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What Is Gated Content and How Does It Help Brands?

what is gated content

It’s a million-dollar question in the marketing world — How do you present your content to the world? Industry experts answer this question differently. Some say “Give it all away,” while others reply with “Request the reader’s information in exchange for it!” While we can’t choose sides and tell you which answer is right, we can do one thing. That’s right, we can help all of you who are right at this moment wondering “Wait, what is gated content?”

But before we let you in on this secret, we want to point out that gated content is popular in the marketing world. In fact, 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated. So, it’s undeniable — whatever this gated thingy is, publishers and content creators are head over heels in love with it. It’s time for you to find out the meaning of gating your content and see whether you’re using it in your marketing campaigns.

In this article, we go over everything you need to know about content gating. We’ll review what it is, its pros and cons, and many other things.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of gated content!

Contents:

What Is Gated Content?

What is gated content? In a nutshell, gated content is the type of content viewers can access only after submitting some personal information. Basically, it’s the content you “hide” behind a form. The majority of websites ask people to provide their email addresses and phone numbers, or respond to a quick survey. After they do this, they get a key to an invisible lock that separates them and your content.

Furthermore, marketers rely on content gating to generate leads and, over time, sales. They offer relevant and quality marketing assets in exchange for customers’ contact information. You can use any content type as a bait — from videos, to white papers, and to case studies. Therefore, if you have something engaging and exceptional to offer, you can transform it into gated content!

The reason why gated content is popular is that it can be a powerful tool for  lead generation. However, you should know that gating your content isn’t always the best strategy. Sometimes, when you ask prospects to complete a form, they might frown and immediately leave your website. This doesn’t have anything to do with you. Some people don’t feel comfortable sharing their personal information on the internet.

If your marketing goal is to build brand awareness, then the content without a gate might be a better option for you.

Wait, What’s Ungated Content?

By now, you probably know the answer to this question. However, just in case, we’ll go over it. Publishers and content creators often have to choose between gated and ungated content. We know what the former is, but let’s define the latter.

Ungated content allows internet users to access the content without providing any information or filling out any forms. Some examples of ungated content are blog posts, articles (news), social media posts, and infographics.

Moreover, content without a gate can easily build trust because prospects don’t have any “obstacles” to pass to get to the content. Apart from increasing trust, it can also improve SEO.

What is gated content? You don’t need to wonder anymore! If anyone approaches you with this question, broaden their horizons and establish authority. But, before that, take a look at the pros and cons of this content to see the whole picture.

Pros and Cons of Gated Content

The question “What is gated content?” is no longer on your mind. Now, you’re probably dying to know its pros and cons. Let’s check them out below.

Pros of Gated Content

  • Increases lead generation
  • Produces more sales
  • Allows for email list segmentation
  • Provides detailed analytics and insight into your prospects and customers

Cons of Gated Content

  • Doesn’t improve SEO
  • No brand visibility
  • Some people don’t like filling out forms to download content

Ultimately, gated content is valuable because it generates leads. You can turn leads into prospects with the help of your marketing efforts. But, don’t forget to include ungated content in your content marketing strategy as well. Both of them can bring valuable results to your brand.

What’s more, you need to consider the content you’re publishing to decide whether you’ll request personal information or not. Longer assets like case studies are perfect for gated content, whereas shorter assets like articles work better as ungated content.

Now that we know the answer to the question “What is gated content,” here are some useful tips to help you along the way.

Tips for Mastering Gated Content

After creating a long marketing asset, you decide to ask your customers for some information in exchange for access. But, how do you do that? Let’s check some best practices for gated content for more.

Examine the Buyer’s Journey

Every prospect goes through the buyer’s journey. There are three stages of this process:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Of course, these three stages differ. So, it’s important that you create content for each stage to satisfy the needs of your potential customers. For instance, those who are in the awareness stage can benefit from an eBook. On the other hand, those in the decision stage are more likely to go with a product demo.

Moreover, always create content that is suitable for a particular stage. You’ll get better conversion rates if your content with a gate is aligned with the buyer’s journey.

Check Your Competitors

You know which content to use along the buyer’s journey? That’s great news! Now it’s time that you research your competitors. Basically, you should check what they are doing. This means knowing what content type they’re creating. Of course, check what is gated content and what isn’t on their website.

Offer Incentive

Every digital marketer knows that it’s crucial to provide direct value. Don’t just focus on the same type of content over and over again. Instead, try to offer actionable and valuable content as much as you can.

In addition, the audience needs to find your gated content relevant to them. If they find value in it, they’re more likely to give you their contact information.

Focus on Your Landing Page

Internet users usually end up on a landing page after clicking on a call-to-action. This means that you need to create a strong landing page. So, come up with a powerful headline and compelling copy. Your landing page should eliminate distractions and draw your customers in.

Find a Balance

As we said, content gating is important for lead generation. And if you want to grow your business, this aspect is of paramount importance. But, this doesn’t mean that you should disregard content without a gate as it can increase visibility and trust in your brand. So, strive to find a balance between these two and you’ll be good to go!

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