Content Marketing Best Practices: Gated Content
Updated: Aug 30, 2019
Yes, today I am going to introduce you to an English term from the marketing profession. But not because it sounds so cute and you can make an impression in a team meeting. But because I believe that gated content is part of fabulous content marketing best practices and gives you the power to generate leads. How it works? Continue reading!
First a small, enlightening definition of terms:
Gated content means that content is protected, meaning the reader faces a gate before he gets to the content. The gate usually consists of a form in which contact details etc. must be entered.
Accordingly, ungated content refers to all content to which a reader has unrestricted access.
Is that not close to the conclusion that ungated content is much more attractive to the reader, as he does not have to skip an access hurdle? Sounds logical. And would that not
be better for the company because it can attract so many more readers? This question must be answered with a clear no. Unless the company in question does not want to generate leads anymore - and that's something we rarely hear.
Content Marketing Best Practices - more qualified leads through gated content
If one were to make a white paper completely accessible and once again provide the same without the hurdle of a form, the result would be that the "free" white paper would be clicked many times more frequently than its protected counterpart. Only: Who are all these downloaders or readers?
They remain unruly users in the worldwide web, barely tangible and not editable as leads for sales. If you are already familiar with inbound marketing, you know that class matters here instead of mass . A handful of qualified leads whose contact details are known are more valuable than an uncounted amount of anonymous readers.
Here, however, I put a small qualification in between: Of course, it also depends on what you want to achieve with your content.
Whether you choose gated or ungated content depends on:
• what quality of leads you need or want
• how far your content is shared and how often it should be read,
• where in the Buyer's Journey the content should be available.
For example, if you pass on industry news that is intended to be consumed by as many of your prospects as possible, it is only advisable to make the content freely accessible. If
your sales team needs new, highly-qualified leads, it's a good idea to make your content available for download after they have entered their personal data into a form.
A middle way of lead generation
Of course, there is not only black and white in this question. You have a third option: with a bit of freely available content which you can use as a teaser you can lead or entice them to the comprehensive, but protected version.
• You can watch the first important seconds of a video freely. If you want to see the rest of the movie, you can do so by revealing your data in a form.
• Or there is a meaningful summary of a white paper that can only be read after completing the form.
• Or you get immediate insight into an online version of an e-book which you can download onto your own computer but only after giving contact details.
100 percent conversions - a dream?
My suggestion to you: Take the test. For example, offer a free whitepaper for download on one day - or you can offer the possibility to fill in a form as an option. The next day make the download protected by mandatory filling. Which results did you achieve on which days?