Clever Solution

6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Gating Your Content

If you are reading this article, the chances of you not knowing what gated content is are very slim. But just in case you are reading this article out of idle curiosity, let’s make it clear before we get into details. Gated content is a piece of content – an article, a study, a white paper, a video, a podcast or any other type of written or visual content – that is locked behind a form and requires registration to gain access.

Marketers choose to hide their content behind forms for the purpose of getting the user’s personal information, such as names, emails, phone numbers and other associated information. The philosophy behind this marketing tactic is simple: I give something useful to you and I want something in return. Fair enough.

Gated content is another quite powerful lead generation technique. Some marketers might say that gated content is dead for lead generation. However, statistics say that around 80% of all B2B content requires registration to access it. But gated content can actually turn into your marketing enemy if overused or improperly utilized. It might be quite hard to make a decision about when to gate content, which content to gate and whether it’s a good idea for your business in the first place.

Let’s imagine that your primary goal is lead generation, and you think you might give gates a shot. Unfortunately, this is not enough reason for gating your content and expecting it to work for your business. You can easily identify whether gates are the best option in your case. Check whether any or all of the following statements are true:

If any of the above statements is untrue, your efforts will be a waste of time. It is quite obvious why:

Even if your company and the content you are looking to gate meet the requirements, do not rush into things. Here are still some facts you should keep in mind before you get busy gathering leads by gating your articles, videos, studies and whatever else you offer your users. The tactic of gated content has its pros and cons, which you had better be aware of.

Let’s start with the negative side.

Cons:

#1 Gates are a barrier

No matter how you slice it, gates are a barrier. Forms take up users’ time to fill them out, and they raise suspicions about how you are going to use their personal information. “Will they send me a hundred emails?

Or will they call me once a day to push their products? No, I’m better off without this article.” In most cases, gates create friction which the majority of users will try to avoid.

#2 Gates make it harder to get links

If a user comes across a piece of content that he or she finds useful, it is more likely to be shared across social media platforms if it is freely accessible. Ungated content stands a better chance of being linked to from other resources, which is always great for SEO. Gates can make the difference between going viral or not.

#3 Gates form a negative brand perception

In most cases the requirement to fill out a form gives users a negative feeling. This feeling can occur at any stage of user interaction with the brand:

But, on the other hand, gates are not always a bad thing.

Pros:

#1 Gates simplify audience analysis

Depending on what information you require your users to share in exchange for your content, you can get a better understanding of who your prospects are, where they come from and what they do for a living. By knowing your audience, you improve your chances of perfecting your marketing approach.

#2 Gates can create a sense of value

This one lies in human psychology. “If content is locked behind the form, then it must be something awesome.” Users might see a particular piece of gated content as valuable, useful and unique, simply because a website chooses to make it accessible only to those who are ready to invest some effort.

#3 Gates facilitate marketing outreach

You have a better chance of selling your product or service to someone who trusted you with their personal information than to those who did not. Moreover, there is a possibility that users who took the time to complete your forms have more interest in what you market, and trust your brand a bit more than those who abandon your content in favor of gate-free stuff.

Conclusions

Regardless of its drawbacks, you cannot deny that content gating is a powerful lead generation technique. Just be careful to not to abuse it. You can try to use a mixed approach to mitigate the drawbacks and enjoy the benefits at the same time. Whether you choose to gate your content or not, do not forget about A/B testing to find out what works best for your business.