In order for inbound marketing to work, you must create valuable contentthat entices visitors to take action. However, the practice of hiding content behind a subscription-wall (known as gated content) is a hot topic among inbound marketers.
Of course,gated content is an essential part of inbound. You must provide value in return for your prospects' and leads' emails. The debate is over where to draw the line. What content should be subscription-based? How much content should a wall have? It's a debate that will likely continue as long as inbound marketing is popular.
On the other hand, companies would gain more if they simply made their content available for free download without requiring a subscription. It is undeniably the best option in some cases.
Anyone who has done inbound marketing for a long time will have old content available for free or repurposed for different mediums. Content lifecycle is involved. In some cases, content found in Google search is more valuable than content hidden behind a paywall. But this isn't always true.
Content behind a subscription depends on your strategies. Nobody knows, but there is probably a line. For inbound marketing to work, some content must be given away for free.
Gated content is content that you put behind a signup form so that people have to give you something (like their email address) before they can see it. This is called "gated content." There are both good and bad things about this. Do not spend a lot of time on lead management. Automate the process of getting in touch with your leads.
So, for example, do you want to get more traffic and reach more people, or do you want to get more conversions and be more popular? For each of these goals, there is a different way to use gated content and how you do it if you do. If you've done gated content in the past, make sure you use data from that to help you plan your next move. If not, here are a few ideas.
Are you trying to get more leads or build your brand? How do marketers know if they should add a gate to the information they are giving out? To have the best outcome, you should be able to get more leads while also getting more people to see your content.
One way to do this is to only use gates at certain points in the sales funnel. Here are the three top stages of the marketing funnel and the types of content that go with each one of them:
- The awareness stage: People in this stage know that they have a problem, but they don't know much about your business. It's good to have blogs, infographics, podcasts, ebooks, and white papers at this point.
- The stage of thought: At this point, people start to see your brand as an expert in the field and a possible solution to their problem, so they start to trust your brand. Webinars, software downloads, and case studies are some of the content for this stage.
- Making a choice: They decide if your brand can meet their needs at this point in the buyer's journey. Free consultations, product demos, and free trials are powerful deals for this stage.
During the awareness stage, most people don't know much about your brand and don't trust you yet. Remove the gate from content at this point, and your brand's visibility and credibility with prospects will improve. As people move down the funnel and become more interested in your business, they will be more willing to fill out a form in order to get content like ebooks and webinars.
What kind of content is typically gated? Here are some examples that tend to do well as gated content:
Professionals in B2B environments are always looking for ways to save time, cut down on the number of boring tasks, and make their lives more simple.
They'll love you if you can help them get through their workdays more quickly by giving them templates or other help. Think:
- Google Slides or PowerPoint Templates
- Accounting spreadsheets
- KPI trackers and calculators
Many people think that giving up their personal information is a small price to pay for something that will help them with a real work-life problem, so they don't mind.
Websites like Substack and Ghost are making email subscriptions more popular and making moneyfrom them. Though the content isn't gated, the principle is the same: The reason the content is so interesting is because it is unique, regular, and important. If you can get all three of these things right, you might be able to build, keep, and grow a group of newsletter subscribers.
People often have to pay for white papers, guides, and reports. Research is a good thing to have, but you'll need to show that it's right for you. It's not what your audience wants. They want to learn and be helped, not be sold to by you.
Webinars are a type of content that is often gated. So why do people like them? They provide useful information, are fun, and have a human touch. They also have a sense of scarcity because there are only so many places. The reason so many people are willing to give their information in exchange for a seat at the table is because of this.
Content gating is very important to getting the leads your business needs to grow. But if you want people to see and trust your brand, you need unlocked content. How will your company find the right mix of content that is gated and content that isn't?
People who could use your business as a solution to their problem might be scared away if they have to pay for content at the start of the sales process. Gates can be used at the top of the marketing funnel, but they can also be used at the middle and bottom of the funnel to get leads.