With the rise of content marketing in recent years, gating premium content has become a common practice among marketers. Used to generate leads, gated content can be accessed only by filling out a web form.
But when is it appropriate to place content behind a form? Most people aren’t willing to give up personal information at the drop of a hat, so marketers need to be strategic about their use of gated content.
A successful content marketing strategy has a good mix of gated and ungated content. Ungated content doesn’t directly generate leads, but it can create interest in your company and help drive prospects toward gated content for lead capture.
As a rule, your top-of-the-funnel content should remain unlocked so anyone can easily discover it. To help you map out your content marketing strategy, here are 4 types of content you should never gate.
#1: Single Blog Posts
While there may be some value in gating a blog series that includes a lot of impressive research, most stand-alone blog posts should remain open.
Your company blog allows you to connect with your audience and express your brand personality. Your posts can offer helpful tips and position you as a thought leader in your industry. They can also help you gain trust among your audience.
Walling off blog posts with a web form can alienate a big chunk of your target market. Blog posts can drive traffic to your web site through search and social sharing, so you should keep them as discoverable as possible.
#2: Press Releases or News Articles
When your company has a major win like recruiting a top professional, hitting an impressive revenue goal, or receiving an industry award, you want to spread the word. Enter press releases and news articles.
Press releases and news articles let the public know what’s happening with your organization. You want to get your news in front of as many people as possible, so requiring submission of a web form for access doesn’t make sense.
#3: Short Video Clips or Tutorials
If you use short video clips or tutorials on your web site, you might want to think twice before requiring viewers to submit a registration form to watch the videos. The Internet is full of video reviews and tutorials that are free and open to the public. So if your video is locked down, chances are your visitors will go elsewhere.
If your video is produced quickly and easily, there’s no need to gate it. Use it as a way to engage your audience and generate interest in your product.
It’s been well documented that people are drawn to visual elements on the web. And infographics are no exception. Demonstrating your expertise in an easy-to-digest infographic can do a lot to boost your reputation among prospects.
Infographics are a great way to spread awareness about your company because they are easily sharable. But if you gate them with a web form, you prevent customers from sharing the graphics across their social sites—and you miss out on potential new web site visitors.
Know When to Gate Your Content
While some types of content should never be hidden behind a web form, there is clear value in gating certain content. If you are providing high-quality information in the form of an e-book, a research report, or a webinar, you can capture qualified leads through a download or registration form.
The key is to understand what types of content your customers are willing to “pay” for with personal information. To learn more about using web forms to build a killer content marketing strategy, dive in to our latest e-book below.