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What is Gated Content & How Should My Company Use It?

At the center of any content marketing strategy is, well, content. The content your business produces and curates not only has the potential to attract customers, but also demonstrate why you’re the only choice for your product or service. Digital marketing content comes in many shapes and sizes, from what you post to your brand’s social media platform to page titles you use on your company site.

Some of the most popular marketing content you’ll see are blogs and articles you (or your marketing agency) produce regularly. These posts help drive consistent traffic to your site and do a great job of informing your audience about topical stories, specific product information or simply your company’s personality and culture. However, your audience wants more.

That’s where gated content comes in. Also known as premium content, these pieces are often a bit more substantial, provide readers more value, and ultimately take a little more time and effort to produce. Because of that, you don’t want to give it away for free. Gated content is a great tool for lead generation and ushering your audience through the buyer’s journey.

What Does Gated Content Do?

Gated content is a way for your business to provide customers with immediate value, usually in exchange for their information. Pieces of gated content are usually only accessible through a form submission (like a gate) and require a user to enter a few basic pieces of information such as their name, telephone number and email. You can then take this information and begin nurturing that person as a lead via email marketing or other methods.

This is why gated content is so valuable! It’s a (relatively) simple to supplement your current lead generation strategies while also demonstrating immediate value to a potential customer. To that end, the content you’re gating needs to be valuable enough that your audience will want to give you their information in exchange for whatever you’re offering.

The important thing to note about collecting information through gated content is that it’s entirely voluntary. That means you need to be upfront about why you’re asking people for their information. They should know that your marketing or sales team intends to follow up with them in the future.  

What Does Gated Content Look Like?

As experts in your industry, you probably have plenty of information to share with potential customers. Gated content is a great place to do it while also increasing your number of leads. Generally speaking, gated content should consist of information that is either too long or in-depth for a typical blog post, or too valuable to offer “for free.” Furthermore, you want to make sure the content you’re offering is informative and helpful. This isn’t a place to be too promotional or advertise your products or services.

So, how do you present it? The great thing is, there’s really no wrong way to do it. You should have a pretty good idea of who your ideal customer is and what kind of information they want to see. Here are a few tried and true ways to present your gated content.

Ebooks and Case Studies

Ebooks are a great way to demonstrate your company’s thought leadership and expertise. Think about common issues many of your clients face or information you would want them to know. Next, start compiling this information into one big unit. That’s the basic structure of your ebook. You can cover multiple topics around a common theme and give your audience a comprehensive guide they’re able to download and keep for reference. The great thing about ebooks is, you can take the content, parse it out and repurpose it as future blog post. That way, customers who find the blog post may be encouraged to download the full ebook.

Case Studies are another great way to demonstrate your company’s expertise while providing concrete examples of past work. Case studies can be a great resource for potential customers comparing different companies or to pass up to decision makers in their own business. The only tricky part to publishing case studies is ensuring you have the consent of whomever the case study is about. If possible, incorporating feedback or a testimonial from the customer or project you feature in your case study can add a nice touch.

White Papers, Checklists and InfoGraphics

Shorter than ebooks, white papers, checklists and infographics are great ways to convey important information in a concise, easy to digest package. These varieties of gated content can be more interactive and serve as great resources for your customers. When deciding what to focus on for these documents, consider questions and processes you think are important and need more exposure. This type of gated content should seek to make a particular task easier or provide high-level answers to common questions.   

Some popular content for whitepapers might include product guides or pro tips for a certain industry. Checklists are a great, interactive worksheet that not only solves a problem for your audience, but suggests how your company could help solve the problem. Finally, infographics provide a nice visual representation of key information that your audience can display at work (complete with your logo on it).

Leverage Gated Content with ProFromGo

Gated content in any form is a great way to demonstrate value to a customer before they ever sign on the dotted line. ProFromGo helps our clients produce meaningful pieces of gated content to get more leads. Explore our content writing capabilities to learn what we could help you achieve.

If you’d like some more free information about how to setup gated content check out this great article by one of our former account executives, Josh Horton: “Breaking down forms, landing pages and thank you pages.”

Chris Vendilli
About the Author
Chris is the founder and CEO of Vendilli Digital Group. In his free time, you’ll find him camping, fishing, or playing beer league ice hockey with a bunch of guys who refuse to admit they’re already over the hill.
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