[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have you ever filled out a webform to gain access to an ebook or a white paper? If you have, you are gaining access to “Gated Content” in exchange for providing contact information. Gated Content is a technical marketing term that can be used as part of your marketing plan to engage, nurture, and close a sale. Is it something that you should integrate into your marketing strategy? Is it something you should use to funnel leads into your CRM? Before we can answer this question, we need to understand what gated content means and what are the benefits?
Gated content is premium content that is stored by an online “gate”. Visitors to your website must fill out a form on your website – oftentimes, name, and email – to gain access to the content. In other words, the form is the gate.
We see this all the time on websites. Premium content can be articles, podcasts, videos, ebooks, infographics, and the list goes on. It is a way for an organization to exchange content for the user’s personal information. It is a great way to qualify a prospect because your prospect has to share its information to gain access to your content. Once they have “skin in the game,” your prospect is more likely to purchase from you. Gated content helps you understand your audience. When you gate content, you collect data in your CRM that provides new information about your prospect. Your CRM can respond automatically to your prospect and can send you or your salesperson specific actions to take to engage further with your prospect. This new contact information is advantageous to you as:
- You gain a clearer understanding of what is important to your prospect and what their need is.
- You can segment the data in your CRM and deliver emails to contacts who meet your segment criteria.
- You can build relationships with your customers through different touchpoints.
To get the most out of gated content, you need to think strategically. Putting content behind a “gate” for the sake of having an offering on your website is not strategic. You need to plan out your content so it is valuable and touches your prospect’s pain points and solutions. Here are three strategic practices to help you gate content for your audience so that you can attract qualified leads.
Create content that is valuable with an incentive that compels your audience to give their information to you. The content should be a topic or resource that will help make their lives easier and their job more efficient. The content needs to show your expertise. For instance, a realtor can create premium content about getting your house ready to sell or what you should do to stage your house for an open house. Potential or current sellers can exchange their information using the form and gain access to content that will help them choose you to represent them and prepare for the sale of their house.
Deliver the content in the right medium. Audiences are continuously evolving and that includes how they receive content. If your audience watches a video and chooses video content over reading an ebook, your premium, gated content should be a video. If your audience is very technically minded in nature, make sure your content meets them at their level. Content that is too elementary will turn them away. Research and know your audience, so you can curate the best content in the right medium for them.
Create a lead magnet funnel. A lead magnet is a guided incentive to draw people to the gated content. The lead magnet funnel usually includes compelling headlines, engaging copy, and a call to action that lets your prospects know what they need to do to get the gated content. It can look something like this.
- Create an appealing post on social media that links to the landing page
- The landing page has a compelling headline with the engaging copy and call to action
- Your visitors see how your premium content can improve an aspect of their daily lives so they fill out the form.
- Their information is recorded in your CRM and you can move forward to nurture the relationship.
Gated content is a smart way to fill your CRM with qualified leads. Your CRM implementation can be structured so that your landing pages and your CRM are integrated to help you manage your leads. If you are not integrating your website’s gated content strategy with your CRM, you may be losing qualified leads due to a slower response while adding to your workload and your follow up fatigue.
After all, users expect rapid responses, warmth and tenderness, and technical assurances that reduce their risks. As we all hate to be sold but love to buy, our job is to make the process meaningful, fun, and easy so that our buyers feel good. If you have questions on how to add a gated content strategy into your sales strategy, please contact us. We would love to talk to you.