05 Apr 30in30: Gated vs. Ungated Content [VIDEO]
In This Episode
I explain the difference between gated and un-gated content, and how you can use each as a part of a successful social campaign.
If these are terms that you have heard being thrown around – but you aren’t exactly sure what they are and how your business can take advantage of each, then this article is for you.
Gated and Ungated Content: Definitions
In order to explain how you can use gated and ungated content as part of a successful social campaign, it is important that we are crystal clear on what we are talking about, so it might be best to start with a few definitions:
- Ungated Content: Is the type of content that you would interact with most regularly on the internet. Ungated means freely available content like blog articles, videos, and podcasts, that you can access without giving up anything in return.
- Gated Content: Is content that is kept behind a form in which you need to provide your contact information, such as your name, email address and potentially even more, in order to gain access. Many of you would have experienced gated content on the net before, where you end up on a landing page, and you have to input your email address in order to receive a high value download such as an ebook or white paper.
To Gate, Or Not To Gate
Now that you know the differences between the two, if this is the first time you have been introduced to these concepts then you might be thinking ‘to gate, or not to gate’, well – that is the question.
In most cases, the simple answer is both.
Your ungated, freely available content will have higher rates of engagement and social sharing. This is obvious – because there are no barriers to consumption. If your goal is to get a large number of people to engage with your content, then making it ungated is a no-brainer.
Which begs the question, why use gated content at all? Why bother to put a barrier between your awesome content and the visitor?
Quite simply, it is to generate leads for your business. By asking someone to fill out a form prior to engaging with your content, you gain access to their contact information. This gives your sales and marketing teams the ability to follow up with them, or nurture this lead toward becoming a client or customer of your business.
Social Strategy Success: Combining Gated and Ungated Content
In order to successfully combine both gated and ungated content as part of your social strategy, you have to think about “timing”. You need to consider the timing of your customer journey. If the first touch point with you and your business is gated content; you are unlikely to be successful.
Think about yourself and how you use the web – if you end up on a landing page of a company that you have never heard of before, know nothing about them – and they are asking for your contact information before you can access their content – how likely are you to provide it? How likely are you to fill out that form? My guess is, not very.
This is an example of using gated content too early in the customer journey.
If you compare that to a company providing fantastic ungated content up front – which might be a great blog article, video, podcast, anything – as their first touch point. Then after you engage with that piece of content, you are met with an offer for even more valuable gated content, like a high value report, white paper, cheat sheet, template, anything really.
Do you think you are more likely to complete the form to access the gated content, given that you have already engaged with, and enjoyed, the free ungated content of that company? My guess is yes, and we consistently see that pattern for our clients inside the agency.
In most cases you need both gated and ungated content as a part of your social strategy. You have to deeply consider the timing for which you use either. Asking for too much, too early from your audience and visitors will cause them to leave and you might never see them again.
Time it correctly, and your visitors will become leads, and your leads will become clients and customers.
Additional Resources and Reading