Why You Should Probably Bother with Gated Content

Give me the content!

We’ve all seen them. Those super awesome content pieces that promise to change our lives, either professionally or personally if we give them our personal information.

INCREASE YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC! Download Download Download.

TOP MAGIC TRICKS THAT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND! Fill out the form and get the book instantly.

WHY YOU NEED A HOME SECURITY SYSTEM! Download the one pager now or else the criminals will come.

Or my personal favorite,

We’re such an amazing company. Seriously, everyone loves us. Here’s a case study about people who love us and what we did to get their love. Download it after you give us your email, phone number, parking space number, etc etc.

These are all examples of gated content offers. Albeit, most aren’t written in all capital letters. I just did that for effect.

Give me the content!

So what is a gated content offer exactly?

Gated content offers are some piece of content (pdf, one pager, case study, eBook, whatever) that you get in exchange for some piece of contact information. It’s usually an email address.

Why do you see them everywhere?

Because gated content offers are really good at getting leads. Think about it, if you’re a company and you have some sort of knowledge or authority on a subject matter then you should be using that get a lead, a potential sale or whatever your company calls it. I call them leads or opportunities myself.

Give me the content!

But why should you do it?

Because it’s a relatively low risk and potentially yields a high reward. If you create content that addresses the problems and needs of your ideal customers, then you can attract qualified leads and build trust and credibility along the way. You become the trusted authority on that topic.

You need to actually do stuff though

It’s not an overnight thing. You’ll need to do some heavy lifting on your part first. You’ll need to write the content, package it in a nice layout with pictures and graphics, and then set up a landing page with a form that can collect the information you need. You’ll also need to SEO and figure out a promotional strategy to get it in front of your ideal customers.

Give me the content!

If you promote it properly and in turn get it into the hands of the right people you might have yourself some very qualified leads.

Why are they more qualified than people who just fill out your contact form?

Because if you wrote about something that pertains to your product or brand then you already know where they stand in relation to you.

For example, let’s say your company is called Tomato! and you sell a tool that allows companies to whip up amazing presentations quickly and with little effort.

Give me the content!

You might create a gated content offer called “How I Saved Time and Money Using Tomato! Instead of Powerpoint” followed up by “The Science Behind Powerful Sales Decks” and later followed by “What Top Investors Think of Tomato! Decks” to really drive it home.

The people who download these content offers are highly interested in Tomato! and what the company offers. They aren’t random people who happened to stumble across your website or people your sales team found online. In this instance, the Tomato! sales team can focus on those that downloaded these gated offers. This is called inbound marketing.

Oh, that’s inbound marketing?

Yes, this is that sorcery you’ve read about in books.

Give me the content!

HubSpot defines the inbound marketing methodology as attracting customers with content designed to attract qualified prospects, convert them into leads and customers, and grow your business.

It’s been proven highly effective. And it’s quite unlike traditional outbound marketing where you have the sales team cold call, purchase email lists or scout trade shows. Inbound marketing brings the leads to you.

The customer needs your gated content

In today’s economy customers start the buying process online, usually with a Google (or Bing, I didn’t forget you) search. This is where your gated content offer needs to meet their eye.

If I am looking for a Powerpoint replacement. I should see the gated content offer from Tomato! about “How I Saved Time and Money Using Tomato! Instead of Powerpoint” show up in my search results. It’ll be there if you used a good SEO strategy.

Give me the content!

Let’s wrap it up, you get it now right?

So as we can see gated content offers are what move the buying process along in this day and age. It’s a less sales-y approach to getting prospects.

You offer a solution to your ideal customer’s problem and serve it up a beautifully designed PDF that they get in their inbox. It’s a win-win. You get their contact information and understand where they are in the buying cycle and they get a PDF they can show their boss or decision maker that can educate and possibly encourage the adoption of your product.

Here are some fairly good examples of gated content

Intercom for Marketing eBook
Making Sense of the Container Ecosystem eBook
IOT Readiness 11 Step Guide

Shameless plug alert! Here’s one I just did for a client.

Last words of advice

Please for the love of Harry, Ron, and Hermione do not create content that talks non-stop about your product. Your gated content offer cannot be a product brochure. You need to offer knowledge and information that solves the problem your ideal customer has. The gated content offer cannot look like an ad you’d see in the Sunday paper.

Are you ready? Now go get ’em. I’m rooting for you.

Give me the content!

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— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — A

I’m Allyssa. I am a hybrid designer who likes to front-end code, who loves marketing ops and marketing automation, growth hacking and content marketing. You can find me on Twitter usually tweeting about sports, music and whatever podcast I’m listening to. If you want to chat over email you can jet over to my website to send me a message.

You can view my portfolio over here or over at Behance.