Inbound marketing entices viewers with the information they cherish or require. Valuable content attracts a company’s target audience and encourages them to take some action. If the company’s fortunate enough, this action involves the customer purchasing from them. Gated content can make inbound marketing more effective by hiding some pieces of information behind a subscription wall. Unless the customer is willing to subscribe, they’re unable to access that hidden portion. Now is it a form of blackmailing? How much content should you conceal?
There’s an ongoing debate regarding these issues and the morality of gated content. But there’s no denying that this method is successful as heck!
How does a gated content work?
First, let’s explain what gated content exactly is and how it works. Your content marketing strategy involves producing high-quality, informative, and interactive content. Blogs and articles published on your website attract visitors and create a loyal audience. But not every piece of content you publish is visible to the readers. You gate or lock some posts or certain portions of the content. Readers can access it only by giving up their contact information (such as email address) and turning themselves into leads.
Now you can understand that lead generation is the objective of gated content. You can communicate with these leads by educating and nurturing them. Since they constitute people interested in your services and wish to keep in touch with your organization. You send them regular updates about your brand, so some of them will eventually purchase from you. What sort of content should be gated? E-books, whitepapers, and webinars are some examples of content you can lock for your readers.
Reasons for using gated content
- Adds value to content:-
Censoring your content makes people perceive it as valuable. It’s like putting a price on an article, and now visitors think it’s a commodity worth their investment. Folks are always curious to see what’s behind the curtain. So, you can create WordPress gated content by following these steps:
- Amass a noticeable number of followers to your website.
- Use a plugin to restrict access to the content you want to lock.
- Make sure that this gated content is also hidden for search engines.
This strategy creates a line of communication between you and the newly-gained lead. But remember to keep the plugin simple. If you ask visitors to fill lengthy forms, it might drive away most of your potential leads. So, this was the psychological benefit of gating your blogs and articles.
- Generating leads
That’s simple enough! As we’ve mentioned earlier, people part with their name and email address to access the concealed information. The purpose of gated content isn’t just to create leads but to collect information to make buyer personas. That’s why specific plugins also ask additional questions regarding the visitor’s website or phone number. Now you can add this email into your marketing database and frequently communicate with this lead.
- Learning about leads
Gated content helps you collect information about your visitors, which you use to learn more about these leads. You require this data to understand your audience better and learn about their interests. Now you’ll find out what sort of content engages which customers. That’s why gated content becomes a filter for your readers. It’s a method to qualify leads, and qualification results in a person’s conversion. This technique merely requires excellent execution.
- Enhancing web traffic
Offering hidden content makes it valuable to specific individuals, such as journalists seeking to read a confidential report. That’s how people visit your website, boosting the traffic to that particular webpage. Some organizations even attract their competitors’ attention by providing locked reports or case studies. But this content won’t help in search engine optimization. As we’ve mentioned, you’ll need to ensure search engines don’t access it to keep it a secret.
- Improving sales
Once you’ve learned about your lead’s interests and hobbies, you can utilize similar content to keep him/her clued-up. You can leverage this content to increase sales for your company. Now your lead can receive updates about additional products and services similar to the previous one. Gates content also helps you bring the customer through the consideration phase. With a well-defined strategy, you can improve your marketing achievements and engage more buyers.
- Helps in segmentation
Segmentation of your audience means gaining insights regarding their categorization. It’s different from just learning their hobbies or pastimes. Now you’re discovering which category of people are more interested in your services. You can know that by asking your visitors questions about their workplace, job title, or company size. Remember that only 3% of people will buy from you on the spot. Some 6-7% of people are merely considering purchasing from you.
- Creating buyer personas
And 60% aren’t even interested in your product. That’s why segmentation helps you complete the buyer persona you’re developing. You might even surprise an entire community you left untouched that would’ve been interested in your product. So, gated content allows you to understand your audience to the core. Now, when you prepare your write, you know precisely whom you’re writing for! You merely need to collect the following information from your potential leads:
- Age Range
- Industry and Job Title
- Bringing quality visitors
If a person is willing to share their personal information for an e-Book, this sure seems like a high-quality lead. It shows that this person is interested in your product and is likable to buy from you. This is a buyer whose information you can transfer to your sales team. That’s how you bring the organization some credible leads to pursue. Gated content helps you meet people who are likely to do business with your company.
- Now some drawbacks
It shows that long-form content is more suitable for gated content marketing. But don’t gate your short-form content because it can negatively influence your overall webpage ranking and brand recognition. These are some disadvantages of gated content, i.e., it limits your visibility (as the content’s locked!) and doesn’t give any SEO benefits. It also contributes to fewer readers and can’t be used in brand awareness campaigns.
To gate or not to gate? That’s a millionaire-dollar question haunting every inbound marketer. But digital marketing strategists do value the power of gated content. In 2014, around 80% of B2B companies locked their content marketing assets by requiring access registration. Case studies and infographics are less likely to be gated as they contribute to an organization’s brand awareness. But videos, e-books, and product demos are some common examples of assets that are concealed from the public eye. Doubtlessly, gated content has its drawbacks as it diminishes the number of downloads. But this trade comes in handy when you’re planning to generate more leads and bolster your marketing strategy.