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What We Can Learn from The Daily Show’s Digital Media Tactics

By Sara Fazil, Account Executive

For those who are versed in the communications landscape, it is no secret that digital media is having a drastic effect on our strategic efforts. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, are allowing us to reach audiences more quickly and effectively. But, with the ability to display media more frequently, comes the challenge of providing content that shines above the crowd—especially those in the competitive entertainment industry. 


This issue does not seem to have left The Daily Show with Trevor Noah phased. Instead, the number one ranked late-night program for Gen Z and millennials, has thrived in its digital growth and engagement—beating their competitors with millions of followers and digital shares. 


So, how has The Daily Show done this? 


One of the key factors to their success is the show’s push for a personal connection with their audiences on digital platforms. In today’s current digital landscape, people want to feel more connected with their brands and those who lead them. In fact, 70 percent of consumers feel more connected to brands with CEOs that are active on social. The Daily Show has garnered a strong understanding of this importance and has used this knowledge to their advantage—creating series such as, Behind the Scenes. This online-only show, in which Noah communicates directly with the show’s audience, heightens the host’s personability—ultimately enhancing trust between him and his target audience. 


Along with personal connection, the show has mastered the art of staying relevant by understanding that visibility and equal effort on all platforms is key to success. For them, this means not only posting frequent updates on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook but also staying current on other digital trends in order to monopolize the entirety of digital platforms. The show’s most recent “digital takeover” can be seen through their use of TikTok, which was the most downloaded app on the Apple store in 2019. By taking part in the “TikTok revolution” the show has been able to increase its visibility, which has been attributed to the show’s highest ratings since 2018. 


The Daily Show’s understanding of being equally relevant on all platforms can also be seen in its use of podcasts. Over the past year, podcasts have become increasingly popular—with around a quarter of Americans listening to podcasts weekly in 2019. Understanding the growth within this platform, the show has created not one, but two podcasts: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah: Ears Edition, and a recently released podcast mini-series: The Daily Show Podcast Universe. Since its release in 2018, Ears Edition has been downloaded over 100 million times and has even collected a Webby People’s Choice Award in 2019.



So, what can we as communications professionals learn from the Daily Show’s digital tactics? 


It all comes down to consumer engagement. In today’s world, in order to stand out on digital, you must go above and beyond to make yourself well known. This means that we must apply personal connection, make ourselves known on all platforms and ensure that we put equal effort into all those platforms—all tactics that the Daily Show has mastered. 



© 2019 by Sasha Kagan

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