What is gated content and how can it support your business?
Blog posts, newsletter, corporate podcast – sharing knowledge for free is trendy. Almost every marketer, copywriter or brand manager will confirm this. What if this quality content doesn’t have to be given away absolutely free? How to make content marketing more effective?
Dear Marketer. You probably hear shouts of “Content is king” everywhere. You write a blog, create newsletters, polish every word in social media posts. Wherever you can, you share your knowledge.
It even turns out that this knowledge generates traffic to the website and actually someone is reading it. It’s just that the adventure with your brand ends there – nobody buys anything from you.
After a few months of active activities, your boss comes to you and asks “what does he get from doing all these things”. More views? It’s not enough. Your content is great and widely read, but readers take what they can and disappear without a trace. More customers or at least specific contacts to decision-makers – that’s something.
How to generate additional value for your company and more effectively “warm up” leads thanks to content marketing, so as not to give away all your work for free?
Gated content comes to the rescue.
What is gated content?
According to Paramarketing, gated content is unique, exclusive content marketing materials that you provide to the user in return for performing a specific activity, e.g. filling in the appropriate form or subscribing to the newsletter.
This is a kind of sale – after all, someone gives you their data in exchange for a specific value. Gated content will work well in both B2C and B2B systems.
Gated content responds to the needs of customers from the very top of the engagement pyramid. For those who no longer want to be passive readers, but let themselves be caught in your content marketing whirl to learn as much as possible about your industry, company and offered solutions.
It can also be a tool to reach those interested who are only at the beginning of the AIDA model, ie at the “Attention” level. They don’t know yet if they need your products at all, but they may be educating themselves at the moment.
Gated content includes e-books, white papers (guides, instructions and tutorials), unique webinars and podcasts, e-mailing courses or free demo versions of your products. Of course, it is only about those materials that are not related to sales, but above all, developing and valuable for your customers.
What is gated content for?
Building the image of an expert
Have you written an e-book on a given topic? This means that you are a professional and specialist in your profession. In addition, you give your customer something valuable “for free” (although you already know that it is not completely free – after all, you got a valuable e-mail address), so he will be more likely to make a purchase from you.
Gated content can be the first point of contact with the brand – e.g. for a fishing shop thanks to a well-targeted ad on Facebook, which will send new users from social media to a landing page, where, in return for entering an email in the form, you will be able to receive an e-mail a book with a list of the best lures for specific species of fish.
A larger mailing database is your investment for the future. You can further educate and refer people who are not yet convinced to buy to your website. After all, 78% of consumers trust and choose the companies where content marketing is best done.
Thanks to marketing automation systems that are well suited to your business, you can personalize messages and engage potential customers in clickbait customer experience activities: surveys, games, free product tests, etc.
More sales based on the principle of consistency
As a customer, you have already given someone your e-mail address and downloaded their e-book or podcast, so you consistently want to continue working with this company. This is what we think when we are at the client’s place.
You will probably say, “You don’t have it.” Nevertheless, we statistically order more in a restaurant and leave larger tips when we get a starter for free. We choose this yoghurt or cosmetic in the store, the sample of which we will receive for free. It’s just psychology and statistics.
Content marketing content analysis
Gated content immediately gives you an answer to the question of whether what you wrote is really useful to someone and whether as a copywriter and content marketer, “you’re doing a good job”. If it turns out that nobody wants to download your exclusive content, there is a mistake somewhere. Badly selected target group? Badly defined project goal?
Gated content: what should it be?
Unique – nowhere else can you gain comprehensive knowledge about a given issue in exactly the same form.
Objectively useful – for anyone to download your gated content, it must realistically respond to their needs and be a useful tool or compendium of knowledge on a given topic.
Visually attractive – text composition, graphic design and forms of conveying content in gated content materials should be the absolute top of the top possibilities of your company: if you should do something the most, this is exactly what.
Gated content: examples
Gated Content ebook example
The first example from our backyard. E-book on positioning of online stores, written and designed by our SEO experts. In exchange for comprehensive knowledge about positioning in e-commerce, we obtain a verified email to a potential customer (you must enter it in a special form to get a link to download the e-book), who may be interested in SEO services for online stores in the future. Goal: acquiring direct contacts with customers in order to build more lasting relationships with them, educate them and potential sales.
Gated content example
A similar strategy is used by GroMar, which creates e-learning platforms for companies. In return for filling out the form and subscribing to the newsletter, you can receive an e-book on e-learning entitled The “Big Book of E-learning”. Goal: increasing the newsletter database, and finally additional e-mail addresses for presenting the company’s products.
Gated content example
The Freshmail knowledge base, created in the gated content formula, is really impressive. A dozen or so valuable materials for marketers on building a mailing database or trends in e-mail marketing, and subsequent editions of the marketer’s calendar, which help in planning social media publications and newsletters of your brand.
The most popular marketer mistakes
Gated content is NOT catalogs, sales materials and product presentations – it should all be available for free, in a few clicks, on your website.
Gated content is NOT the end of your work – plan exactly what will happen after downloading your e-book. The mailing cycle? Direct contact of a new business manager? If nothing else happens, all the action will be in vain.
Gated content is NOT the time for huge consumer research – shorten the form to a minimum, the completion of which will give the user access to special materials and adapt it to the capabilities of #mobile_first mobile devices.
Gated content – is it worth doing?
Definitely yes. Lead generation, better branding and more sales opportunities are just some of the advantages of gated content. To sum up: “content really is king”, but only the one that is thought out and presented to the readers in such a form as to “get” the most measurable benefits for your company. Already 80% of B2B marketing material is gated, so don’t give it all away for free.
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