‘The Tonight Show’ and Contribution Marketing
The reviews are in and Jimmy Fallon's inaugural week of hosting "The Tonight Show" seems to have been a hit. With the help of many A-list celebs, gold medal Olympians, GE and The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS), Fallon was able to generate the best ratings the show has seen in 20 years.
How does this relate to digital marketing? There are similarities between Fallon's successful first week and some well-known contribution marketing best practices. (I admit my fandom for Fallon immediately gives a biased perspective.)
Create and empower your community
There's been a lot of talk about how Fallon would fair as Jay Leno's successor. First, he wasn't expected to reach Leno-sized audiences when he took over "The Tonight Show." However, Fallon's strong presence on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube has given him a leg up. He references social media in his skits (#hashtag2) and asks the audience to participate in the show via Twitter, creating an engaging environment on multiple channels. Fallon's strong social presence makes it easy for fans to interact with him and the show.
Marketers to demonstrate social responsibility across all platforms. If all of your social media marketing is automated, your audience will become disinterested and find your customer service efforts lacking. Contribution marketing and long-term engagement isn't just what you say, it's your behavior as well.
Be honest with your audience
In an Deseret News article last week, Fallon's debut was reviewed as "strangely muted." And compared to Conan O'Brien's theatrical opening of running across the U.S. to get to Los Angeles five years ago to take over Leno's spot, it was rather tame. However, I thought it was a poignant move by Fallon to make his first impression as "Tonight Show" host and establish a tone for the show. In addition, he did something that other "Tonight Show" hosts have failed to do: he introduced himself to the audience.