For your marketing efforts to be successful, you need to create valuable content and use it to entice prospective customers to take action. Gated content is one example of an effective lead generation strategy that helps you to capture the emails of leads in exchange for your content offer. However, you need to apply the best strategies to make this process effective.
In this article, we'll explain some of the best practices that you can apply to create a gated content offer for your target audience. We'll also highlight some ideal content forms that can serve as gated content for your lead generation efforts.
Let's begin by explaining what gated content is.
Here's what we'll consider:
- What is gated content?
- Best practices for using gated content to generate quality leads
- Types of gated content?
- Wrapping up
What is gated content?
Gated content is a type of content that visitors can access after they provide their contact information. This information can be an email address, company name, phone number, or job title.
The main idea behind gated content is to generate leads and nurture them till they're ready to buy. Gated content for lead generation can be a tricky one. Does it work? If yes, what are the best strategies to make it work for your lead generation efforts?
In the next section, we'll explain some of the best practices for using gated content to generate leads for your business.
Best practices for using gated content to generate quality leads
Here are some of the best practices that you can apply when creating gated content for your lead generation efforts.
1. Create content for each stage in the buyer's journey
When it comes to creating gated content, you need to consider the different stages of the buyer's journey. The typical buying journey is divided into three stages —awareness, consideration, and decision.
Since each prospect falls into different stages of the buying journey, different types of content will appeal to them. For example, prospects in the awareness stage will be interested in general thought leadership or a helpful guide packaged into an ebook.
In another sense, a prospect that is in the decision stage will find a demo or webinar recording valuable during their buying journey. So, it's important to create gated content that aligns with each stage of your prospect's journey.
This way, they'll be more willing to submit their contact information in exchange for valuable content that will help solve their problems.
2. Provide value
If your gated content has no value, prospects will have no incentive to give you their contact information.
So, you need to ensure that your gated content provides actionable and relevant information that provides true value to your audience. This way, you'll get high-quality leads that are more likely to convert.
3. Build an effective landing page
It's important to create a dedicated landing page where prospects can download your content offer. This eliminates distractions and helps your audience easily complete the download process.
To create an effective landing page, you'll need to create a compelling headline and persuasive copy, and generate a form.
4. Segment your audience
Once prospects start downloading your gated content and you receive their email addresses, then you’ll have to segment them.
Segmentation ensures that your email marketing campaigns are targeted and relevant to your target audience. Apart from that, it also ensures that your nurturing efforts are effective enough to convert warm leads into paying customers.
Engage helps you to segment your customer base so that you can send personalized and relevant messages.
5. Measure results
Just like any marketing strategy, measuring performance is a must-do. When you start receiving email addresses from the leads that access your gated content, you can start tracking conversions and measuring your analytics.
Analytics data will help you to understand your audience and the type of content that generates the most leads. Even more, you'll also get to learn the type of content that your visitors are not interested in.
This way, you can use the insight to improve your lead generation efforts and overall content strategy.
Types of gated content
So far, you've learned some of the best practices for using gated content to generate leads. But what type of content is ideal for your audience? It's important to consider the type of content that you're offering and ensure that it's suited for your audience.
For this reason, let's move on to some of the best-gated content that you can create for your business.
Ebooks are a popular type of content that usually contains a brief overview of a specific topic. This type of digital asset is not only ideal for delivering value to your audience but also best for establishing your brand as an authority in your niche.
Ebooks are one of the best ways to explain complex topics and grow your email list. When you want to use an ebook as gated content, you must ensure it provides real value to your audience. Also, remember to apply good design principles when creating your ebook. You can then add the ebook as part of your blog post that covers a similar topic.
Webinars have become a great gated content strategy in the B2B industry especially as it has become easier to access tech assets for recording and broadcasting live videos.
Here's an example of a gated webinar content from Kissmetrics. It includes a form field to capture lead information for further nurturing.
With a webinar, you can educate your target audience about a specific topic. This helps to build trust and a stronger relationship with your audience.
Typically, webinars have a higher conversion rate because they have more perceived value than other types of content gated. Even more, they usually have a dedicated landing to capture lead information.
For B2B SaaS companies, scheduling demos is a crucial part of the sales process. It enables you to show prospects important features of your product and how they can use them.
This process is an important step to take with your prospective customers—it can help convert them from lead to paying customers. The ideal process is to schedule a demo with a prospective buyer over the phone or email.
Alternatively, you can upload a prerecorded demo that goes over some of the basic features. Or you can ask prospects to sign up for a live webinar demo, which will give them the chance to ask questions throughout the process.
4. White paper
Another great example of gated content is a white paper. This type of digital asset is a long-form in-depth report on a specific topic.
White papers are ideal gated content for lead generation because they provide value and help you to become an industry expert on a topic. When you're a trusted source in your industry, more people will look forward to your content. This, in turn, means that you'll get more people to download your content offer.
Templates are one of the most popular forms of gated content in the B2B industry. They are an ideal gated content offer for prospects in the consideration and decision stage of the buyer's journey.
Templates provide an excellent way to capture lead information and they have more perceived value than ebooks and white papers. A template is an actionable piece of content that provides instant value to your audience and is also easy to use. For instance, if you write a blog post about a specific topic, you can include a template that will help your audience to perform tasks easily and efficiently.
When using templates as a form of gated content, ensure that it is completely relevant to the topic that is being explained.
Gated content is a form of lead generation strategy that can help you to gain quality leads, build credibility and improve your authority in your industry. But all these are possible as long as you apply the right strategies when creating gated content.
Use the best practices explained above to guide you as you create gated content that suits your audience and brand. Remember to consider the different stages of the buying process and track the particular stage your prospects fall into.
This will help you to create specific and valuable information for your prospective customers. Even more, you have a higher chance of capturing high-quality leads that will most likely convert to paying customers. After you capture the contact information of prospective customers, you need to send email campaigns that will educate them further and help them learn more about your product.
With Engage, you can send pre-built email sequences to your prospects and customers and nurture them at every stage of the buying journey.