Weekly High Five lists the most interesting, compelling, and/or useful links of each week. This week’s High Five is a special edition: It lists my top five TED presentations for inbound marketers.
The first rule of inbound marketing is Creating Great Content (PDF). Since you won’t get far without it, and because so few people provide advice on exactly how to create remarkable content (except for this guy), I thought I would share my five favorite talks to help and inspire inbound marketers.
#5: Jacek Utko designs to save newspapers
What happens when an architect is hired to redesign a newspaper? He treats the pages as a canvas for creating posters that tell stories. The inbound marketing lesson is to pay attention to design. And by “design” I mean creating something the world did not know it was missing (Paola Antonelli). This means fully leveraging the form, fit, and function of all of the electronic canvases available to us.
#4: Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man
Think “45 degrees.” In this talk, Sutherland discusses how to add product value by changing perception – in one case by turning something 45 degrees – and hilarity ensues. It’s worth watching for the entertainment value alone, but the inbound marketing lesson here is that remarkable content can actually add value to your products and/or services by changing their perceptions.
#3: Scott McCloud on comics
Fasten your seatbelt for this one. Scott McCloud whooshes down his road to discovering the answer to the question, “What does a scientific mind do in the arts?” He describes how comics funnel words, pictures and symbols through the single conduit of vision. The inbound marketing lesson in this talk is… well… there isn’t one, there at least a dozen but he covers them so fast you really need to buy his book, “Understanding Comics” to get the full picture (pun intended). I think his lectures and writings are pure marketing and advertising gold for our highly visual Age of Content.
#2: Steve Jobs: How to live before you die
OK, I cheated a bit because, technically speaking, this isn’t a TED talk. But I don’t care because it’s important enough. History will remember Steve Jobs for many things, and his communication skills and persuasiveness will likely be very near the top of the list. In fact, there was a terrific book written on this skill – The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (highly recommended). His commencement speech at Stanford is well known and has been watched by millions. The inbound marketing takeaway in this talk is simple: it’s simplicity. After a quick, self-deprecating joke about never having graduated college, Jobs gets right to the heart of the matter by saying, “Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.” In all of his presentations and speeches, Jobs is ritualistic about setting expectations up front. He tells you exactly what he’s going to say, continually reminds you where you are in that continuum, and always manages to under-promise and over-deliver. His presentation style is an entire encyclopedia on being remarkable.
#1: Seth Godin on standing out
Who better to teach how to be remarkable than the guy who wrote a book titled “Purple Cow” and marketed it by giving it away in a milk carton? Godin is Remarkable Royalty, the Earl of Extraordinary, the Duke of Different, the King of Compelling, etc… The inbound marketing lesson from this talk is that success “is not always about what the patent is like or what the factory is like. It’s about can you get your idea to spread.” At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.