Digital trends 2022
If you're reading this, you're probably curious about what the "next big thing" is within digital marketing, digital design or digital innovation. Anno 2022, as an entrepreneur, marketing manager or IT manager, you are dealing with an ever-changing environment. You constantly ask yourself; what developments are there? How do I apply developments in my digital strategy and digital products? And how do I ensure that this is implemented cost-effectively?
Not to worry, in this article we will take you through 22 developments we see within digital marketing, digital design and digital innovation. We hear you thinking; are there only 22 developments then? No! Developments such as applications of 3D elements within the web and mobile first marketing will also be woven into this article.
To get you started, for each trend we give you practical tools to apply the development within your organization.
On to 2022!
1. Voice search
The very first trend is (how could it be otherwise) about voice search. The days when the whole world first goes to google.com or duckduckgo.com for a search will be history in 2021. More and more, we will talk to our voice assistant and expect the best answer to move forward.
To become more findable and have your digital platform come up in voice search, we offer the following tips:
- Implement structured data.
- Write content in "question-answer" style.
- Set up an FAQ.
- Ensure a short page load time.
- Optimize "nearby" search.
2. User generated content
User-generated content is content provided by users of a particular application. This content fills the medium in question and, in turn, allows other users to see and use this information. User-generated content platforms offer plenty of opportunities for applying conversion optimization to your platform. This is because, for example, consumers trust a review from other consumers more than from the brand itself.
To apply user-generated content to your digital platform, we offer the following tips:
- Take advantage of customer reviews and experiences posted by consumers.
- Share consumer-generated photos and videos on social media.
- Set up a forum where consumers can interactively ask and answer each other's questions.
- Develop a customer portal to offer your customers additional service and increase interaction.
3. Social commerce
In 2021, 87.6% of the Dutch use the Internet daily and 68.8% participate in a social network. Recently, several social media channels have started to develop additional functions. One of those functions is social commerce, selling products through social media channels. The Dutch are spending more and more time on social media and no longer use these platforms only for sharing with family and friends.
Social commerce creates more interaction with consumers. The targeting capabilities increase the chances of reaching the right audience and you also receive feedback from the target audience directly.
More and more entrepreneurs are deploying social commerce in addition to e-commerce, the original webshop. To also use social commerce to expand your sales channels, we give you the following tips:
- Target your audience with social media ads.
- Engage the target audience on social media to obtain actionable feedback.
- Make sure your product stands out when the target audience scrolls through the feed.
4. Micro-influencer marketing
An accessible way to still use an influencer? Then consider micro-influencer marketing. These are influencers with a relatively small number of followers, usually between 5,000 and 100,000. The difference with macro-influencers is not only the number of followers, also the followers of micro-influencers are not necessarily interested in the lives of these influencers, but rather in the expertise or passion of these influencers. Here you can think of health, food, art or gadgets, for example.
Using micro-influencer marketing gives you the opportunity to increase your reach to a specific target audience. To also use micro-influencer marketing to increase your reach, we give you the following tips:
- Look for a micro-influencer with a passion or expertise appropriate to your industry and organization.
- Come up with content that gets followers excited, don't go for a standard ad but try to inform and inspire.
- Choose a micro-influencer who communicates with followers to create more engagement.
5. Live video & audio
Video streaming has quickly become the most normal thing in the world. The prospect is that this will continue to grow significantly in the coming years. Users of online channels have a strong preference for video. Research shows that by 2021, nearly half of those surveyed watch 5 or more videos per day. In 2018, this was still 44%.By far the most videos are still watched on YouTube (67%). After YouTube, Facebook (26%) is the social media platform for video. Video and audio streaming is easy for entrepreneurs to start with because all the channels and tools are already available. This ensures that more and more entrepreneurs are implementing live video and audio in their marketing strategy.
After broadcasting a live video, you can share it immediately afterwards on social media channels or the website, for example. Video is ideal content for attracting visitors. To become better findable through search engines, structured data can also be applied to video. Google offers two new methods for this; Seek markup and Clip markup. You then add structured elements to the html code so that search engines can better understand the content.
To make the most of live video and audio as well, we give you the following tips:
- Before streaming, think about what information your target audience needs.
- Record live video and audio so you can post it on various channels afterwards.
- Implement video structured data (Clip markup and Seek markup).
6. Headless CMS
By 2021, headless CMSs (Content Management System) have taken off. Headless CMS separates the front-end from the back-end of an application, website or web shop. With a standard CMS such as WordPress, this distinction is not made. The advantage of a headless CMS is the freedom you get in terms of (UX) design. A headless CMS is a central content hub that allows you to display content on the right platform via the API (back-end). This way, you are not stuck with a standard theme, but you are flexible when it comes to the design and via which front-end you want to display the content.
A headless CMS gives a lot of freedom as well as many possibilities for website design. To develop your website with a headless CMS, we give you the following tips:
- A headless CMS is especially suitable for companies with multiple channels on which content is shared, not just a website but also a number of applications, for example. A headless CMS allows you to manage content in one place and share it from there on the various platforms.
- Headless is a convenient way to push content to different front-ends. It supports content that has no presentation markup and can be used and reused on any channel. You basically have a flexible platform for any touchpoint - web , mobile, IoT, smart TV, touchscreens."
The trend "personalization" has been in every article about trends related to digital for years. Personalization is an all-encompassing term to indicate adapting a website or App to the type of user. By using software that recognizes the visitor, it is possible to adapt content to suit that visitor.
Personalization is an indispensable factor for any Web site. For 78% of consumers, relevant personal information is a determining factor in their purchase decisions. To apply personalization yourself in your website or App, we give you the following tips:
- Automate the process.
- Collect data from your users.
- Analyze your user data.
- Set up a data processing system. Often your CRM is already sufficient.
- Put yourself in the audience's shoes and think about what content is appropriate for which user.
- Use the right personalization tools.
8. Google Analytics 4
At the end of 2020, Google launched its new version of Google Analytics: Google Analytics 4. Where expectations were high, Google Analytics 4 has yet to prove itself as the replacement for its predecessor in 2021. Because you cannot include historical data, it is difficult in practice to say goodbye to the older version.
Still, switching to GA4 also brings advantages. For example, it is easier to set up target groups and it is easier to specify which events should or should not be seen as conversions. GA4 is also more focused on machine learning and privacy. To also successfully switch to Google Analytics 4, we give you the following tips:
- Gain more overview in technical performance with all data in one view.
- Get insights with GA4 not only in website data, but also in app data.
- Set up target groups and define criteria that a target group must meet.
- Are you still using Universal Analytics? Then activate Google Analytics 4 and keep using both systems side by side for a while. That way, you can switch gradually.
- Do you use Google Tag Manager to measure searches on your website, which files are downloaded or scrolling behavior? That's no longer necessary because Google Analytics 4 measures these "events" by default.
9. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is yet another thrust from Google in its desire for ever more mobile-friendly websites. AMP promises a better user experience thanks to pages that load super fast, among other things.
A faster website can increase conversions. With AMP, you ensure that pages load faster and more fluidly. For implementing AMP, we give you the following tips:
- Use AMP for pages with lots and heavy content such as images and videos
- Test AMP pages by checking your Google Search Console for errors
- Deploy AMP when sending mailings so that a user can do actions directly from their mail
10. Digital accessibility
Digital accessibility means that everyone can use the possibilities offered by the Internet, computers and smartphones. Since July 2018, Dutch (government) organizations are required to comply with a number of established requirements. These requirements relate to the way websites and apps are designed and developed.
By meeting these requirements, you ensure an accessible website or application. To make your website more accessible as well, we offer the following tips:
- Consult the accessibility requirements. You can find these requirements at digitalgovernment.com.
- Research what requirements your website does not yet meet, or where improvements can be made. You can do this by monitoring your website yourself with tools such as Axe, LinkSidebar or SiteImprove. Annual testing of the digital accessibility of your website is also important. You can have this done by organizations like Accessibility Foundation or Waarmerk Drempelvrij.
11. Google's algorithm
The Internet is (too) full of information. To make it easy to find the most relevant information, Google's algorithm exists. With Google's algorithm, search results are personalized based on previous search behavior. The quality of the content determines the search result. That is, the better the quality of the content, the better it will be found.
To ensure that Google's algorithm can rank your website properly, we give you the following tips:
- Optimize your website in terms of SEO: provide relevant and quality content.
- Use unique content and avoid matching text on different pages, Google's algorithm sees pages with duplicate content as irrelevant.
12. Data visualization
Displaying data visually is an emerging trend. Knowledge sharing, and therefore data sharing, is becoming more common. When someone is looking for certain information, it can be difficult to get the most relevant information from all the available data. With data visualization, data can be displayed a lot more clearly. Also, a visual representation with the right colors and patterns ensures that you capture the visitor's attention.
If you want to share relevant data but find this too much information for a smooth text, try applying one of the following tips:
- Think about what information your target audience is looking for, what is relevant to share?
- Choose a visualization method that fits the information you want to convey. For example, go with a diagram, table, or opt for a complete dashboard.
13. Micro interactions
Micro interactions, a meaningful addition to your website and therefore an important trend. Micro interactions are visual responses or feedback to an action performed by the user. Even though micro interactions (as the name suggests) are small, they have a big impact on the user experience. Examples of micro interactions: an animation where a product actually disappears into a shopping cart, or the sound you hear when you send an e-mail.
To also enhance the user experience with micro interactions on your website, we offer the following tips:
- A micro interaction is feedback for the user, think about which actions require feedback.
- A micro interaction is meant to increase ease of use, make sure the user has to make a minimal effort as a trigger.
- Provide feedback to the user. For example, if the user submits a form and the micro interaction is a loading bar, also indicate when the form was successfully submitted.
14. Cookieless Era
Everyone knows it, the question of whether you want to accept cookies on a Web site. As marketers, we use these cookies to track user activity. We use all the data collected in this way to connect the website to the customer journey and to help our target group as well as possible. In 2022, cookies as we know them today will come to an end. This is due to privacy changes. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) ensures that around 80% of the data we get from cookies will be lost starting in 2022. For this reason, the Cookieless Era was born. A huge change in the field of digital marketing.
The Cookieless Era means that we are moving away from using cookies to monitor visitor activity and create our marketing strategy with them. From then on, data can only be collected in a direct way. For example, using a form that must be filled out to download an e-book. To make sure you get off to a good start in the Cookieless Era, we give you the following tips:
- Are you using Google Analytics? If so, switch to Google Analytics 4. GA4 is more focused on privacy (see trend number 8).
- Investigate possibly more privacy-friendly alternative for data collection such as Matomo.
- Do research on your target audience so you don't rely solely on data from cookies.
- Make use of forms, for example, send a newsletter or offer an e-book or discount.
- Use other data sources (such as your CRM) and find the combination with your Web data.
15. Dark mode
By 2021, "dark mode" has taken off in use. Dark mode reverses the colors on the screen, what is white becomes black. With a dark mode feature in your website or application, you give the visitor the ability to choose a mode of their own preference. Advantages of dark mode are saving battery and it is less tiring on your eyes. Dark mode is also called night mode in some cases. Because this mode is quieter for your eyes, it also less disturbs your sleep. In addition, dark mode allows you to focus longer when you are at work, for example.
To also unlock the dark mode feature for your users, we give you the following tips:
- Ask your website's web builder to build the dark mode feature into your existing website.
- With any new platform you are going to or have developed, make sure that dark mode is one of the requirements when building the platform.
Blockchain is a datastr ucture of transactions. The best-known application of blockchain is Bitcoin. Blockchain is a secure system in which all transactions are monitored and stored. The system makes it impossible for users to commit fraud by continuously making copies of the transactions. If there is an error in this, it is immediately recognized by the system and the transactions are stopped.
More and more organizations are deploying blockchain to securely share data with other organizations. To deploy blockchain as well, we offer the following tips:
- Read up on the possibilities and workings of blockchain and consider whether blockchain is right for your organization.
- Consider what process within your organization needs validation and is currently already handled digitally.
- Establish a structured plan for blockchain implementation and execution.
17. Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Robot-assisted process automation (RPA) is a technique for automating business processes. This is done using so-called software robots. RPA focuses on automation through the user interface, by mimicking the manual process. RPA observes the processes and then takes over tasks that recur repeatedly in the process.
RPA is becoming increasingly common in the IT industry. This is mainly because automation minimizes the chance of human error. Automation also provides more time for other tasks. To implement RPA in your organization as well, we give you the following tips:
- Use RPA primarily for internal processes that don't change much, if at all, such as help desk or CRM tasks.
- Set up an RPA robot only if you have knowledge of IT to avoid mistakes.
- The so-called robots can work with the same software you use within your organization; therefore, existing practices do not need to be changed, only automated.
18. Headless customer data platform (CDP).
The term headless purely means the decoupling of front-end and back-end. Earlier we talked about headless CMS systems. In these, content management (back-end) is decoupled from the website (front-end). This allows content to be centralized in one system and further development of the website independently.
Now headless customer data platform is also an emerging trend. This is a central data store that can be easily linked to various channels or platforms. This takes place from the cloud eliminating the need for a separate customer data platform (CDP) tool, "headless. Headless CDP collects all kinds of data related to customers and gives the ability to aggregate information from various sources into complex user cases.
To also implement headless CDP in your organization, we offer the following tips:
- Use a cloud platform already in use by the organization, for example, Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure.
- Use the headless CDP for marketing and sales purposes such as personalizing the customer journey and calculating sales forecasts.
19. Non-fungible tokens (NFT).
Collecting is of all times. Think stamps, Flippos, Pokémon cards or marbles. An emerging trend is digital collecting. This is done through non-fungible tokens, abbreviated as NFT. Linked to the blockchain, NFT allows people to turn digital products (for example, images) into unique collectibles and buy and sell them digitally. NFT is a way to link ownership to digital objects. Digital certificates are created that guarantee the authenticity and ownership of a digital product. These certificates are stored in the blockchain.
In 2017, the first gathering "hype" began with NFT. These were the CryptoKitties. A game in which one could collect and exchange virtual cats. Wired Magazine called this hype "the Pokémon cards of the Bitcoin era. NFT is not only suitable for collecting, it also allows creators and designers to sell their work in a fair way.
To get started with non-fungible tokens, too, we give you the following tips:
- Create an account on an NFT marketplace. For example, Open Sea, Rarible or SuperRare.
- Make sure all information is in the NFT token, from an image to the creation and description.
- Linking a digital product to the blockchain is not free. 'Gas' is paid for as a network fee.
20. Design systems
Companies are dealing with more and more digital products. Design systems help design these digital products and develop products such as apps or websites. More and more large companies are investing in design systems. The main reason for this is to ensure consistency in the look and feel of these products. With a design system, you can ensure that a corporate identity is consistently implemented in all digital products.
A design system consists of several reusable components. These components are coded and provide a standard for designers and developers. This makes it easy for designers and developers to work together to create and build consistent digital products.
To also create a consistent look across all your digital products, we offer the following tips:
- Get your organization's online identity right; this is the starting point for a design system.
- Once the basis of your corporate identity is implemented in the design system, you can continue to develop and add new elements into it.
- Use the design system as the foundation for the rest of the digital products your organization uses.
21. Behavior Driven Development
Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) is a way of programming that first describes behavior before actually programming. The method of BDD is especially suitable for teams consisting of different disciplines. Because development is not discussed directly in a technical way, but first from behavior, it is understandable for people without a technical background. The desired behavior is usually described with examples making it even more understandable.
To also develop applications efficiently with a composite team, we give you the following tips:
- Describe the desired behavior of the application user through clearly defined examples.
- Put the examples together to produce a clear user story that everyone can understand.
- Think of different scenarios so that the developer can develop the application in the best possible way.
22. Progressive web app
A Progressive Web App (PWA) is a Web application that features functionality previously reserved for native desktop or mobile applications. This means that where previously there was a clear difference between an app or a website, this is now blurring. The PWA is one solution that can be used as either an app or a website. This PWA can be used directly through the browser, so there is no need to download an app. However, an app icon can be added on a mobile device. In addition, no updates are needed since the application is directly linked to the web.
We expect that with WebAssembly and WebGL, Web browsers will become the new shell on the basis of which all future applications will be developed where more and more will be streamed over the Web. In this respect, Google was ahead of its time.
If you are also considering developing a Progressive Web App, we offer the following tips:
- A PWA is findable through Google, make sure you have a strong SEO strategy that aligns with this PWA.
- Make sure your PWA is designed for mobile screens in every detail. A PWA can be used as a mobile app to receive notifications or work offline, for example.
A hefty list of as many as 22 digital trends. Some of these are already known to the wider public, and some may still be unknown. Some more surprising and exciting than others, but all are important for 2022. A common thread connecting many of these trends is the user of the Web site or other digital platform. Increasingly, the premise is to increase ease of use and protect privacy. There is also an increasing amount of personalization to a specific user.
Consistent online visibility and quality content are now more important than ever to differentiate yourself as a business. With more and more emerging channels and shifts in the use of existing channels, it is important to gain the best possible insight into your target audience. Who is your target audience and what are they looking for? Know 'how' your target group searches and where they can be found online. This way you will know which digital trends you need to keep up with in order to optimally use your digital platforms in 2022.
Digital solutions and strategies are increasingly an indispensable foundation for organizations and processes. BTTR makes digital solutions work for your organization. BTTR has the drive to create simplicity in complex issues, stimulating development and growth for our clients. In the multidisciplinary team, people are central. BTTR invests in development and collaboration. This is how BTTR makes your and our society ever more beautiful.Contact