Find out more about your site's visitors with gated content. The more you know, the easier it will be to engage with them and convert them into customers.
When an item of content requires an email address or a longer form of information to access, we call it “gated”. The benefit of gating your content is acquiring key information from your site’s visitors. You can gather info ranging from their names and email addresses to even their budgets and employee counts. The more valuable your offer is, the more information your visitors will provide. Which is why your gated content should be things like premium guides, long-form reports, or branded slide decks.
Every strategy has its drawbacks though.
Gating your content will not help your SEO or social media sharing like open-access content would.
This approach focuses on the quality of the leads over the quantity. What you lose in reach, you’ll gain back with the depth of knowledge you’re gathering. If this is a major concern, consider a hybrid tactic: tease your premium offer.
Before every major movie is released, there’s a trailer to entice theatre-goers to buy a ticket and see the whole thing. You can do the same thing by posting a preview of your gated content. Maybe you share an infographic from your premium guide and require a form to see the graphic in context with greater details.
The other drawback is a general dislike of forms. Many people are bothered by filling out a form and may leave your site if you give them one. In my experience, web browsers are getting very good at auto filling forms with one click. But if you have a different experience or you want to know another solution for form fatigue, there is software available that will collect useful data from just a name and email address. This could be their social media pages, LinkedIn accounts, anything they have that name and email address linked to.
All in all, gated content deserves a place in your marketing plan because it generates quality leads and provides value to your visitors. Try gating your next premium offer and see how much information you’ll gather and how that data informs your overall strategy.