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Content Marketing Lessons from Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show

by | Feb 18, 2014 | Content Marketing | 0 comments


Those of us who stay up late saw the start of a new era last night, at least as far as TV talk shows go: NBC’s beloved late night institution, The Tonight Show, welcomed the perennially youthful Jimmy Fallon as its new host, following the departure of Jay Leno earlier this month. Fallon’s first night behind the big desk was star-studded, with appearances by everyone from Will Smith to Robert DeNiro, U2 to Lady Gaga.

And at the risk of stretching it: We also think the rise of Fallon is packed with content marketing lessons—unintentional, but not unhelpful!

Kindness Wins in the End

For starters, consider Fallon’s fairly meteoric rise—from SNL cast member to Late Night host, and now the boss of late night television’s premier property, where is he widely expected to find great long-term success and to solidify himself as a true television icon. What’s the secret to Fallon’s success? According to his own announcer and sidekick, Steve Higgins, in the final episode of Fallon’s Late Night, the answer is simple: Jimmy Fallon is sweet and kind, and those traits win out in the end.

That seems to be the consensus about Fallon—that every good thing that’s come his way is due to his niceness—and that’s a pretty good takeaway for those who do content marketing. The point, always, is to remove yourself from the equation, to write content in which you’re simply glad to be offering something helpful or fun for your readers. Being sweet and kind with your content—as opposed to surly, salesy, or self-promotional—sounds like a winning formula for success in the long run.

Humanity is Winsome

While late night talk shows are known for their snark and sometimes even their cynicism, Fallon’s first Tonight Show struck a sweet note: He began his show with a sincere word of thanks to his fans, a shout-out to his wife and daughter, and even a loving salute to his parents, who were in the audience for the first Tonight Show taping.

People like Jimmy Fallon because he is relatable—because he comes across as an actual human being. That’s a good trait for a TV host, and it’s a good trait for companies doing content marketing. People don’t want to do business with a faceless, corporate entity; they want to do business with, and read content from, another person. Let the humanity of your company shine through in your content.

You’ve Got to Stand Out

With that said, it’s also important for your content to stand out. Fallon stands out from other TV talk show hosts in more ways than one, but foremost among them is his use of hip-hop troupe The Roots as his house band. Certainly, they’re a wildly different band than, say, the CBS Orchestra or Leno’s old musical posse, and they are integral to Fallon’s own success.

In much the same way, content marketing works best when it doesn’t resemble what everyone else is doing. Your brand needs a voice of its own, and a point-of-view that nobody else has. Whether you’re marching to a hip-hop beat or coming up with moves all your own, you’ve got to make your content sound like nobody else’s.

Meeting People Where They Are

More than any other late night talk show host—including even Jimmy Kimmel—Fallon is present on social media, building buzz for his show and cultivating a community of fans via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more. In fact, Twitter is an integral part of Fallon’s program, so much so that there is even a Tonight Show app tie-in, offering a more direct, Twitter-enabled connection to Fallon and his team.

That’s a big part of why Fallon is so popular among younger audiences: He’s gone where they are, making himself a huge presence on social media. In much the same way, you need your content marketing efforts to go where your audience is, which may mean LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or some combination. Knowing where your potential fans are, and meeting them there with winsome content, is 90 percent of the content marketing battle.

Of course, Jimmy Fallon’s success is not entirely his own; he’s got a rock-solid team to back him up. In much the same way, you need to back your content marketing efforts with a professional, results-driven team. Grammar Chic, Inc. can be just that. To learn more, visit www.grammarchic.net or call 803-831-7444.