Best Practices And Ideas For Lead Generation Through Gated Content


9 Apr, 2024


In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, businesses are constantly on the lookout for ways to engage their audience and generate leads. Some lead generation strategies work for businesses, while some don’t. However, there is one strategy that has proven to be quite effective, and that is the use of gated content

Despite various debates around the use of gated content, this is still one of the most trusted strategies for even leading brands today. In this guide, we will explore gated content, including the lead generation strategies for boosting your lead generation campaigns, benefits, myths, and gated content best practices. Let’s kickstart our learning journey by understanding what gated content is. It will help pave the road for effective learning.

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What is Gated Content?

You must have come across websites that let you download their important assets only after you provide them with your name, email, and mobile number through a pop-up form or anything similar. For example, if you ever visit a fitness website, you will spot a variety of diet charts there that you can download only after you fill in a form with your name and contact details. Once you do that, you are then able to download the chart. This chart is the gated content. 

Think of it as a velvet rope at an exclusive club. Only those who provide their names, email addresses, or other relevant information are allowed inside the club to access the valuable content behind the gate. And just like at a club, the hope is that users will be hooked once inside and want to return for more.

So gated content is content that is only accessible to users who provide their contact information or other personal details. It comes in various forms, including whitepapers, eBooks, webinars, videos, and case studies. In addition, the content can be made available on a landing page or a pop-up form on a website. In exchange for access to the content, users are required to fill out a form that typically asks for their name, email address, company name, job title, and other relevant details.

But why would anyone want to give up their details just to access some content? Well, for one, gated content can be incredibly valuable. It can provide users with valuable insights, industry research, or insider tips they couldn't find elsewhere. Additionally, gated content can help businesses generate leads and build their customer base. Take a look at the following flowchart to understand how:

 flowchart of gated content

However, it's important to note that not all content should be gated. Only content considered valuable enough to the user should be put behind the gate. Otherwise, users may feel like they're being forced to give up their information for no good reason.

Understanding the Benefits of Gated Content

Gated content is a powerful tool businesses can use to attract and engage their target audience while generating leads. There are several benefits of using gated content in your content marketing strategy. Here are some of the benefits of gated content marketing:

1. Quality Leads

Generating qualified leads is like throwing a party and only inviting the people who want to be there. By hiding your juiciest content behind a velvet rope, you can ensure that only the most interested and engaged folks make it to your inner circle. And let's be honest, who wants a bunch of party crashers clogging up the dance floor and eating all the hors d'oeuvres?

Sure, not every lead will turn into a conversion, but by targeting the cream of the crop, you're more likely to find folks who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. And once you've got their contact information, the possibilities are endless! You can woo them with targeted emails, dazzle them with customized social media ads, or even go old-school with one-on-one outreach. It's like having your army of interested prospects just waiting for you to make your move.

Here are some gated content examples of using the customer info you've collected to turn those leads into gold:

  • Lead nurture campaigns: Think of it like a long-distance relationship with potential customers. Woo them with relevant and interesting content via email, and keep the flame alive until they're ready to take things to the next level.
  • Customized social media messages: Remember, it's not just about sliding into someone's DMs and hoping for the best. Use that customer info to craft targeted and personalized marketing messages that will make your leads feel like the VIPs they truly are.
  • Personal outreach: It's time to get up close and personal. Show your leads one-on-one attention with high-touch interactions and answers to all their burning questions. Think of yourself as a lead-whisperer, guiding them gently towards a conversion like a wise and patient shepherd.

2. Customized Segmentation

Oh, sweet gated content - not only does it help you generate leads, but it's like a treasure trove of juicy personal details that you can use to target your marketing like a heat-seeking missile. Just think, you could know someone's name and email, job title, industry, and even how many minions they've got working for them.

And the best part? With this intel, you can customize your marketing messages to hit them right where it counts, leading to increasing website conversions and happier customers. It's like having a secret weapon in your marketing arsenal that your competitors can only dream of.

But wait, there's more! Gated content can also give you some profound insight into your customer segments. By asking the right questions, you can get to know your audience and tailor your content and products to their preferences. It's like having a direct line into their thoughts and desires - pretty powerful.

So, let's get to the good stuff. Here are some examples of how you can use gated content to hone in on those customer segments:

  • Send them more exclusive content that matches their interests and preferences. It's like playing Cupid but for your leads and your content.
  • Create lead magnets or ungated content based on the topics your prospects are most interested in. Give the people what they want, and they'll come running to you like moths to a flame.
  • Survey your audience segments and use their responses to create new content, products, and marketing messages. It's like having a personal focus group without the stale coffee and awkward small talk.

3. Quality Perception

In the game of sales and marketing, exclusivity is like the golden ticket to Wonka's Chocolate Factory - it creates the perception of scarcity. It makes customers feel like they're about to miss out on something BIG if they don't act fast.

And let's not forget about gated content - it's like the velvet rope at the hottest nightclub in town. You can't get in unless you're on the list! Keeping some content locked up behind a form leaves visitors with a sense of FOMO - fear of missing out. They know there's something good behind that gate, and they want in.

This sense of exclusivity and value perception can work wonders for your brand. When people perceive your content as valuable, they automatically think more highly of your brand, which leads to greater trust and credibility. It's like the secret ingredient that sets your brand apart.

So, if you're not already doing effective content creation, it's time to get on board. Because in the world of sales and marketing, exclusivity and FOMO is the name of the game.

4. Inbound links

When it comes to online content, gated is the new black. Case studies and whitepapers are like the LBDs (little black dresses) of the digital world - industry-specific insights that never go out of style.

And let's not forget about the benefits of these high-quality gems - they're like that popular kid in school who always gets invited to the best parties. When other websites use your gated content as a reference, you'll swim in backlinks from high-authority referring domains. It's like getting the VIP treatment in the world of search rankings.

And we all know that higher rankings mean more traffic, leads, and sales. It's like winning the jackpot in the game of online marketing.

But, like any good outfit, it's all about the details. Reputable lead generation companies know that it's not just about looking good - you've got to have substance, too. That's why they work with top-notch gated content writing services to ensure that published content is valuable and irresistible to users. So, if you want to look good and get results, it's time to invest in some killer gated content.

How Can Gated Content Help Optimize Conversion Rate and Building a Lead Generation Funnel?

If you're looking for a way to spice up your lead generation strategies and increase website conversions like a waterfall, look no further than gated content!

Gated content isn't just some fancy buzzword thrown around by marketers - it's a tried-and-true method for increasing website conversions and building a lead-generation funnel. How, you ask? Well, let us break that down for you.

First, gated content creates a sense of exclusivity that can be irresistible to potential leads. By offering high-quality, valuable content that can only be accessed by providing basic information (like an email address or job title), you're signaling your audience that this is valuable. And who doesn't want to feel like they're in on a secret?

But it's not just about creating a sense of exclusivity - gated content also allows you to gather valuable information about your leads. You can segment your leads and tailor your marketing efforts by asking for industry or company size details. This means more personalized messaging and a higher likelihood of converting those leads into paying customers.

Let’s take an example of The Hustle’s gated content to understand how it enhances the content funnel. Take a look at the following images: 

Hustle’s gated content

The Hustle's homepage doesn't mess around when it comes to laying out its benefits - they're as straightforward as a toddler's honesty. "Get news delivered daily to your inbox, lightning-fast, and in bite-sized portions, that won't make your brain hurt" - that's the gist. And if that's not tempting enough, the cherry on top is the "Join Free" button, begging to be clicked. Plus, with a tantalizing sneak peek at the content to come, visitors will be left with no doubt about what they're signing up for.

But what if the visitors take one look at the offer and bolt like an Olympic sprinter? No worries, The Hustle's got a trick up its sleeve - a pop-up so slick, it'll make James Bond blush. It swoops in with ninja-like precision, hammering home the value proposition and painting a picture of what the potential subscriber will lose if they don't join the 1.5 million-strong party. And the best part? Unsubscribing is as easy as pie if they still don't take the bait. It's like a no-strings-attached relationship, only with daily news instead of a significant other.

Hustle email sign up

And let's not forget about the SEO benefits of gated content. As we’ve mentioned, gated content tends to be high-quality, in-depth content that can be a valuable resource for other websites in your industry. When those sites link back to your gated content, you get more exposure and boost your search engine rankings.

Gated Content Best Practices

Gated Content marketing doesn't have to be a one-way street. This section will discover the art of gating content to engage your audience and drive conversions.

1. Content For Customer Funnel

Get ready to take your audience on a journey! It all starts with the three stages of awareness, consideration, and decision, and our handy graphic is here to guide you through each step. 

customer funnel Stages

Just like a personal trainer tailors a workout plan to fit your fitness goals, you need to customize your content to suit your audience's needs. 

From ebooks for beginners in the awareness stage to webinars for pros in the consideration stage, serving up the right content at the right stage is crucial in keeping your audience moving forward. Get it right, and your prospects will be lining up to convert faster than you can say "gym membership."

2. Competition Analysis

To pull this off, it is essential for you to channel your inner Sherlock and investigate the competition! By peeking at what your rivals are doing with their content offers, you'll uncover insights that can help you outsmart them at their own game. With a little bit of sleuthing, you'll be able to figure out what content should be kept under lock and key and what can roam free like a wild stallion. So grab your magnifying glass and get ready to crack the case! You can hire a digital marketing company to create a comprehensive strategy for increasing your online presence and brand awareness.

3. Valuable Content

It's time to step up the game! Gone are the days of bland blog posts and snooze-worthy content. To get those coveted contact details, you need to deliver the goods - and by goods, we mean actionable, relevant, and downright valuable gated content that'll make your audience weak in the knees. So let's make it like a value delivery service and start dishing out the good stuff!

4. Attractive Landing Page

Attractive landing pages

When it comes to gated content, the landing page is your holy grail. It's the one place where your visitor can bask in the glory of your offer without any pesky distractions getting in the way. To nail this page, you'll need a headline that's strong enough to lift weights, a copy that's so compelling it could sell ice to an Eskimo, and a form that's smoother than a baby's bottom. So get ready to create a page that'll weaken your audience in the knees - and keep them coming back for more!

5. Funnel Analysis

Gating your content means you're not just creating fluffy text to throw out into the world - you're creating a work of art. By tracking your conversions and building a lead generation funnel like a boss, you'll gain insights into your audience that would make even a mind reader jealous. Armed with this knowledge, you can improve your content strategy and create gated content that will make your competition green with envy. 

Let's look at a funnel analysis example to understand this better.

 funnel analysis example

Imagine you have an e-commerce website with 50,000 visitors. By breaking down this data into new users, returning users, and converted users, we can see that only 20% come back for a second visit, and only 10% make a purchase. Clearly, these users aren't finding enough value on the site.

To improve retention, we can offer valuable content as downloadable resources but gate it behind a form to capture user information. To make this strategy work, you must do effective content creation that entices users to click and download. You will also notice an increase in traffic and engagement on your website if you use a content-writing service to produce high-quality blog posts.

Now, buckle up and prepare for some top-notch gated content examples that will knock your socks off!

Gated Content Examples

1. Whitepapers

White papers are the smart, sophisticated cousins of the blog post. They're like a full-course meal instead of just an appetizer. As gated content, they provide value, position you as an industry expert and give your audience something to sink their teeth into.

Check out this brilliant gate content example by Oracle - a whitepaper hidden behind a form. The copy on the left is so irresistibly intriguing that users can't help but submit their details to get their hands on this treasure trove of valuable information.


2. Ebooks

An ebook is like a mini-encyclopedia on an easily digestible subject. It's the perfect type of gated content for those who want to learn something new but don't have the attention span for a lengthy read.

Not only are ebooks great for educating your audience, but they also establish you as an industry thought leader. When people trust your knowledge and expertise, they're more likely to consider your brand when purchasing.

Just remember, ebooks work best in the beginning stages of the buyer's journey when you're trying to create awareness or generate interest. 

Hubspot's gated ebook is a prime illustration of effective content gating. The copy is straightforward yet engaging, and the "free" label on the button is an irresistible lure for potential readers.ebooks

3. Webinars

Webinars: Educate, Inspire, and Trustify. For those decision-stage prospects, webinars are the perfect gated content offer. Why? Because they come with a high perceived value that'll have your audience rushing to fill out that form faster than a toddler on Christmas morning. But remember, not all gated content is created equal, so ensure your offer is targeted and geared toward generating those leads.Webinar

Final Thoughts

Gated content can be a highly effective strategy for boosting lead generation for your business. By offering valuable content exclusive to those who provide their contact information, you can attract and capture the attention of potential customers interested in your products or services.

To make the most of gated content, it's important to follow lead generation best practices such as creating high-quality content relevant to your audience, providing a clear value proposition, and using a user-friendly form to collect contact information. Additionally, it's important to promote your gated content effectively through various channels, such as email marketing, social media, and paid advertising.

By implementing these gated content practices, you can increase the leads you generate and ultimately drive more revenue for your business. Remember to regularly evaluate and refine your gated content approach to ensure you provide value to your audience and maximize your return on investment.

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1. How can businesses use gated content for lead generation?

Businesses can use gated content to attract potential customers interested in their products or services. By offering valuable content that is only accessible after providing contact information, businesses can capture leads and begin nurturing them through email marketing and other tactics. Gated content can also qualify leads, as those willing to provide their contact information are likely more interested in your products or services.

2. Can gated content be used for thought leadership?

Yes, gated content can be used as a tool for thought leadership by showcasing a business's expertise in a specific topic. By offering valuable content that provides insights and solutions to common industry challenges, businesses can position themselves as thought leaders and build trust with potential customers.

3. How can businesses ensure their gated content is effective

Businesses can ensure their gated content is effective by regularly evaluating and refining their strategy. This includes analyzing the performance of their gated content in terms of lead generation and conversion rates, as well as identifying areas for improvement. It's also important to continually create new, valuable content to keep audiences engaged and interested.

4. How can businesses measure the success of their gated content?

To measure the success of gated content, businesses can track metrics such as the number of leads generated, conversion rates, engagement rates, and ROI. They can also use A/B testing to determine the most effective content or form variations.

5. What are some common mistakes businesses make when using gated content?

Some common mistakes businesses make when using gated content include offering low-quality or irrelevant content, making the form too lengthy or complicated, and failing to promote the content effectively. Businesses may also fail to follow up with leads in a timely and personalized manner, which can result in missed opportunities for conversion.

6. How can businesses ensure that their gated content provides value to their audience?

To ensure that gated content provides value to their audience, businesses can conduct market research and segmentation to identify the topics and formats most relevant to their target audience. They can also use feedback and engagement metrics to gauge audience interest and adjust their content strategy accordingly.

7. How often should businesses create and promote new gated content?

The frequency of creating and promoting new gated content may vary depending on the business and its audience. However, businesses should aim to create new content regularly to keep their audience engaged and interested. Promoting gated content through various channels, such as social media and email marketing, should also be done consistently and strategically.

8. How can businesses ensure their gated content aligns with their marketing strategy?

To ensure that gated content aligns with their overall marketing strategy, businesses should identify their goals and target audience and create content that addresses their pain points and interests. Gated content should also be promoted through channels that align with the business's marketing goals and budget. Finally, businesses should evaluate the performance of their gated content regularly to ensure that it contributes to their overall marketing objectives.

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Corbin Stewart

I loved this blog!


Kash Sanchez

The content was well-researched and informative.


Reid Morris

This was an incredibly helpful blog post.


Kameron Rogers

The tips and advice provided were actionable and easy to follow.


Andre Reed

This blog post exceeded my expectations. I learned so much and was impressed by the depth of knowledge on the topic

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