We are often asked how much selling can be in a content marketing piece. It reminds me of the book “Buy-ology” by Martin Linder that covers this subject so well for consumer brands.
In the book Martin describes how powerful product placement can be by referencing the success of Ray-ban after Tom Cruise wore the iconic Wayfarers in the movie Risky business and then the Aviators in Top Gun. Sales shot through the roof in both instances.
That’s not so different from your goal with content marketing for engineers. You want to introduce your sales message when the “advertising filters” of your audience are turned down. This is most effective when the content informs and even entertains the viewer, with the marketing message fitting seamlessly in the content stream. Otherwise, it just won’t work.
Engineers are smart people. They will recognize the sales pitch no matter how smooth it is. That’s why we never insult their intelligence by pretending the content isn’t sponsored. In our experience, they will be open to the marketing message provided they’ve been given an interesting and entertaining content piece.