Your company exists because it wants to create some kind of impact. Your job as a content marketer is to find different ways to communicate that ...

3 Ted Talks for content marketers

Your company exists because it wants to create some kind of impact. Your job is to find different ways to communicate that impact so people will take notice of your company. But how do you manage that? This week, we share three Ted Talks that both inform and inspire marketers to become better storytellers.

Real stories are powerful tools to help you engage your audience. It is through your content that you build relationships and earn trust over the long haul. But exactly how to reach out with your message is not always easy to know.

Changes in the media landscape make matters worse. Everyone has a megaphone and it’s difficult to break through the noise. That’s why traditional marketing is sometimes a waste. You should first and foremost focus on your own channels, where you can deepen the relationship with your audience.

But what are you going to talk about and how will you do it? These three Ted Talks offer important lessons for content marketers.

The story must start from within
Many companies communicate what they do and how they do it, but they forget why they do it. This is a big mistake, according to Simon Sinek, who coined the phrase “The Golden Circle”.

In his popular Ted Talk (it’s been viewed more than 26 million times), he draws a simple circle with the small word “why” in the middle, followed by the words “how” and “what” outside. Sinek explains that companies that communicate their “why” become more effective and successful in their marketing. Apple is a good example of a company that uses “The Golden Circle” in practice.

Simon Sinek describes the connection between “The Golden Circle” and marketing (as well as consumer behaviour) in his excellent Ted Talk below:

Marketing lesson: Start from within. Communicate your why.

The story must pique curiosity
Filmmaker Andrew Stanton faced a challenge. His studio wanted to produce more reality-based children’s films, without the happy songs, unnecessary gibberish and clichéd love stories. Impossible, was the answer he received from Disney. Such films would never become a hit.

But Stanton became motivated to prove the opposite. Surely, the genre could be expanded? In hindsight, he was right. Without his conviction, we wouldn’t have classics such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Wall-E. What can these films teach us about storytelling and marketing?

Two things. First of all: pique the audience’s curiosity. As Stanton pointed out in his talk:

“Make them work for their meal.”

Pixar Studios follows a simple formula where the audience needs to guess the answer. People are naturally drawn to riddles and mysteries, so please don’t spoil the fun for them.

Second of all: have a clear hero in your story. Good marketers let the customer feel like the hero. Your content works like a good mentor: it exists to inspire, support and help the customers overcome their obstacles and continue with their journey.

Andrew Stanton shares more clues to a great story in his full-length Ted Talk:

Marketing lesson: Dare to be different. Get the audience to care by making them figure out the answer by themselves. Make them the hero of the story. Support and guide them through your content.

The story must be remarkable
Seth Godin already predicted in 2003 that the web would change the circumstances for marketing. The digital evolution gives consumers more power to ignore interrupting content, which Godin says marks the end of mass media’s golden age.

But what does this mean for marketers? Godin claims that audiences will demand better stories that are more relevant to them. Hence marketers need to know more specifically who they’re trying to reach. Don’t speak with everyone – instead speak with the passionate few.

Godin borrows the Japanese word otaku to describe people with special interests. In a digital environment, it becomes more profitable to market your product or service to a passionate niche than aiming for the masses.

Seth Godin explains why in his Ted Talk:

Marketing lesson: Find a passionate niche who wants to listen to your message. Create remarkable stories for them.

In summary
If you want to work with content marketing you need to create relevant and engaging content. These three Ted Talks help you tell more inspiring and engaging stories. Remember: start with your why, dare to be different, and make the customer the hero. After all, it is thanks to them that your company has the opportunity to create any kind of lasting impact.