Most industrial marketers say the job of their content marketing is to build brand awareness or generate leads. But those are very different goals and require different kinds of content.
Brand awareness content is top-of-the-funnel stuff. It’s typically very low on sales content and very high on interest and entertainment. The high information/low sales push approach works well to get the content in front of a large audience. In our experience, this type of content will often get free exposure from web publishers if it is done well enough.
Lead gen content is different. It’s meant to be found by an engineer when they are seeking a solution to a problem, or sourcing multiple alternative vendors. This is the home of spec sheets, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the content has to put readers to sleep.. Maybe you could spice them up with some humor, or tell some great application stories? If you can do this reliably well, it will differentiate you from other information sources.
But don’t expect your lead gen content to go viral, and don’t spend a ton of money promoting it. We think you’ll be more successful if you match your content to the engineer’s buying cycle.