Remember how badly everyone wanted to get ‘in’ with the cool kids in high school? (We try to forget those days.) It was a bewilderment to every other student how they made everything appear so effortless, so natural, so… cool. Save the raging hormones and awkward pubescent bodily changes, the marketing world can sometimes feel like like one uncanny, unending high school replay, where every business and organization is competing to be one with the ‘in’ crowd — your prospects and customers.

The main difference? In the marketing playing field, you don’t have to resort to manipulation or self-deprecation to fit in. You just have to be relevant — that’s all your customers really want.

This blog post breaks down the 3 pillars of relevance in actionable ways so your business can start creating those experiences that get you an in with those prospective customers that you’re itching to connect with.

Pillar #1: Make a Social First Impression

No one wants to befriend that person that leaves a cold, unwelcoming first impression. The same general principle applies to marketing: You want to invite your customers to interact with your brand in the most direct, user-friendly way possible.

Consider investing in a social login dialog that lets you connect with your customers in a way that’s welcoming and non-intrusive — by inviting them to register for a site account using an existing social identity. Start by clearly communicating the benefits of logging in socially to your customers, which include the convenience of not having to remember another username and password combination.

Once customers log in socially, you have access to the data contained in their social profiles, including their full names, profile photos, email addresses, interests, friend graphs, and more, which you can use to create a personal, relevant user experience.

Did You Know?

Businesses that effectively communicate the benefits of registering socially for their sites typically see a 109% increase in login conversions on average.
(Source: Gigya)

Pro Tip: To encourage more social logins, provide incentives for your users to log in socially, such as granting exclusive access to site content. See how Scottish news publisher STV does this below.

Pillar #2: Meet Your Customers on the Right Channels

Bloomberg predicts that global smartphone usage will reach two billion by 2015. As mobile adoption grows, it’s important that businesses understand how to navigate this increasingly multi-channel landscape by having a strong presence on different channels and knowing how to create a consistent brand experience from desktop to mobile to in-store.

To engage its customers across different channels, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines developed its Meet & Seat program, which lets users log in socially to see the social profiles of others passengers on board their flight. For a more social flight experience, Meet & Seat customers can then choose seat assignments next to other passengers based on their social information.

By effectively bridging the online experience of booking a flight and choosing a seat with the offline on-board flight experience, KLM creates a holistic flying experience from start to finish, letting customers establish connections to one another via their social identities.

Did You Know?

36% of US organizations interact with consumers in five or more channels.
(Source: Experian)

Pro Tip: Create a consistent user experience from channel to channel by ensuring that your identity database can consolidate your data sets across desktop, mobile, and in-store.

Pillar #3: Extend The Conversation

Smart businesses understand that the road to relevance is a long-term commitment that requires intentionality, creativity, and a considerable amount of effort. To successfully traverse this journey, it’s important to have a long-term strategy in place that focuses on nurturing deeper brand engagement.

Make it a priority to draw in loyal customers by making it easy to share content across all channels while facilitating new ways to engage them with conversations and opportunities to contribute content and feedback.

Did You Know?

67% of American millennials feel responsible for offering their thoughts and perspectives to brands. (Source: AdAge)

Pro Tip: Consider investing in a platform that makes it easy for users to leave user-generated content on your site in the form of ratings, reviews, comments, surveys, and more. This ability to leave direct feedback not only facilitates community and trust among your user base, it’s also shown to increase conversion rates by 105%.

Why Relevance Matters

When it comes down to it, relevance is the name of the game, particularly when it comes to crafting great experiences that convert and engage users to become loyal, long-term customers.