Do you know what is the top priority for marketers in 2020?
It’s lead generation.
That’s not really surprising. After all, lead generation is an integral part of getting more customers and growing your business.
But how do marketers generate more leads? One of the most popular strategies for lead generation is to use gated content. If you haven’t leveraged this strategy yet, it’s time to get started now.
In this post, let’s take a look at what gated content is and how you can use it on your website.
What Is Gated Content?
If users are required to provide their contact information to view your content, it classifies as gated content. Typically, users are required to fill out a form to get access to gated content. This form usually appears as pop-up or as a part of a landing page on a website.
Here is an example of Harvard Business Review using gated content on their website:
Image via Easel.ly
However, don’t confuse gated content with premium content. While the latter is associated with an additional fee, gated content is always free.
Since users are required to put in extra effort to access gated content, it is recommended that you use content that provides them with value.
Let’s talk about the best types of content that you can gate to generate more leads.
Think of a white paper as a detailed report written on a specific topic. It is an authoritative piece of content that is typically written by experts in a field. Since it provides great insights and valuable information, it can work well as gated content.
Image via Instapage
If your company has performed exceptionally well in getting more leads, sales, or conversions, you should consider writing a case study. Not only can it establish your brand as an authority, but also help you generate more leads.
This type of gated content can appeal to users who are looking for success stories or strategies that have worked for others.
Image via Dynamic Yield
Webinars are all about educating your audience. Generally, they have a good perceived value and are more likely to appeal to buyers who are in the decision-making stage.
Image via The Demio Blog
An ebook is a concise guide on a specific topic. The content of an ebook can be similar to that of a white paper but it is typically shorter. As gated content, they work well in the awareness stage of the sales funnel.
Image via Bloominari
Think of templates as documents that provide a roadmap to the readers for a better understanding of a particular topic. Since they provide readers with a resource that they can easily use by just editing out a few details, templates are considered quite valuable.
Image via HIPB2B
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Gated Content?
Before you start gating content on your website, it’s important to have a balanced view on it. In this section, let’s take a look at the advantages and drawbacks of gated content.
Advantages of Gated Content
Gating your content is a great way to generate qualified leads who may be interested in your products and services.
That’s not all.
There are multiple benefits to this content marketing tactic.
Because you have their contact information, it also becomes easier to target them via email marketing. After adding them to your mailing list, you can send them your latest offers, product launches, and more.
While everyone downloading your content may not be ready to make a purchase, you can always follow-up with them. In a nutshell, gated content enables you to move your prospects further along the sales funnel.
Disadvantages of Gated Content
One of the biggest disadvantages of using gated content is that you are limiting your reach. Some users may not be willing to put in extra effort to download your gated content even if they are interested in it.
Additionally, if your content doesn’t provide enough value, it may indirectly damage your brand reputation and credibility. It does not help your brand get more visibility or traffic.
It is recommended that you gate your content only once you have a substantial follower base. If you are just starting out, it’s better to focus your efforts on affiliate marketing and social media promotions.
How to Use Gated Content to Get More Qualified Leads
Now that you know both the sides of the coin, you are in a better position to decide if you should use gated content. If you decide that it is worth a shot, here are some tips to use gated content for lead generation:
1. Make Content for Different Stages of the Sales Funnel
At each stage of the sales funnel, every prospect has different needs. While creating content, you need to keep these things in mind.
Someone at the top of the sales funnel may want to know what your brand actually does. On the other hand, someone who is comparing product prices will want more specific information. In a nutshell, user intent is a crucial element.
Make sure that your gated content is aligned to cater to the needs of buyers at different stages in the sales funnel. While ebooks are relevant for the awareness stage, demos and webinars might be more suited for the final decision stage.
2. Conduct a Thorough Competitor Analysis
Before you begin creating gated content, check out what your competitors have to offer. Visit their websites and take a look at the kind of gated content they have on their website.
Not only can this help you find more ideas for gated content, but also get a sense of what resonates with your target audience.
It is also a good idea to read some ungated content on your competitors’ websites. Make sure that they are not offering content similar to your gated content without asking for user details.
The best strategy to follow is to mirror your competitors’ gated content and provide more value to it. For instance, if they are offering a case study on influencer marketing, you can offer that along with a checklist.
3. Optimize Your Landing Page
One of the best ways to attract quality leads is to create optimized landing pages. Whenever a user clicks on any CTA on your site, they are likely to be redirected to a landing page. That’s why you should optimize them to boost your overall conversion rate.
Clear, concise copy, an engaging headline, and attractive images are some of the ways you can make your landing page more appealing. In addition to this, highlight the benefits or key learnings that users can get from your gated content.
You should also design your landing page in such a way that there aren’t too many distractions. This way, you can ensure that you are getting your users’ undivided attention.
Image via Lead Generation
4. Leverage Segmentation
Your job isn’t done once someone downloads your gated content. After that, you need to focus on reaching out to them and nurturing your relationship. Start by segmenting all the received email addresses into relevant categories.
You can organize them based on age, location, gender, or any other demographic factors. Such segmented email lists can help you make your email campaigns more targeted.
Even when you are sending them follow-up emails, segmentation can help you send more personalized content and offers.
5. Analyze Important Metrics
Keep an eye on all the important metrics to analyze if your efforts are yielding good results. Data can give you a true picture of the effectiveness of your gated content. If you aren’t getting the kind of results you expected, it’s time to change course and make changes to your landing page. For a major change, you can also replace the gated content that you are offering.
Gated content is a great way to grow your email list and generate more qualified leads. To get the best response, make sure you are offering something that your target audience values. Also, pick the kind of content that isn’t readily available for free elsewhere to gate.
To ensure that you get the maximum leads, it’s also a good idea to optimize your landing pages. In addition to this, you should create content separately for users at different stages in the marketing funnel.
Once you manage to get some leads, you should leverage segmentation to send them targeted emails. To check the effectiveness of your strategy, analyzing your important metrics is also crucial.
Do you have any questions related to gated content? Please feel free to mention them in the comments section.
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