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Charleston Business

Five Impactful Marketing Steps Every Business Owner Should Know

May 24, 2023 11:38AM ● By Leah Stoudenmire

For many business owners, marketing is a complex machine with too many moving parts that defy a one-size-fits-all approach. Marketing is always evolving in ways where once-proven tactics for your business become obsolete before you can say the word “meta,” while everyone you know seems to be raving about a new idea that guarantees success, also before you can say “meta.”

As someone who has spent more than 21 years in advertising and marketing with the last nine as the owner of my own agency, here are ways to develop distinctive, impactful marketing strategies that can establish your businesses as an industry leader – not a follower.

1. Define your target audience

Knowing who your ideal customer is and what they’re looking for is step one in creating a tailored marketing plan, which will resonate and cause them to take action. To determine your audience, you will need to analyze market research to gather core information about their demographics, interests, behavior, and buying habits. 

Understanding who uses your services and products and why allows you to create marketing that is relevant and helpful. You’ll be speaking their language and building trust with them.

2. A clear value proposition

What is a value proposition? This is the benefit that your products or services offer to your customers. This portion of marketing is less about what you can offer and more about your customer’s pain points and how your services solve them. By focusing on the benefits your audience receives, you’ll center your audience in your marketing efforts and create loyal consumers who feel valued, engaged, and listened to.

This value proposition should be displayed anywhere your customer is: your website, social media channels, and marketing materials. This centralized messaging will allow you to set yourself apart from your competitors.

3. Captivate through content

You know your audience, you have a clear value proposition, and now it’s time to create content that pulls in your people. There are multiple forms of content including blog posts, videos, infographics, and social media posts. Learning which forms of content your audience enjoys propels them to take action including engaging through shares, click, and comments.

Providing clarity and consistency through content can take many forms such as educational content that teaches something new, entertainment content invoking an emotion, or inspirational content to motivate.

4. Use multiple platforms

Knowing which platforms your audience uses through market research is essential to understanding your customers. This knowledge will allow you to determine which trends you can leverage and which ones don’t fit your brand. Your marketing plan will require a digital approach including social media, paid ads, and understanding how your website ranks in search engine results.

Many small businesses when first starting out try to use all the channels to broadcast to a larger audience. Unfortunately, this is a quick road to burnout. Instead, choose the channels that are the most effective for your customers and their goals. If your customers are most active on Instagram, the brunt of your campaigns and content should focus on impactful and educational posts, stories, or reels. 

Your marketing strategy should outline the channels you will use, the content you want to create, and don’t forget to track metrics and analytics to measure your success.

5. Analyze, measure, and optimize

The last step in your journey towards impactful marketing is measuring your campaigns and data. Weekly and monthly tracking of customer engagement, sales, and metrics will allow you to make changes as necessary based on the data you collect.

If you’re unfamiliar with metrics, these include the amount of website traffic, social media engagement (likes, shares, comments, saves), email open rate, and conversation rates. Tracking metrics will identify what portion of your marketing is working best and what needs improvement in the future.

Changing up your marketing and testing can look like trying out different content, targeting different audiences within your niche, or changing your messaging slightly – just as long as it stays true to your vision and mission.

For small businesses to survive (and thrive) in this new era, it all starts and ends with mindset. Push boundaries, embrace technology and intangible marketing, and reinvent processes that are outdated and not serving your company.

Leah Stoudenmire is the founder and CEO of The Rock It! Co., is a South Carolina-based marketing and event company serving brands and industries across the country since 2014. Learn more at