Gating content is the practice of placing the pieces of content – white papers, case studies, videos or e-books – behind a form that serves as a gatekeeper that controls user access to the content.
When Not To Gate Content
Content developed to increase site traffic through SEO and social media, or content that is intended to establish stronger thought leadership should not be gated. Search engines usually cannot access the content behind forms, so making sure it’s viewable to the public will both increase your SEO results as well as social media reach.
When people are at the beginning of the buying process or just getting to know you, they will have a lower commitment and tend toward not supplying information to see the content behind a gatekeeper. Waiting until a level of interest has developed and providing more in depth and complete information on your products and services will increase their propensity to supply information about themselves.
When To Gate Content
Site visitors are most apt to complete forms when they can’t locate the information elsewhere and when they are toward the end of the purchase cycle. Visitors expect to have to answer a few questions for free trials, quotes, downloads and webinars or webinar replays. The acid test when deciding to get your content is to make sure you are providing value to a potential customer when you ask for their information.
Tips To Improve Your Gated Content Process
- Provide enough content outside of the gate to demonstrate the value you bring to the business relationship.
- Balance SEO and social media with the need for lead generation. These two goals require each other for each to be effective.
- Determine the correct place in the sales cycle to gate your content. Tailor your communications to accurately determine a visitor’s interest level and when they are ready to start a conversation with you.
- Keep your forms and information requests short and targeted to the related message. The less work required to access gated content, the more likely you are to start that conversation. You can utilize follow up content gates to obtain further information and get a better picture of your potential customers.
When done well, gating content can benefit both prospects and businesses. The key to success is understanding the customers’ intent and always remember to provide valuable information in trade for their personal information.