Gated content is one of the most popular ways to generate qualified leads. However, gated content can get a bad rep. It takes a lot of time to create the perfect piece of content. And it takes even more time to see a return on your investment. But, if done right, your gated content can be a great way to generate leads. Plus, it can be used for a long period of time. With only 22% of companies happy with their conversion rates, it’s time to use gated content to generate more leads for your B2B company. Before we jump into using your content to generate leads, let’s go over a few basics that will help enhance your gated content marketing plan.
What is Gated Content?
Just as the name implies, gated content refers to content that is hidden behind a signup wall. In order to gain access to the content, the user must provide their contact information. Usually, this includes their name, email address, and company name. Once the user has provided their contact information, they will be given access to the content. Since the user is exchanging their information to gain access, the content needs to provide them with high-quality information that they wouldn’t be able to find with a quick Google search. Once they have signed up, there are a few ways that you can turn them into paying customers. We’ll talk about that more later. First, let’s go over a few of the best types of gated content to use to generate more leads.
Types of Gated Content
There are a few different types of gated content. Some are better for specific types of companies than others, but all generally follow a similar outline. The type of gated content that you choose should resonate with your brand. It should create a sense of cohesion with your other forms of content. Now, let’s get into the different types of gated content that your company can use to generate more leads.
eBooks are one of the most popular forms of gated content. They are used to educate people who share similarities with your target audience, in hopes to convert them into paying customers. eBooks are also a great tool to help your company gain more credibility in the industry. They are relatively easy to create. However, it can be time-consuming to write the content, review the content, create the webpage, and market the eBook. But, eBooks are often the company’s gated content of choice since consumers can easily understand and access them.
A great example of a company using eBooks is our company, Visitor Queue. We have created an eBook titled 22 B2B Growth Marketing Hacks to Use in 2022. This topic directly correlates with our target audience. With the webpage ranking well on Google, it will attract very specific and high-quality visitors who are interested in growing their B2B company. In the eBook, there are a few subtle mentions of Visitor Queue and CTAs with promos to entice the reader to try out Visitor Queue for free.
If you decide to choose to write an eBook, just be careful that the content doesn’t come across as too salesy. Or else your readers may get annoyed and not want to do business with you in the future.
Over the past few years, webinars have been growing in popularity. Webinars are usually focused on a topic that is relevant to your company, with an exciting guest that will entice even more attendees. Salesforce is a great example of a company using webinars as their gated content of choice. They offer webinars that are Salesforce specific, like 5 Free Ways to Extend and Adopt Your Salesforce Investment. On the other hand, they have more generic marketing webinars, like The 5 Steps to Creating Connected Digital Experiences for 2021 and Beyond. All of their webinars are hosted by at least two professionals, keeping the attendees engaged. Webinars are a great way to provoke thought and discussion with key members of your target audience. It should end on a question and answer portion.
Courses are often a combination of recorded lectures and downloadable resources. They are the most labor-intensive form of gated content on this list. This is because there is a lot more work involved to create the perfect course. Courses typically get fewer signups than other forms of content because they take more time to complete. But, the users that do signup are high-quality and eager to learn and find a solution to their problems.
Hubspot has a ton of courses that are Hubspot-specific as well as generalized marketing and sales courses. Their courses are made up of videos, quizzes, and have downloadable resources and links to continue learning. They also have a certificate that you can download once you have completed the course. Based on the course the user takes and how far along they get, Hubspot will reach out with an email based on their qualifications. Again, it’s important to note that you should mention your brand when applicable, but don’t overdo it.
Contests are less common than the other forms of gated content that I have mentioned, but they can drive a lot of high-quality leads. Commonly brands will share a contest via social media. The contest will ask for the user to submit their information to be entered into the draw. Now that you have their contact information, you can follow up with them. You already know that they’re interested in what your company has to offer if they have signed up for the contest. So, you can use this to your advantage in your emails. You can share a discount, use cases, case studies, and other juicy information to help entice them to convert to a paying customer. Now that you’re familiar with a few forms of gated content, let’s go over how to use your gated content to generate leads.
How to Use Gated Content to Generate Leads
Once you have an idea of what kind of content you want to create, it’s time to make a game plan of how you are going to use it to generate leads. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your content to resonate with people that share similarities with your target audience. Otherwise, your leads won’t be of much use to your company.
Build a Strong Landing Page
The landing page that your content is on might be the first time your website visitor is seeing your brand. You want to make a good first impression. Often the landing page will make or break the download of the content. If there’s no download then you’ve lost a potential customer. When creating a landing page, you want it to be clear and concise. Include a brief description of what the user can expect to learn about. Ensure your landing page is fully optimized for SEO purposes so it’s discovered organically by searchers. If you need help creating a strong landing page to increase the number of conversions you receive, take a look at this guide.
Add to Your CRM
All of the contact information that you acquire should automatically be added to your CRM. A few weeks or so after your lead has received your gated content, you should follow up with them and ask them what they thought about it. The emails after that will change based on the type of gated content you’ve used. Anything from suggesting a new piece of content they’ll be interested in, to starting to qualify them as a lead in your sales funnel can be included in the next few emails. If your new leads end up converting, remember to remove them from the following emails as they could get annoyed.
After a few months, if they still haven’t converted, you should offer them one last promotion. Create a promotion that they would have a hard time refusing. If they still aren’t converting, don’t worry about it too much. They may be interested in the future. Now that you have the foundation of your relationship with them laid out, they will keep your company in mind.
Include a CTA
Regardless of the type of gated content that you’re using, you will want to include some type of promotion that will entice them to convert. If you’re using an eBook, you can add in a CTA like the one shown below. If you’re creating a course, use your product in a small section of the course to provide a first-hand example. Include a discount code, free trial, or another form of promotion in your content. Use the promotion to entice the user to try out your product. You can also include links in your resources to other forms of content that you have created. Including blog posts or YouTube videos that will help the user continue to learn, while still engaging with your company.
Include Your Company in the Content
Like I mentioned above, you should include your company in your content. Including your company in your gated can take on many different forms. You will want to show how your company can solve the user’s problems. Below is an example out of the Visitor Queue eBook. You can see that one of the 22 tips is using a lead generation software. This directly correlates with the readers, B2B business owners, salespeople, and marketers. If your CTAs and content seem too pushy, simply branding your content can help since every time the content is opened they will be reminded of your company.
Remarketing is a great way to target the right audience that is already interested in your company. When remarketing with your gated content, you can target your previous website visitors and show them targeted ads that include your gated content. Remarketing may seem tricky to set up, but it’s pretty simple. Plus when you have it started, it requires little upkeep other than monitoring and optimizing. If you want to find out how to use remarketing in your strategies, take a look at this article here for more information.
It’s frustrating to see people visiting your website on Google Analytics, but they aren’t converting or signing up for your gated content. Take the power back and identify who those visitors are with Visitor Queue. Visitor Queue is a B2B lead generation software that can identify the companies on your website. Find out what pages they were visiting, how long they were on those pages, and how they were acquired. Along with that, identify the key employees that work at those companies, including email addresses, phone numbers, and Linkedin channels. Use all of this information to better understand your visitors and frame your pitch. Stop losing leads and start your free trial today.
As you can see, gated content is a great way to generate leads for your B2B company. Creating gated content can take a lot of time, but the reward can be well worth the time that goes into it. If you’re just getting started with gated content creation, remember to align your content with your business and ensure it’s consistent with your brand image. If you need help doing this, take a look at this article for advice. As always, if you have any questions about how Visitor Queue can increase your company’s revenue by 10-20% don’t hesitate to reach out.