Gated Content – What Is It and How Can It Support Your Business?

Gated Content – What Is It and How Can It Support Your Business?

Blog posts, newsletters, podcasts – sharing knowledge for free is cool and every marketer, copywriter, or brand manager will tell you that. And what if you wouldn’t have to provide others with this high-quality content completely for free? What are the possible methods to make your content marketing more effective?

Latest on our blog: SEO Competitor Analysis & Research. A Complete Guide

Dear marketer, you’ve probably heard phrases like “content is king” thousands of times. You run a company blog, create newsletters, and refine every word in your social media posts. You share your knowledge practically everywhere you can. Well, it even turns out that your hard work translates into bigger website traffic and people indeed read your content. But this is where their adventure with your brand ends – they don’t buy anything from you.

After a few months of intense activities, your employer comes to you and asks what’s the purpose of doing these things if they don’t bring any profits to the company. More impressions? That’s not enough. Your content is valuable and popular among users but they simply read it and leave the page. More potential customers or contact details to decision-makers… that would be something.

So how to generate extra profits for your company and effectively obtain new leads thanks to content marketing activities? How to benefit from the work and expertise you share for free?

This is when gated content comes in handy.

Gated content – what is it?

Gated content is unique, quality marketing content you share with users in exchange for a specific activity such as filling in an appropriate questionnaire or subscribing to a newsletter.

In a way, this is a kind of sale – after all, someone gives you their data for a certain value. Gated content works great in both B2C and B2B systems.

Gated content meets the requirements of customers who are at the very top of the engagement pyramid. These people don’t want to be passive readers anymore, they’re attracted by your marketing content and want to find out more about the company, brand, and offered solutions.

It may also be a tool for reaching interested users who are just at the very beginning of the AIDA model (the “attention” stage). Maybe they don’t know yet if they actually need your products, maybe they just started learning about your company.

AIDA model for website conversion

Gated content includes ebooks, white papers (tutorials, tips, guides), unique webinars and podcasts, email courses, or free demos of your products. Obviously, it’s not about sales-related materials, it’s about valuable content helping your potential customers to develop.

What is the purpose of gated content?

  • Positioning yourself as an expert

Have you written an ebook? If so, you’re an expert in your field. Moreover, you also provided your potential customers with something valuable “for free” (although you perfectly know that’s not completely for free – after all you got a precious email address). Consequently, these people will be more willing to shop at your store.

  • Acquiring leads

Gated content can be the first point of contact with a brand – for example, in the case of a fishing store, a properly targeted Facebook ad can redirect social media users to your landing page where you can offer them a free ebook with the finest fishing lures just in exchange for their emails provided in a special form.

  • Improving leads

A bigger mailing list is your investment in the future. You can continue educating people and redirecting them to your website if they aren’t sure whether it’s worth buying a given item. After all, 78% of customers select and trust companies with the most convincing content marketing strategies.

Thanks to marketing automation systems properly tailored to your business, you can personalize your communication and engage potential customers in clickbait customer experience activities such as surveys, games, or free product tests.

  • Increasing sales thanks to being consistent

As a customer, you’ve already provided your email address, downloaded an ebook or a podcast for free so now you want to continue your cooperation with the company. At least, that’s what we believe in when we try to think like buyers.

Of course, you may say that it doesn’t apply to you. Nevertheless, statistically, we order more in the restaurant and leave bigger tips when we get an appetizer for free. We choose the yogurt or cosmetic whose sample we got for free. It’s all about psychology and statistics.

  • Marketing content analysis

Gated content immediately answers your question of whether the content you create is really helpful and whether you’re a successful and effective copywriter and content marketer. If it turns out that nobody wants to download your posh content, it means that something is wrong. Inappropriate target group? Ill-suited project objective?

Gated content – what should it be like?

  • Unique – it’s not about providing comprehensive knowledge about given fields in the same exact form as everybody else.
  • Useful – in order to ensure that people download your gated content, you need to provide them with texts that meet their requirements and are a useful knowledge compendium on a given subject.
  • Visually appealing – the text, graphic design, and selected forms of gated content need to be of the finest possible quality. This is something your company should focus on.

Gated content: examples

In exchange for providing potential customers with ebooks full of professional and helpful content, you may gain their verified email addresses (require users to provide this data in a form to get access to the ebook). The objective is to collect contact details of potential customers in order to build more lasting relationships, educate them, and create sales opportunities.

Gated content examples
Klood distributes their WordPress Guide for beginners in exchange for data such as e-mail. This way, they can create a base of potential customers interested in the given subject and gain a way to reach out to them!
gated content ebook example
Bloominari promotes their e-book on a pop up including a form.

The most notorious marketing mistakes

  • Gated content isn’t about catalogs, sales materials, and product specifications – all of these should be available on your website for free and accessible just with a few clicks.
  • Gated content isn’t the end of your work and effort – plan what should happen after downloading an ebook. A series of emails? Direct contact from a new business manager? If you don’t do anything and rest on the laurels, your previous efforts won’t pay off.
  • Gated content isn’t the right place for comprehensive customer research – shorten the form the users need to fill in to access the content to a minimum. Moreover, your content should also be adapted to mobile devices.

Gated content – to do or not to do, that is the question

It’s definitely worth doing it. Better lead generation, branding, more selling opportunities – these are only some of the benefits of gated content. To sum up, content is king, on the condition you provide users with quality information in a form that allows them to fully benefit from it. As many as 80% of B2B marketing content is gated so don’t share your valuable work and knowledge for free.

P.S. Let’s take a look at the infographics prepared by Hubspot. Should you create gated content? Check it out:

Gated content is it useful

FAQ

Content marketing involves all marketing activities you perform for the company, whereas gated content is about premium texts that you share with your customers or readers in exchange for a specific action such as signing up for a newsletter, joining a special Facebook group or filling in a questionnaire and a contact form you’ve prepared.

Yes, gated content is the most lucrative and measurable form of content marketing. Thanks to it, you don’t waste time or energy on creating completely free content. Instead, you focus on writing texts that are a kind of investment. Gated content becomes a product for sale – you offer your expertise and readers provide you with their email addresses or other specific benefits.

(1)
Author
Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.
Comments (2)
  1. Interesting. However, I’m always worried people won’t reply to this kind of content. Won’t they be reluctant to leave their contact data?

  2. It may be that people won’t be willing to leave their email address, sure. However, those really interested in the topic will do that. They will have more potential for the company anyway as they are really seeking knowledge and solutions. It’s better to have fewer downloads but from quality leads, than thousands won’t interested in your product.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recently on our blog

Are you curious about SEO of online stores or maybe you want to enter the Swiss market and wonder SEO abroad looks like? You will find answers to these questions and many other tips important for the development of your business on our blog.

SEO Competitor Analysis & Research. A Complete Guide

SEO Competitor Analysis & Research. A Complete Guide

If you want your online business to achieve real success, you definitely need to monitor your competitors' activities on a regular basis. But how to identify who is your strongest competitor in the battle for first place in the search results? What strategies do you need to take to get ahead of your competitors? You will learn all this from this comprehensive guide. Do not let your competitors win over you!

Read more