Successful marketing used to be about getting in front of the right audience with the right message at the right time. However, with so many things competing for your customers’ attention, it has now become more important than ever not only to reach them, but also to boost their engagement with your brand.

Here are seven killer marketing strategies that will help you generate more sales, better engage customers, and establish your company as a leader in your niche.

1. Strong branding and high-quality marketing collateral

It is important that you do a better job of explaining the features, benefits, and advantages of your products and services than your competitors do with theirs. Ideally, you should do an audit of your brand and marketing collateral every six months, particularly in your most profitable marketing channels. Look for opportunities to update your collateral and edge out your competitors. One great way to start is to do an online search of the key words or phrases that people use to find your products and services. Analyze the top 10 to 20 search results. Do your competitors have better promotional videos on their websites? Do they have clearer paths of engagement for website visitors? Do they have more social proof such as testimonials, endorsements, case studies, media appearances, and social network engagement? These are some of the things your customers look for to determine whether or not you will win their business.

2. Video

One way to significantly increase your sales, engagement, search engine rankings, and trust in your company’s brand is through video. Most people today would rather watch a video than read text. You gain an edge over your competitors by investing in videos that explain and promote your products and services, offer testimonials from customers, and provide relevant details about your company’s background and capacity to deliver the solutions it provides.

3. Virtual event marketing

Virtual events like webinars, teleseminars, and Google Hangouts can be a great way to demonstrate your industry leadership as well as to educate and engage prospects, customers, partners, and key influencers in your niche. Education-based marketing via virtual events is a highly effective way to transition people from free content to paid content, products, and services. They can also be an excellent way to grow your mailing list and generate leads for follow up.

4. Mobile

Mobile is another emerging area in which every business should be investing. Your first step is to make sure that you have a responsive or dedicated mobile website, so that your content is friendly for mobile devices. When you market your company through email or social media, many of your subscribers and followers are accessing that information on their mobile devices first. If they open an email or click on a link to your site that is not mobile friendly, you are likely to lose that visitor. Other significant opportunities for your company to attract and engage customers include mobile and local search engine optimization (SEO) and mobile apps.

5. SEO

A lot of people claim SEO is dead, which couldn’t be further from the truth. There are a number of opportunities for you to optimize your search engine presence beyond traditional website SEO. Search engine optimization can be done for videos, images, press releases, and products, and can also include Google authorship, which can add your headshot image to your website’s search results for increased branding and website traffic.

6. Press releases

Press releases are another powerful strategy for branding your company and getting attention from major media. An effective press-release strategy involves sending multiple press releases over time along with personal media follow up to the specific media where you would like to appear. The distribution service and industry targets that you choose to send your press releases to are also key. In general, you want to avoid free press-release services, as they are often ineffective and have limited distribution.

7. Social media

Most companies experience only a small fraction of the benefits that social media provides. Social networks offer the power of community and the ability to turn marketing messages viral quickly, especially if leveraged in conjunction with the previous six strategies. Social networks often charge you to market to your followers, so it is best to capture as many leads as possible from those networks and transition them to lists that you control.

Leverage these seven powerful strategies today and begin boosting your company’s sales, conversion rates, engagement, and bottom line.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of or Visa.
Published on: Aug 14, 2014