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What Is Gated Content?
Gated content refers to the type of content that your website visitors can access only after providing contact information or taking fulfilling certain requirements as you have set.
One way of generating tools is adding gated offers at certain points in the marketing funnel.
This is because your target audience will have to register or at least provide an email address to access the gated content.
In this post, we look at how you can use gated and generate leads effectively. In addition, we will provide relevant examples from brands using gated content as a lead generation tool.
Gated Content Key Takeaways
- If gated content is performing well, never “ungate” it.
- Gated content works well when your website and landing pages are already attracting a high volume of traffic.
- As much as 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated
Understanding How Gated Content Works
Content gating entails hiding eBooks, white papers, downloadable templates, and other valuable content, so that website visitors can only access the content after providing required information.
To achieve the objective, the website owners need to provide valuable content that will entice the prospects to take appropriate action.
The use of gated content has become a popular approach for increasing conversion rates.
However, note that a capture form at the wrong state of the customer’s journey might discourage potential customers from further engagements with your brand.
Therefore, before using gated content make sure you are not likely to distract the customers.
Best Practices When using Gated content
1. Create content For Each Stage In The Buyers Journey
The three stages involved in a buyer's journey are awareness, consideration, and decision.
During each stage, it is important that your audience has content meant to help them along the way.
If you are using gated content, ensure the content offered matches the customer's expectations at that particular stage.
Otherwise, the customer might stop further engagements with your brand.
2. Conduct Proper Competitive Analysis
Once you have defined the proper content ideas for different stages of the customer journey, it is now time to check out what your competition is doing.
Therefore, look up the content offers made by your competition. Therefore, examine gated content versus the ungated content.
The competition analysis will give you a good idea of the content to gate.
3. Provide Actionable And Valuable Offers
Your gated content should not just be a long blog post.
Instead, make sure you are providing your readers content that is actionable and delivers value to the readers.
Content that delivers real value provides the readers the incentive to fill out the form and give away correct contact information.
4. Build A Strong Landing Page
When a user clicks on the CTA for the content offer, he will be led to the landing page.
One of the best practices for gated content in marketing is ensuring a strong landing page.
Therefore, make sure you have a strong headline, write a compelling story and generate a form.
An optimized landing page will eliminate distractions and capture visitors’ undivided attention.
5. Audience Segmentation
When you have started seeing some downloads of your gated coming through, check out the email addresses, and start segmenting them.
Segmentation helps you develop targeted email marketing campaigns.
Besides, effective segmentation allows you to send lead nurturing emails to your prospects.
6. Measure the Analytics
When you have decided to gate certain pieces of content, it means you can track conversions and measure analytics.
As with any marketing strategy, measuring success is extremely important. The data will help you understand the marketing strategy.
Therefore, measure the analytics and use the data to reach meaningful conclusions.
If the gated content is performing well, it shows a clear sign that this was the right strategy.
However, if traffic is decreasing since you introduced gated content that is a red flag.
You probably are not providing the right content type, or it may be time to revert to ungated content.
Real Examples Of Brands Using Gated Content Strategy
Here are some great examples of gated content for your inspiration.
1. How Brendan Dunn Grew Email Subscription List To More Than 25,000 Subscribers Through Gated Email Courses
An email is a perfect tool when it comes to applying gated content to grow a subscription list.
Brendan Dunn of Double Your Freelancing gives us a perfect example of how gated content can help to grow an email subscriber list.
Using gated email courses helped Dunn to grow his subscription list to over 25,000 users.
Dunn makes his gated email courses the focal point of his home page.
When the website visitors click on the CTA button, they are directed to an optimized landing page.
The landing page features a complete description of what users will learn from the course.
In addition, there is a review from a past user, which aids in convincing the user to take action.
Finally, the form is simplified, so that the website user does not feel that it is a waste of time.
2. How Keap Applies Gated Demo To Grow Subscribers list
For app builders, scheduling a demo session is one of the most important marketing strategies.
A demo gives the software builders a chance to showcase value to their prospects.
This is by highlighting the power of your application and showing them the basic features.
While the typical process for scheduling a demo is to call or to email the prospect, Keap takes it to the next level. Right on the home page, there is a CTA leading to the Free trial subscription page.
The free trial is gated behind a subscription form, that interested users need to fill up.
The users have to provide an email address to be allowed to subscribe to the free trial.
Besides, there is a value proposition narrative right beside the subscription form.
The creative approach gets the most out of the demo process. This is not only because the customers have the chance to customize the demo, but also a chance for Keap to grow the email subscription list.
Step-By-Step Guide To Creating A Gated Content Marketing funnel
Here are important steps to follow when creating your gated content marketing funnel.
Step1: Creating The Content
Choose the content type that aligns with your marketing objectives. Here are the different ideas when it comes to content-type:
Step2: Create a Landing Page
The next stage when it comes to using gated content for your marketing is to build a landing page.
The landing page is where your audience will opt-in for the locked content. Therefore, you need to ensure:
- A compelling heading
- An appealing copy
- A clear call-to-action
- Simple opt-in form
Remember that people are more likely to fill out short forms. Therefore, request only for the information you truly need.
3. Decide How Website Visitors Will Access The Content
Some options for your consideration include:
- Sending the content via email
- Providing a direct download link immediately
- Redirecting the users to a content page
You can offer the visitors either, or all of the above options. Just make sure the option provided favors the customers.
Alternatively, you may ask the visitors to choose their preferred way to access the content.
Gated content is an insanely effective way to turn website visitors into solid leads. Follow the right formula to increase the chances of success. I hope that the tips covered herein will guide you to creating a killer gated content strategy.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- David Gitonga, Writer @ Starter Story
- Ankita Ghosh
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