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“Project Runway” and the Bikini Marketing Principle

By Taylon Chandler | Small Business

“Project Runway” and the Bikini Marketing Principle image bikini marketing principle 625x446bikini marketing principleProject Runway is no stranger to making headlines, but Season 12 generated buzz before it even premiered when its ‘Fashion Reigns’ campaign got banned in Los Angeles. The provocative billboard isn’t the first controversial campaign from the show, but it definitely achieved its goal – to get fans pumped for the new season. Lifetime, the network that runs the design competition, went a step further in its attempt to increase viewer engagement by adding a few new features that allow fans to interact with the show’s contestants and give their feedback in real-time.

This season, viewers can create an account on Lifetime.com to ‘Play Runway.’ Throughout the show fans respond to polls or leave comments about the designers or judges and then watch them air on screen. The website also has a ‘Rate the Runway’ feature for fans to vote on their favorite designs each week and a FAN-Addict program. Viewers sign up through one social media site and share content about the show. At the end of the season, 10 random FAN-Addicts will win a prize pack from one of the show’s sponsors.

This, folks, is how you engage an audience. Project Runway has several other ways to interact with their audience, and they all relate to the Bikini Marketing principle: share 80 percent of what you know and the desire for the remaining 20 percent will skyrocket.

Social Media
Project Runway has a page on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The Facebook page is updated several times each day and has behind-the-scenes features like interviews with contestants and quotes from each episode. The 1.6 million people who like their page can also watch previews for upcoming episodes and view pictures and videos. The Twitter page has more than 180,000 followers who can live-tweet with the Project Runway team during each episode.

The Pinterest page is not as up-to-date, which is a good lesson for businesses about consistently updating all of your social media pages. Establishing yourself on a website just to have a presence is pointless. Social media is a time commitment. You have to be willing to put in the work if you want to see the results.

Blog
Project Runway does a great job blogging each week, but the show also has blogs from previous contestants that give a more informal take on each episode. While the official blog is more of a recap, it does have comments from contestants about the design they think was the best and worst each week.

Making contestants, both current and former, such a major part of the show’s blog is a great way to make it more relatable to viewers and to increase engagement. People like interacting with someone they feel connected with. When deciding on a content marketing strategy, try to find ways to make it relatable to your audience. This can be tricky for some industries, but you can always create a character for social media pages that embodies the principles of the business while still keeping it fun and relatable.

Consider having an interactive session on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ on a regular basis. Give your followers a sneak peak of a new product you’re introducing or ask for their feedback on different aspects of your company. Consumers like feeling connected with a company or brand, but, more importantly, they like feeling like they know the people behind the scenes. The more information you share with your audience, the more of a relationship you are going to build. Interacting with your followers through social media and your blog will strengthen those relationships and build your reputation in your industry.

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