What Everyone Else is Doing in Marketing and What You Should Do Differently

06/23/2015 07:06 pm ET | Updated Jun 21, 2016

Trying to establish your brand as the leader among competitors can be daunting and dispiriting. Sure, you employ all the marketing tactics shared by other successful companies but is that enough to make you the innovator, the brand other brands come to for advice?

Image Credit: Flickr, Creative Commons: Mike and Annabel Beales

According to LegalZoom, when it comes to marketing and what companies spend per year, "The average allocation usually ranges between 9-12 percent of the annual budget." All companies are investing roughly the same amount in marketing, so how are you going to emerge as the top brand if you are employing the same strategies?

You need to find something that sets your business apart and makes it unique. So just how do you do this? You have already created a website, social media accounts and plenty of buzz. What else can you do?

Below are some ideas guaranteed to make you stand apart from the crowd:

  1. Don't Just Sell, Teach
  2. Ultimately you are selling something that you think your client will need. How does your service work? Why do they need your product? What about your service will make their lives better? When would your product be useful to them?

    According to William Craig, contributor, "Customers want context; they want to know about the product as it exists in the real world. They want to know which problems that product will solve, and what experts in the field think of its merits."

    One company that knows exactly what real-world problems their products will solve is EZ Forms, an enterprise productivity solution company. "Our vision is to reinvent core operational and administrative functions as we support our customers in building more efficient and innovative businesses, regardless of market or industry focus," says CEO Kurt Pimentel.

  3. Frequently Provide New Information

  4. Don't just let your website, social media, or emails run stagnant. Customers will get tired of the mundane and eventually stop reading when they notice the content is the same time and time again. "Something as simple as adding new information on your web site creates another selling opportunity when prospects and customers visit your site to see the new information," claims Bob Leduc, sales consultant and author..

  5. Listen to the Market

  6. The driving force behind any successful business is the demand for your product. Pay attention to current trends and be willing to change your product line up. According to best-selling author Paul B. Brownco-author of Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future , "Making the world's best videocassette recorder does you no good, if what people really want are DVRs."

  7. Offer Rewards for Trying Your Products

  8. People love freebies and offers. hey can also be a little skeptical about trying something they've never used before, especially about paying for something new. Give them a free sample, a 30-day supply, or a buy-one-get-one offer and they're likely to commit into trying a new product. Run monthly contests and display the winners on your web page. "Make the prize something desirable and related to your business -- it could be a free gift basket of your products, for instance, or free services," says Janet Attard, CEO of Attard Communications, Inc.

  9. Opinions Matter
  10. Don't forget a space for customer input on your website or social media accounts. Let customers know that you value their opinions and want them to share their knowledge with the rest of your customer group. Ask customers to complete surveys regarding their experience and offer them coupons or chances to win a prize.

Most importantly show your customers what you are all about. Whichever marketing strategy you choose to use, remember to make it just as unique as your company.