Congratulations! You’ve made the decision that your B2B firm can provide value to the marketplace and establish a Thought Leadership position by activating a content strategy. Smart move. A steady flow of quality content will enable your organization to create a higher level of engagement with your customers and prospects. And when you’re cozied up to the audience, relationships are warmer and making the sale becomes a much easier proposition.

However, just because you’re launching a content strategy doesn’t mean you’re going to automatically reap the benefits. Plenty of organizations struggle to effectively execute a content strategy.  That’s not good – content creation is way too much work to embark on a strategy only to have it fail.

But, as always, we’re here to help. Here are five common B2B content marketing mistakes that you need to stop making right now:

Stop trying to prove how smart you are.

Most professionals, when given a writing assignment, feel compelled to demonstrate their intelligence. They use big words and plenty of industry jargon. They feel that if they make it complex, people will be impressed. In reality, people are being bored. Not everything you write has to be a whitepaper. Even the CEO of a Fortune 500 company wants to read something a little lighter every now and then. Have a little fun, make pop culture references, say what you have to say, and then get out.

Stop telling us how great you are.

Focus on the audience, not your business. Your content won’t have any credibility if all you do is talk about your products or services. It’s been said that social media is a cocktail party, and we like to say that you need content to fuel that cocktail party conversation; without it, your organization is the mute wallflower in the corner. Well, if all your content is about how great you are, you’re the obnoxious blowhard that won’t be invited back.

Stop telling us the competition is lame.

Don’t take potshots at the competition. Nobody wants to hear it. If your business is so much better, you’ll win out over time. Because you are competitors, you have no credibility in criticizing them. All you’re really doing is undermining your own credibility for other more important communications.

Stop writing so poorly.

We’re talking about grammatical mistakes. Stop it. Proofread. Misspelled words, typos and punctuation errors make people wonder if you know what you’re doing. It undermines your credibility.

Stop being all over the place.

Your content strategy must be focused (but, of course, it shouldn’t be repetitive). Way too many organizations turn their blog into an internal communications vehicle, writing about new hires and the company picnic; save that stuff for your intranet (unless for some reason that’s the right focus for your blog). A content marketing strategy needs to be marketing focused. It needs to be audience-centric in order to create a tighter bond with customers and prospects. Good planning at the outset will combat this – you should start with an Editorial Brief and the creation of an Editorial Calendar so that there is a clear roadmap for your strategy that leads to content cohesion.