Gated content is high-value content – such as e-books and instructional manuals – that is “gated” behind voluntary opt-in forms on landing pages. Only those who fill out the form and provide the required information are granted access to the desired content. Are you considering gated content as part of your marketing plan? Here is a look at the benefits, drawbacks and strategies surrounding gated content.
The Pros and Cons of Gated Content
There are several conflicting schools of thought surrounding the concept of gated content. Detractors point to the fact that gated content is not accessible to search engines, which can create headaches with SEO and search rankings. Another problem is that far fewer people see gated content because most visitors to the host landing page will never fill in the opt-in form.
Those who do, however, represent the bulk of the argument in favor of gated content. The visitors who take the step of filling out the form are incredibly valuable – far more so than the much larger number of visitors who do not opt in. Those who opt in represent leads that have pre-qualified themselves.
Use Fewer Pieces of Lengthier Content
As discussed in the article “4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Amount of Gated Content,” less can be more. If you’re considering a shift toward gated content, create or purchase less, but beef up what you do buy or build. Instead of creating or buying lots of traditional, 300-500-word pieces, invest in fewer pieces of content – but make each piece bigger. Longer, more comprehensive pieces of content are more likely to be shared, liked or otherwise amplified.
Listen to Your Customers
Every business has customers or clients, and one thing customers and clients are never short of is questions. Most businesses provide an FAQ section on their websites. These frequently asked questions can be an endless source of content fodder. Not only can customer questions spur ideas for content creation, but they can be the source of useful, relevant gated content.
FAQs are a great source for helpful gated content.
Frequently asked customer questions are a great place to start developing gated content, which can lead to an immediate boost in qualified leads, even as the number of people who view your content decreases. Gated content should be longer, more comprehensive and factually meatier than traditional, shorter content. Buy or create fewer pieces of longer content, weigh the pros and contents and make sure to create an opt-in form that is as simple as possible for your customers.