The practice of making gated content available for download on company websites has seen massive adoption. It provides a viable way for businesses to gather their site visitors’ contact information so that they can identify potential prospects, qualify leads and, hopefully, convert them into sales.
The biggest challenge in deploying gated content as a marketing tactic is getting it in front of the right audiences. No matter how much traffic or how many downloads a piece of gated content might see, if it isn’t reaching an audience of actual prospective buyers, the user data it helps to collect won’t be as powerful in generating real leads.
How can a business ensure that it gets the right gated content in front of those most likely to interact with it and enter the marketing funnel? Below, eight members of Forbes Agency Council share advice on how to do just that.
1. Include Links To Gated Content In Ungated Content
Make sure to include links to the most valuable gated content in your ungated content, such as blogs, service pages or case studies. Those in the research phase of the customer journey will be more receptive to accessing your gated content if they have already found value organically. This approach is far more effective than just pushing gated content at random intervals. – Bernard May, National Positions
2. Optimize It With The Right Keywords
The answer is always in the search. Gated content and its associated strategic keywords need to match the search initiated by the intended target audience. This is a process of continuous improvement: Is the content good enough, and do we have the right keywords? Higher-quality gated content should net higher search results and better-qualified leads. – Patrick Nycz, NewPoint Marketing
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3. Craft A Creative Message With An Appealing Visual
The best way for companies to ensure that the links to gated content on their site will be seen by the target audience is to craft a creative message with an appealing visual. Targeting the right audience is key because only people who are hyper-interested in a brand’s content will convert into actual leads. – Elissar Hajj Zarwi, Comma Hub
4. Utilize An Advocacy Platform
Utilizing an advocacy platform will enable you to distribute individual links with tracking that can provide you with insight into who is sharing your content with whom, and where. I’d encourage companies to minimize the form fields required; a trade of an email address is fine. You can request additional profile information later. – Douglas Karr, Highbridge
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5. Never Make Gated Content The First Touch
Make sure gated content is relevant, but never make it the first touch a prospect has with your brand. Attract your ideal audiences with stories first, then solutions and, finally, offers that hold real meaning for them. When you have gated content worth their information, offer it. If you’re doing your job, then your offer should generate legitimate leads for your business. – Mary Ann O’Brien, OBI Creative
6. Use A Chatbot Instead Of A Traditional Gate
All too often, gates are the first touch the audience has with a company, which means there hasn’t yet been a fair value exchange. Instead, draw the audience in with great content linked to more relevant content, ultimately leading to a gate. Tip: Instead of a traditional gate use an intelligent chatbot to engage the audience and gather the contact data through discovery questions. – Mike Boogaard, MOI Global
7. Offer To Send It Via Email Or Text
I’ve always found that offering to send the content via email or text sets up a fair exchange between you and the consumer. They are providing their information; you are delivering the information instantly. While they can still share the content, this ensures that the only way they can receive it initially is by providing valid contact information. – Brian Meert, AdvertiseMint
8. Repurpose Gated Content
One way to maximize your audience is to repurpose gated content by breaking it out into a series of blog posts on your website. Then, put a CTA to download the full, gated piece of content at the bottom of each post. This way, all of the content you’ve created is indexed by Google, and you still deliver value to visitors by assembling the content into a single, gated download. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
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Author: Expert Panel®, Forbes Councils Member