Gated content represents a challenge for B2B businesses – here’s what to know about hiding online content.
When setting up a website, online forms, CTAs and viewer access, B2B companies must also make some key choices about gated content. It’s important to note that gated content is not just about making extra revenue or putting content to work – it’s about managing your brand and what clients think of you. To help cover the issue, here’s a handy FAQ on gating your online B2B content, and what that means.
What Exactly is Gated Content? Is it Just Content People Have to Pay For?
Some gated content is hidden behind a paywall, especially when it comes to whitepapers, reports, research, and so on. However, gated content can be anything that viewers have to take another significant step to see. That could be filling out an online form, or joining an email list, or even buying a product. It could be an ongoing subscription or a single bit of new content – but it will always require that extra step first.
What are the Advantages to This Approach?
There are a couple obvious benefits to gated content. If you charge a couple bucks for people to download a whitepaper, it could pay for the content and then some, reducing overall expenses. By setting a price point or other gate, you may also be able to show your content in a better light – as something special and elite that only the best get to view. Some also say that gated content is a way to filter anyone who is too “casual” and not really interested in making a purchase.
Does Gated Content Work?
Here we come to the problem: Gated content is unpopular. Immensely unpopular, from a customer standpoint. When content is put behind a paywall, businesses lose 93% of potential visitors who simply say “No way.” Overall gated content doesn’t fair much better.
That means that when a B2C company puts content behind a gate, they aren’t so much making it special as ensuring that no one will ever see it. Not exactly what you want to do in an online world where content visibility is your most powerful tool.
On the B2B side, the situation is slightly better. While click-through rates are still reduced by more than half, there are also signs that lead quality and ROI improve with appropriate gated content in the right places. It may not be something you should spread around, but it could also have a purpose in certain cases. This is especially true if you have had trouble in the past wasting too much time going through clients who just weren’t serious about buying.
What Does Appropriate Gated Content Look Like?
All right, if you do want to filter out some less desirable queries from B2B clients who are cutting down your lead quality – what do you do? There are two things that can make gated content work in specific situations.
- Keep the requirements ultra-simple. Don’t do a paywall. Don’t make a complex CTA. At the most, have a simple online form to provide contact information and add the visitor to your email/social media list. Remember how precious time is on the internet – if people have to spend more than a few seconds doing something, they are likely to leave.
- Make sure the content is data-rich. In the B2B world especially, gated content needs to be of the highest quality. We’re talking about in-depth research, surveys and studies that haven’t been done anywhere else, filled with valuable strategic information. If all you have behind the gate is a bunch of general advice or news available with a quick Google search, visitors will surf away thinking less of your company.
I’ve Been Using a Lot of Gated Content. Can I “Ungate” It Successfully?
Yes! In fact, this can be a very effective strategy for companies that have been gating content for years and now realize that it may have been a mistake. After all, you now have a whole lot of content that most people have never seen, so content creation isn’t nearly so time-consuming or difficult. What you need is a plan to slowly, thoroughly ungate content and share it with the appropriate social circles (LinkedIn is probably a better place than Facebook, and so on).
For more information about controlling access to content and managing online forms, contact The Network Co. of California. We provide data services for San Diego County companies like yours and can help you find the best services to meet your unique goals. Contact us at (760) 744-0442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.