Content Marketing,

Gated vs Ungated Content: Should We Say Goodbye?

Magdalena Andreeva

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For a very long time, gated content has been a marketing staple for generating leads.

Gating your content, however, asks users to complete yet another form, and this can drastically decrease your conversion rates, and, in turn, give you significantly less data for marketing.

So, should you get rid of forms and give away all of your best content for free?

Let’s start at the top.

What Is Gated Content?

Gated content is a piece of high-value content (aka a lead magnet) – usually a white paper, ebook, or product demo – that users can access after completing a lead capture form.

The form is either a landing page or a pop-up modal that asks users to fill in some sort of personal information such as their name, email address, industry, or company name.

Note that the “gate” is not a paywall, and the content offered after filling out the form is technically free. The goal of this tactic is to generate leads and, consequently, increase sales.

Ungated content, on the other hand, does not require the visitor to provide any information and is used to increase visibility, improve SaaS SEO Strategy, and build trust. Ungated content can take many forms, including blog posts, YouTube videos, and infographics.

Achieving success with gated content can be tricky. Hiding content behind a form that is too detailed or too long, can cause users to decide that your content is not worth the effort. That said, too easy a form can result in fake emails, irrelevant leads, or deterred prospects.

The New Generation of Lead Magnets

In the past, click-baity ebook and whitepaper titles might have worked, but in today’s content-saturated world, they are no longer effective in generating qualified leads.

The newer generation of lead magnets pulls in the user with an irresistible asset, and while it might ask for more, it also gives more in return.

Essentially, if you want to successfully use lead magnets for B2B sales, you should give back something of immediate value, instead of a simple downloadable asset.

The type of lead magnet you might want to consider depends on where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey. For instance, for SEE Stage lead magnets, you could have a tool that assesses the prospect’s problem before offering a solution. Or, you could offer an informational asset that would help you get a better idea of what the lead is looking for.

Should You Put Your Best Content Out in the Open?

Ungated content can be accessed without having to fill out a form, which often means that it’s also accessible to Google and other search engines.

Allowing search engines to crawl your most valuable content not only helps improve your rankings but also increases the likelihood that more people will see it. A portion of them will likely also remember how good your content was and come back for more.

This also puts you in a better position to generate leads and improve your remarketing strategy.

Unsurprisingly, today’s consumers are favoring tactics that help them get what they want fast and without the friction of unnecessary opt-ins.

Keep in mind that, because there is so much content already available at no cost, it’ll eventually become harder to justify gated offerings and get prospects to exchange their personal information for them.

Moving Beyond Gated Content

Focusing solely on lead numbers might deter you from building a successful relationship with your audience.

So, rather than gating your content, consider giving people full access to it and then remarketing to the audiences who have already consumed that content.

Not gating your content will essentially yield more data that will allow you to quickly and efficiently build up a larger remarketing audience.

Ready to get the most out of remarketing campaigns? Head to our blog to find the top SaaS remarketing mistakes to avoid (and what to do instead).

Paris Childress
Paris Childress

CEO & Founder

My job is to match talented, motivated marketers with high growth companies, arm teams for success, then to get out of the way.

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