February Right Now Report

It can be daunting to try and keep up with new trends, updates and best practices. At Right Relations we are the marketing experts so you don’t have to be. We created the Right Now Report to give you the high-level updates you need without the unnecessary clutter.

In the February Right Now Report, we’re covering the ins and outs of User-generated content, how to foster authenticity in your marketing and what Yahoo and Google’s new email requirements mean for you.


User-generated content is here to stay


As customers are looking for more transparency, businesses are leaning toward User-Generated Content (UGC), a trend that holds significant power in changing digital marketing. UGC is any content that is created by consumers (or users), not by brands or businesses themselves. This can take many forms including tutorials, reviews, podcast mentions and more. The point of the content is that it offers more of a human connection to a product enticing people to buy.

Brands are leveraging this content because it feels real and relatable and demonstrates social proof to potential consumers. Any UGC partnerships need to align with your company or brand values. Even if you’re not ready to start sending influencers unboxing videos, there are small ways you can incorporate UGC into your marketing strategy. You could run contests on your social media channels, you could reach out to a customer who tagged you in a review or other posting and get permission to use that in your content or you can engage in conversations about your brand.

As with anything, make sure you check with any terms and conditions on the platforms you use and follow local laws and regulations.

Authenticity is the way forward 
Have you noticed that there’s a deeper desire for authenticity? Even Merriam-Webster named “authentic” as their word of the year in 2023. In marketing especially people are craving a sense of genuineness. There are a range of reasons we’re looking for authenticity: information overload, erosion of trust toward businesses and a clear desire for human connection.  How does this relate to marketing? Make sure that you’re being truly authentic, not just pretending for the sake of sales. You can do this by staying consistent and knowing your “why.”

Ask yourself: 

  • What does our brand stand for?
  • What are our core beliefs? 
  • How do we want to support our customers?
  • What communication styles feel best to us? 

By using these questions as your guide to clarifying who you are, it’ll be that much easier to embody sincerity. Along those same lines, don’t be afraid to let your human side show. You can do this by incorporating storytelling that’ll resonate with your audience and by engaging with your customers. You should also make an effort to listen to them and respond to their feedback.

Looking for inspiration? Think of some of your favorite products, do any of them have messaging that particularly resonates with you? One that comes to mind is Bombas socks. They’re incredibly clear in the mission that they want customers to be comfortable with the added benefit of helping people in need. For each sock purchased, one is donated (this is not sponsored). While none of the Right Relations team has purchased any of their products, we are inspired by them because their marketing is authentic and memorable.

Find your messaging that will stick with the right people. Lean into who your brand is and show that authenticity. You’ll build trust, invite loyalty and make a bigger impact than you would otherwise.

Email is getting more strict 

As of February 1, 2024, Yahoo and Google are putting in place stricter authentication requirements to lessen spam and phishing. The end goal for email users is that their inboxes will have more legitimate emails and fewer emails that put people at security risk.

These authentication requirements primarily target “bulk email senders” which is anyone who sends over 5,000 emails daily to Gmail and Yahoo accounts. This likely isn’t the case for many small or medium-sized institutions, but we recommend that all email senders meet these requirements as new best practices moving forward. 

While these requirements involve a lot of acronyms that can be a bit confusing, there is no need to stress! We have created a detailed breakdown on our blog with tips and resources on how to navigate this new requirement.

Other updates we’re watching:

As of January 31, TikTok will no longer have access to Universal Music Group (UMG) music. A breakdown in discussions around licensing removed approximately 3 million recordings and 4 million compositions from UMG will be removed from TikTok. The discussions include UMG’s warning of AI replacing human artists and their concerns for fair pay, while TikTok shared their support for artists and criticized UMG for leaving the platform that has been influential in new talent being discovered. Users must continue to adhere to TikTok’s guidelines around music and follow copyright laws. 

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

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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