Stop reinventing the wheel and other advice for marketers

Don't Reinvent the WheelI was recently included in this Financial Brand post: What Financial Marketers Should Stop Doing Now. Here is my advice:

Stop reinventing the wheel.
See a cool idea? Take the basics, eliminate what you don’t like or what won’t work for your organization, change it up a bit, and make it your own. Innovative ideas come from inspiration, or connecting several experiences or thoughts together into something different.

All of the “stop doing this” advice in the post is spot on, and I have three more things to add:

Stop writing so formal.
Take a look at your brochures, website copy, press releases, annual report and any other marketing materials. Is the writing conversational? Do people really talk like that? No, of course not. So stop writing like a corporate robot! Use words people actually understand.

Stop relying on stock photography.
I’m not bagging on stock photography. I use it. It’s easy and convenient and you get quality graphics. But what I try and stay away from is using it all. the. time. For every photo or graphic need. It is especially annoying with “corporate-y” type groups of people smiling, shaking hands, standing randomly down a hallway. You know what I’m talking about.

If you need to use people, coordinate a photo shoot and use your members, customers, your neighbors…whatever makes sense for your organization.

If you need other types of photos, grab your phone or camera, head out and just take photos. Your unique photos. There’s a good post on Spin Sucks about taking photos for your content (and yes, the photo used here I took in my kitchen).

Stop linking your Facebook page to your Twitter account (or vice versa).
This is a pet peeve of mine. I thought we’d be done with this by now. I don’t see it much anymore, but I still see it.

If you link your Facebook page to your Twitter account, most likely the Facebook post will be longer than 140 characters, therefore cutting off part of it when it’s posted on Twitter. Yeah, I get it. It’s convenient. One click and done. But what you are really doing is hurting your marketing efforts…not only is a “half post” annoying, many times your audience is on Twitter is different from Facebook. Here’s a good post of why you shouldn’t do that.

Marketers are tasked with producing great content and generating creative ideas on tight deadlines, dwindling budgets and limited resources. Sometimes we continue to do things just because that’s the way we’ve always done it or it’s the easiest way to get the job done.

Strive to change one or two things on your marketing list, and you’ll be on your way to eliminating the old and making way for the new!

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