5 Headless CMS trends to watch in 2022

Breakthroughs are being made in the headless CMS space on a daily basis. One day it’s your new favorite feature, and the next day it’s so six months ago. Keeping up with all the latest trends can feel overwhelming. That’s why we reached out to our Premium Partners and asked them to share their insights on the future of the headless approach. Here are their predictions for this year.

Content management trends you can’t miss in 2022

Enterprise companies are adopting the Composable DXP approach

I think 2022 is the year Composable DXP—uniquely tailored solutions consisting of headless CMSs, CRMs, commerce, and any number of other API-capable products integrated together—will see broad adoption by larger enterprises. Compared to migrating to a traditional/monolithic DXP that aims to meet the majority of an organization’s needs via one vendor, the ability to augment their existing systems with the absolute best the market has to offer for every part of their MarTech Stack is extremely attractive. Especially when combined with the security, stability, and scalability benefits that technologies such as Jamstack or MACH have to offer.

Multichannel content is no longer stuff of the future

Multichannel, semantic content continues to be the theme for content management. Increasingly, we’re seeing organizations with these needs—the ability to publish content across multiple channels, ensuring that content is semantic and understandable across various devices, search engines, and other tools. What’s interesting in 2022 is the adoption. What used to be a “we should be thinking this way to future-proof our business” is now “we should be thinking this way to now-proof our business.” It’s exciting to see the past few years of ideas come to fruition.

Visual search is taking over the web

A major trend that will underpin all content strategies will be the importance of balancing between visual and textual content. Content marketers used to have a strong need for written content as that was the easiest way to rank high in Google, which is still one of the most important (starting) points in any customer journey.

As Google, Amazon, and Pinterest are getting better at matching the right answer with a visual search, content marketers need to take this into account and make sure that their visual content is on point for the new trend of visual search.

  • Davy Lowyck, Solution Lead & Dries De Kimpe, Content Strategist, The Reference

AI, agile solutions & collaboration are changing the game

The three key areas that we see our customers and the market looking at are:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) play a role in delivering increasingly intelligent content services. They allow for better content creation and management efficiencies and facilitate better content personalization through data management.
  2. Agile solutions are becoming increasingly crucial for digitally mature organizations that want best-of-breed services across their business. Headless CMSs play a significant role in this and allow for a Content-as-a-Service approach when architecting a solution.
  3. Collaboration and planning for content within an organization are now crucial, and solutions that can integrate this and deliver better workflow efficiencies will thrive.
  • Andrew Whitehead, Creative and Managing Director, Devotion

The significance of integrability is growing

I believe we’ll see more interplay and integration between Headless CMS, DAM, and ECS (Enterprise Content Services) offerings as these spaces continue to move in a composable, SaaS-based, API-first direction. Our conception of what constitutes a “document” continues to go away from the paper paradigm. It becomes less about file format and presentation mode and more about content, structure, and metadata. 

Low-Code/No-Code solutions allow editors to do much more than before

Low-Code/No-Code will get even more traction this year, therefore allowing/pushing the content editors/marketers to do even more than they could do before without development. The development will still be required, but the idea of this totally makes sense and seems like what people want more of. Being able to self-service and perform activities without the need for additional resources will be important.

Get ready for these challenges!

Content professionals have to become great listeners and observers

Laws, standards, language, and audience attitudes are in constant flux. When we engage in content operations, we are engaging in a conversation. To be great conversationalists, content practitioners must pay attention to how their conversations evolve and how to keep them on track or change the topic. More than ever, this requires us to be students of content, people, news, and data (i.e., become a great listener).

Your organization has to focus on customer data ethics

Users do want to have more control over the information they share. They certainly do not want to confirm cookies and reject notifications many times per day, but they still wish to see relevant content. So customer data ethics is one of the new things to be considered.

Organizations start to think about the carbon efficiency of reusable content

Making content easily accessible and reusable will be a common requirement. How content practitioners handle their content strategy will be essential for serving other channels like AI, VR, and voice assistants. Managing content changes and tools will also be important, so add-ons such as Kontent by Kentico’s Web Spotlight will be required even more for the webspace!

How much of their content will be efficient and serving third-party data from carbon-efficient platforms will be key as well. Having content-rich data that is recyclable will be important too, but keeping it up to date will be essential.

Measuring content efficiency will be even more critical

We can see increasing pressure on content creation and distribution efficiency these days. More workflows, performance measurement, and touchpoints served from one source await content practitioners. Although it sounds easy to understand, it introduces a new level of complexity to content creation and distribution.

How AI will impact content creation

AI-driven personalization will become a must-have for all organizations

While AI has been in use for some years now at the big end of town, such as social media and large e-commerce sites, it is now widely available to any savvy implementer via a range of commercial services. I think a lot of end-users don’t realize how much AI is already influencing their day-to-day consumer experience. The internet is already riddled with AI-assisted articles. I believe the same way Uber and others set a new bar for consumers’ expectations around User Experience, in the very near future, it’ll be a basic expectation that content production and consumption are touched at some level by AI-driven personalization—simple ‘static’ content will seem out of place.

Well-defined taxonomy and personas help create more meaningful content

It’s interesting; AI is what headless content was 4 to 5 years ago. We all are talking about it, ideating on it—but it’s still not become a reality for most organizations. Saying that, when we take the fancy, abstract idea of “AI” out of it and think more of it as data-driven relationships, it absolutely has an impact. Content with thoughtful taxonomy paired with personas and behavior patterns can help us create and surface meaningful content for our end-users. It means content producers are focused more on creating quality content paired with a strong taxonomy and leveraging user behavior to deliver the kinds of experiences users demand.

Content creators should not rely too heavily on AI

The impact of AI is vast; not only is it changing the way we’re creating content, but it’s also allowing users to curate better and filter what they’re reading. The use of AI to create content has to be carefully considered. Many marketers are using the power of AI to create content for their brands. While doing this can save time and automate tasks, there is much more to creating effective and engaging content than just selecting a topic, setting some preferences, and hitting the “generate” button. This is where humans come in and do the heavy strategic lifting.

  • Andrew Whitehead, Creative and Managing Director, Devotion

Headless CMS market: What to expect this year

DXPs are trying to match their headless CMS game

Businesses are more familiar with the headless meaning, which means they are going to be more advanced in selecting particular headless CMSs. Each vendor will have to up their game and provide greater enhancing features allowing for different requests and requirements from CMS users. It will also be interesting to see the advancements from the Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs) and other hybrid platforms compete for the headless CMS market. It’s essential to ensure the Headless CMS can guarantee that the platform and the data are faster and available to avoid downtime while making sure it is hosted more sustainably.

Standing out from the crowd

I expect that we will see steady growth in the market, increasing competition, and fracturing of market share. It will mean that vendors will also have to work hard to differentiate their offerings which will be a challenge if their platforms are viewed simply as content databases. The winners will be those who know their customers, right-size their offerings, and differentiate themselves with the right mix of planning, collaboration tools, and cross-channel engagement analytics.

The headless CMS market is innovating faster than ever

The headless CMS market as a whole will continue to grow. Customers will increasingly have to choose between:

  1. Established headless CMS vendors that will continue to innovate and grow their share
  2. Existing classic CMS vendors (with tons of experience) that are catching up
  3. New vendors with a fresh look on things that keep appearing—the list of headless CMS systems is getting longer and longer

We believe Kontent by Kentico is in a unique position to face these market evolutions, as it is all of the above.

The metaverse is coming: Is it the path to AR & VR mass adoption?

Growing slowly but surely

I do expect to see a continued pattern of growing adoption of AR and VR, although still at a relatively modest rate for the time being. The technology is ‘here’ for sure, but it’s still in its infancy compared to the monumental potential it holds. It will be hugely disruptive, but I don’t see it causing the demise of traditional web and mobile channels for the next couple of years anyway!

Content will always be king

It’s difficult to think users will completely go away from “Googling” questions they have or the content they want. It will probably be as common as delivering content to gaming consoles is now. Though I would anticipate a different way to interact with content within the traditional search engine/discovery model, I don’t see us adopting AR & VR for those types of services. Ultimately, brands will always need to provide content to their users. And users will always want to digest that.

In the years to come, it may be that we’re using glasses or our cars or our VR systems to fill this need. But the fundamental need to gather and disseminate content won’t change. We talk about futureproofing, and this is it. Let’s make sure your valuable asset of content can be available, digestible, and flexible to go to any system.

AR & VR is not here to replace traditional channels, but rather to expand possibilities

There is no doubt that AR and VR will see growing adoption, but it is unlikely that they will completely replace traditional channels such as web and mobile. Rather, the current traditional channels will likely be used in conjunction and augmented by AR and VR to create more immersive and engaging experiences for users. There are still a number of hurdles to take.

One of them is convincing businesses and consumers that the technology is worth the investment. There are still some concerns around cost, usability, and practicality that need to be addressed. Big players like Apple, Google, and Meta can help to drive mass adoption by making the technology more accessible and affordable. These companies have the budgets to promote the technology through their marketing channels and create compelling applications and experiences with their own hardware.

Wrapping it up!

It’s a brave new world out there, with all sorts of different platforms popping up to meet the demands of the growing online space. One of the biggest trends that have emerged during the past few years is undoubtedly the Composable DXP approach that helps businesses reduce friction and create a better customer experience.

Besides, with the rise of visual search, content marketers will need to find the right balance between visual and textual content, ensuring they are ready for this new search trend. What’s more, it also seems that organizations have started to think about the carbon efficiency of reusable content in order to reduce the carbon footprint.

Finally, although the metaverse has been a hot topic recently, it’s not taking over the market yet. We also expect that 2022 will be the year we will be one step closer to AR & VR adoption. The world of content management systems is never stagnant, but one thing is certain—high-quality content that speaks to your audience will always come first.

Written by Tereza Bruzkova

Posted: Tuesday 15 February 2022