So let's start off by defining what we mean by gating your content. Gated content refers to anything on your site that a visitor needs to complete a form to access. Basically, it is something of value that a visitor is willing to exchange their contact details to obtain. We most often see gated content in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, trial software, worksheets, and such. The "gate" is merely a form, typically on a landing page, that once completed re-directs the visitor to the piece of content.
Gating valuable content is a terrific way to generate more leads for your business because it provides you with the tools to collect contact information for website visitors at every phase of the Buyer's Journey. Most companies only have 2-3 forms on their website; Contact Us, Get a Quote, and Book an Assessment or some variation of these three. The problem with these forms is they only target visitors at the end of the Buyer's Journey, and when you do that your only attracting leads who have made a decision on their ideal solution and will often commoditize your solution. For more on this, be sure to read our blog on lead nurturing and the Buyer's Journey.
Types of Content
Content comes in all shapes and sizes and can include any number of different formats. The types of content you'll use in your marketing programs will generally be dictated by:
Your Buyer Persona's How does your target market want to absorb information?
Your Skill Set & Resources Not everyone has access to proper audio equipment and the knowledge of how to edit audio segments to create a great Podcast.
Budget Creating any kind of content is an investment of time and money, but some, such as E-Courses or independent research reports require a much more significant investment.
As I mentioned, content comes in all shapes, sizes and formats and can include any combination of the following:
Articles Blog Posts Case Studies E-Books E-Courses Email Marketing Infographics Newsletters Podcasts Presentations Social Campaigns Videos Webinars White Papers
Comparisons News Releases Contests Calculators How To Guides Lists Roundups Compiled Research Original Research Best Practices Product Reviews Podcasts Demos Live Streams
Guest Blog Posts Polls Surveys Quizzes Guides Worksheets Templates Checklists Research Reports Mobile Apps Software Apps Kit/Bundle Tools
Should I Gate My Marketing Content?
Now we get to the question you all came here to have answered. You've created some fresh new content, and you are ready to put it online, behind a gated landing page, to generate more leads. Not, so fast buck-o. Not all content should be gated. Think about it, did you have to fill out a form to read this blog article? Do you have to fill out a form to do a Buzzfeed quiz? Would you fill out a form to download a brochure? So how do you know if content should be gated or not? Well, a great place to start would be the handy self-assessment below from HubSpot. This tool will help you evaluate your content and help determine if it's a fair trade of value for contact information, or if you're asking too much.