Here are some guidelines when considering what content to use when developing a content-gating strategy as part of your demand-generation effort.
First and foremost: Follow the law of “customer first.” In this case, that means focusing on the value of the content to the prospect over the value of the names to you. Think of your own content journeys when making purchases: Would you pay for the information?
I like to use shopping for cars as an example. There’s a reason I go to Carmax to look at cars. I can do all my research, sit in all the cars I want, and no one bothers me. I may do my final purchase at a dealership, but I’ve already done most of my research without someone following me around a lot. It’s the same with big online purchases, as B2B purchases are. I want to choose when I engage.
MORE INSIGHT: RISKS OF AGGRESSIVELY GATING CONTENT
Content Gating: Examples
These suggestions are not written in stone, literally or figuratively. (I don’t have the time or the tools to chisel them into rocks. Although, I do have a lot of rocks where I live.) They’re suggestions to use when evaluating your content.
Focus on assets with unique thought leadership value or data that a competitor wouldn’t be able to provide:
- Original research and reports
- Live events
- Buying guides
- Online tools
Provide easy access to the bread-and-better storytelling that puts your products in context for prospects:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Data sheets
- Solution overviews
And Sometimes These
Of course, there’s a whole universe of other content types. Here are some guidelines on a few more that tend to sit in the middle of the this vs. that universe.
- Calculators: Leave the calculator and basic results ungated, but gate an optional deeper-dive into the results.
- E-books: Consider the audience and asset. If it has a heavy marketing spin, leave it ungated; if it’s unique or valuable information, gate it.
- Videos: If you’re posting it on YouTube or another site, leave it ungated on your own site.
- Webinars: Gate the live version and keep it gated on demand until registration starts to decline; then remove the registration.
- White papers: Focus on the value to the customer vs. yourself. Gate it if it’s brand- and product-agnostic, providing thought leadership that people won’t find elsewhere. If it’s more focused on your products and services, leave it free.