Content marketing is a powerful way to get eyes on your site and gain trust with potential customers. However, many companies don’t have the right mechanisms in place to convert powerful pieces of content into leads. This is the role “gated content” plays.
Gated content is a piece of precious or premium content, not freely consumable or accessible. Companies are willing to give content away for free, however they want something in return. For marketers, contact information is the most valuable information available. Valuable content is placed behind a lead capture form or “gate.” Once completed, a user gains access to the information. The gate provides companies the ability to reach out to that prospect in the future. Because of the nature of content offered, you are qualifying a customer for the sales funnel. This works because the gated content is a solution to a problem your company can fix.
Some of the types of information that can be collected:
Answer to a simple question (minimum friction)
Here, we will explore types of gated and ungated content, as well as, reasons why gated content is important. We will also explore how ungated content matters.
Types of gated content:
These documents or reports are written in such a way to provide topical authority and solutions on a specific complex problem, for a defined industry or sector. White papers are technical and persuasive with a purposeful delivery of the solution to a problem. In marketing, these documents are used to develop thought leadership and establish a certain level of superiority over the competition.
Webinars are online or virtual educational or informative seminars. Typically ranging from 15 minutes to two hours, these virtual seminars allow for either a video cast, presentation, or both. They offer a natural, free flow of information, giving the audience the ability to not only connect with the presenter, but to also ask questions. Many professionals prefer webinars over seminars due to the reduced friction of spending an entire day traveling or sitting in a foreign place with a lot of strangers. Rather, they are able to engage at their desks while keeping an eye on their emails or answering the phone. Typically, webinars are initially hosted as a live event, with a recording later sent to all participants.
E-books, electronic books, are available in many different topics. In the case of gated content, these tend to be the deepest diving and most valuable, readable content. They allow the company producing them, to fully develop ideas and concepts, as well as, walk the reader through steps of understanding. This ensures the reader is fully educated on an idea or concept, rather than relying on other sources to fill in the gaps.
Offering free, in-person training is a form of gated content. Many companies invest in developing valuable skills for their staff. If a company offers free training in an area requiring development, the prospect company could opt to attend. These training sessions offer major value and product neutral in the industry.
Tools are typically digital in nature; however physical tool offers are also effective.
Apps, software, templates, or worksheets help a customer with planning, time management, or workflow. They are well built, useful, and offer high value.
Types of content best suited for ungated:
Much of a company’s ungated content is in the form of an article. Articles are general writing about a topic that give the customer an understanding. These pieces also develop a topical proficiency with the prospect. They aim to provide foundational knowledge on the topics around your products, rather than the products themselves.
Curated content is a process of gathering data in a condensed form for distribution. It allows users a large amount of useful information in one place. These pieces tend to be educational or informative in nature, offering general information on a particular topic or area of interest.
Much like articles and curated content, infographics serve the purpose of informing the customer. The graphics range from how a process works, to graphical representation or statistics. Infographics are a wonderful way to market a large amount of dry information in a visually appealing and less boring way.
Visuals cover several forms of media, though primarily video and photos. These are anything that has relevance to your company. Visuals show finer details regarding the interworking of a company. It is highly recommended to show “interesting” photo or video aspects about your company. Give the customer an idea about type of company you run.
Gated content is an incredibly powerful means of collecting leads for your nurture funnel or sales pipeline. When structured correctly and used in conjunction with your “ungated” content marketing, you will receive qualified leads with regular consistency. As we all know, leads are the lifeblood of any organization, second only to sales. Any opportunity to develop a higher conversion and move customers into the funnel is immensely valuable.
For more information on how to set up gated and ungated content marketing funnels, contact Nesbit Marketing: