Looking back 2021: Come together for a punch, a pastry, and a look back and forward.

Looking back 2021: Come together for a punch, a pastry, and a look back and forward.

Looking back 2021: Come together for a punch, a pastry, and a look back and forward. 1920 1322 Melanie Krug

Much has moved us this year, but five topics remain in our minds. They will also accompany us into the next year. First of all: Of course we have learned a lot this year. We’d like to share some of what we’ve learned or reaffirmed today, in the form of entertaining reviews and concrete suggestions for a good start to your own, hopefully great, year 2022.

So, let’s get started…

1. Marketing as TikTok? That works!

Even in 2021, it was not always easy to get in touch face-to-face. The eternal (and unfortunately understandable) back and forth actually made long-term planning of meetings impossible. Not ideal – on the other hand, the best ideas often arise when – due to external circumstances – you are virtually forced to think of alternatives. And that’s exactly what we did. With our short video formats, the snackinars, we have established a high-reach format in 2021 that focuses on people. We talk with customers, colleagues, and luminaries about current marketing topics in a noncommittal and casual way. This form of knowledge transfer is obviously not only great fun for the participants, but also for the viewers. It’s a bit reminiscent of TikTok – short posts, quick and easy to consume – and the essence always sticks. In fact, this format works as well as hoped – which encourages us to continue on this path in 2022.

Moving or still image: Which is more successful?

Let’s take off the poker face for a few lines and take a look at our cards: When it comes to advertising for marketing, we’ve had to conclude that videos don’t necessarily perform better than classic image ads when it comes to paid social media ads. The click-through rate (CTR) is not very different. It remains to be seen whether moving images do not have a longer lasting effect than static subjects. We will continue to monitor this and perhaps take it up in one of our next blog posts.

For take away:

If there is one tip to give to the reader, it is this: Adapt the possibilities of new media to their fullest extent. Your customers have had a lot of time to click through new formats in the last two years. They’re diversifying their sources, and that’s exactly what we should be paying attention to. That’s why: Get creative. Take heart: we’re all in the same boat, and we’re not all famous personalities. Authenticity is a great likeability driver. Although video contributions should be realized with commitment and engagement, it doesn’t always have to be the professional studio with cameramen, make-up artists and everything that goes with it. The focus is on the story, the contribution, the content.

And one more tip: If you are thinking about moving image contributions for 2022, it is best to create a simple, content-related and visual standard. This ensures a high recognition effect with your target group.



2. PR creates reach and awareness.

Be honest: If you are not one of the top 100 companies in Germany, press relations are probably not one of your marketing priorities. It’s a shame, really, because there is enormous potential here to position yourself. Working with recognized trade magazines creates trust and credibility – editorial offices make judgments in the interest of their readers to a certain extent. If it has substance, it may be worth publishing. Cloudbridge has also increased its collaboration with professional PR experts – and has already achieved impressive clippings with placements in marketing Börse, W&V, marconomy, Horizont, iBusiness, t3n and OnlineMarketing.de.

For take away:

Press relations work. Unfortunately, it is often totally underrepresented. We recommend a considered combination of classic marketing for good, promotional storytelling, complemented by targeted, professional PR work to dive specifically into factual issues. Beyond attention-grabbing images. For PR work, cooperation with experts is absolutely recommended – they have the relevant press contacts and can assess which articles will meet with the interest of specialist editors.

3. Sales and Marketing becomes SMARKETING!

We keep telling customers – and doing it ourselves. Sales and marketing need to work much more closely together than many companies currently do. Thanks to good and smooth collaboration between sales and marketing, Cloudbridge’s inbound marketing achieved an extremely good ROI in 2021. The basis for this was laid by jointly developed focal points, activities coordinated with all those involved, and a binding lead management process with clear responsibilities and quality criteria. In day-to-day business, regular trust-based coordination and discussions of the leads and the nurturing process ensure continuous improvement of the results. Admittedly, this sounds a lot like marketing – but that’s exactly what it’s all about.

For take away:

Unleash the full potential of your organization! Bring sales and marketing together! Invest in structural cooperation between the areas, perhaps within the framework of competence teams or departmental sponsorships. This will increase the power of your sales engine by a lot. These measures are easy and quick to implement. With a targeted OKR, you keep the teams on track and have a transparent view of what has been achieved at all times.

4. Content is King.

Also a classic. More topical than ever. Content is king. And the king is still sitting firmly on his throne. As you would expect, the consumption of target group-specific content has increased exponentially in the last two years. The Cloudbridge Marketing Automation Report 2021 also shows this.

What makes good content in 2021? Well, first and foremost, it has to fit the target audience. And it has to break down a relevant topic in a pointed way, it has to clarify why and how demand and supply come together. This is usually not done with just a print piece, social media post, mailing, etc. It’s not just the creation of content that should be done with care – prudent planning is just as important: choosing the right topics and posts in the right formats will determine success. This year, we have also invested heavily in content and offered our readers exciting content again and again throughout the year. Our article on lead management was among the most read this year. From the same category are the articles on Content Creation and Digital Sales. Account Based Marketing (ABM) is also on the agenda of many companies and is a very “hot” topic. Discussions with customers and industry experts suggest that these top topics will continue to accompany our customers and us in the coming year.



Form follows function follows form and so on…

We have already mentioned the topic of new formats above. Here, there is clearly a trend towards innovative formats. No wonder: two years of presentations on teams, zoom, web metrics and the like leave their mark. We too have tried alternative and creative formats. Some, e.g. Foleon, will also accompany us in 2022. The interactivity motivates users to read, videos can be easily integrated, adjustments can be made quickly and in real time, and reader activity can be easily measured and evaluated.

Pictures say more than a thousand words.

No, this is not about the cute dog or the little child on the flower meadow – by pictures we mean qualitative infographics. Precisely because more and more is being published on increasingly complex topics, the subject of infographics is gaining enormous importance. There are already for some time own training branches in this area. The breakdown of complicated issues in easily accessible graphics has experienced a huge boost. Numbers, data, facts can be captured quickly and clearly. Connections become recognizable and chains of events clear. Therefore: If it is about more (and better) content, then in the future please with more and better infographics.

For take away:

From this section, let’s pack three more things into the suitcase for the turn of the year: First, a tip for agile content planning: Set a content line for the year, but stay agile during the year. Check regularly to see if your topics are getting the response you want, preferably monthly. This also allows you to incorporate current topics and trends. The pointed combination of strategy and agility makes the success. Even if it’s going to be a bit tight in our case, two protagonists are absolutely essential: the right copywriter for your industry and the smart infographic artist who can present your topics to the point. These resources are not always easy to find. It sounds like clumsy advertising, but that’s exactly how it is: If you know such people in your network, you can strengthen the relationship and secure the required capacities in good time.

5. Social selling works – still and again and again…

Last but not least, the last two years (and 2021 in particular) have shown how well social media still works. With the right strategy of exciting and creative content offers, organic and paid ads, involvement of all employees (like, comment, share), a very powerful social selling can be built. We are convinced that much of the social media momentum will be maintained in the coming year.

For take away:

If you still don’t have a social selling strategy in place now, you should make it one of your top priorities for 2022. Many of last year’s best practices presented today hang on it. Content, creativity, fast, targeted exchange, and “direct” conversation: the relevance of business networks for initiating contacts will continue to grow.

And 2022? Will it be business as usual or will everything be different?

Exactly. In 2022, it will continue with innovations and exciting content. Speaking of which: One topic will perhaps influence communications in 2022 even more than “digitization” has done in the past 10 years: Sustainability. We are already hearing from customers that this topic is spreading at the speed of light into all areas of the company. And that is good and also right! In the coming year, we will focus more on ensuring that marketing also makes its contribution to sustainability. Not just with fine words, but very specifically in the three sustainability dimensions of ecology, social responsibility and economy.

With this in mind, stay curious. Stay with us. And please: Stay healthy.

The Cloudbridge team wishes you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.