Locking it up: 5 no-no's for your gated content marketing strategy

So you’ve recently added gated content to your content marketing mix, but have some questions around best practices? Here are 5 common missteps to avoid on your way to a successful gated content program:

Not understanding your audience(s)

Research shows that many consumers feel businesses and brands don’t understand them. Your gated content efforts (and truly your content marketing strategy as a whole) need to be built upon on a solid foundation of customer personas. Understanding your potential customers’ needs, desires and motivators will ensure the content you serve up is relevant and useful, thereby increasing your company’s standing as a valuable resource in their eyes.

Not offering quality ungated content

Potential customers — especially in B2B settings — are unlikely to endure the perceived “risk” of providing their contact information to access a piece of content if they’re unable to first verify or deduce that the content will be “worth it.”

As such, it’s extremely important that you offer quality free-access content in addition to your gated content. This will serve to confirm your knowledge around a category or subject and prove that you’re capable of providing something of value. Check out the blog of inbound marketing experts Hubspot for an example of best practice.

Gating the “wrong” content

Resist the siren call of over-utilizing gated content.  This is especially pertinent with information that’s either low in value or potentially perceived as something that “should have been” ungated (like usage tips for a product you sell, for example). Nothing can be more damaging to company perception than to be seen as either intentionally misleading or a time waster.

Asking for too much

Don’t make the initial hurdle of gated content too high, or you risk dissuading potential leads. While it can be tempting to try to glean as much information as possible from a potential customer, it’s important to keep in mind that people in the early stages of the sales funnel have lower commitment and are more likely to abandon a page if they believe they’re being asked for too much.

Neglecting the follow through

Like a tennis swing, follow through is the critical part of your gated content efforts. If your company doesn’t have a marketing automation system in place to ensure the leads you capture are adequately nurtured, it’s likely resources will be wasted and opportunities lost.

For more suggestions on what to avoid with your gated content — along with some key benefits and opportunities — check out this worthwhile read from digital experience platform vendor Core dna. And if you’re feeling a little out-of-touch in the B2B content marketing world, be sure to check out our 5 must-reads on the topic.

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