Gated Content: Marketers’ One-Stop Shop for Lead Generation

It’s reported that roughly 80% of B2B content marketing assets are password-protected. Marketers generate leads using gated content by giving prospective customers important information in exchange for their name, email address, industry, title, contact number, and other contact information. 

Gated content is an essential component of effective inbound marketing. You must provide something in exchange for the emails provided by your prospects and leads. For instance, before downloading a whitepaper, a user may be prompted to fill out a profile form.

This not only helps you understand a user’s interest in various topics, but it also allows you to know the information that can aid you in making a sale later on. If a user fills out a form or pays for a subscription to acquire access to gated content, they are likely to be passionate about the subject because they are ready to give up their personal information in exchange for it.

Here are some examples of effective gated content strategies.

1. Product Demonstrations

Consider employing a product demo as gated content if you’re a SaaS company or have a product that consumers can sample online.

This is a fantastic technique to get your goods in front of customers and collect their email addresses at the same time. You’ll grow your list while also allowing them to try out your product.

2. White Papers and Ebooks

The viewer must supply information in order to download a comprehensive report (see below). This is a terrific approach to figure out who among your readers is really interested in your brand or sector, and it also gives you a list of people to follow up with.

Make sure the stuff you’re offering is useful and distinctive; otherwise, your readers may feel duped.

3. Quizzes and Poll Results

People enjoy participating in online polls and quizzes. You may have taken one yourself and been prompted to fill out a form with your email address before you could begin the quiz or view your answers. This is a fantastic example of gated content in action!

Not only can you utilize quizzes as gated content, but you can also segment your leads based on the information you collect. After that, add them to your marketing automation strategy and provide them different types of content based on their preferences in the future.

4. Self-Publishing Schools

Self-Publishing School has a book called “Published” that explains how to become a published author. This content is available in PDF, audiobook, and hard copy formats.

People must complete the form regardless of the format in order to receive a copy of the content. The fact that you have to fill out a form qualifies it as gated material.

5. Webinars

In recent years, webinars have been shown to be an effective lead generation tool. This is due to the increased need for recording and live-video transmission in almost all mainstream businesses especially during this time of pandemic where all business operations and other movements are extremely limited. 

Webinars are ideal for delivering outstanding content in a live online setting while interacting with your audience, answering questions, and pitching your product or service at key points throughout the session or at the end. However, in order to attract users to join up for your webinars, you must promote them aggressively across many channels. This must be done to attract the ideal guests. Moreover, a long promotional cycle will also greatly help to attain your objectives. 

Based on a study conducted by Demand Gen Report (2017) “about 29 percent of webinar attendees will not sign up for your presentation until the day of the event itself, and around 59 percent in the week leading up to the event.” 

Best Practices of Gated Content

Creating a varied assortment of content that works across digital marketing channels is a great technique.

Whitepapers, eBooks, original research, and other content that delivers considerable value to consumers are perfect candidates for being gated behind a form – but this isn’t always the case.

Blog entries or resource pages, for example, maybe prepared with SEO in mind. This content should not be password-protected, as search engines will not be able to access any information behind the password. Videos can be made to drive visitors from YouTube to your website; as a result, they should be put on a non-gated web page.

Do’s and Don’t (To Gate or Not to Gate)

It is recommended to gate your content under the following conditions:

  • If there are other channels available to direct users to the landing page.
  • If users will be willing to share their contact information to gain access to the content if it provides enough unique value.
  • Provide quality and readable content that will truly attract prospects. You must choose your best content to entice your visitors to submit their information. You must also have a basic understanding of what information is important. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to create relevant and engaging content that your visitors believe is worthy of their email address.
  • Pay attention to your format and site accessibility

When deciding which content to gate on your website, keep the format in mind and ensure that it is accessible to all users. It is common practice to provide a downloadable PDF of white papers or more technical documentation. If you are providing graphics and data tables, a document may be easier to format than a web page. You might want to provide an online format for less technical articles. PDFs are not particularly web-friendly, particularly on mobile devices. Another popular format for presenting valuable content in a visual format is an infographic.

It will be counterproductive to have gated content in the situation mentioned below:

  • If the content has been well optimized for search. In this case, leaving the content unlocked will drive more traffic to the website, where you can still capture leads with effective calls to action. Avoid using a gated form for any articles that could rank well for keywords as an SEO best practice. Because it is hidden behind a form or a sign-up process, gated content is difficult for search engines to crawl. A gated article is typically set up as a no-index so that visitors cannot find it online other than by submitting the form.

Finally, keep the purpose and goal of each piece of content on your site in mind at all times. It’s not the best candidate for gated content if you want to encourage social sharing of a specific piece.

  • If the content is more concerned with selling your product than with meeting the needs of the user. Gating this type of content leaves users disappointed and undermines their trust in your brand.

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