When it comes to content marketing, every team faces the question of whether content should be gated.
On one hand, it’s an effective way to capture leads.
On the other hand, it can deter visitors from consuming your content, if they aren’t willing to provide information like their email address, phone number, or company name.
In the age of privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA, how does gated content continue to fit in to your marketing strategy? Where should it be used? Where shouldn’t it be used?
Let’s explore three tips for using gated content, as well as situations where gated content should be avoided.
Tips for Using Gated Content: Learn More About Your Audience
When someone downloads a PDF from your site, you cannot track the action that led to that download. When content is gated, you have the opportunity to learn more about that content’s audience, by asking questions that determine the person’s job title or company size, or even more targeted questions, like the current challenges or pain points they are experiencing.
Gating content means gaining information that you cannot otherwise gain by posting your content for “free.” If you take this a step further, by creating an interactive landing page, you will even have the capability to determine what elements on your landing page were most interesting to your audience.
Tips for Using Gated Content: Pay Attention to Form Length
Remember the last time you completed a form to obtain a content asset? If the form was longer than a few fields, you were probably likely to abandon it, moving on in your search for content on that particular topic.
For this reason, it’s important to pay close attention to the length of the form you are placing on your landing page. Start with basic form fields—such as name and email address—and determine the other information you want to include based on the goals of that piece.
Here, it’s also helpful to implement A/B testing, which allows you to pinpoint which questions are driving visitors away, or even which imagery on the landing page itself is most effective.
Tips for Using Gated Content: Gate Only Highly Valuable Content
Of course, when you’re placing a gate in front of your content, you need to ensure that the content is highly relevant and valuable to your audience. This means getting a little more selective in the pieces that you choose to gate vs. the pieces that you choose to leave ungated.
Demand Gen Report states that 63% of buyers are willing to provide information about themselves in exchange for an eBook, with 76% indicating the same for a white paper. Both of these content types are highly educational, and often focus on one particular industry trend or findings from a research report.
Something like a blog post or infographic, however, provides a more introductory-level explanation on a topic—while also building awareness for your brand—and is better suited to remain ungated.