Gated content has been around as long as the PDF has (1993), which means marketers have been using downloads to generate leads for about 30 years. How time flies!
By offering valuable content to prospects in exchange for contact information, you can expand your reach and create a larger pool of qualified leads. If you’re not using this lead-generation technique, you’re missing out on an inexpensive and effective way to generate leads.
What Is ‘Gated’ Content?
Gated content is a type of content (usually an article or white paper) that can only be accessed by filling out a form. The fill form requires the visitor to provide their contact information, such as their name and email address, in order to access the content. It is an effective way to generate leads because it allows you to capture the contact information of visitors who are interested in your content. Once you have their contact information, you can follow up with them through marketing automation.
Tips for Creating Great Gated Content
There are a few things to keep in mind when creating gated content:
- Make sure the content is truly valuable and worth filling out a form for. If the content is not good enough, visitors will simply leave and never come back.
- Don’t make the forms too long or complicated. The longer the form, the less likely people are to fill it out. Keep it short and sweet.
- Offer something else of value on your website for those who don’t want to fill out a form. This could be helpful blog articles, free downloads, etc. This way, you’re not alienating those who don’t want to give you their contact information.
Host your gated content on your website in a format that is universal to everyone, regardless of computer type, browser, or operating system version. The PDF is one of the most common, most universal formats for white papers, ebooks, templates, and long-form articles, all of which make for valuable content.
Best Practices for Creating Downloadable Content
In a day and age when personal information is currency, your gated content must be high-quality and valuable enough that people are willing to “pay for it” with their contact information. If your content isn’t worth the prospect or lead’s time, they’ll simply move on and you won’t get their information.
Also important is to make sure the process for downloading your content is as streamlined as possible. The fewer steps involved, the more likely people are to go through with it.
- Fill form > submit > confirmation page with download
- Fill form > confirmation page > email with link to downloadable PDF > click takes you to a landing page > click to download
Scenario A is much preferred — the fewer clicks you require, the more likely your audience will be to download and consume your gated content. That said, some websites include the email verification step to validate that it’s a real person requesting the content, and not a bot or faked email address.
And finally, once someone has downloaded your content, be sure to follow up! Send them an email thanking them for their interest and offering more valuable resources. This helps build a relationship with potential leads and keeps your business top of mind.
How to Promote Your Gated Content
If you’re looking to generate more leads with your gated content, there are a few things you can do to promote it.
First, make sure your content is high quality and relevant to your target audience. Clearly communicate what they’ll get in exchange for providing their contact information.
Secondly, create a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages people to sign up for your content.
And lastly, use social media and other marketing channels to spread the word about your gated content.
Measuring the success of your gated content
If you’re using gated content to generate leads, you need to make sure you’re measuring the success of your efforts. Otherwise, you won’t be able to improve your results over time. There are a few key metrics you should track:
- The number of leads generated: This is the most important metric to track, as it tells you how effective your gated content is at generating leads.
- The conversion rate: This tells you what percentage of people who view your gated content go on to fill out the form and become a lead.
- The cost per lead: This tells you how much it costs you to generate each lead. This is important to track so that you can optimize your budget and ensure that your gated content is cost-effective.
- The quality of leads: This metric measures how likely it is that a lead will convert into a paying customer. This is important because even if your gated content generates a lot of leads, if they’re not high-quality leads then they’re not worth much to your business. There are a few different ways to measure the quality of leads, but one common method is to score leads based on their likelihood to convert using a scale from 1-10.
Gated content is a powerful tool for generating leads. By requiring visitors to fill out a form to access your content, you can capture valuable information about them that you can use to follow up and convert them into leads.
There are many different types of gated content, but some common examples include
- White papers
- Survey/research results
- Case study
In general, the more valuable the content is, the more likely someone is to fill out a form to access it.
If you’re not sure what type of gated content would be most effective for generating leads in your industry, consider experimenting with different types of content and forms to find what works best.