If you’ve ever worked with a local business or tried running your own start-up, you know that small business marketing is a whole different game than the advertising done by executives at large firms. Small businesses face a greater challenge to stand out from the rest of the crowd, because there are so many companies trying to make it as the next big thing. Before you succeed, your company will have to find a way to differentiate itself from others that are offering similar products or services. Here are five tips for effective small business marketing that can really get you results.1. Express Your IndividualityYour unique qualities as a small business is your bestselling point, so this should be the primary focus of any advertising campaign you run. There are several ways to figure out your individualistic qualities. Start by looking to your business plan and determining how you’ve set yourself apart from competitors. You’re likely to already have a host of ideas about your own uniqueness, though, so try getting another opinion. Ask friends or family members to tell you what they think is different about your business than what other companies offer, or conduct a small market research group with anonymous individuals. Once you have an idea of how other people perceive your company, you can start to incorporate these images into tangible marketing plans for an ad campaign.2. Pay Attention to Your CustomersAlways listen to what your customers are telling you. See if there is a demand within your industry for a particular type of new product or an improvement to an old product. Ask people what they would like to see from your company, as well as what they like best about you. This will help you to focus your marketing around a customer’s needs and desires. The most successful marketing campaigns will strike an emotional chord with customers, helping them feel connected to your product and excited about your company.3. Use Alternative Forms of AdvertisingAs a small business, you can benefit greatly from using alternative advertising channels to market your products and services. Social media channels like Facebook or Twitter might be the perfect place to begin an advertising campaign, as it gives you a cost-effective place to test an ad for effectiveness. However, when you begin running your ad campaigns through these or other alternative channels, it’s important to find a way to measure the statistics. You can use an analytics tool to look at your traffic results before the ad and after, in order to see how much positive or negative impact it had. These tools are great for small businesses because they are low-risk and easy to use.4. Focus on the Things You’re Good AtSmall businesses are often tempted to fulfill every aspect of their marketing campaigns themselves in an effort to cut costs and to have control over the project. Unfortunately, customers can often see through these cut corners. When you’re working on things like web design or copywriting, consider outsourcing tasks that you have little experience with. A professional will be able to create something for you that will bring better results. Keep in mind that the cost will be well worth it if it’s something that will bring you more traffic and more sales, as it will pay for itself quickly.5. Create a Memorable BrandFinally, create a memorable brand for your business. This is one area where you have a distinct advantage over larger companies, as their brands are often established and static. With a small business, you have the opportunity to try out different branding ideas and test them with your customers in order to see what gets the best results. Your brand should be memorable, celebrating your individuality and highlighting how well you can serve your customers. With innovative small business marketing, your company could just become the next big thing.