April Right Now Report

The Right Now Report gives you the high-level updates you need without the unnecessary clutter. In the April Right Now Report, we’re exploring the state of TikTok in Congress, insights from brand social content and what a “cookieless world” might look like for digital marketers. 

The State of TikTok

As far back as 2020, there have been various pushes at the state and national level to ban TikTok. Most recently, in February and March 2023, the DATA Act and the RESTRICT Act were introduced to the Senate. While they didn’t name TikTok specifically, these bills were characterized by their efforts to stop TikTok from operating in the United States. 

As of April 1, 2024, the conversation continues as new legislation is working its way through the Senate, this time specifically naming TikTok. The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill on March 7. If the bill is passed in the Senate, ByteDance (the owner of TikTok) will be given 165 days to sell TikTok. If they don’t sell, it would become illegal for app stores such as Apple and Google to make the app available for download. 

U.S. policymakers’ primary concern revolves around the potential for the Chinese government to compel ByteDance to surrender user data. Which could allow them to use identifying information to spread disinformation, disrupt elections, or mingle with U.S. policies.


If TikTok is no longer allowed to operate in the U.S., this change could greatly affect countless independent creators and small businesses. 

We’ll keep an eye on how things unfold, but for now, try different ways to show up online.

Insights from Sprout Social’s 2024 Content Benchmarks Report

Sprout Social’s 2024 Content Benchmarks Report highlights how brand content performs on social media channels. The report’s data was gathered from over 2.1 billion social media messages across various platforms, providing insights into content trends and audience behavior throughout 2023. The demand for content continues to grow, but the effectiveness of social strategies depends on what content users want to see and engage with. 

Users are becoming more selective about the content they interact with. Larger companies tend to receive higher engagement rates on social media than smaller ones, indicating that more resources, broader reach and the opportunity to create more engaging content faster leads to higher levels of engagement. However, brands of all sizes are leaning into AI to streamline their content creation process. At this point, AI tools aren’t sophisticated enough to create content without human input, but they can be an excellent tool to use as a research assistant and in creating first drafts.

Sprout Social has identified the key principles for content as being ‘original, authentic, and informative’. Consumers value genuine, non-promotional content that offers transparency so prioritizing customers’ needs and preferences is a key to social success. Brands can also provide exclusive promotions and clear information about the products and services available so customers can make informed decisions. Customers also expect brands to communicate with them directly through comments and messages, often using social media as a frontline customer service channel. 

Customers want to see real people in the brand’s content. Quick videos and employee features are non-negotiables in content moving forward. Short-form videos remain highly engaging, prompting brands to convey their stories more creatively and succinctly.

Moving toward a “cookieless world”

Cookie banners…you know, the ones that seemingly pop up on every site you visit.  You probably are used to clicking to either allow or prevent cookies from being used when you’re on websites. At their core, they’re small data files added to your browser by websites. Once enabled, they track your behavior across the web making it so advertisers can share their targeted ads with you. Some cookies are necessary to help the website run, but others exist simply to aid in advertising and marketing efforts.

Data privacy is a hot topic currently. There are growing privacy concerns and stricter regulations and laws across the globe are lessening the effectiveness of cookies. We’re big fans of privacy, but we understand marketers have long relied on this data to inform their efforts and track the success of specific campaigns. 

Diversification of data sources is crucial as we move into a cookieless future. Instead of third-party cookies, now is the time to focus on first-party data – the information gathered directly from your users. Think of website interactions, forms filled out and purchases made. Companies must build authentic relationships with customers to gather data in new ways. When trust is built, users will be more likely to share their information freely.

Places to gather first-party data:

  • Interactions with your website
  • Email marketing analytics
  • Customer surveys and feedback forms
  • Purchase history
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Feedback and Reviews
  • Customer support interactions

Beyond first-party data, the shift to a cookieless future is a perfect time to explore emerging data solutions beyond individual user tracking. One option here is contextual targeting, where ads are delivered based on the content that is on a webpage. This shift no longer requires access to the user’s data, but still allows ads to be served based on the context given by the page. Another is through cohorts, where users are grouped based on their shared interests. Instead of focusing on individuals, marketing to a cohort looks at similar traits and allows you to tailor your marketing efforts to that group’s unique needs and preferences. 

No matter how you proceed as cookie tracking becomes less available, it’s crucial to have a system for collecting and managing data. This is where a customer relationship management (CRM) system comes into play. With a CRM you’ll be able to organize data, segment groups of customers based on their demographics, interests and purchase history and offer personalized experiences. With that in place, you’ll be able to build strong relationships and continue to offer targeted and personalized experiences in a privacy-focused future.

The current TikTok news is a reminder of why it’s important to diversify where you show up online. Brands that continue to show up on one platform run the risk of their business being controlled by external companies and laws. While social media can be an important part of a marketing strategy and even a huge money maker, it’s important to show up on the channels you own. You’ll never lose access to the website you create and the email subscribers you’ve grown.

If you have any questions about these topics or would like support in implementing these trends in your marketing strategy, we’re here to help. We’re committed to helping you effortlessly navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape.

We’d love to hear from you! Reach out to us today to explore how working with Right Relations can help you stay ahead of the curve and bring joy back to your marketing efforts.

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