If used right, gated content can prove a boost to revenue.
Restricting access to content — or “gating” content — is an increasingly popular marketing tool that allows content marketers to ask users for more than a click. The marketers gain money or more sophisticated user data and the users gain access to high quality content. There are typically three common ways to gate:
- Require the viewer to share their contact information and sign up to receive emails.
- Build a community around their content and charge for membership.
- Paid subscription for access.
The first thing you need to do before setting up a gate is to decide how you want to use your content. In some cases, you want people to read your white paper and contact you. Putting this content behind a gate is counterproductive this end and to the end of reaching the widest possible audience. You can reach far more people by removing the gate and providing the content to anyone willing to download it. Here are a few positive ways to leverage gated content:
Share Contact Info
This information may not drive people to contact your business, but it is highly valuable to potential customers for your products and services. In this case, you can use a gate to collect the contact information of people who want access to your content. The goal here is to create a product that is valuable enough for people to hand over their contact information in exchange for the content you’re offering. Since that content is not designed to drive readers to your company, the gate connects the content and the readers to your marketing funnel.
Another great way to use gated content is to build a community around your best information. One good example of this is Podcasters’ Paradise, established by Entrepreneur On Fire. They share their blog and podcast with the world for free (Advertisements are used to create revenue). However, those who pay for membership are given access to premium content like videos and webinars with the top podcasters in the industry. Paying for access to this gated content also moves leads through the sales funnel and creates a mailing list of people who have already purchased a product offered by the brand.
The final example is subscription gating. The theory behind this option is to develop high quality, sophisticated content that your target audience value enough to pay for access. This is a common business model used by newspapers, but it’s success has been mixed. Since most of the information found in one newspaper can be found elsewhere, for free, it’s hard to motivate users to pay.
While the New York Times has been successful in offsetting declining paper subscriptions with their relatively new paywall, this may not work for content creators that don’t already have a massive audience.
As these examples show, gated content is most effective when you’re offering a unique and valuable information product that your target audience needs. Give them this, and they may pay the price to obtain it, whether that means paying money for access or giving you their contact information.
How do you use gated content? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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