Gated Content: What It Is and Why You Should Consider It

If you’ve ever visited a friend or family member that lives in a gated community, you already understand gated content. Here’s why. To gain access into a gated community, you need information, AKA: the gate code. 

Gated content requires your audience to provide some information (usually an email address) before you share your valuable content with them. You use this type of content to gather audience information and permission to contact them in the future. You then use that information to build a relationship with them and, ultimately, make a sale.

Understanding Gated Content

You’ll generally offer two types of content on your website: gated and ungated. Gated content requires your audience to exchange something of value (typically contact information or money) to receive the content. Its purpose is lead generation. Ungated content is available to all your site’s visitors and works to increase organic traffic. Because they target different growth areas, both content types are essential to growing your business.

The vital attribute of gated material is that it provides value to your audience beyond the content you keep open. Your audience expects something bigger and better for their information or in exchange for money, as they should. A person who signs up is interested in your brand, so gated content typically generates more leads. 

Knowing When to Gate Content

So how do you know when to gate your content? Consider your goals and the type of content you’re publishing. 

You should gate your highest-caliber, most valuable, and substantial content. Your audience is more than willing to provide an email address or other information if it means they get access to your most valuable content. 

It makes sense for long-form content or lead magnets like an e-book or case study to be gated, while shorter content, like a blog post, doesn’t need to be. 

Also, be sure you have a plan for the audience information once you get it. Do you add it to your email list? Add it to a sales campaign? Reach out some other way? It’s important not to gather information just to do it. Know how you intend to take the lead from gated content to sale.

Types of Gated Content that Generate Leads

Some gated content generates leads better than others. When you do this content well, it garners positive results. When done poorly, it can backfire, making your audience feel like they gave you something of value and didn’t receive the same in return.

Gated content that generates leads includes:

  • E-books
  • White papers or other original research
  • Webinars
  • Videos
  • Email series or email newsletter subscriptions
  • Courses
  • Free trials or other special offers

Your beefiest content is worth gating. You use your time and expertise to create the content, so don’t be afraid to get morsels of information from those who want to access it. It’s a small exchange for the valuable information they’re receiving. After all, you’re the expert they’re looking for!

Reasons to Consider Gated Content

We get it. Gated content sounds like more work for you, and it probably is. It’s also extremely beneficial to your business. In other words, it’s worth the trouble, and a direct connection to strong leads is just one of the reasons. It offers a lot of other benefits too.

Builds Your Email List

Don’t underestimate the importance of your email list. More than four billion people use email every day. Half of people say they make a purchase from an email at least once a month. Your business will benefit from you building your email list and consistently engaging with subscribers.

Email marketing is a personalized piece of information that goes straight to the inbox of every person on your list. An email is direct and targeted communication with a person who asked for your messages.

Increases Website Traffic

When you provide quality content that people care about, you’re almost guaranteed to gain visitors to your website. These days, quality content is easily recognizable, and your audience will take to your site for more information from and about you after accessing gated content. They’ll also recommend your content to your friends if it serves them well.

Improves Your Site’s SEO Ranking

Top-notch gated content will be accessed and referenced by other professionals in your field. When they link your content in their blog posts, your content circulates widely and boosts SEO for your brand. 

You know how you can read one blog post and end up down a rabbit hole of other posts? The same concept applies here.

Attracts and Grows Potential Leads 

Your content should help your business and bring you closer to meeting goals. A common goal for gated content is to reach specific customers in your target audience in hopes they become supporters of your business. Not only does it bring customers in, but it can also be why they stay if you maintain quality and consistency.

Draws in High-Quality Visitors

You’ve heard the phrase quality over quantity? Gated content helps separate your website traffic. People willing to give their information to get content are interested in your brand. They’re exactly the type of people you’re trying to attract to your site and your business. 

Ensures Effective Segmentation

Once you’ve collected email addresses from your audience, you can segment them into groups. This division allows you to send targeted emails to each group. This differentiation in messaging allows you to better serve their information needs and increases the probability that they’ll go from leads to customers.

To Gate or Not to Gate

Remember that perfection isn’t the goal as you move toward a combination of gated and non-gated content. Trial and error is necessary and will give you a lot of insight into future tweaks and improvements. And if you need some guidance along the way, contact Content Journey to help. We know you want the best for your business, and so do we! 

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