Have you ever put an awesome content marketing strategy together only to find out it wasn’t that awesome? Dwindling traffic, high bounce rates, low conversion rates and minimal leads. It’s incredibly disheartening. It takes considerable time and effort to create excellent content that resonates with an audience and compels them to action, making the feeling of helplessness all the more painful.
But what if it didn't have to be like this? What if you could target only highly qualified leads? And what if you could deliver extremely valuable content, build trust, authority, and all but guarantee conversions simultaneously? Well, it turns out you can. Enter gated content.
What Is Gated Content?
Gated content, sometimes called a registration wall or information gate is content requiring information input before a reader can see the content. Typically this is a form requesting basic information such as an email address and name. However, some forms can be more detailed, including occupation, interests, and education information; highly valuable information for streamlining your marketing.
On the other hand, you have standard ungated content, which includes your website pages, blog posts, social media content, YouTube and content across any other distribution channel. While ungated content is excellent for building brand awareness and driving traffic to your website, gated content targets those already well accustomed to your brand. This is because Google doesn’t crawl gated content, so it doesn’t contribute to your SEO.
There are numerous forms of gated content; typically, it's a whitepaper, e-book, long-form article, or webinar. Not sure what type of content is worthy of gating? Here are factors that help businesses decide:
But whatever it is, it must deliver significantly more value than your non-gated content; if someone is taking the time to enter their details, you’ve got to blow them away with high-quality, actionable information. So what are the benefits of gated content? Let's explore.
What Are The Benefits Of Gated Content?
Gated content has excellent benefits in terms of conversions. It helps you fish out only the highest-quality, most qualified leads from your audience and can be extremely powerful in increasing conversion rates. For example, Photowebo witnessed a 3806% lead conversion increase using gated information.
It also helps build trust, increase your credibility, and gives you a chance to provide something unique, valuable, and actionable. So let's check out some of the benefits you could gain from gated content.
According to this study, lead generation is one of the top priorities for marketers, and with infinite potential to transform traffic into leads, it should be. So how does gated content help with this? Gated content can be highly intriguing to members of your audience already interested in your business. Those who consume your blog posts watch videos and interact with you regularly.
Let’s say you already have lots of traffic to your site and numerous return visitors, many of whom are on your email list and some you know well, if only digitally. You then add a well-designed pop-up touching on your ideal customer's emotions, offering something infinitely more valuable than they already have; they simply have to click. This irresistible offer targeted at your most qualified leads is an excellent recipe for super-high conversion rates.
More Qualified Leads
So you’ve created an irresistible offer and targeted it toward your ideal customer, but another consideration is the customer journey. The customer journey is critical to any content marketing strategy, but understanding it well is especially important for gated content.
Your ungated information, such as blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media content, is excellent for the awareness stage of the journey, informing a broad audience base and allowing you to give value, build trust, and establish authority. Oh, and drive all that lovely traffic to your site.
But for someone to go out of their way to enter their email and name, it not only takes something exponentially more valuable to persuade them, but they must be further along the customer journey into the consideration stage. Where your irresistible offer will help them solve or achieve their problem.
Think back to that well-designed landing page, pop-up, or banner with copy claiming to solve their most pressing issue or fear, or achieve their highest goal, by simply entering an email; that’s a magic concoction to skyrocket conversion rates.
Gain Customer Insights & Analytics
Well-designed forms are excellent for collecting highly valuable information on your ideal customers. Although there is a fine line between designing a lead gen form that gets filled and one too long and annoying, your qualified leads will take the time to fill it out. After all, you’ve created a ridiculously irresistible offer, right?
While a name and email are great, extra information provides fantastic data points for streamlining your marketing and future web copy. This data can refine your customer persona and allow you to create content, copy, and products that serve them better.
Does Gated Content Work?
So, does gated content actually work? Let's crunch the numbers:
- According to MonsterInsights, gated content can see lead conversion rates as high as 45%. Yep wow.
- HubSpot states 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated.
- Trading Strategy Guides increased subscribers by 11,000 using gated content.
- According to Blendb2b, they experienced consistent conversion rates of 20% plus when using gated content.
Undoubtedly, gated content works for conversions, but how exactly does it transform traffic into leads so effectively?
How Does Gated Content Turn Traffic Into Leads?
Unlike your top funnel SEO blog posts targeting keywords, gated content is not crawled by Google and does nothing toward your SEO. To consider gated content, you must already receive high traffic volumes.
Let your blog posts, YouTube videos, and social media content bring traffic to your site and concentrate gated content for those interested in your awesome high-value stuff. Once a visitor is on your site, whether for the first time or returning, they will discover your gated content via a pop-up banner and landing page, which you can link to throughout your website copy.
So a reader comes to your site, reads a super helpful blog post found organically through Google, and sees a well-designed pop-up offering something more valuable promising to solve their greatest fear. They fill out the form, access your gated content, and there you have it, traffic transformed into an exciting new lead.
What Are The Different Type Of Gated Content?
Numerous types of content work great when gated, but must include:
Attract your perfect customer persona
Provide value they won't get elsewhere
Demonstrate your credibility and authority
These are all essential components for successful lead gen. So, what types of gated content should you create?
Long-form articles work great for gated information. They offer significantly more value than your standard 1000-word post because you remove the SEO focus during the creative process, meaning you can concentrate entirely on value and satisfying the reader.
Long-form is not only a way to demonstrate authority and help your audience but also evokes reciprocity, the feeling of wanting to give back after receiving something for free, e.g., buying from you.
Webinars are an extremely effective lead gen method. Video content is already 12x more effective than other types of content, and webinars are no different. You're giving value while also putting your face behind the brand. This study by the University of Oregon showed that seeing a face in branding increased brand likeability, and people were more receptive to a brand with a face.
The live nature of the webinar allows your customers to get to know you and interact with you in real time–building trust, credibility, and likeability in the process. All of these are part of the six pillars of persuasion, which, as you know, can be extremely powerful.
Ebooks are another excellent method for attracting highly qualified leads. They can build upon an existing blog post, provide huge amounts of value, and give the reader actionable steps they can take away and put into practice.
Something as actionable as a downloadable template is fantastic lead gen. While an ebook informs the reader how to do something, a template is something they can use. Typically downloadable templates work wonderfully with other content, such as embedded in a blog post or a video description.
As an agency owner or enterprise marketing manager, you can immediately start implementing these content types as part of your strategy. Start thinking about how much value you could provide to your clients. After all, roughly 80% of marketing assets from B2B campaigns are gated.
Which Type Is Best For Lead Generation?
There is no “best” type of gated content for lead generation, as many types can attract your most qualified leads. So it is more a case of trial and error and experimenting with different types of content. By doing this, you will find out what best resonates with your audience and the conversion rates. When complemented with well-designed landing pages, pop-ups, banners, and link integration, all the content types we have discussed can be excellent for conversion.
Gated content for lead generation is incredibly effective, transforming traffic into leads and leads into sales. However, any gated information you create must be targeted accurately if you want to maximize its potential.
If you already have a well-established audience, get tons of traffic, and understand your ideal customer, it may be time to include gated content in your strategy. Let's recap the main points:
Gated content has no SEO benefits.
Use gated content if you have lots of traffic and prospects who already love your content.
Benefits include quality lead generation, higher conversion rates, building trust and authority, and driving sales.
The best types of gated content are webinars, whitepapers, long-form articles, and ebooks.
Want to create high-quality content at every stage of the customer journey? From top funnel SEO posts to thigh quality lead generation content, contact Scripted today. We have a large, highly experienced pool of writers dedicated to helping you create the sort of gated content that will entice and convert your traffic to leads and leads to sales. We can't wait to see how we can accelerate your content marketing strategy.