Gated content is a key conversion generation tool in any marketer’s arsenal. Why? Whether you choose to use it or not, the fact remains that 80% of B2B content marketing resources are gated. Putting a gate on content is a mainstay in content marketing, and understanding its potential will help you stay ahead of your competitors.
The term refers to any sort of content that is locked behind a form. Typically, this form is used to get email addresses or other contact details for potential customers, to use in outbound marketing strategies.
We say, if done correctly, gated content can be a powerful lead generator, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of that.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of gated content types, pitfalls, and best practices, to ensure you get the most out of your gated content strategy.
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Let’s go through a few statistics. According to a poll by Marketing Insider Group, 71% of marketers say they benefitted from thought leadership, via increased web traffic.
Meanwhile, a comprehensive report by marketing consultancy, Edelman, found that nearly 60% of key decision-makers spend over an hour a week reading thought leadership content. Lastly, the average B2B buyer today spends 27% of their time in the purchase journey independently researching online.
This shows us that positioning your brand as a thought leader is not only beneficial but actually essential for a successful content marketing strategy.
One of the core objectives of content marketing is to drive organic traffic. When you post value-rich, search-engine-optimized content on your website, you’re both making your business accessible to new leads and introducing yourself as a thought leader.
But content behind gates can’t be SEO optimized in the same way. You can’t rank for it on Google. So what’s the purpose?
We say, getting the balance right is key. If you don’t gate some content, you lose a resource you can leverage to gather and nurture leads. If you gate too much content, your leads won’t trust it, because they need to hand over their email address to receive any value – an unlikely proposition.
Often, the best strategy is to have a steady stream of high-quality ungated blog posts, and then offer a more diverse selection of resources via gated content.
Why Gate Content?
Driving Engagement With Paid
Superficial ads that simply tell the customer what your product is rarely gain traction. Thanks to ‘Banner Blindness’ and the overwhelming amount of advertising the average person sees each day, this makes sense. So, you need your PPC ads to offer something more than a sales pitch to set them apart from the competition. Offering gated content via a persuasive, authoritative landing page, can help you make the most out of your ad budget.
Using gated content as a magnet for potential leads is probably its primary use. Customers who may be impressed with your blog but not ready to buy yet can be drawn into signing up for your gated content through CTAs and downloadables. You can then segment the collected contact information and create targeted email lists for remarketing and lead nurturing. Being able to offer quality exclusive content to those to interact with you is an excellent way to build trust.
Offering Value to Existing Customers
Engage your existing customers further by sharing your gated resources with them. For example, a scheduled newsletter sharing content, trends, and a downloadable piece of gated content can keep your customers assured that you are knowledgeable and active within your industry, and deepen your relationship.
Types of Gated Content
These are exactly what they sound like – checklists of important tips or step-by-step instructions
These convey key statistics or information in an engaging and palatable format. Infographics are ever-popular in the digital age, as readers’ attention spans are much shorter.
Linear deep dives into a concept that’s understood to be technically complex, as well as your company’s philosophy regarding it. White papers are heavily researched and written with a neutral tone resembling that of a research report.
Lighter in tone and research than white papers, ebooks aim to provide valuable information in a breezy, skimmable format.
Past Webinars, Video Series, Templates, and More
Gated content doesn’t have to just be synonymous with a downloadable PDF – in fact, depending on your target buyer, you may find engagement is higher with interactive and dynamic offerings, such as templates and videos.
Five Tips for a Strong Gated Content Strategy
- Respect and utilize the buyers’ journey by segmenting your audience into email lists based on where in the funnel they are. Those still just in the awareness stage may appreciate an ebook or checklist, whereas those down at the decision stage might be converted by a white paper or webinar.
- Relatedly, there is little point in generating leads if you don’t know what to do with them later. Having a strong outbound marketing strategy in place is essential.
- Complete a competitive analysis – understanding how your competitors are using gated content is the first step in outshining them.
- Make great landing pages – there is an art to creating an eye-catching landing page and since it’s where you’ll ultimately win your lead’s contact details, it’s worth getting right.
- Make use of analytics and stay agile – measure your conversions and make changes as you go. Good marketing is never stagnant. We’d recommend using our free website audit as a starting point.
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Stragically putting a gate on content is clearly useful, but its use doesn’t just end with securing an email. Great marketing is cohesive across tactics – whether you are implementing inbound, outbound, or paid marketing strategies, it should all reflect your brand positioning and underpin you as a thought leader.
At Nituno, we create a variety of different marketing content including white papers, blog posts, landing pages, videos, and more, and can help you diversify the content you gate while maintaining a steady output of value-rich blog posts. Whether you’re simply looking to supplement your existing content output, or want to overhaul your marketing strategy, we can help.