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Gated content is content that users can access only after providing their information. It's a powerful strategy used for lead generation. Let's learn more about Gated Content in this blog!
What is Gated Content?
Gated content is any content that users can access only after providing their information. A user must provide personal information in order to gain access to the content. Usually, this refers to an email address.
Why is Gated content so useful? The answer is that it incentivizes lead generation. Lead generation refers to the gaining of interest of potential consumers to increase future sales.
Typically, with Gated content, users arrive at a website via a blog post. A search engine or a social media site directs these users to that blog post.
The first blog post is crucial in convincing users that you are a reliable source of information. If the blog is influential, users may show interest in learning more about what you have to offer or say. Well-created Gated content is a sure gateway to generating valuable leads.
Gated vs Ungated Content
Gated and Ungated content are two major types of content in digital marketing today. As previously discussed, Gated content is accessible if a viewer exchanges information for it. What does the word "gate" mean? It usually refers to a form that a user fills out with personal details like email addres, name, number etc to gain access. This type of content is helpful for sales teams whose aim is the generation of leads. Examples of Gated content are those that prove to be very valuable to the audience. They are much more than a traditional blog post.
Ungated content, simply speaking, is anything free for users to browse. It is content that users scan at their leisure, as per their wishes and desires. What is the aim of Ungated content? It is the generation of awareness among prospects and consequently building trust in them. Think about the beginning of a customer's journey where prospects start learning about your brand's products and services. This is the best time to use Ungated content to build trust.
In order to better understand the difference between Gated and Ungated content, let's take a look at their examples.
Gated content examples:
- White papers
Ungated content examples:
- Tip sheets
- Educational videos/podcasts
How to Decide if You Should Gate Your Content?
The decision of whether or not you should gate your content depends on the following factors:
Objective: This is the most crucial factor in deciding on gating content. Usually, the objectives can be either lead generation or building brand awareness. You should go for Gated content if your objective is lead generation, as users must provide their information for accessing your offer. Ungated content is appropriate for building brand awareness.
Consider competitors: Pay attention to what your competitors are up to. Are they already offering content without a gate? If they offer similar content without a gate, going for a gate would be a bad marketing move, and you may lose competitiveness.
Value generation: Is your content providing sufficient value for it to be gated? This means that prospects must find your content to be beneficial for them. Only ask prospects for their contact information when you know that your content is helpful for them and offers value.
Minimum information requirement: Producing a quality lead is essential; see what information will be required to achieve that. Always go with minimum information requirements that can ensure a quality lead. While a long-form helps gather meaningful data, it can also turn away many prospects.
Pros and Cons of Gated Content
Just like any other marketing technique, Gated content also has certain benefits of its own. With Gated content, leads are generated. You can then use these leads to enhance your marketing efforts. There are certain downsides of Gated content that need to be kept in mind. The biggest disadvantage is that users cannot see the content once it is positioned behind a form. An Ungated blog post has a much higher probability of going viral than a gated ebook. Moreover, Ungated content increases the visibility of a brand even though it may not generate sufficient leads.
Pros of Gated content:
- Increase in lead generation
- Increase in sales
- Facilitates arrangement of the email list
- Makes insight into customers possible
Cons of Gated content:
- Page views and traffic do not exist
- Lack of brand visibility
- No enhancement of search engine optimization
- The form may act as a discouragement for people to download content
Examples of Gated Content
Here are some popular Gated content examples:
A white paper is perhaps the most obvious example of Gated content. It is a report on a particular topic that is highly detailed and authoritative. Usually, this type of content consists of long-form pieces that the audience finds attractive. White papers make for great Gated content due to the value they provide; a white paper is an example of top-notch Gated content. Moreover, it helps you become an expert on a topic. Consequently, people would be attracted to you if you become a reliable expert. Ultimately, this would lead to more downloading your offer.
A popular type of Gated content is an ebook. In contrast to a white paper, an ebook is like a shorter guide on a particular topic. If you want to build trust with your audience, go for ebooks. Use them to make a good reputation in the mind of a potential consumer.
A template is a piece of content that is actionable and tactical. It offers a significantly higher perceived value than both the white paper and ebook. What does higher perceived value mean? It means that there is a higher probability of your audience seeking information by inputting their contact information.
Gated Content Strategies for Lead Generation
The most crucial benefit of Gated content is to generate leads. Let's discuss the various strategies for achieving it:
The strategy of content upgrades has become immensely popular since the 2010s. Content upgrades refer to the upgrading of content that users are already viewing. It refers to upgrades of additional content to a blog post on which the visitors have been landing. A content upgrade is a very effective method of wooing readers to subscribe to your mailing list. According to some experts, this is the best strategy to follow.
In recent years, webinars have gained a lot of popularity as a Gated content strategy. This can be attributed to the higher accessibility of the technology of recording and live broadcasting. A webinar is a chance for you to deliver content in a live online setting. In this setting, your audience may ask you questions for which you are required to provide reliable answers. Webinars enjoy a higher perceived value in comparison to other types of Gated content. When going live on social media platforms without an email requirement, you won't get the same tools that a webinar may provide. In order to capture lead information, webinars have their own landing pages. Afterwards, pre-recorded webinars can be uploaded on a resource repository page.
Email series is a unique Gated content strategy for you to try out. We know that everyone uses an email service. This makes the email service an excellent medium for having a vast influence. But how can you put email content behind a gate? A good way to do it is to deliver it in a series of an 'ongoing' nature. In an email series, deliver an email on a weekly or daily basis. This way, you can simplify complex subjects and make them easy for people to understand. As such, the email series is a highly efficient strategy.
A product demo is a presentation of a product's value to consumers. Here, the essential features of a product or service are demonstrated to a current or potential consumer. Scheduling demos is also a great strategy for certain types of companies. Here, you have to schedule a demo with a prospect by two methods: phone or email. This is one of the best strategies to adopt to build trust with a prospect. With demos, you are basically showing prospects your soft power and effectiveness. Consequently, prospects are likely to be future customers.
Gated Content Best Practices
Create content for buyer's journey
Each prospect would go through the buyer's journey. In this journey, there are three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. During each stage, your audience needs to deal with content suitable for them. The content should help them along the way. While someone in the awareness or beginning stage would prefer to read an ebook, a visitor in the decision stage may go for a webinar. So make sure that you design your content for each stage in the journey of a buyer. This way, you are more likely to convert them in the future.
Complete a competitive analysis
In a competitive analysis, you will have to research what your competitors are up to. Here, you should take a look at the type of content the competitors are creating. Find out about the Gated vs Ungated balance of competitors and to what extent they are using it.
Providing value in digital marketing is a matter of paramount importance. A long blog post should not be the only content offer you put forward. Instead, ensure variety in your content offering. Aim for content that is valuable as well as actionable. Moreover, relevance is vital when creating content. An irrelevant content offer is a terrible marketing move that harms you. Reliable content is an incentive for prospects to fill out the form and give you their contact information.
Measure the analytics
Make sure that you track conversions after the plan is in motion. This is what we call analytics. Analytics means the measurement of digital marketing success. This will give you an idea about the performance of your content strategy and what you can do to improve it.
Building Your own Gated Content with Memberstack
Memberstack is a membership integration platform. With Memberstack, you can integrate your website design with your branding efforts in a seamless manner. With Memberstack, you can create subscription-based revenue by using Gated Content. This refers to the member-only content at Memberstack. The process of building your own Gated content on Memberstack is quite simple. Here are the various steps involved in this process:
Step 1: Go to the Memberstack website.
Step 2: Signup for a free account by providing your email and creating a password.
Step 3: Once signed up, select a website builder. The various options are HTML/CSS and Webflow.
Step 4: Create a new membership. Halfway down the process, you'll see a button to Hide content.
Step 5: Give your content group a descriptive name and enter URLs of any pages or folders you'd like to hide. You can use Starts with to hide multiple pages (including those created in the future) and Equals to hide individual pages right now.
Step 6: Specify an "Access Denied" URL. This could be a pricing page, a login page, etc. It's entirely up to you.
Step 7: You can add multiple types of hidden content. For this example, we have "Basic" and "Premium." Later on, we'll create memberships that unlock each of these groups.
Step 8: If you want to hide individual elements (but not the entire page), we recommend doing so once you've finished setting up the rest of your site.
Step 9: Create!
Checkout this article for more details.
Join Memberstack today and enhance your Gated content efforts like never before!