars and busses. Thompson convinces you that each user wants something different, and there are many formulas out there that help you determine what the mid-ground could be. 

“Hits live at the perfect intersection of novelty and familiarity,” says Thompson. His talk remains sprinkled with stories, examples, and data-driven facts that explain the science of selling things. 


The above-mentioned TED and TEDx Talks and videos contain information, stories, and content marketing examples that will help you understand more about content marketing. However, it is also easy to go into a wormhole of information and lose track of reality. While you lean on encyclopedia-worthy insights from these talks, good marketing will need you to pick a handful of the tips and try them for yourself. 


1. What are the top 5 TED Talks in marketing?

 Some of the best TED Talks to listen to understand the world on marketing better include: 

  • 7 tools for building a business people trust: Marcos Aguiar
  • 4 myths and misunderstandings about doing business in Africa: Nomava Zanazo
  • How your brain responds to stories — and why they’re crucial for leaders: Karen Eber
  • Why gender-based marketing is bad for business: Gaby Barrios
  • El marketing para terminar guerras: Francisco Samper

2. What are some examples of TED Talks on content marketing?

Examples of TED Talks on content marketing that marketers should watch include:

  1. Kevin Alloca – Why Videos Go Viral
  2. Steven Johnson – Where Good Ideas Come From
  3. Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story

3. What are some of the TED Talks every social media marketer should watch? 

Some TED Talks that social media professionals must watch include: 

  1. Eli Parser: ‘What Obligations do Social Media Platforms Have to the Greater Good?’
  2. Christiane Amanpour: ‘How to Seek Truth in the Era of Fake News’
  3. How to Get Your Ideas to Spread – Seth Godin
  4.  Adventures in Twitter Fiction – Andrew Fitzgerald

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