David Meerman Scott, blogging about his research, suggests that between 20 and 50 times more people download free content.
Sounds effective. But, he points out that it provides you zero traditional “leads”.
What do you think of when you think of gated content?
Do you envision a barrier – something that stands in your way of getting what you want? Or do you see it as little more than an annoyance – nothing a little ‘give and take’ can’t overcome?
Gates have long been used to hamper the entry of those who may not be welcome. If a gate is not solid; if one can still enjoy the view beyond the gate, it usually creates little offense.
But, when a gate is blocking the view of what is on the other side, it tends to peak curiousity. The gate may scream, “Stay out!”, but it can also stimulate interest about what is on the other side. And for some, not knowing what is on the other side of a gate can be torture – even to the point of prompting one to do whatever is necessary to get beyond the gate and experience whatever it is hiding.
If you can’t see the value of gated content, you may not fully understand its purpose.
Show Them The Value
- Something that is valuable, is rarely free.
- The higher the value of an item, the more it is protected.
- The more effort to protect an item, the higher its perceived level of value.
When creating content, measure its actual value before putting up a gate to access it.
Ask yourself: Is it something that people would find helpful or enlightening? If so, they will likely be willing to give up their name and email address for it.
On the other hand, if it’s truly something that they want and need, something so helpful to them that they would do almost anything for a chance to get their hands on it, put an actual (and honest) price on it. They won’t feel ‘taken’ and neither will you.
A Gate Can Swing Both Ways
Gated Content isn’t about keeping people from getting in – it’s about controlling who comes in – and when – and why.
It should be about creating interest in a way that doesn’t annoy or offend, so that you can collect the specific data needed to help you fine-tune your message and provide better services and products.
Remember: If what you are offering is of real value, you won’t lose anything by providing an opportunity to view what’s on the other side of the gate.
When people are permitted to look around for free, it’s called ‘shopping’ – the process of getting to know what you offer – which leads to forming a relationship, the much needed first-step in building trust.
Amazon does this online when they let you “look inside” and preview parts of a book for sale.
The reality is, if no one knows you or trusts you they won’t be hanging around your gate.
For valuable ideas about creating content truly worthy of a gate, contact Hanna Marketing Manna today.