How valuable is your information? Identifying expertise to use as gated content

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For many websites, gated content is a central piece of their content marketing program because of its one of the most effective tools to capture relevant emails for future prospecting. But how exactly do you identify which information is valuable – or even alluring – enough to seal behind a gate?  

What is gated content?

Gated content is any content that requires completing some sort of form to access. Sometimes it's as simple as providing an e-mail address. Other times, more information is required – a name company, title and sometimes even a phone number. Simply put, the purpose of a gated content marketing strategy is to generate leads. While some site visitors may be reluctant to provide such personal information, the secret is to make unlocking gated content attractive enough to overcome that hesitancy.

Which content should be gated?

In order to decide what kind of content should be gated, run through the following questions as you review your offer:

  • What are some of the common questions/pain points your customers routinely face? As they relate to your business and products, what are the issues that keep your customers up at night? Are they trying to get a handle on the forecast trends for next year? Or perhaps they have to accomplish certain tasks with limited resources? Try to figure exactly why they need your services or are on your site to begin with.
  • What insight can you provide that answers those questions and helps establish your credibility and authority within your industry? An accurate, albeit simplified, view toward marketing is finding the overlap of your customers’ needs and your company’s expertise. The more frustrating or pressing the need, combined with their belief that you can help, then the more likely individuals will be to give you certain information about themselves. Filling out a brief form to access gated content that could hold the answers to their challenges is for most folks a worthwhile exchange.  
  • Which format of content display would interest your ideal customers? How do your customers prefer to receive information? Now that you know what to say, you have to figure out how to say it in a way that your customers will be receptive to. Webinars, infographics, templates and even e-books are all viable options, depending on your customers’ preferences. Try a combination of them to see what format gets the most response. 

Remember, the purpose of gated content is to first and foremost to generate leads. You can offer hints to your expertise outside the gate, but save the good stuff for those who are most interested to begin a relationship with you – i.e. your gated content in exchange for their contact information. That contact information then forms the basis for a database of client prospects that you already know are interested in what you have to offer. 

(Photo: Flickr/denisbin)

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