Three Content Types You Should Never Gate
Gated content, sometimes referred to as premium content or paywall content, is any collateral that requires a user to give personal information (email address, phone number, etc.) and/or pay a fee to access.
Many website owners, especially those in business-to-business industries, gate far more content than they should. Here at Blue Zoo Creative, we know that having the right mix of gated and free, viral content is essential to a successful campaign. And to help make the “to gate or not to gate” decision easier for you, here are three content types we believe you should never gate.
1. Blog posts
Blog posts are a common content type, and they are meant to be read and shared through social platforms and linked to by other bloggers. Putting a single blog post behind a gate serves only to stifle that post’s usefulness and turn off potential readers. If a piece of content’s effectiveness is tied to its ability to be shared, it should never be put behind a web form.
2. Product information
Top level content, content that introduces your brand and services in a concise way, should never be gated. You want potential consumers to learn about your brand and products as easily as possible. Consumers shouldn’t have to give an email address in exchange for basic product specs or prices. And they won’t. They will move on, and you will lose the sale.
Two-step marketing is a viable strategy in some niche markets, but for 99% of businesses, asking consumers to spend valuable shopping time completing a long form is a non-starter.
3. Content designed for link acquisition
We know what you’re thinking. Content marketers are not supposed to build content simply to acquire links! True, but in reality that is exactly why many brands push out so many e-books, infographics, and videos each month. As in our discussion of blog posts above, content meant to be linked to needs to be available to everyone.
Studies show that gating a piece of content, no matter how popular or valuable that content is thought to be, dramatically decreases the number of downloads and shares, sometimes by as much as 95%.
The decision to gate or not to gate should depend heavily on the content itself, your business’s niche, and the degree to which you rely on your house file for recurring sales. Content meant to create buzz, go viral, or to deliver essential product and service information should never be placed behind a wall. In our experience, a ratio of 70% free content to 30% gated works well for most brands.
Do you still have questions about how best to leverage your content? We can help with that; learn more about our content marketing and social media services for businesses in Northwest Arkansas and beyond.
About Emalie Cockrell
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