9 Ways to Use Content Gating for Lead Generation

Samuel Edwards
May 23, 2023

Businesses have a clever trick up their sleeves called "content gating" that helps them reel in potential customers, boost interaction rates, and get to know their audience better. But listen up - it's not just about slapping a sign-up form on your content! There are tons of strategies involved when executing this tactic correctly. 

Follow these 9 best practice tips for properly gating your content to scale your lead generation and sales. But first...

What Is Content Gating?

Content Gating


Have you ever tried to access some juicy content - like an eBook or webinar - only to realize that your personal information is being held hostage by a pesky content gate? 

Well, my friend, you've experienced first-hand how marketing teams use this tactic to get valuable contact details from their audience. 

But not all content-gating strategies are created equal - done wrong, and it can push people away (nobody has time for that). 

However, when executed correctly, it can be an incredibly powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. So let's explore how you can hit all the right notes with content gating!

9 Essential Tips for Gating Your Content

Here are nine indispensable tips for gating your content effectively, offering a strategic roadmap to generate leads, boost engagement, and drive conversions:

1. Understand Your Audience

Understand Your Audience Tips for Gating Your Content


If you're thinking about putting up a content gate to snag some precious contact info from your audience, hold your horses for just one hot minute. Before you dive headfirst into it, make sure you know who you're dealing with. You need to understand their deepest needs and darkest fears (okay, that might be a bit much), but seriously though, pay attention to their interests and pain points. This will help you create gated content that they'll actually want to give up their info for. 

How can you do this? Well, get ready to bust out some website analytics tools - check out what pages people are visiting most and what kind of content is getting the most clicks. Tune in on social media, too; see which posts are generating buzz or triggering comments. 

Don't stop there - go deep with market research as well - talk directly with current and potential customers if possible. Once you have these insights tucked away in your back pocket, you can start crafting an epic content-gating strategy!

2. Provide High-Quality Content

Provide High-Quality Content


There's no denying that high-quality content is still king in the game of marketing. It's like the red carpet that attracts your audience to your door (or website). But here's the thing: if your content isn't truly valuable, people will quickly lose interest and hit that pesky "back" button faster than you can say "gated." 

So ask yourself: is my gated content bringing real value to my audience? Make sure it goes above and beyond what they could find with a quick Google search

Offer something unique, in-depth, and insightful that they won't be able to resist giving up their contact info for. 

Put yourself in their shoes; would you willingly hand over your email or phone number just for this piece of content? If not, then it may be time to reassess and make some changes until you have created a masterpiece worth gating.

3. Gate the Right Content

Gate the Right Content


Now let's talk strategy. Just because you can gate all your content doesn't mean you should. Let me tell you why! When people are first introduced to your brand or website, they might not be quite ready to commit, like getting married after the first date. 

So, if they come across an article or blog post that interests them and it's behind a content gate, you may lose their interest quicker than a cat chasing after a laser pointer. It's best to leave those introductory resources open for everyone to access without any pesky barriers.

However, when it comes to in-depth resources such as eBooks or webinars, these types of gated content offer substantial value that can help position your brand as an authority in its field.

Providing these goodies only enhances the perceived worth of what you have on offer, which makes people more willing and excited even to share their personal details with you. Plus, gating this kind of resource keeps out any free-riders who just want quick fixes instead of building up some depth and knowledge where needed.

4. Optimize Your Landing Pages

Optimize Your Landing Pages


Landing pages are where all the magic happens. They're like the front door to your gated content, and you better believe that first impressions matter more than ever in marketing. So listen up, folks - make sure your landing page is designed with care - keep it simple yet persuasive. Your audience should be able to navigate it without feeling lost or overwhelmed by options. 

The focus needs to stay on what matters: explaining why this piece of gated content is worth their precious personal info - no distractions allowed! Make sure they clearly understand the value they will get if they exchange their contact details for access.

And now let's talk forms – I wouldn't want anyone getting scared off at this critical stage! You might be tempted to ask for everything under the sun when someone lands on your page – but don't do that! Be selective with what info you request; only capture data that is absolutely necessary (like email addresses). 

Keep things short and sweet; length, complexity or landing page irrelevance can kill conversions faster than fruit flies swarm overripe bananas. Hone your message, finesse those forms, and watch those leads roll in!

5. Promote Your Gated Content

Promote Your Gated Content


We've come to the final piece of the puzzle! Having amazing gated content won't get you anywhere if nobody knows about it. No one wants their hard work to go unnoticed. So listen carefully; this is where your marketing skills should shine!

First things first - use every tool at your disposal: social media, email newsletters, blog posts - anything that will help spread the word and reach your audience. 

Communicate supernova-level value in each promotional effort. Make sure people know what they're potentially missing out on if they don't provide their contact info. But wait just a minute - don't just throw everything everywhere like spaghetti on the wall waiting for something to stick. Be strategic with promotion placement and messaging to avoid burnout or irritating those who have seen too much.

Don't forget who you're trying to attract! Ensure that all promotion efforts are directed towards relevant groups of individuals who would actually find this kind of information valuable.

Master these tactics! Good marketing requires strategy, creativity, and, most importantly, consistency. Done right - watch as those leads shoot up faster than fireworks over New York City!

6. Nurture Your Leads

Nurture Your Leads


You've crafted an amazing piece of gated content, and people are filling out those forms and providing their precious contact details. What now? Don't just sit there twiddling your thumbs! This is where the real magic begins – nurturing that lead.

Think about it like this: The person who provided their email address in exchange for access to your gated content has expressed some level of interest in what you have to offer; take advantage of that momentum! Use all the info collected from them as building blocks for a relationship. Nurture them with relevant content - articles, infographics, or whatever they might find valuable. 

Offer additional resources or insights. Try getting personal, too – instead of sending robotic blasts - engage with them on social media platforms - and build rapport. Why go through such an effort? Building relationships boosts customer loyalty over time which ultimately drives sales, and isn't that why we started all this anyway?

Remember: seamless user experience is key at every stage - keep it authentic, and don't be afraid to invest yourself into what you're offering. It's not rocket science, but it takes effort!

So keep up the hustle - consistent engagement equals customer satisfaction!

7. Test, Analyze, and Improve

Test, Analyze, and Improve


Just because you've set up your content-gating strategy doesn't mean it's time to kick off your shoes and go on vacation. Content gating requires continuous improvement. It's like gardening - plant some seeds, nurture them regularly, and watch as they grow into beautiful flowers (or delicious fruit).

So get ready for the exciting part - testing and analyzing! A/B tests different elements. Try out different landing pages, shorten or lengthen forms, and experiment with various types of gated content to see what sticks. Don't stop there either - keep trying new promotional strategies.

But how do you know if it's working? Of course, through hard work and analytics tools. Analytics help identify which areas are successful in driving traffic while others aren't doing so hot. Insights gained from data analysis can be used to tweak your strategy or to try something completely new.

And don't forget; nothing is perfect the first time around. Imperfection is okay - use every iteration as an opportunity for growth! Keep experimenting until you find what works best.

8. Respect Privacy

Respect Privacy


Here's an important one you don't want to mess up – privacy concerns. Safeguarding your audience's personal information is key in this era where trust has become such a fragile thing. When collecting sensitive data through gated content, it's crucial that everyone feels confident in what happens with their info - because nobody likes unwanted visitors (especially when they come knocking on our inbox doors).

To avoid any confusion or anxiety, be very transparent about how you will use their contact information, who will see it, and how long we plan to keep them around. 

Privacy policy - make sure it's updated and clearly visible for all eyes (not just those eagle-eyed folks) so people know exactly what they're getting into. Don't stop there either - go above and beyond by avoiding spammy behavior. Who likes being spammed anyway? 

Sending irrelevant messages only spells doom - personalization is king! Take these privacy measures seriously. Building trust takes time, but losing it can happen in seconds, so let's work smarter, not harder (or sloppy)!

9. Use the Right Tools

Use the Right Tools


When it comes down to content gating, using the right tools is like having all your gadgets and gears ready for an adventure. You wouldn't head out into unknown territory without a sturdy map (or GPS if that's more your thing), would you?

So what kind of tools do we need in our arsenal? First things first, you'll require something to host your gated content. Think about using a Content Management System (CMS) - but don't stop there! You'll also need software for designing user-friendly forms that collect contact information seamlessly.

You're not done yet, though - this is just the starting point! Now let's consider follow-up efforts. Emailing marketing platforms is essential when reaching out with juicy offers or helpful resources, as well as keeping track of email campaign success rates.

Finally, tracking performance - how else will you determine whether your strategy works? Before signing on those dotted lines, make sure these systems can work together harmoniously! There might be "all-in-one" solutions that have everything under one roof, such as HubSpot or Marketo - perfect for streamlining processes and making things easier.

Final Thoughts

Content gating is a game-changer when it comes to generating leads, gaining insights into your audience, and boosting sales. However, like any marketing tactic worth its salt, it requires careful planning and execution. 

To make the most of this strategy, you need to know your target group inside out. Provide them with top-notch content, gate the appropriate pieces at the right time, optimize your landing pages for maximum impact, and promote these offerings effectively across platforms that matter to them.

Don't just stop there! Once they've signed up for gated content or downloaded something juicy from you in exchange for their details - show them some love too! Nurture those leads by offering more valuable resources tailored to their interests and needs. Keep testing different approaches until you hit upon what works best, and always respect their privacy as well!

Remember: above all else - value rules supreme in gating your content successfully! Offer your audience something worth having & they'll become eager subscribers who can't wait to see what other goodies are on offer down the line. And remember, in some cases, you may want to gate content that is user generated as it could cause legal issues if you don't have a way to properly police it.

The crux of gating lies in building long-lasting relationships founded on trust & mutual gain between both parties involved - so don't forget that either!


Samuel Edwards

Chief Marketing Officer

Throughout his extensive 10+ year journey as a digital marketer, Sam has left an indelible mark on both small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises alike. His portfolio boasts collaborations with esteemed entities such as NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Price Benowitz LLP, a prominent law firm based in Washington, DC, and the esteemed human rights organization Amnesty International. In his role as a technical SEO and digital marketing strategist, Sam takes the helm of all paid and organic operations teams, steering client SEO services, link building initiatives, and white label digital marketing partnerships to unparalleled success. An esteemed thought leader in the industry, Sam is a recurring speaker at the esteemed Search Marketing Expo conference series and has graced the TEDx stage with his insights. Today, he channels his expertise into direct collaboration with high-end clients spanning diverse verticals, where he meticulously crafts strategies to optimize on and off-site SEO ROI through the seamless integration of content marketing and link building.