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Why your website needs good gated content
If you’re going to host gated content on your website (e.g. information that you supply via an email registration), you need to make sure it’s worth gating.
One of the key aspects of good content marketing is creating useful, valuable and freely available content that shows off your knowledge and expertise. However, this is only one way to make a connection with your audience.
Don’t expect people to be happy with rehashed or aggregated content that they can get elsewhere for free.
The other is to drive deeper awareness of your company by offering gated content. This is given away in return for contact details (typically an email address) and the explicit permission to be able to contact anyone who signs up with other marketing and sales material.
But don’t think that you should gate everything that you create. While it’s an effective tactic, it works best when gated content sits at the end of a fully-developed content marketing funnel.
To gate, or not to gate?
You should be selective in what content you gate and what you make freely available. After all, when you spend a lot of time on a blog post, it can be tempting to feel that your efforts should be rewarded and the content shouldn’t just be given away for free.
Although there is an element of truth to this, don’t be tempted to use this as an excuse to put it behind some kind of wall.
Yes, you have spent time on your content, but so you should. You have written the content because you want people to take time out of their busy schedules to read it. So, of course, it needs to be worth their time.
Most of us will have started reading an article (usually lured in by a catchy headline) only to get part of the way in and lose interest because it’s not informative, inspiring or entertaining. You don’t want your content to fail.
Observing the rule of seven
As we have said before, all forms of content must have a purpose. So, the main aim of most articles is to show off your expertise and you’ll give that content away. After all, it has been well documented that people consume multiple items of content, sometimes as many as seven, before they consider buying your products.
Therefore, you need to encourage readers to consume the majority of your content for free, delivering as much value as you can to build authority and trust. That content needs to be interesting and useful, part of an overall strategy that shows readers who you are, what you do, what you believe, what you sell and, perhaps most importantly, why they should care.
This content can be delivered in the form of: articles, infographics, videos, tip sheets, checklists, slideshows, guides and tutorials.
What should you gate?
We have talked about what you shouldn’t gate, so what should you gate? In terms of the marketing funnel, you want to offer readers/prospects something more in-depth and of greater value than your free content can provide. You’ll be asking people to pay with an email address, so ask yourself: what would you give up your email address for?
This deeper content could be: ebooks, e-courses, video tutorials, product demos, free samples, whitepapers and webinars. Each one is designed to deliver even greater value and to further convince prospects that your product or service is right for them.
Again, this content needs to be the best content you can produce. Don’t expect people to be happy with rehashed or aggregated content that they can get elsewhere for free. It must be content worth paying for. These days, people don’t give up their email addresses lightly.
At That Media Thing, the gated content we create for our clients is new and bespoke, designed for deeper engagement and conversion. It forms an essential part of any content marketing campaign, with the potential to turn interested readers into qualified marketing leads.
If you are unsure about what content you should be gating, then why not email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chat and see how we can help?