Lead generation is a critical aspect of business operations, as it is necessary to expand the customer base and increase sales. In the digital age, companies are continually searching for new and innovative ways to generate leads, and one of these ways is through the creation of gated content.
What is gated content?
Gated content refers to any digital content that is protected by a form or gate, meaning that the content is only accessible to users who have completed a specific action, such as filling out a form, providing their email address, or paying a fee.
This type of content is typically used by businesses, publishers, and online marketers to collect valuable information about their target audience and build their email lists so they can engage them further.
The most common form of contact information is the name and email address of the prospective customer. Gated content is referred to as lead magnets and comes in different formats, such as:
- Audio recordings
- Case studies
The type of content offered will vary based on the target audience and the industry the business operates in. For instance, a case study would be more appealing to a CMO making a high-value purchasing decision, while a checklist or guide would be better suited to a different audience.
Gated content is usually hosted on the business’s website and is only accessible once the user fills out a form. You can find the form on a landing page or embed it in a blog post or main navigation page on the site. The choice of where to place the form will depend on the software being used and the features offered.
How is ungated content different from gated content?
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While gated as well as ungated content are both essential for the success of a business, the main difference between gated and ungated content is accessibility. Gated content requires an exchange of information to access, while ungated content is freely available to anyone who visits the website. No personal information or payment is required to access the content.
The main goal of ungated content is to build brand awareness, establish the company as a thought leader in the industry, and attract, educate, and engage potential customers. Examples of ungated content include:
- Blog posts
- How-to videos
- Social media posts
- Product demonstrations
What are the merits and demerits of gated content?
Like anything else, gated content has some advantages and disadvantages. Whether you’re a marketer looking to build your email list or a publisher seeking to monetize your content, you need to know its merits and demerits to get the most out of gated content.
Merits of Gated Content
- Data Collection: The primary benefit of gated content is the ability to collect data about your target audience. By requiring users to provide their email addresses or other personal information before accessing content, you can build a list of potential customers who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. This information can then be used to create targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer engagement.
- Increased Engagement: Gated content can also increase engagement with your audience by creating a sense of exclusivity. Users are more likely to engage with and share content that they have had to work to access, and they will be more likely to remember it. This type of content can also encourage users to return to your website, as they will be eager to see what other exclusive content you have to offer.
- Lead Generation: Gated content can also be used as a lead generation tool. By requiring users to fill out a form or provide their email addresses, you can capture valuable information that can be used to build your email list, create targeted marketing campaigns, and nurture leads through the sales funnel.
- Increased Revenue: Last but not least, gated content can be a great way to increase revenue. By charging users a fee for access to premium content, you can monetize your website and generate additional income. This can be especially useful for publishers and businesses that offer in-depth, high-quality content.
Demerits of Gated Content
- Decreased Traffic: The major drawback of gated content is that it can decrease traffic to your website. Users may be hesitant to provide their personal information or pay a fee to access content, resulting in reduced website visitors. This can make it more difficult to drive traffic to your website. Moreover, it can also reduce your search engine rankings, as Google and other search engines prefer websites with high levels of traffic.
- Decreased Engagement: Gated content can also decrease engagement with your audience. If users are asked to fill out a form or provide their personal information every time they want to access content, they may become frustrated and lose interest in your website. This can also lead to a decrease in engagement and sharing, as users are less likely to share content that they have had to pay for or that they have had to provide their personal information to access.
- Lower Conversion Rates: Another disadvantage of gated content is that it can lower conversion rates. When you ask your visitors to fill out a form or provide their personal information to access your content, they are more like to decide not to check your content, leading to a lower conversion rate.
Moreover, if your audience is not well aware of your brand, they may hesitate to share their information as they don’t know how their information will be used. As a result, it can make it more difficult to build a strong relationship with your target audience.
When and When not to use gated content?
Gated content can be an effective way to generate leads and capture leads. However, it is important to use it appropriately and understand when it is and is not appropriate. By understanding when to use gated content and when not to, you can maximize its effectiveness and reach your lead generation goals.
When to use gated content?
- Later in the Buyer’s Journey: Gated content is most effective when used later in the buyer’s journey. When the prospect has already expressed some level of interest in your product or service and is ready to take the next step, they are more likely to provide their contact information in exchange for valuable information.
- Content that Generates Huge Traffic: If your website has a high volume of traffic and you are looking to generate leads, gated content can be a great option. Gated content helps you to capture leads who are more interested in your product or service, thus increasing the chances of converting them into customers.
- Content is High-Value: If your content is high-value, prospects are more likely to provide their contact information in exchange for access. For example, if your content is a detailed white paper, eBook, or webinar, prospects are more likely to provide their contact information to access the content.
When not to use gated content?
- Creating Brand Awareness: If your main goal is to create brand awareness, gated content may not be the best option. Gating content can be a barrier to entry, which may prevent prospects from accessing your content and learning about your brand.
- Limited Content: Gated content is not suitable if you have limited content. If your content is limited, it is better to make it freely available to everyone, as this will increase its reach and help to create brand awareness.
- Gated Content Not Generating Interest: If your gated content is not generating interest, it may be time to reconsider your approach. At times, you should invest your time to revise it and make it more compelling.
How to create gated content?
Creating gated content can seem like a daunting task, but with the best-gated content practices and tools, it can be a powerful lead-generation tool for your business. Here are a few tips for creating gated content.
Select the Right Content
The type of content you choose can significantly impact the outcome. So, the content you choose should be valuable and relevant to your target audience. It should also be something that is not easily accessible through other sources.
Consider what your audience would be willing to trade their personal information for. In addition, it is worth looking at your customer and audience behavior, blog traffic, and what your competitors are doing. Some popular examples of gated content include whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, and research reports.
Identify the Funnel Stage
A content marketing funnel refers to the journey that a potential customer goes through as they interact with your brand’s content. The funnel typically consists of 5 stages, including:
- Awareness: In this stage, potential customers become aware of the existence of a product or service and begin to educate themselves about it.
- Consideration: In this stage, the potential customers are interested in buying your products. They actively evaluate the product or service, weighing its features and benefits against their needs and goals.
- Conversion: In this stage, potential customers decide to purchase the product or service, either by making an initial purchase or by committing to a long-term relationship.
- Retention: In this stage, the company focuses on keeping the customer satisfied and engaged, leading to repeat purchases and increased loyalty.
- Advocacy: In this stage, satisfied customers become brand advocates, spreading the word about the product or service to others and helping to generate new business.
At each stage, the goal is to move the customer closer to making a purchase or taking a desired action. By creating gated content for each stage, you can guide the visitors through the funnel and ultimately convert them into customers.
However, before you start creating gated content, it is vital to understand which stage of the content marketing funnel you’re targeting. The best way to identify the funnel stage is to understand your business goals.
For example, if your goal is to generate leads, you’ll likely target the consideration stage. On the other hand, if you’re looking to build brand awareness, you may target the awareness stage. Since gated content aims at lead generation, it may not be the best option for the awareness stage.
The reason behind it is that not every visitor will be open to sharing their personal information, especially if there is no reward involved. As a result, it can reduce the number of people who reach your content. That is why it is good to use it after the awareness stage. Once you have identified your funnel stage, you can start creating your gated content.
However, remember that your content offers real value to your target audience. It should be informative, engaging, and relevant to their needs and interests. This can help you build trust with your audience and establish your brand as a credible source of information.
When creating gated content, consider what information or insights you can offer that your target audience won’t find anywhere else.
Craft an Irresistible Landing Page
Your landing page is the face of your gated content. It is the first interaction that your potential customers have with your brand. Hence, it must be well-designed, user-friendly, and compelling.
The landing page must clearly communicate the value of your gated content. The headline should be attention-grabbing, and the content must be clear and concise. The page should also include a form that users must fill out to access your gated content. And ensure that the form only asks for the minimum amount of information necessary to generate a lead.
The landing page should be visually appealing and easy to navigate. Use high-quality images and a clean, simple design to make a good impression. Make sure the page loads quickly and is optimized for mobile devices, as more and more people are accessing websites and gated content on their smartphones.
Thank Them with a Purpose-Driven Thank You Page
Once the user has filled out the form and gained access to your gated content, take the opportunity to thank them for their time and interest. This is also an opportunity to keep the user engaged with your brand. A thank-you page that provides additional relevant content or resources can encourage the user to further explore your website.
Additionally, consider including a call-to-action on the thank-you page. Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, attending an upcoming event, or making a purchase, a clear next step can help guide the user further down the funnel.
Nurture Your Leads with Follow-Ups
It’s essential to follow up with your leads after they have accessed your gated content. This is where your lead nurturing strategy comes into play. Keep your leads engaged by sending them relevant and valuable content and updates, and continue to provide them with a positive user experience.
Use email marketing to send follow-up messages that include valuable information, such as updates on your company, new products or services, or relevant industry news. Additionally, segment your leads based on their behavior, such as which gated content they accessed, and personalize your follow-up messages accordingly.
By consistently providing valuable and relevant content, you will help to build trust and establish a long-term relationship with your leads. Over time, this can help convert them into loyal customers and increase the overall success of your gated content strategy.
Measure Your Success
Like any other marketing strategy, the gated content marketing strategy will also take time and require some optimizations for the best results. So, it is vital to measure your success regularly. Use various analytic tools to understand how effective your methodology is and what you can do to reach your desired goals.
How can gated content help boost lead generation?
Gated content helps in boosting lead generation by attracting and converting potential leads into customers.
When your site visitors provide their personal information in exchange for accessing gated content helps in determining the level of interest a person has in your product or service. This can help in determining whether a lead is a good fit for your business.
Moreover, when you have the contact information of your potential customers, you can easily send them personalized emails to connect with them and get a follow-up. This not only helps establish a good relationship but also enhances the chances of converting your potential customers into regular customers.
In addition, when you provide your target audience with valuable and relevant information, it helps you build trust and establish your business as a thought leader in your industry.
The Bottom Line
Gated content creation is a proven and effective way to boost lead generation. It enables businesses to collect essential information about their target audience, which can be used to tailor their marketing efforts, enhance customer relationships, and ultimately increase sales. In addition, it helps businesses drive leads and build a loyal customer base, boosting their overall success and growth.
At WebSpero Solutions, we understand that gated content creation is an integral part of lead generation and can help you craft content that is optimized for your target audience. Our team of skilled and experienced writers can create content that will capture and engage the attention of your audience and compel them to share their personal information.
We will work with you to create content tailored to your specific goals. Whether you need high-quality blog posts, landing pages, or email campaigns, our writers can deliver content that will help you generate leads and build a loyal customer base. Contact us now to know how we can help you grow your business.