The 3 Biggest Mistakes Top Marketers Make

Opinion: While marketers are becoming more efficient by using new technology, many are still making errors that cost them money

Even the best marketers make mistakes grinvalds/iStock

Even the best marketers make mistakes. And while marketers are becoming more efficient by using new technology, according to Salesforce’s State of Marketing study, many are still making errors that cost them money.

The study identified a number of areas of improvement, however, and I’ve outlined what we believe to be the three worst and most common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not using video outreach

Marketing experts put hours into crafting the perfect email campaign—be it deciding on what wording to use, which color or what subject heading will get the best response. But still, they continue to get a relatively poor response rate. The average open rate for business emails is between 14 percent and 23 percent. Getting a click-through is another task altogether.

The solution isn’t to put more time into these campaigns, but to find more efficient alternatives, so that each hour a marketer puts in delivers more tangible results. While consumers are becoming increasingly unreceptive to cold text-based emails, video continues to be a high engagement medium. 61 percent of businesses have already started using video content—66 percent of which were not using it a year ago—showing its rapid uptake.

While video not only gains a consumer’s attention—having a landing page video can increase conversions by 80 percent—it can also drive sales. Just creating a simple explainer video, for example, increases sales by an average of 20 percent.

The same principles apply directly to outreach. Swapping text content in emails for video can help make them stand out in an overflowing inbox—it’s what services like BombBomb do, for example. According to BombBomb, 81 percent of video content emails got more replies, 68 percent converted more leads and 56 percent led to referrals.

All in all, videos help to get the point across easier, save the customer time, are more likely to be shared and can greatly boost your search-engine optimization if they gain popularity.

Just using Facebook ads

Top marketers already know the power of Facebook ads. In fact, so much marketing content now goes through Facebook that it makes more than $1 billion per quarter in advertising revenue.

But top marketers shouldn’t stop at Facebook ads. To really make the most of their marketing spending and reach a larger audience, marketers should utilize the next generation of marketing tools to bring these ads to the next level. With these tools, they can improve their campaigns based on data rather than trial and error or gut instinct.

One such example is WordStream Social Ads, which is capable of analyzing Facebook ad campaigns and providing individualized recommendations, such as which audiences to target and how to optimize your ads so that marketers can be advised based on data analysis, rather than pure instinct, for example, on when it is worth spending money on boosting a post.

LikeAlyzer offers a similar function, but it focuses on comparing Facebook pages to their competitors’, partners and similar successful brands. If a marketer is not sure which pages they should be monitoring, the tool can recommend similar pages to keep an eye on.

Curaytor’s latest product, Curaytor Brain, is actually capable of pulling data from previously successful Facebook campaigns and sorting and filing it by performance, using factors like link clicks, cost per engagement, people reached, video views, likes, shares and comments. Users can then copy and paste the desired successful template into their own Facebook campaigns, replicating what has been proven to work in the past.

An increasing number of big marketing firms are heavily using Facebook ads, and this trend is only going to grow, with eMarketer predicting that Facebook’s U.S. display revenues will increase another 32 percent in 2017, capturing 39 percent of the total market.

If you are one of the marketers consistently upping your Facebook ad use—as most are—consider paying a few extra dollars per month to bring your Facebook marketing to the next level.

Not using a CRM

Any experienced marketer knows that the foundation for effective marketing is good data. “What gets measured gets managed,” famously said Peter Drucker, so get as much information on a company as you can to manage a campaign successfully.

Although the majority of companies now take a systematic, automated approach to acquiring data, about 10 percent of those with more than 11 employees continue operating without customer-relationship-management software. This is almost unforgivable. Using CRM software such as HubSpot means you can gain more information than ever, including new and increasingly valuable information databases such as Google and LinkedIn.

Project management CRMs can also help you manage tasks and keep all of your team on the same page. This results in increased overview, traceability and visibility for everyone involved. With a higher level of awareness, a team will also communicate more professionally with clients.

In addition to scraping data, CRMs can automate processes, meaning that marketing teams no longer need to send email after email and endlessly trawl the internet for contacts. CRMs take care of the majority of contact collection and outreach, for example, meaning that one can spend less time on administration and more on strategizing or following-up on marketing activities.

It seems that although most marketing companies are embracing technological solutions to make their practices easier and more efficient, some are still lagging behind on the latest software. So, if you currently do not use a CRM, have not embraced video outreach and do not use Facebook ad analysis software, you should strongly consider it for more effective marketing campaigns.

Chris Smith is co-founder of Facebook ad system Curaytor and author of USA Today best-seller The Conversion Code.