Gated Content: What is It?
If your business offers digital materials that require people to fill out an online form to gain access, you’re engaging in gated content marketing.
Also known as locked content, gated content can be many things: ebooks, webinars, white papers, and more. These offerings can be accessed by providing an email address or other information.
Did you know that 44 percent of B2Bs use gated content? About two-thirds of these B2Bs make it part of their qualified lead generation process.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the basics of the marketing tool and discuss some gated content best practices to follow.
Why Should You Consider Gated Content Marketing?
If your company runs email campaigns, gated content is an excellent way to grow your mailing list. It doesn’t hurt your SEO, either – locked or not, website content should be search engine-accessible.
However, the major consideration should be gated content marketing’s capability to push lead generation and conversions.
Businesses that gate a minimum of 60 percent of their content convert more than 130 percent better than those that lock only about 40 percent of their content.
The leads you get from gated content tend to be of higher quality, with their conversion rates reaching up to 45 percent.
Shopify is one of about 75 percent of SaaS companies offering free trial periods. As seen above, the brand makes use of gated content marketing to do this.
What are the Pros and Cons of Gated Content?
We now know that locked content can improve qualified lead generation and conversion rates. However, the marketing tool is not without downsides.
Let’s go through a short refresher of gated content marketing benefits and disadvantages.
Major Benefits of Gated Content Marketing
Here are some great reasons to use locked content in your marketing campaigns:
- It Builds Brand Identity and Authority: When you let your brand’s expertise shine through in your gated content, it helps build people’s trust in what you say.
- It Creates Better Connections: As you get better at gated content marketing, you’ll be able to identify what kind of offerings resonate with your audience the most.
- It Improves Segmentation and Targeting: You can use gated content marketing to target segments that may be less engaged with your brand.
The SaaS company is known for their inbound marketing and sales focus, so it makes sense for them to create a lead generation guide.
Major Disadvantages of Gated Content Marketing
Here are a few things that can go wrong if your gated content campaign goes awry:
- It Risks Hurting Your Brand Reputation: Some people may find gated content annoying. The key to avoiding this reaction is to provide something unique and truly valuable.
- It Can Ask Too Much of Your Audience: People can only jump through so many hoops before feeling like they’re being fooled. Don’t require too much to unlock access.
- It Limits the Reach of Your Content: If you want the most eyes possible on a digital offering, gated content marketing might not be your best bet.
Did you know that 90 percent of people abandon signup forms because they don’t trust businesses with their email address? You must be transparent about how you will use the information gathered.
The Harvard Business Review screenshot above shows how the publication gates its content. In particular, it addresses why so much information is needed: for user account creation.
3 Best Practices for Using Gated Content in Marketing
Gated content is a viable marketing tool for businesses already managing a content collection for an interested following. However, you can also use it to build your library and audience.
Below, we list three actionable insights to keep in mind when creating gated content.
1. Craft content worth the information you are asking your audience to provide.
How do you make sure that your gated content is truly valuable to the people you’re trying to attract? You can turn to buyer insights.
To stand out on the internet, you need to know your customer more than anyone else. It’s no longer enough to target one or two demographics.
2. Measure the effect of gated content on your audience.
You can’t run gated content campaigns and blindly trust that it will work for your business.
As we discussed earlier, locking your content comes with both benefits and disadvantages. Monitoring certain metrics, such as conversion rates or click-throughs, can help quantify how gated content campaigns are actually performing.
3. Simplify the process by only asking for the most essential details.
Don’t overwhelm your target audience. Keep your copy concise and limit your form to three fields at most. Every additional field beyond those first three can result in decreasing conversion rates.
The Copyblogger screenshot above features a descriptive headline, a compelling call to action, and a single field. All someone needs to do to access the free training offered is to enter their email address.
How Can Televerde Help Your Business?
With more than 25 years of experience, Televerde offers a globally competitive integrated sales and marketing technology platform. We combine strategic solutions, best practices, development, and enablement to power customer lifecycles from beginning to end.
Furthermore, let our processes and experts help you with your marketing and sales goals. Contact us for more information and get ready to strategize your way to success.