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You've poured your heart and soul into starting a small business. You're passionate about the product or service you sell. However, no one else is going to be passionate about it if they haven't heard of your company. Look over these five marketing tips aimed at helping small businesses make big strides in sales.

Create a Useful App

Work with a developer to create an app that features your company's logo and ties to your company's website. Make sure the app provides a valuable service to your target audience, or risk having no one download the app. For example, a hair salon might offer an app that lets users upload a photograph and manipulate the hair style, cut, and color. If you offer a helpful tool that smartphone users embrace, they'll download the app and see your company's logo multiple times daily. That's a great way to maintain top-of-mind awareness.

Encourage Sharing

In a crowded marketplace, potential customers want to know that they'll get value for their money. That's one reason it's so important to develop a core group of advocates who tell others within their sphere of influence about their experiences with your business. One way to entice people to share about your company on social media platforms is to offer discounts for every friend they refer if that friend buys a product or service. One company that does this kind of incentive well is Zulily.

Use Email Distribution Lists

Cultivate an email distribution list that gives you direct access to the inboxes of people in your target audience. Create HTML emails to ensure your pitch has visual flare and an easy way for people to access your company's website. Offer email-only specials to encourage people to remain on your email list. Also use this list to preview product launches or to give sneak peeks exclusively via email.

Embrace Graffiti and Sandwich Board Marketing

Sandwich-Board-MarketingObviously, you shouldn't break the laws regarding actual graffiti. However, using green graffiti is legal and cheap. You can use moss or other resources found in nature to spell out your company's name in a high visibility area. If it's legal, use sidewalk chalk to direct people who may be walking near your business to come through your doors. Finally, set a sandwich board outside your front door to tout specials and entice people to come inside. These techniques are simple, cheap, and effective for drawing in local customers.

Let SEO Bring in Customers

When people want to buy something, they often begin by searching for the product online. Ensure your company's website comes up high in the search results by using SEO effectively. One approach is to incorporate search terms naturally into the content of your website. Another critical component is regularly updating your site with high quality content related to your business.

Effectively marketing your small business doesn't require a ton of cash. It does require thoughtful planning and execution. Bring more customers to your business by incorporating some or all of these tips.

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