How To Improve Consistent Content Results: Steal These 5 Late Night TV Tricks

Improve Consistent Content ResultsHas your consistent content reached marketing nirvana?

Does your appointment content have a cherished place in your audience’s weekly information diet?

So that as a result: Your readers actively seek and consume your regular communications?

Or do these communications consist of bland filler content?

Then see how you can take advantage of the secrets Late Night TV use to produce quality shows on a regular schedule.

Because like you they made a commitment to their audience (including their employers and sponsors) to show up and entertain. 

So steal these 5 mass media tested, Late Night TV tricks, and incorporate them into your consistent content. 

Why apply the Late Night TV show playbook to Improve Consistent Content Results?

Because Late Night Television talk shows provide useful templates and options for content marketers because talk shows must produce a lot of regular content servings on set schedules.

Even better, These tricks will help build your share of audience attention.


5 Late Night TV Show Tricks To Steal For Your Cyclical Content

Like you, Late Night television must continually create fresh content in short timeframes.


1. Monologue

Many Late Night TV hosts start with a monologue. They kick off the show by providing the audience with context for the rest of the program.

Setting the stage for each show, helps your audience get into your content. This is particularly important for current audience content consumption. As as result, these shows use the Internet to follow trends and to extent their reach.

Key to success:

  • Stay true to yourself while being transparent to your audience. Each host adds their own personal flourishes to their opening monologue.

As a content marketer, adapt this monologue approach to your cyclical offerings to get your audience ready to consume your content. 

While the openings of podcasts, videos and webinars are similar to Late Night TV monologues, the letter portion of your email newsletter plays a similar role. 

Content marketing example:
David Berkowitz uses the monologue approach to introduce his Serial Marketer Newsletter. Further, his letter provides context for his audience.

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Select a spokesperson. For a personal brand or solopreneur, it’s you. In larger businesses or organizations, choose someone who relates to your audience and speaks their language in a voice aligned with your brand. 
  • Determine the topic or focus. Use keywords to tailor your content to resonate with your audience. Answer why they need your content and what value they will get from it. Ideally, base it on your audience’s consumption content, location and/or device. Vlog Like A Boss author, Amy Landino laser-focuses on her core audience members and their needs.
  • Choose the content format. Use the monologue approach for email, blog post, video, podcast, webinar or other communications


2. Interviews

Interviews are a mainstay of Late Night TV shows

Choose your interview approach:

  • One-on-One Interview. The host talks to a guest about a specific topic or piece of work.
  • One-to-Many Panel Interview. The moderator addresses a few experts using the same set of questions. 

Beyond providing content, interviews help cross-promote content. Many Late Night TV show guests make appearances to raise awareness for their latest movie, show or book.

Key to success:

  • Use interviews to explore topics outside of your core niche. Take advantage of well known celebrities and micro-influencers to add credibility to your show. In return they expand their own visibility.

Content Marketing Example:
To help people start their own businesses, Nathan Chan put interviews with successful entrepreneurs at the heart of Foundr. His first interview was with Richard Branson.

Consistent Content Trick - Interviews

Foundr’s Nathan Chan used interviews to build his media company

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Batch create interview content. For example, LinkedIn’s Sean Callahan interviews influencers when he attends top marketing conferences. 
  • Expand interviews beyond the top influencers in your category. Find out who or what other topics interest your audience. 
  • Do your homework and research what makes your guest tick. For example before interviewing authors for his Marketing Book Podcast, Douglas Burdett reads each book.
  • Extend your interview with summaries, transcripts, photos and videos. For example Burdett includes images and key links. He also provides links to allow his audience to choose how they want to listen to the content.
  • Get permission and/or a release to use your guests’ content and images in other content. Check with your legal department or lawyer.


3. Recurring Feature

Recurring features on Late Night TV maintain continuity across shows, whether it’s nightly, weekly or over time.

The 5 attributes of recurring segments include:

  • Focus on a targeted topic. Use an on-going issue or category, or a topic related to a current event.
  • Extend over time. They can be used in every show, for a series of shows, or ad hoc. 
  • Provide variety. The segment’s talent remains constant. The segment adds other types of entertainment or information.
  • Has consistent format. Uses the same name, structure, talent, visuals, sounds, props and/or location, while the specific content varies. Viewers look forward to it.
  • Provide opportunity for experimentation. Continually test and change recurring segments based on audience appeal and talent availability.

Also, depending on the topic, recurring Late Night TV segments can be batched and/or created outside of the show’s regular content creation schedule.

Recurring Feature Key to Success:

  • Entertain your audience and keep them viewing. But more importantly, these segments can move from television to the internet to expand viewership and brand.

Best Example of Recurring Feature:

On Carpool Karaoke, James Corden drives around with a star and they sing the star’s hits. 

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Pay attention to social media. Late Night TV shows need to expand their audience beyond their regular and time-shifted viewers. James Corden took the often dead time slot on CBS’s Late, Late Night television and leveraged it to expand his internet followings. 
  • Continually test and improve. Measure what works. Go beyond your initial publication to include social media and other venues. Colbert excels at continually trying new options. 
  • Put bonus content on the Web including extended interviews and behind-the-scenes looks. This allows you have a call to action and further engage with your audience.


4. Man-In-The-Street Features

Man-In-The-Street features borrows its format from television news correspondents in the field. Because you or a member of your team goes outside of the studio to talk to people about a specific topic.  

The power of this content comes from capturing the reactions of ordinary people. Whether the subjects represent the audience’s point of view or not, they add emotions and show humanity. 

5 key elements of Man-In-The-Street Features:

  • Develop the framework. Determine the title, focus and other elements.
  • Select your talent. Other people can play a role and have related props.
  • Define your participants. Include audience members, employees, influencers or others depending on the topic.
  • Set a 3 part story arc. Setup the problem, get a response, and provide a resolution.
  • Choose your location. Do these segments live on stage or in real life situations.

Man-In-The-Street Key To Success:

  • Creates dramatic tension due to unexpected responses from real people that pull in the audience. As a result, they’re emotionally invested in finding out what happens.

Best Example of Man-In-The-Street:

Drew Davis creates a Curiosity Gap, a void between what we know and what we want to know, to build, grab and hold audience attention. He borrows pacing from reality TV shows to build excitement into customer case studies and product endorsements. 

Check out the difference between Davis’s before and after:

Drew Davis Video Remake



Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Use Man-In-The-Street segments to broaden your offering.  Tap into the knowledge of internal experts to go deeper into related topics.
  • Extend segment reach. Post these segments and outtakes on social media and other platforms.


5. Take Your Show On The Road

Late Night TV Shows take their shows on the road to change the pace.  

To tap into the stories, talent and audience other locations offer while taking advantage or the host’s travel plans and/or hot topics. 

Of course this requires advance planning, it’s a great way to tap into the power of conferences and other events. 

For example, Stephen Colbert spent a week in Russia filming the Late Night With Stephen Colbert after Trump’s election. 

Key to success:

  • Take advantage of the special location to attract local talent and audiences as well as to showcase the unique features of the locale.

Best example of On-The-Road Content

Lee Odden and his Top Rank team have set the gold standard for how to take advantage of conferences to create amazing On-The-Road Content. 

While many marketers develop conference content, Lee Odden’s team creates:

  • Pre-conference content including speaker interviews, conference highlights, and Odden’s presentation teasers.
  • During conference content including live-blogging sessions and daily roundups. In fact, Top Rank sends members of their team to events and assigns them specific sessions. Additionally, they interview influencers for other content.
  • Post conference content provides a roundup of the highlights.

At the centerpiece of Top Rank’s conference portfolio is their prize winning conference related e-books, that I call epic curated content.

As always, Odden continues to pivot with the time. This year, the Top Rank team created an interactive guide for Content Marketing World.

CMWorld Interactive Guide

Actionable Content Marketing Tips:

  • Take your content on the road. Take advantage of conferences and business trips to meet influencers and peers.
  • Plan, plan, plan. Do your homework and schedule meetings in advance. Also, plan for related content. For example, Jeff and Michelle Julian set up a set at Content Marketing World.


Improve Consistent Content Results With Late Night TV Show Tricks Conclusion

Regardless of your business focus, use these 5 TV Talk Show Tricks even with boring B2B categories.

Don’t you think that your audience would like some fun and laughter in their lives? 

Because Late Night TV shows face the same challenges as you.

And despite established hosts with television-size budgets, you have just as much at stake:

  • Generate revenue based on ability of content to attract and keep an audience you want to reach.
  • Need to fill longer, more frequent content schedules
  • Must get segments to expand onto social media and other platforms to build brand.

Let me tell you a secret—entertainment is a key reason people seek out new content and I’m not just talking about marketing. 

Even better these Talk Show Tricks show you what highly paid writers do. (Yes I’m guessing that you don’t make their salaries!)

Remember no one grew up wanting to write bone dry content marketing content. They dream of the lights of Broadway and Hollywood, like Aaron Sorkin. 

So use these templates to give you inspiration for new ways to look at your subject. In the process, think about how to have fun and get your colleagues and audience to have fun!

As a result, you’ll transform your content marketing into content experiences. 

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Editor’s note: This article was inspired by Mindy Kahling’s movie Late Show. In addition to recommending the movie, I suggest that you join me at Content Marketing World to see Mindy on the big stage talking about content creation.

Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies.
You can find Heidi on FacebookTwitter and Google+.


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Photo Credits:
Foundr image: Nathan Chan via
Old TV: Alexander Antropov via Pixabay

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