So, if you’re on the ball this 2024 you’ve likely got your marketing strategy all set out in the New Year. You’re sitting there, smile on your face, with your lists and awareness days all set out. But the smile begins to fade as you find you’re struggling to get those all-important conversions. If so, you may be making a couple of the mistakes below.

Fear not, they’re not as difficult to rectify as it may seem!


Focussing on Eyeballs Instead of Offers.

It can be frustrating when your reach is top notch and your website’s landing page are a glory to behold and yet, no one seems interested in buying what you’re selling. But here’s the thing, when you aren’t making sales, eyeballs aren’t the issue! Eyeballs can be bought – either through paid advertising, influencers, etc. In fact, utilising paid marketing alongside organic is a valid strategy and a necessity in today’s world. So, if it isn’t eyeballs, what’s the issue? Well, it’s very likely your messaging! When things start going wrong with your sales but not your reach and views, you’re probably not telling your customers what they want to hear. Think very carefully – what problem does your customer have, and what is your service or product offering to solve that problem?


Failing to Talk About your Customers (and Their Problems)

Let’s put it bluntly – your customers don’t care about your product. They care about how it makes their lives better.

When talking about your product or service, ensure you talk about how it can improve your customers’ lives. If it’s easier, frame it in a “Before” and “After” state. What was your customer’s life like “before” using your product, and how has their life been made easier “after” using your product? Keep this in mind when marketing your business – customers don’t pay for stuff, they pay for transformation – imply that transformation in your marketing.


Don’t ask for Major Commitments off the Bat!

Now you wouldn’t walk through your Tinder date’s door on the first day and ask for a marriage proposal, right? (We hope, but hey, we’re not judging!) Well, you should treat your customers in the same vein – like a relationship.

Look at your “Business to Customer” relationship as you would any human one. Start off small with the introductions, get to know their likes and dislikes, friend them on Facebook, you know the drill. Not only will this foster a more long-term and loyal relationship, but you’ll also prevent running the risk of scaring them off in the first instant, and perhaps have them running back for more instead. After all, who doesn’t love the one who plays hard-to-get?


Being Unwilling to Pay for Traffic

Once upon a time, when Twitter still existed and TikTok was better known as, good SEO and organic content were enough to get you those all-important conversions. Of course, they still are, but you may find yourself hitting a wall eventually. (Unless you plan on going viral, but let’s be honest, that isn’t a strategy.) In the current climate of paid verification and perhaps in the future, paid social media altogether, paying for traffic is vital. Not only is paid traffic more reliable, but it can be used strategically too. You can funnel it into offers, reach, engagement – whichever takes your fancy, to boost the areas of your marketing that need a little help!


Being Product-Centric

We all know that you’re here to sell something, that doesn’t need saying, but being too product-focussed in your marketing can actually be harmful in selling that product. A product does not a business make!

What you need to be doing is asking yourself this: who does your product or service serve? And this answer may very well link back to the “Before” and “After” states you’re hopefully now thinking about. Basically, create products your customers want and need, not the other way around. Cater to their problems and solutions, their wants, and desires and include these things in your marketing.


Tracking the Wrong Metrics

At the end of the day, reach is more important than likes. Likes make us feel good of course, but because of that they’ve earned the name “vanity metrics.” What this means is, whilst they’re nice, they’re not always a good indicator of how successful a post is. One like may have 200 views for example, which means 200 potential conversions, not one. Comments and shares are also more valuable, as they give you an opportunity to engage with your customers, vital for building and discovering those all-important relationships.

So next time you get sad about the five whole likes on your post, consider other metrics instead.


Building Assets on Others’ Land

Focussing 100% of your attention on one aspect of marketing is dangerous, especially when it’s ruled by someone else. For example, spending all of your time marketing on social media can be risky, as what happens should it say, disappear? Things can change in these places, and you won’t have control over those changes.

Whilst you of course should be present on social media, spend time focussing on assets that you actually own and can control too. Email newsletters, forums of your making, your website. Treat social media as a conversion tool, a way to introduce yourself to new audiences and build relationships instead!


Quantity over Quality

The internet doesn’t need more pointless content about the best cheese to shove in your air fryer (or does it. Hm.) The internet needs more remarkable and unique content. We’re blasted with so much pointless articles, blogs, and reels day in day out, that standing out is how to get ahead. So, instead of say, writing ten more blogs, why not focus ten times more effort on one? Then, invest in getting eyeballs on that blog to stand out and contribute something valuable.


Not Aligning Sales and Marketing Goals

Although people love to imply that us marketing folk are the sleazy guys at the used car garages, smacking the bonnet of that dodgy looking 53 reg fiesta, we’re not. They’re downstairs in the other department, and sometimes we fall out when our goals don’t align. But they have to. Marketing is essentially awareness building, which in turn and if done well, produces leads. It is then down to the sales team to close those leads and utilise those all-important conversions. As a small business, you’ll likely be both, so ensure those two hats get along or you’ll find your customer experience suffering as a result. After all, that is the most important part, so if it suffers, so does your business.


Allowing “Shiny Objects” to Distract You

I’m sorry to say, you’re not a magpie and therefore, that shiny new looking plug-in should not distract you from being a good businessperson. Digital marketing is more about the marketing than the digital, so don’t allow all the new things to distract you from being a good marketing person. In fact, off the bat, ignore them altogether. What you need to do is focus on what already works – after all if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Remember, because we’re online, nothing you do is permanent and can be changed, so don’t rush, you can always utilise it later. (Just a handy existential anecdote to keep in mind.) If you find you like that new social media platform after a week or two, hop on and see what all the fuss is about! See a trend kicking off and find it does suit your business strategy? Grab onto the back of that bandwagon! But don’t rush, keep at it, and remain consistent.

And no, you’re not getting a salute-