Content marketing is not just about creating relevant, engaging, and marketable content. The key to content marketing success is to efficiently distribute your content and gain customer insights using engaging content that helps to push the customer through various customer journeys. For efficient conversion and lead generation, creating gated content is essential. Did you know that almost 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated?
However, the critical question is, when should content be gated? And what is the best content for the gated approach? In this blog, we will touch upon both the content approaches to discover when to use what!
Here is an example of gated content:
Understanding Gated and Non-gated Content?
Before we move on to understand how gated content is used for generating leads and revenue, let us first understand what gated content is.
What is gated content?
Gated content is the strategy to provide your best-selling content only after the user has performed a specific action. For example, the content can be available once the user has shared their email address or made a payment for the access. Special-access content can also be a form of gated content. You are compelling users to follow your brand or pay for a membership to access highly personalized and valuable content.
Typical forms of gated content include:
- Valuable blogs or thought-leadership content
What is non-gated content?
When your content is freely available, i.e., the user does not need to do anything to access it; it is open-access content or ungated content. Content is the base of every website, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and the overall digital marketing approach, making it vital for brands to efficiently leverage their content marketing approach.
Non-gated content can be:
- Website Pages
- YouTube Videos
Benefits of Gating Your Content
As you can see, gated and ungated content have different approaches. Content marketers need to utilize both options properly to ensure high success. When it comes to gated content, the ideal approach for this strategy is to:
- Gain qualified leads
Gated content will attract qualified leads. A customer who will make an effort to fill the form would be genuinely interested in knowing whether the product or service is providing them with the solution to their problem or not. Quality over quantity is given more importance here.
- Lead nurturing
By getting relevant details about the leads that accessed the content, companies can better understand the customers’ needs. It will be easy for them to retarget and nurture this lead into a long-term relationship.
- Building trust
When customers access gated content, especially one they have to pay for, it shows that the content is valuable to them. It means they trust the brand, hold the company in high regard, and consider the company as a thought leader in its field.
When Should You be Gating Your Content?
Although gated content may seem off-putting, especially when the user is not aware of the brand, several organizations are leveraging it optimally. When you are looking to generate leads and gain access to your audience’s information, gated content is what you should be focusing on. Some of the reasons for choosing the gated content approach are:
- When your content is too valuable to be given for free
Content quality is one of the prime reasons your audience will trust you, and if the content you are offering has a high interest, users are willing to share details or even pay to gain access to it. The ultimate test is to use it wisely since they need to get enough information on the landing page that helps to get them interested in taking the next step.
Gated content has more authority and requires a more profound knowledge of the subject. Since your readers share personal details or even pay to gain access to your content, it has to be highly valuable and requires expert insights that the reader will be interested in.
- When you are looking to generate leads for your company
The key reason for opting for gated content is to gain access to your website visitors’ personal information. If you are heavily into personalized marketing, gated content is the doorway for your strategy. It needs to be value-driven to ensure that the customers do not feel they are being oversold.
Websites often give access to their best content only after customers share their email or phone number, which allows your sales teams to use a targeted marketing approach to convert the lead. While getting the lead information is vital, the next steps will determine whether you can nurture your leads. Sending a customary thank you email with the link to the content is the first step. To nurture and convert the lead takes strategic relationship-building.
- When the conversion is more important than visitors
Another critical reason for having gated content is when you are creating content for a specific purpose. For several brands, the blog section is where content is created for impressing audiences of diverse groups. Meanwhile, for industry-specific, highly personalized, and high-value content, the audience will require to go through a gated approach. This means most of your high-value content, which could gain high visitors to your website, is off-limits for free viewing.
This strategy works best for product or service companies with a niche audience and only wants to engage with the relevant target group. However, if your brand caters to a wider range of audiences, it is suggested to focus more on providing freely accessible content.
- When the objective is to propel user action
While gated content may not help a lot with SEO, it can help propel the next step. In several cases, despite having highly engaging content, the user may drop out without any engagement on your page due to a lack of a proper Call To Action (CTA). Several brands leverage the combination of enticing and attention-grabbing open access content while providing a CTA to get access to more information only after the reader has acted upon the CTA.
Getting user interaction on the page helps not just in gaining access to user information, but it can even lower bounce rates for your page, which helps with your website’s SEO. Relevance is vital for this approach, and it will help differentiate the interested audience from the others.
Final Thoughts: Gate, but with Caution
The modern era of information is freely accessible to a vast repository to help users gain knowledge on several topics. To an audience that is used to getting free access, gating content should be practiced with caution and proper planning. Sharing email or personal details requires content marketers to build trust and provide the right levers for the audience to want to know more.
Your best, most valuable content should use the gated approach to gain customer details and nurture this lead with relevant information. However, do it too early, and your promising customer may never read your valuable content. The ideal approach is to get your audience interested and then gate the content so they would want to take the next step. A combination of both types of content is an ideal mix for your content marketing strategy. So make the best of both worlds.