5 Surprising Digital Trends to Embrace in 2022 as a Small Business

May 20, 2022

Eloise Boissevain

May 20, 2022

We've discovered these 5 surprising digital trends that will act as force multipliers of digital business and innovation over the next year. Here’s your quick and handy guide on what the trends are and why they’re valuable to you as a small business owner.

Digital Trend 1: Upskill your employees in digital skills

As brands and businesses hope to engage, promote and convert leads successfully online, the need for digital expertise across a wide range of industries is growing.

“Since the pandemic started, companies are fast-tracking their embrace of digital technologies,” said Gianni Giacomelli, chief innovation officer at business transformation firm Genpact, and head of innovation design at MIT’s Collective Intelligence Design Lab. “They are enabling people to learn wherever they are, whenever they want, on any device.”

But a lot of these brands are struggling to find the talent needed. That’s why a top agenda point for businesses in 2022 is to upskill staff.

If your employees in-house need more specialised training, there are things you can do. 

For example, you can book them in for seminars and courses or hire agencies like us to provide one on one coaching and training that you can apply straight away to necessary parts of your business. 

Upskilling employees in digital technologies

Takeaway: Empower your staff through effective training to enhance their capacity and provide exceptional work in the digital arena.

Digital Trend 2: Improve customer service & conversations with customers

This is a huge one! Many businesses that have been successful throughout the past two years of the pandemic have taken a growth approach vs. a cost savings approach. Two of these growth strategies have been to:

1. Invest in technology automation to improve their customer's experience

2. Improve empathetic customer service to provide human connection and face-to-face interactions with those who were isolated from the brick and mortar aspect of the businesses as they transitioned online.

Customer service for small businesses

The bottom line is that your consumers and clients are hungry for information and personalisation, whether it be through social media, a client-portal or on a live chat. The desire for answers has seen conversational digital marketing grow as a way to engage these customers.

This also means remembering and utilizing personal information, such as location, preferences, shopping history and providing tailored recommendations based on that information. 

Takeaway: Use your existing e-commerce data to provide personalised recommendations for repeat customers and use your online reviews to improve your customer service and trust. 

Digital Trend 3: Focus on First Party Data through Google Analytics

Digital sectors have known for a long time about the planned demise of the third-party cookie in 2022. Google decided to move away from gathering this data due to privacy concerns and issues where the customer’s online activities were being tracked without them knowing what businesses were doing with their data. 

This means businesses using Google need to find alternative ways to identify and target customers. The answer? Increasing revenue with a first-party data strategy. First-party data is unlike third-party data that is often available to many different companies. It's unique data that you own and collect with direct consent from consumers. This can include...

- Data collected through interactions on apps and websites
- Responses to marketing initiatives
- Data input from email sign-ups for newsletters and email direct marketing
- Loyalty and subscription programs
First party data through Google Analytics

How can you utilise this first party data? We recommend starting with providing tailored content to your clients through your marketing emails, social media platforms and website blogs.  

Takeaway: Use your data collected first hand from your consumers to direct your marketing and target strategies 

Digital Trend 4: Ranking organic content on Google 

For most businesses, Google search is the main place to get your content seen by customers. Securing a place on Google’s first search page or even better, ranking in the top spot, means that millions of eyes could potentially see your brand. 

Ranking organic content on google

The great news is, this doesn’t involve hundreds or thousands of wasted dollars in digital advertising that may not get you a tangible ROI. It's virtually free and one of the best ways to get your website working effectively for you behind the scenes.

You can quickly check your website's SEO ranking at a free online checker (we like this one). Chances are, if the health of your website's SEO is poor then your website copy and structure may need some work or even a complete revamp.

Click here to book a free strategy call to see how we can help you in this area!

Takeaway: Don't miss out on potentially millions of people coming across your website by neglecting your website SEO.

Digital Trend 5: Videos at all stages of the customer journey within your small business 

In 2021, many businesses started using videos throughout the customer journey from start to finish. This allowed these companies to invite their clients and customers closer to their brand or services by offering them education, assistance, information and even entertainment. 

Once your customer has engaged with your business, video can serve as a great tool for providing assistance from afar and easing the burden on your customer service personnel. 

Using QR codes to connect customers to a video tutorial or more information about a product is a great way to encourage engagement. 

A great way to showcase their brand personality, built trust with your site visitors or provide your clients with a memorable experience.

Client videos for internal processes
Takeaway: Use simple but engaging videos throughout your customer journey on your website to provide assistance, education, information and ease burden on your customer service team members.

We hope this guide motivated you to jump on board with some of these trending digital solutions this year!

Did you know Simplypress offers online training and consultation for small business owners and their employees? Have a chat with us to find out more...