It’s a tough question. In the recruitment industry where Agencies and Job Boards are looking for potential clients, gated content is a great source for inbound leads. We often implement gated content for our clients as part of a wider strategy, and it can be tough to say no to a piece of content and suggest offering it for free. But it can be the right decision.
So, what is gated content?
It is a piece of content that is placed behind a lead capture form. We’ve all seen them before, a White Paper / e-book / report of industry trends are all some examples. You then have to part with your email address or it’s on LinkedIn with a pre-populated form. That’s it. It works well if done right. But sometimes gating content isn’t necessarily the right thing to do.
We’ll take a quick look at what those situations may be:
If you are new or have a new product and don’t have a lot of content on your website you should consider putting a content plan in place to build up supporting content prior to adding gated content. You want potential customers to come to your website and see knowledge, advice and solutions without giving away some of their data.
An important part of building an audience is brand awareness. Getting share of voice is something a lot of brands strive for. Having content readily available that strengthens trust and builds your audience is vital.
It’s not premium content
Would you part with your data for a top 10 list? No, probably not. The content needs to be high quality, something you can’t find elsewhere with a quick google search. Any research that has been conducted is a good source of content, you can create an article with unique data supporting your voice. Any unique content will be a good standing for gated content.
A good sanity check is to ask if there is value in the content, is the reader getting something extra from it that can’t be found elsewhere? Ultimately, ask, would you give your data over for it? If the answer is no, have it on your website as free contet.
There is no Nuture plan
If you gate content you need a plan to do something with those leads. How many contact points will each lead have? What is the frequency of contact?
Implementing a programmatic email workflow is a recommended first step. This lets you send a follow up email after a specified time after you’ve received the form data. You can then put extra steps in the programme depending on what actions the potential customer has taken.
If you don’t have a plan to follow up it is fairly easy to implement. You can implement a form builder on most platforms and they can sync to most email providers like MailChimp. You can set up a neat workflow to contact those leads.
So don’t let the quality content go to waste, invest in a bit of time getting the process set up and it will be worth it.
If you are undertaking a SEO improvement programme and writing content for your audience then don’t gate it. The search engines won’t be able to get behind the form and so your beautifully crafted content won’t be indexed.
Keep in mind the objective of your content piece, if it’s for SEO purposes avoid gating. Offer it free and let your prospective audience find you, allowing you to build up trust.
Examples of non gated and gated content
So to round up, only gate content if it is unique, value added content that you would be happy to part with your data for. Test what works and what doesn’t and follow up on leads, don’t let them go into a black hole.
If you have any questions about implementing content (gated or non-gated) please get in touch, we are happy to answer any questions.