Artificial intelligence (AI), influencer marketing, and personalization are surely the foundation of marketing. But most brands have difficulty standing out when their competitors are pursuing similar strategies.

There are however emerging practices that can give companies an edge if they execute well. For example, voice-based ads are becoming a thing, as millions of consumers turn to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana for help.

Here are four innovative ways of promoting products that rivals may not be utilizing just yet

1. Advertising Through Smart Devices

One in five (21%) American adults (18+) own a smart speaker, according to a Dec. 2018 NPR survey. Moreover, there'll be 833 million shipments worldwide of smart-home devices in 2019, representing 27% growth from last year, per IDC.

Amazon now has an ad-supported version of Amazon Music for Echo users. Owners of Google Home also have an ad-supported version of YouTube Music. Similarly, Pandora is letting advertisers target various devices including Echo, Home, gaming consoles, and smart TVs.

Brands should watch for new marketing opportunities on smart devices. According to Google, 52% of owners of smart speakers want to hear about deals and promotions. And why not? Consumers can shop by talking to gadgets, without ever leaving the couch.

2. Optimizing Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing is about getting a user to take a specific action on a platform.

"Marketers and website owners must keep testing to improve conversion rates," says Gustavo Geraldes, founder of Sendii, a SMS and voice communication marketing platform. "Whomever tests the most, wins. Marketers can conduct multivariate tests on a website via tools such as vwo.com."

Geraldes was awarded for becoming a Fluent seven-figure a month member -- earning the most commissions in the first year of any Max Bounty affiliate. He says it's important for marketers to always come up with unique angles and put themselves in the shoes of the consumer, testing every minor detail to boost conversion rates.

"You can split-test things as simple as the copy, position, or color of your call-to-action button. The smallest details can significantly improve conversion rates," says Geraldes. "Copywriting is also king. Create a message that seems personal, and that triggers an emotion. The message should solve a problem, as well as shows urgency, value, and social proof. It should also be authentic."

3. Promoting Via Chatbots

Chatbots help customers 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. And they're quite intelligent, thanks to AI.

According to a 2018 survey by Spiceworks, 40% of large companies will deploy intelligent assistants or chatbots in 2019. These can reduce customer-support costs by 30%, according to Chatbots Magazine.

When creating messages, Geraldes says it pays to be unique. "Don't just copy what you see working. Model what you see working and improve upon it. It's more work to be unique, but going the extra yard always yields better results."

Secondly, does your brand know SEO for voice searches? When creating content, it's best to keep it conversational and clear. With voice tech, write the way you'd talk.

A 2017 Google study found that 41% of owners of smart speakers say it feels like talking to a friend or another person.

4. Tapping Micro-Influencers

Thanks to Generation Z, hiring celebrities as promoters isn't an automatic winning game plan. Gen Z likes authenticity and socially responsible businesses. Therefore, more brands are tapping micro-influencers to improve their brand health.

There are two advantages: Micro-influencers are convincing for many reasons. They're also cheaper.

Consumers appreciate honesty. If your company sells baby products, it may be more beneficial to work with mothers who have decent followings on YouTube and Instagram. Anyone who resonates with your target audience should be a potential micro brand ambassador