Generate Through Gates: Using Gated Content to Generate Meaningful Leads

Lead generation—defined by HubSpot as “the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service”—is a fundamental need in growing any brand. By getting those organic interactions and converting them into meaningful engagements, you’ll continue to build your business and expand your network.

One simple but effective form of lead generation you can start incorporating into your brand building is hosting gated content on your website. It’s a simple exchange: You provide content that’s valuable to your prospects in return for their contact information. A brand can then use this information to better target communications toward these deeper, more segmented audiences.

Best Practice Considerations for Gated Content

Give a lot to give a little.

Sharing easy-to-access resources before requesting additional information from users demonstrates the value of what’s sitting behind the gate. This isn’t to say you have to sell your soul for an email address; however, by allowing users to freely interact with other informative, relatable pieces and articles, you’ll establish creditability. And users who are engaged with other postings are more likely to be willing to offer up the data you’re requesting in order to unlock more material, once they begin to trust that your brand can offer them value.

Give value to get value.

Gated content should focus on providing true value and worth to users and aim to meet your audience’s greatest needs. Depending on your brand and what your consumers are looking for, gated content can range from e-books, guides, white papers, and research, etc. to material that’s a little less text-heavy, such as trial offers, contests, events, demos, and more! Today’s consumers are constantly bringing their A-game, researching and seeking all the knowledge they can get their hands on that will provide value to their wants and needs. The incentive for your consumer to provide their information is speaking directly to their needs and to what they’ll get in return to fulfill the expectations you’ve set—and their expectations as well.

Give gated content quickly, without too many locks.

Consumers also don’t want to have to sell their souls for information, so think “less is more” on your information-request form. Basic form fields can include name, email, or even ZIP code, if you’re trying to segment by markets. But be careful not to ask for too much: the more a user has to submit in exchange for content, the slimmer the chance they’ll follow through with form submission.

Also, even if you’re requesting an email address as part of the exchange, it’s a better practice to allow users a quick download of the promised piece immediately after they’ve submitted their contact information. Doing this—rather than sending it to their email address and requiring additional clicks and platforms to get to the finish line—will help prevent user frustration on their journey and make it quick and simple for them to access what they’re asking for.

So, you’ve sealed the deal and got a new lead. Now what?

Depending on what type of information you requested in your form, you now have new insights about that user, and this allows you to segment your communication. For example, if you now know that Bob Smith lives in a zip code near your upcoming event, be sure that Bob gets an exclusive invitation—and you can continue to nurture that relationship until Bob is your No. 1 fan! (Well, there are probably a few extra steps in there, but you get the idea!)

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