Gated content can be a highly debated method of inbound marketing. When done effectively, it can be a great way to acquire new leads and nurture prospects through the sales funnel. However, when done poorly, it can prevent people from reading your content or providing information. So, what’s the best way to go about creating gated content?
In order to be effective, your gated content must obviously be high-quality. However, you’ll also want to make sure you are addressing your customer’s pain points. This means providing them with a solution to their problem they can identify with and relate to your content. To be able to do this well, you need to first make sure you have a specific target market in mind and cater to them directly.
There’s lots of different information out there in regards to mastering gated content, so it’s important to do your research before deciding on a strategy that will work best for your advisor firm. To get you started, we’re sharing the basics to gated content below and how you can use it on your advisor website.
WHAT IS GATED CONTENT?
Basically, gated content is any content where the website visitor has to provide information in order to access it. This could be a name, email address or demographic information. Potential clients have an incentive to provide this information because they’re receiving something helpful in return, such as an eBook, webinar recording or PDF download.
The below is an example of gated content from Twenty Over Ten user, Forward Thinking Wealth Management. In order to receive their “Baker’s Dozen Tips for a Better Retirement” a visitor must first give up their email address before receiving the tips in their inbox.
Some marketers can be wary of gated content, fearing that it will steer more customers away from their site when they realize they have to provide information. However, for most financial planning firms, lead information from a genuinely interested prospect can be worth much more than visitors who read and leave your site without ever taking action. When a person signs up to download information, you can be pretty certain they actually want to read it and may be interested in your services. This also gives you the opportunity to engage with them further through email and fuels a deeper conversation about their financial needs.
The below is another example of gated content from Twenty Over Ten user, Financial Planning Done Right. In exchange for an email address visitors can receive a free guide that includes the 5 must have financial tips for on-demand economy workers.
SHOULD I GATE MY CONTENT?
Deciding whether or not to gate content can be a tough decision. Ultimately, a lot of it depends on your goals. While gaining qualified leads is always an awesome opportunity, gated content can also be less optimal for SEO purposes. Therefore, it is important to take a minute to ask yourself some questions before deciding if the content you’re sharing is worth potentially losing visitors who don’t want to share information. A lot of this comes down to your specific audience and how your content will be of use to them.
One big thing to ask yourself is how much of the content you’re providing is simply sales information. If you’re asking clients to give out their name and email, they need to receive helpful knowledge in return, not just receiving a PDF version of your sales pitch. They can get that from your website for free!
With gated content, always make sure the reader will be learning new ideas and helpful skills as well as picking up time or money saving tips. When asked to provide information up-front, you need to be able to deliver unique information your readers are expecting or the they may be disappointed and lose trust in your firm.
WHAT TYPE OF CONTENT SHOULD I GATE?
A lot of marketers think that creating gated content needs to be a time consuming process. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be! A lot of content you have already created can be combined and used successfully as gated content. You’ve likely already done research and compiled useful tips in the areas your firm specializes in, so use some of this in the content you decide to share.
Still not sure what to create? Here are some great ideas of gated content to offer your site visitors:
- Turn your content assist articles into a gated PDF. If you have posts that contain useful tips that customers can gain insight from, it’s worth sharing them as gated content. This helps the potential client by giving them all the information in one place and delivering it directly to their email to refer back to, save and re-share.
- Create a “Best Of” eBook. This can essentially be a roundup of all of your most popular blog posts in the form of an eBook. This type of content can be useful to current clients making it easy for them to access your most popular posts.
- Webinars or workshops. You may have hosted a webinar or workshop in the past that could be useful for potential clients visiting your site.
- Whitepapers. If you have a specific topic or area your firm specializes in, whitepapers are a great way to show clients how skilled you are and how much you’ll be able to help them.
HOW TO PROMOTE YOUR GATED CONTENT
Promoting your gated content is just as important as creating it. If people don’t know it exists, they won’t know to download it! Like other promotions, social media is a great place to start. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, putting out a post with a link to the content will get people checking it out.
Also consider making use of your current email list and distribute your gated content this way. Doing so will help you engage further with those in your direct target as well as providing more information to them to get them further down the sales funnel.
Another way to promote this content is on your website. One option to promoting gated content on your website is using a well designed pop-up. We recommend checking out Sumo if you’re looking to create a gated content pop-up. Using a pop-up will draw all visitor’s attention to the gated content, making them more likely to engage. Another way to include gated content on your website is to include it in a relevant blog post. Doing so will direct readers of your blog to take action, download the gated content and become leads.
Finally, you could design a landing page for your gated content to live on. A landing page is a separate webpage with one specific call to action. This allows you to tailor the page’s content directly to your target market keeping it simple and easy to entice visitors to download.