There's been a lot of lively debate over whether marketers should keep creating gated content. There's so much information already available for free, is it worth trying to compete by throwing things behind a wall people need to exchange information to pass through? Isn't it possible for someone to find the same info "ungated" somewhere else?
The arguments are valid, but here's the truth: Yes, it's worth writing gated content today (we have our own!). White papers, ebooks, instructional videos—there's still plenty of reason to create original information content that helps people grow.
But that doesn't mean it's right for everything you produce. Here's what you need to think about:
Pros/Cons of Gated Content
Lead Generation. Gating your content allows you to capture leads, which means more opportunities for sales. You can collect valuable contact information for turning readers into customers.
Authority. You have original content that can help people, and that makes you an expert in the topic. Consequently, people are more likely to trust you as an industry authority.
No SEO benefits. Because the content's gated (and usually in PDF form), it's not getting indexed by search engines. Consequently, you're not reaping the benefits of your keyword-rich content. Instead, you'll have to rely entirely on the verbiage in your landing page to get results.
You'll lose some people. Gated content is an exchange of information. They give you contact details, and you hand over content. For some people, paying upfront isn't a good deal. They don't want to release personal info—yet again—for something they have no idea will be helpful to them. (Hint: That's why it's crucial to have a great landing page!)
Pros/Cons of Ungated Content
SEO boost. Gated content has a tendency to be meaty, and keeping it available for all to see means all of your keywords will increase your visibility.
More people will read it. In addition to seeing more organic traffic thanks to the SEO improvement, you're also not contending with the gate itself—a feature that can turn some people off.
You lose out on lead generation. By keeping it open to the public, you miss out on all the lead generation you could have had with a form placed in front of the content.
You miss out on the "prestige" factor. Professionals who have gated content cement themselves as great teachers and communicators. Yes, having a public blog or social media channel can help you establish your authority, but putting your content behind a form says, "This is better than typical content!"
The Poetica Marketing Take
As with so many other things in marketing, there's no right one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to gated content. It really depends on:
Your business objectives. Do you need the gated content to help generate leads? Or are you more interested in drawing new traffic to your website?
The content you've created. If it's not truly valuable to your reader, you shouldn't gate it. With that in mind, do you have something that's truly worth "buying" with personal information?
Your target audience. It's possible your target audience isn't interested in either reading or giving up personal information. Does your audience have the need for long-form content? Do they have the patience to sit through it?
Gated Content Services
If you're still stuck, contact us. We can help you decide whether gated content is the right option for you. If so, we can then create the content from scratch—and then create the landing page and promotion necessary to generate leads.