Gated content refers to the practice of requiring users to provide their contact information or complete a specific action (e.g., filling out a form) in exchange for access to valuable content, such as ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, or case studies. This is a popular tactic in B2B lead generation as it helps businesses gather potential customers’ information for future nurturing and sales efforts. Gated content does have its pros and cons:
Gated Content Pros
- Generates high-quality leads: Gated content can help filter out uninterested or unqualified prospects, as only those genuinely interested in the content will be willing to provide their contact information.
- Builds a targeted email list: By gating content, businesses can collect email addresses of potential leads for targeted email marketing campaigns, which can be highly effective for nurturing leads and driving conversions.
- Increases perceived value: Content that requires effort to access (e.g., providing contact information) can be perceived as more valuable, leading to higher engagement and a stronger impression of the brand.
- Enables content segmentation: By offering different types of gated content, businesses can segment their audience based on their specific interests, allowing for more personalized marketing efforts.
- Provides measurable ROI: Gated content allows businesses to track the number of leads generated, enabling them to measure the effectiveness of their content marketing efforts and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Gated Content Cons
- May discourage some users: Some potential leads might be put off by the requirement to provide personal information, and as a result, they may not engage with the content.
- Limits content reach: By gating content, businesses inherently limit its visibility and sharing potential, which can reduce overall brand awareness and diminish the chances of attracting new leads organically.
- Reduces search engine optimization (SEO) benefits: Gated content can negatively impact SEO because search engines cannot crawl and index the content behind the gate, limiting its potential to rank in search results.
- Time and resource investment: Creating high-quality gated content requires significant time and resources, which may not always generate the desired ROI.
- May lead to low-quality leads: Some users may provide false information or use throwaway email addresses to access gated content, resulting in lower-quality leads and potentially skewing data.
Understanding the importance of gated content is crucial for B2B enterprises, as this powerful asset can significantly impact lead generation quality. Consequently, we’ve devoted this article to exploring the ins and outs of gated content, showcasing its potential to transform B2B lead generation strategies.
80% of B2B marketing assets are gated; as gated content is strategic to B2B lead generation companies.HubSpot
Gated content, a key element of inbound marketing, is offered for free in exchange for user information. Its primary purpose is to generate leads by encouraging users to fill out a form before accessing valuable content. A user willing to provide their information in exchange for an asset is likely a high-quality lead.
Gated content enables businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and website visitors. However, it also has drawbacks, such as limited SEO benefits, potential loss of prospects, reduced brand visibility, fewer page views, and a decline in traffic.
To maximize the benefits of gated content while minimizing the risks, use it in conjunction with other marketing strategies. Gated content can be particularly effective for capturing high-quality leads when users are genuinely interested in your brand or need your services.
There are various types of gated content that you can deploy on your website to attract quality leads. Some of the most effective forms include:
- Ebooks: A popular choice among users, ebooks provide in-depth information on a specific subject matter. These guides can help build brand awareness and authority, making them an excellent option for gated content.
- Whitepapers: Another widely-used form of gated content, whitepapers offer comprehensive and authoritative information on a given topic. They are trusted sources of content that can help establish your brand as a thought leader. Gating whitepapers can attract high-quality leads who trust your expertise and value your insights.
- Webinars: Webinars offer interactive and engaging experiences for visitors who are willing to participate and connect with your brand. This form of gated content fosters trust and long-term relationships, while also providing opportunities to nurture leads who register for the webinar.
- Case Studies: Showcasing your brand’s successes and the value you’ve provided to clients, case studies are an effective form of gated content. They can attract leads who are interested in learning about your accomplishments and the tangible results you deliver.
- Industry Reports: In-depth analysis and data-driven insights on specific industries can be highly valuable to potential leads. By offering exclusive access to industry reports, you can attract leads who are genuinely interested in your field and the knowledge you provide.
When implementing gated content, carefully consider which forms best suit your target audience and overall marketing strategy. This approach can help you capture high-quality leads who are genuinely interested in your brand and the services you offer.
Best Practices for Gated Content
To ensure that gating content is effective for B2B lead generation, consider implementing the following best practices:
- Offer high-quality content: The content you offer must be valuable and relevant to your target audience. High-quality content encourages users to provide their contact information and helps establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
- Keep forms short and simple: Minimize the number of fields required in your registration forms. Request only essential information (e.g., name, email address, company name) to reduce friction and increase the likelihood of users completing the form.
- Use progressive profiling: Instead of asking for all information at once, use progressive profiling to gather additional information over time as users engage with more gated content. This approach helps reduce form abandonment and provides a better user experience.
- Provide a clear value proposition: Clearly communicate the benefits of accessing your gated content to encourage users to provide their contact information. Use concise headlines and bullet points to highlight the value your content offers.
- Segment content based on buyer personas: Tailor your gated content to different buyer personas, considering their unique pain points, challenges, and interests. By offering targeted content, you can better engage potential leads and provide more personalized experiences.
- Optimize landing pages: Design visually appealing and user-friendly landing pages for your gated content. Ensure the page loads quickly, is mobile-responsive, and has clear calls-to-action (CTAs) to maximize conversions.
- Test and iterate: Continuously analyze your gated content’s performance by monitoring key metrics, such as conversion rates, lead quality, and engagement. Use this data to optimize your strategy and improve the effectiveness of your gated content efforts.
- Nurture leads effectively: Have a well-planned lead nurturing strategy in place to engage with the leads generated from your gated content. Use targeted email campaigns, personalized content, and marketing automation tools to guide leads through the sales funnel.
- Balance gated and ungated content: Offer a mix of gated and ungated content to reach a broader audience and cater to different user preferences. Ungated content can help improve brand awareness and SEO, while gated content can generate high-quality leads for your sales team.
By following these best practices, you can create a successful gated content strategy that effectively drives B2B lead generation and enhances your overall content marketing efforts. Content offers are very important throughout the buyers’ journey. It is important to have some good gated content being made available for your prospects for the relationship-building and lead nurturing process.