GATED CONTENT – DISCRIMINATION OR EFFECTIVE LEAD ACQUISITION?

04 October 2017

The quality of business marketing materials is often measured by their popularity. But is the a large number of viewers or readers really the best campaign goal?

Content marketing is here to stay. More and more companies are investing in the production of engaging content and wonder what format it would be worth publishing. The choice of the format depends on both the material and the audience. Ebooks, white papers, slide shows, videos, webinars, and many other content formats bring depth to the company’s marketing materials and provide the user with information about the matter itself and about the problems that the company’s products and services solve. Versatile and knowledgeable content builds  brand image and position for the company and its products.

Content quality is often measured by their popularity, i.e. how often a document is viewed, read or downloaded. The ebook producer’s ego get wings when one’s own publication gets hundreds or even thousands of downloads. Often, the content produced by different teams is likewise compared by the number of downloads they receive. The one who wins is the one who reaches the broadest audience. But was that a real business goal?

Aiming for high quality leads (not anonymous uploaders)

Content marketing and production of leads meet when a user has to fill in a form to get content downloaded. In recent weeks I have had several debates about whether downloadable materials locked behind the form, or in our office language: “gating”. The truth is that gating can half the readership, which of course does not warm the content producer’s life. The other side of the coin is, however, that collecting contact information on the form increases the contact register and allows the lead redining. Personally, I consider 100 leads more precious than one thousand anonymous downloaders.

According to the Marketing Automation Trends for Success study, the increase in the number of leads (68%) and the improvement of lead refining (60%) are the main goals of the best marketers. As soon as the next list increases, sales increase. With the same companies, the most important measure is the conversions (58%) that arise when the contact moves from the sales line from step to next.

Don’t make downloading too laborious

To maximize form fills, it is worth minimizing the number of fields to fill. According to studies, 90% of the entry form fills the first required field, most often the e-mail address. The name field drops 15 % from the process, company name 11% more, and so on. Here again, “less is more” – commit first and ask more as the relationship develops. It is also worth bearing in mind the GDPR that comes into force in 2018 and request the visitor for the famous marketing permission.

Content is strategically distributed to the TOFU, MOFU and BOFU content. Top-of-Funnel content builds awareness and positions the business. The main task of TOFU content is to attract interest and are often visual in format, such as infographic or animation. MOFU and BOFU content provide valuable information about the subject. From the information they contain, the user is willing to “pay” by providing information about themselves. The thumb rule is that the more you move towards the sales the more content is gated behind a form because the user’s interest rate rises and the commitment increases. When the content is relevant to the recipient, requesting contact information is not considered distracting. Again, the keyword is relevant – the content quality and the correct targeting are crucial.

Summa Summarum, when the goal of marketing is cost-effective lead production, content downloads should be placed behind the form.

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