Gated content refers to digital marketing collateral such as eBooks, white papers, digital brochures, webinars, or information hidden behind a form or “gate.” To access this content, users must provide personal information such as their name, email address, company name, phone number, etc.
Let’s run through the three forms of gated content:
Gated content is locked; in other words, the content is only accessible to a user who provides some form of personal information. It’s up to the company to decide whether the content’s value justifies disclosing personal information.
The rationale is to increase the material's appeal by giving it an aura of exclusivity or uniqueness and increasing the value of the content to clients.
In return, the data gathered generates leads that enter a nurture lifecycle with tailored content at every stage of the funnel to purchase.
Ungated content means that anyone can access the asset without having to reveal their personal information.
Ungated material is critical to implementing a successful content marketing strategy. This way, you can share knowledge and establish your brand as a trusted authority without asking for anything in return.
Ungated content is a crucial driver of building brand awareness, often in social media posts, videos, blogs, and news articles.
Mid-gated content refers to content that includes a form halfway through the reader's journey. It allows you to give your audience a taste of what’s to come, but by adding a form at the midpoint you give a visitor partial access to it before asking for their personal information to unlock full access to your asset.
Mid-gated content is an advanced function available to a few content creation platforms.
Mid-gating is widely accepted to be a better way to generate leads as it offers readers a preview and sense of what to expect from your content. This approach keeps the content fresh in the reader's mind, generating more leads and eliminating doubt or mistrust about what’s on offer.
What are the benefits of gating your content?
- Lead generation
Gating high-value resources allows you to collect your target audiences' personal information and nudge them into your sales funnel. Be sure to assess the quality of the leads generated from your gated content, as it may cause you to reconsider whether your asset should be gated or not.
- The ability to personalize
Now that you have some personal information, you can personalize your content to the reader. For example, you could use merge tags in your eBook and insert your visitor’s name: “Hi Steven, this eBook will show how you can measure the ROI of your content marketing.”
- Gauging interest
Gating also provides clues into the perceived quality and interest of your content. A high conversion rate that collects a large volume of submissions indicates that your company is a trustworthy service that provides quality content.
What are the disadvantages of gating your content?
- Increased readership
Sacrificing the need to acquire personal information from your content will dramatically increase its coverage. Open-access content will bring greater exposure for your brand as traffic numbers will eclipse that of gated content visits.
Find out how we increased sales opportunities 4x by un-gating content.
- Better reach
Ungated content will likely increase visitors from all around the web, especially from search results listings. Additionally, there is more opportunity for influencers or other players in your industry to share your unrestricted material on social media or to promote it through their own channels.
Search engines will find and index white papers and eBooks that are freely available online, potentially improving your positioning on SERPs. On the other hand, if a gate blocks it, web spiders that follow links on your website won't be able to find it.
Curious about gated content? We unpack this further on our blog: Rethinking Content Gating Strategy