- Strategy We Keep Talking About – Gated Content!
- Which One Should I Choose – Gated or Ungated Content?
- Examples of Gated Content in eCommerce
- But, What is the Right Time to Gate Content?
- Some of the Best Practices for Gated Content as a Marketing Strategy
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
- Maximize Your Marketing Strategy By Leveraging Gated Content
Can we use marketing to gather customer information without making them feel invaded?
Many business owners like yourself are seeking this strategy, which has become increasingly popular among marketing agencies today.
In a time when technology is always keeping an eye on things, businesses are looking for strategies that respect their customers’ privacy and choices that will keep their customers safe.
Customers often desire personalization in their interactions with businesses. Still, they also value their privacy and don’t want others prying into their personal lives.
It’s a balance companies need to find.
That’s why entrepreneurs leverage this strategy to gain people’s information and generate leads for better experiences.
Strategy We Keep Talking About – Gated Content!
Gated content refers to online content only accessible to users after they have taken a specific action or met certain criteria.
Gated content is information that viewers can access only after they fill in a capture form and provide their contact information, such as their email address and phone number. Some forms also request additional data such as company and industry.
The Purpose of Gating Content is often;
- To reduce bounce rates,
- Used for market research,
- To gather user information,
- To generate and nurture leads,
- Used as a direct monetization strategy,
- To encourage deeper engagement with users,
- To provide exclusive access to valuable resources, or
- To have more control over who accesses their content and how it’s distributed.
Some types of Gated Content include;
And much more!
So how does it work?
An Edtech company specializing in project management has created an ebook called 10 Advanced Strategies for Efficient Project Management.
They made a landing page where people can learn about the ebook and provide their name, email, company, and job role. The company shares this page on social media, sends it to its email list, and runs ads.
You, a project manager, see this on LinkedIn, find it attractive, and fill out the form with your details. Then, you get an immediate download link and receive the ebook in your email.
A week later, the company sends you an email with a demo video of their project management tool, focusing on the strategies in the ebook.
This process helps the company offer value to potential customers while gathering info about those interested in advanced project management, improving future marketing efforts.
Which One Should I Choose – Gated or Ungated Content?
Many businesses find it practical to use both gated and ungated content in their content marketing strategies. This balanced approach helps achieve goals related to lead generation, brand awareness, and audience engagement.
The choice between these strategies should depend on your campaign’s specific objectives and the type of content being offered.
|Content that requires users to provide some form of information before they can access it.
|Content that is freely accessible without any barriers.
|Whitepapers, e-books, webinars
|Blog posts, infographics, short videos
|Customer Data Collection
|Collects detailed audience data
|Limited data collection
Examples of Gated Content in eCommerce
These examples illustrate how gated content can be applied strategically in the eCommerce industry to gather user data, generate leads, and provide valuable information to potential buyers.
- Offer a limited-time free trial of your premium eCommerce software or platform in exchange for user information.
- Create a white paper on a relevant eCommerce industry topic, such as The Future of eCommerce in 2023, and require users to fill out a form to download it.
- Develop an e-book on eCommerce best practices or strategies and ask for user information before granting access.
- Host webinars featuring eCommerce experts discussing the latest industry trends and innovations. Users must register with their information to attend.
- Provide gated access to in-depth product demos or walkthroughs of your eCommerce solutions.
- Offer eCommerce courses or training programs that users can access by enrolling and providing information.
- Develop quizzes like Are You Ready to Start an Online Store? Users complete the quiz after signing up.
- Offer exclusive eCommerce forums, discussion groups, or networking opportunities in the community.
- Publish annual reports on eCommerce industry insights, statistics, and trends. Users can access them by providing their information.
- Create a series of informative email content on eCommerce tips, strategies, or case studies. Users can subscribe by sharing their email addresses.
And much more!
But, What is the Right Time to Gate Content?
The timing of when you use gated content is critical because if you do it at the wrong time, it can backfire.
Consider the Buyer’s Journey: When potential customers have already been engaging with your brand for a while, they’re more likely to provide their information. It’s a good idea to use gated content later in their journey.
Leverage High-Traffic Content: If you have content that’s already attracting a lot of visitors, you can put it behind a gate to gather more information from those visitors.
Exclusive Content: If you have unique content that is not easily found elsewhere, it’s an excellent opportunity for gated content.
But before you ask for someone’s information, make sure your content is high-quality, well-presented, unbiased, and genuinely helpful.
Otherwise, it’s not fair to expect users to share their details. So to ensure your content is good enough, go through these proven practices to level up your strategy.
Also, you need to know some Do’s and Don’ts of the Gated Content –
Some of the Best Practices for Gated Content as a Marketing Strategy
Well, convinced enough? If yes, it’s time to start implementing gated content to boost your impact in the eCommerce Industry.
Define and Segment Your Target Audience Accordingly
Defining your target group or breaking down your audience is a smart move when using gated content. This means you must understand what your audience likes and what they’re looking for.
In gated content, it’s crucial to recognize that the B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) purchasing journeys are distinct.
This means the audiences you are selling to have different needs and preferences.
To maximize the impact of your gating strategy, you should;
Know Your Audience: Figure out who you’re talking to. Get a grip on things like who they are, what problems they have, what they’re interested in, and where they are in their shopping journey.
Choose Appropriate Content Formats: Once you’ve sorted your audience into groups, choose the content that suits them best. For example;
- If you’re dealing with businesses (B2B) wanting detailed info, go for eBooks, reports, calculators, or quizzes.
- If you’re dealing with everyday shoppers (B2C) wanting quick deals, consider gating discount codes, special offers, memberships, or videos.
Meet Their Needs: Make sure your content is all about what they need and what they’re into.
- For B2B, focus on solving complex business problems, while
- In B2C, emphasize value, savings, and convenience.
By breaking your audience into groups and making content that’s right up their alley, you can make sure your gated content hits the bullseye. That way, they’re more likely to share their information in exchange for the good stuff you offer.
Take Content Creation Seriously
Put some real effort into creating your content. It’s essential to make it good and valuable for your audience.
Attaching a form to protect it isn’t enough. If your audience feels your content is low-quality or unhelpful, they will likely disconnect from your brand.
In other words, all your efforts go to waste because you won’t make a sale, which can harm your future relationships with them.
Look at how to create high-quality gated content;
As you have already defined your target audience, it would be easy for you to create content based on that.
Learn from Ungated Content: An intelligent strategy is to create content that complements your free, ungated content.
Something like a Comprehensive Skincare Guide, which complements the beauty tips you offer for free on your blog. This adds value for your audience.
Engage with Experts: You don’t have to be famous, but if you build trust by being active on social media, running a blog, or answering questions online, people are more likely to trust what you say.
Taking content creation seriously is about making your content great and valuable for your audience.
This approach can lead to more successful campaigns and stronger customer relationships.
Identify the Needs of your Audience by Monitoring the Competitors
To ensure your gated content is effective, conduct a competitive analysis. Look at what your competitors are offering in terms of content.
Please pay attention to what content they gate (require user information) versus what they leave ungated (freely accessible).
Analysis will help you decide which content should be gated based on what works in your industry and market. This can give you ideas on where to improve on content strategy.
Build a Strong & Unique Landing Page
This is a critical best practice in gated content marketing. It involves creating an effective landing page and compelling call-to-action to encourage user engagement.
Some effective practices include;
- Create a clear and compelling headline.
- Provide a concise description of your content’s value.
- Use high-quality visuals to enhance the page.
- Highlight the benefits and value of your content.
- Design a user-friendly form with only essential fields.
- Include an action-oriented CTA that uses persuasive language, and stands out.
- Build trust with trust signals like privacy policies.
- Keep it consistent with your content’s message and expectations.
By building a solid landing page and a compelling CTA incorporating these elements, you can significantly improve user engagement and encourage them to access your gated content.
Provide Value to your Audience
Your gated content should provide real value and be actionable. It should offer practical insights, solutions, or information your audience can apply to their needs or challenges.
- Ensure that your gated content is highly relevant to your specific audience. It should address their pain points and interests, making it more enticing for them.
- Content, such as quizzes, games, or eBooks, encourages users to engage with your content actively. This creates a more enjoyable and informative user experience.
- Interactive content can make complex or less exciting information more digestible and enjoyable. It enhances the overall user experience, making your content more attractive.
You can gain confidence in gating parts of your online content by providing valuable interactive content and building an engaged audience. Users will be more willing to provide their information for content they perceive as helpful.
Track & Analyze Your Performance Regularly
Tracking performance helps you understand how well your strategy is working.
It involves closely monitoring and analyzing these various metrics to estimate the success of your efforts and make data-driven improvements;
- Track how many people provided their information to access your gated content. A higher conversion rate indicates more tremendous success.
- Monitor the percentage of users who left your website after encountering the lead form. A high exit rate may indicate issues with your form or content.
- Monitor the duration users spend on your landing page. A longer time may suggest engagement, while a shorter time could indicate a lack of interest.
- Measure how much time users invest in consuming the gated content material. Longer durations signal content value and engagement.
- If your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) show that your gated content strategy fails to meet goals, consider modifying the accessible or gated content format to improve results.
Tracking these metrics provides valuable insights into user behavior and helps you make informed decisions to optimize your content and achieve your lead generation goals.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
What type of content is best suited for gating?
High-value content like E-books, Exclusive Coupon Codes, Rewards, Product Guide, etc, are typically best suited for gating. The content should offer significant value to justify the exchange of personal information.
What should I do after a user accesses my gated content?
Engage with the user by sending promotion emails, offering related content, or introducing them to relevant eCommerce products/services. The goal is to nurture the lead and guide them through the sales funnel.
How often should I update my gated content?
Regularly review and update your gated content to ensure it remains relevant to your audience. The frequency will depend on the nature of the content and changes in the eCommerce industry or the topic it covers.
What tools can I use to set up gated content?
There are various tools and platforms, including content management systems (CMS), marketing automation platforms like HubSpot Marketo, and specialized plugins or extensions for your eCommerce websites.
How do I measure the success of my gated content strategy?
Key metrics include: The number of leads generated, Conversion rates of the landing page, Engagement with the content, Subsequent interactions or conversions by the leads.
How can I improve the conversion rate of my gated content?
Enhance the landing page design, provide clear CTAs, offer content previews, and ensure the content’s value proposition is evident.
Maximize Your Marketing Strategy By Leveraging Gated Content
Gated content is a strategy that offers valuable content in exchange for user information, serving as a powerful tool for lead generation and audience engagement.
Including the balance between personalization and privacy, the use of gated and ungated content, and specific examples in the eCommerce industry are some of the best marketing strategies.
By following these best practices mentioned above and adapting them to your audience and objectives, you can effectively capture user information, provide valuable content, and enhance your overall marketing campaign.
When executed thoughtfully, Gated content can be a mutually beneficial strategy for businesses and their customers, creating value and fostering lasting connections.