October 12, 2018
Gated Content Best Practices
Deliver top-shelf content to leads at every step of their journey
It’s always a challenge to deliver new and interesting content that is valued across your entire target audience. There are many journeys a customer may take before they make a purchase with your company. These journeys are best nurtured with a variety of content some of it free and others restricted.
Today, the role of a marketer is to create a content-producing machine that pumps out daily news, market research, industry insights and more. But generally, this content is for free and can be accessed via a blog or website.
However, there is content that marketers keep locked behind closed doors and only give access to customers who offer something in return. This type of content is called gated content. Its purpose is to generate leads and encourage customers to take further action with a brand, product or service.
While undoubtedly, you give your audience access to most of your content for free but consider what content you would like to offer exclusively. Think about what content you can create that is so special that a lead will give up personal information to access it?
To give you some inspiration, here are 10 examples of gated content. Use these examples to grab the attention of your leads and nurture them into valued customers:
Before pushing your prospects towards a product purchase or subscription, an easier way to win them over is offering a free demo. This gives your lead a quick insight into how your product works — highlighting main features and functions — before incentivizing them take a trial or make a purchase.
A demo also gives prospects the opportunity to ask questions and quell concerns. It’s the perfect opportunity for your support team to gauge a prospect's interest and showcase how your product solves their problem.
To further assist your free demo offer, you may want to consider providing new leads with a free trial of your product. To increase your free trial conversion rate, don’t make your customers give up their credit card details, instead sign them up to a 30-day trial and nurture them through the process.
You want to ensure that your product is a good fit for your customers, so a free trial is a perfect way to find out. Add a free trial button to specific landing pages on your website and also integrate it into your blog. A no obligation trial will encourage prospects to enter their email address, fill out a form commit to using your product.
To further your customers, go behind demos and trial and get them involved in a webinar. Fill your webinar with content that differs from your demo and blog. Plan your content around an event or ask your CEO to give an exclusive interview with something outside your organization.
Just like an event or competition, you can advertise your webinar across your social media channels, ensuring people subscribe and tune in. Capture all attendees emails and ensure your sales team have a follow-up strategy ready.
To ramp up interest with your product or connect to a wider audience, holding a competition is a great way to start. Competitions have a start and end date, which creates urgency behind the offer. It’s a great way to interact and learn more about your audience and discover new markets to tackle that you may not have considered.
Utilizing social media to host your competition helps drive traffic to your website. This is where you can also grow your outreach by urging people to like, comment and share the competition. For example, on Facebook, you might want to ask people to tag their friends in the competition to win.
While you may regularly post content on your blog site, you might want to consider curating the best content into a daily, weekly or monthly newsletter. To receive the newsletter, ask your customers to submit their name and email address.
Ensure your customers know exactly what they’re signing up to. Don’t give them content they didn’t ask for or expect. Tailor your content to your customers to increase your open and click rates and the overall deliverability of your newsletter.
If you have the space, hosting an event at your office is a great way to bring people into your company. Use an event to showcase your brand and put a face to the name. Encourage your team to attend and speak to as many people as possible.
Use the event to collect registration information like names, emails and phone numbers. You can use a simple form like Typeform to gather this information, sync it with a CRM like Salesforce or Pipedrive and send it to your sales team with Autopilot.
Content is king, and you want to place your company as a thought leader in the market. When a customer thinks of your industry, you want them to think of you. To put yourself at the forefront of thought leadership, consider curating an Ebook.
For some topics, you may want to include an Ebook series or even an annual addition. Keep your customers informed and give them content that’s tangible and they can refer to for years to come.
For example, check out Autopilot’s annual State of Journey Marketing Ebook.
Go deeper with your content and research and transform your findings into a report. Give your customers insights into the market and keep them informed on what’s trending, what’s ground-breaking and what they can expect in the future.
For example, advertise the report as part of your LinkedIn strategy. Incentivize your customers to submit their email and in exchange, send them a downloadable version of the report that they can keep.
Creating templates allows your customers to get started straight away on an idea, concept or product. For those early-stage customers who may be new to the industry or market, give them a downloadable template that they can replicate and use, hassle-free.
For example, Autopilot offers everyone free, downloadable customer journey templates. From anywhere in the world, people can download a template and take inspiration from what top-performing marketers have already created.
Similar to templates, how-to guides help nurture customers who may be new to the industry or using your product. These guides help customers get up an running in no time. Some guides may be short, offering an explanation on a specific topic and others may be in-depth and advance. Create both versions of a how-to guide to capture a larger audience.
Creating gated content and integrating it with your customer journey is easy with Autopilot. Learn more about how Autopilot helps you personalize your content and automate the entire customer journey.